Pilton Palais Cinema 2023

Hello! Here we are once again, and welcome to our 40th Anniversary Edition.

So, why have a cinema at Glastonbury – I hear you ask? I’ll let Dan Smith from Bastille answer your question, in our intro video where he reviews our programme for this landmark year:

Statement from Glastonbury Festival re Pilton Palais screening of Oh Jeremy Corbyn – The Big Lie 
Although we believe that the Pilton Palais booked this film in good faith, in the hope of provoking political debate, it’s become clear that it is not appropriate for us to screen it at the Festival. Glastonbury is about unity and not division, and we stand against all forms of discrimination.

Facebook        Twitter        Instagram    

I can’t believe it’s been 40 years since I became Curator and Area Organiser of the cinema tent back in 1983, and guided it from its humble beginnings of 16mm films to the present day spectacle, with the star-studded attractions, you see here today.

Along with a brand-new façade, designed by renowned artist Morag Myerscough to whom we are most grateful. If you are curious about Morag’s fabulous design, you can see a sneak peek in our poster by design gurus Salina (who designs all of Pilton Palais artwork and has echoed Morag’s design in our poster below) and to whom we are also very thankful.

Fusing film with Glastonbury – as Dan refers to it – is essentially what we had been doing for the last 40 years. Following the lead of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Stanley Kubrick, who stated: “a film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later”.

With each Festival, we strive to cater for all tastes, moods and experiences. This year in particular, we made a concerted effort to select films or plan events which offer a visceral experience. Please have a browse of the movie genres below, and you will find a description of what moods and feelings each unique film has to offer, classified by genre. In tribute to Kubrick, we chose to end the programme this year with a screening of A Clockwork Orange.

40 years of cinema at Glastonbury is a true labour of love, and could not have happened without the support of Festival admin and management staff, past and present. And the Pilton Palais team, which includes: my co-coordinator Riyad, our wonderful crew and kind enablers from the film industry who have been supporting us for years. Most importantly, we owe reaching this milestone anniversary to you, the Festival-goers. I feel that if Shakespeare were to be alive and attended Glastonbury, he would have updated his famous line from Twelfth Night to read as follows:





If you’re in a lighter mood, as we expect you to be at Glastonbury, then boost that uplifted feeling by becoming part of the first audience in the UK to ever watch Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City. Or, relive the 1990s optimism by watching Kevin and Perry Go Large, with an uplifting trance music score. Polite Society is an excellent choice, if you like your comedy fast-paced, infused with action, and you can also meet its director, Nida Manzoor, in a Q&A to follow interviewed by our resident host, Helen O Hara (editor-at-large Empire Magazine), on Wednesday. Or perhaps, you could be in a mood for a tragicomedy such as the classic cult film, Withnail and I and its quintessentially British humour. Another British comedy gem is The Fence, introduced by its talented young director, Will Stone … move over Edgar Wright , there’s a new kid in town (and the West Country)!



We don’t offer sofas (or seats) in the Pilton Palais, which is unfortunate for people watching horror as there is nothing to hide behind when films get tense. But we do offer a good choice of scary films, ranging from the contemporary remake of Candyman – which earned its director, Nia DaCosta, the accolade of the first Black woman director with a number 1 film at the box office. We also offer you the opportunity to have an audience with this talented director, who also directs the upcoming film The Marvels. Horror fans are in for a treat as they get a chance to watch The Wicker Man 50th Anniversary release, in our tent, concurrent with its national cinema re-release on Wednesday night. For those who like horror films with elements of dark comedy, there’s M3gan or Renfield to cater for this mood.



Music documentaries take the lead this year in our programme, and we made it more special by bringing in the filmmakers as special guests to introduce their films or discuss them.

So, if you going attend the Chemical Brothers set at Arcadia but want to continue that vibe, we are screening the Chemical Brothers concert film, described as ‘pure cinema:’ Don’t Think which is a 2012 live album performed at the Fuji Rock Festival the previous year. The director Adam Smith will be there to introduce the film, which has to be seen in a cinema to achieve the full impact of the psychedelic effects: with flying cutlery and clowns offering a different visceral experience to attending a live gig. Also, you can dance in our cinema which is something that is most likely not on offer in any other cinema.

Speaking of dance, Creature is a filmed theatre project by director Asif Kapadia, capturing Akram Khan’s English National Ballet work. It stars the charismatic dancer Jeffrey Cirio as the Creature, thrillingly athletic and physical, every muscle and tendon visible. This film is an intriguing one-off, appealing to anyone who wants to see something genuinely strange which can’t be pinned down to a single explanation, but Kapadia can try to offer a few explanations, perhaps, in the Q&A which follows the screening.

Another unique film is anti-rockumentary, King Rocker where comedian Stewart Lee and Brass Eye director Michael Cumming combine the story of Robert Lloyd (Prefects, Nightingales) with a forgotten King Kong sculpture from the 1970s. A free-associating bricolage of bewildered chefs, pop stardom and pop art follow. Mark Kermode called it one of his all-time favourite rock-docs. If you haven’t watched it yet, this is your chance and if you did, then it’s your chance to meet Stewart Lee and Michael Cumming when they join the post-screening discussion.

I am Weekender is the documentary film of Flowered Up’s ‘Weekender’ which was released in 1992. It was a film ahead of its time, both in form and content. Through uncompromising yet imaginative ways. The screening at Pilton Palais is not only a touching tribute to all those who participated in this amazing project 30 years ago, it also offers the audience a unique immersive experience with a contemporary take on the clubbing days of that time. Prior to the screening, a Q&A hosted by journalist Miranda Sawyer with the director of the documentary, Chloe Raunet and the director of the original Weekender short film from 1991, Andrew Whiston aka WIZ. Immediately after the screening the audience are invited to an after-show- rave up in the cinema with a live DJ set  banging it until 3am. 

If you’re into 80’s pop music, then this special Netflix exclusive preview of Wham! is highly recommended. The film is a product of Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael’s estate to create a documentary to mark the 40th anniversary of the band’s debut album. What makes the screening even more poignant is that it falls on George Michael’s 60th birthday.

To celebrate the screening and the legacy of Wham!, Sony Music have compiled a Wham! Sing-a-long to take place on Wednesday. So, wear your sexy hot pants and your ‘Choose Life’ T-shirts and lets … Jitterbug! …Jitterbug! … Jitterbug!

As in previous years, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Sing-A-Longs this year, as we have something a bit different to our usual fare. In addition to the Wham! Sing-a-long, the 30th anniversary of Whitney Houston’s The Body Guard, is also being given the Sing-A-Long treatment – inspired by the disruption at the live show in Manchester’s Palace Theatre, where members of the audience were evicted from the theatre for singing, heaven forbid! Feel free to let it go here with no repercussions what-so-ever!



Apple TV+ brings you an exclusive screening of The Buccaneers, which will be available to stream on Apple TV+ later this year. The Buccaneers is inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton’s unfinished final novel. The series stars Kristine Froseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Aubri Ibrag, Imogen Waterhouse and Mia Threapleton. Friday’s screening at Pilton Palais will be followed by a Q&A with cast and showmakers.



It’s been our annual tradition to play a summer animation pre-release, and this year’s features a first look of DreamWorks’ Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken which is out later in July. In addition we have a host of other recent favourites such as Mario Bros. Movie, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Shazam! Fury of the Gods , Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical and other classic films such as E.T. (which incidentally also reached a milestone 40th anniversary this year!) and Wallace & Gromit; The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a very funny and charming movie for the whole family to enjoy.

Finally, we can announce the surprise screening on Saturday, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, a film which has just been released on 2nd June!


Facebook        Twitter        Instagram    




Wednesday 17:30pm: Polite Society, Certificate 12A Duration 104
A merry mash up of sisterly affection, parental disappointment and bold action, Polite Society follows martial artist-in-training, Ria Khan, who believes she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. After enlisting the help of her friends, Ria attempts to pull-off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood. —Focus Features

Thursday 17:30pm: Kevin And Perry Go Large, Certificate 15 Duration 83
Kevin and Perry are two 15-year-old boys whose desperation to lose their virginity is so great that it inspires a sort of awe. In the rare moments when they’re not thinking about girls, Kevin dreams of being a singer and Perry aspires to be a dance-music DJ. When they manage to stop a bank robbery, they’re given a sizeable cash reward and decide to go on holiday to Ibiza, which is supposedly populated with thousands of beautiful women willing to sleep with anyone. But after the boys pack plenty of condoms and sunscreen, Kevin’s parents announce that they’re tagging along. Undeterred, Kevin and Perry make the trip and meet superstar DJ Eyeball Paul, who may or may not listen to their demo tape. The boys also encounter Gemma and Candice, two scruffy teenage girls who are nearly as eager as Kevin and Perry to get horizontal.

Thursday 19:00pm: Good Boy, Certificate TBC Duration 15
Out of money and out of luck, Danny (played by BAFTA-winner Ben Whishaw) attempts to rob a bank with the help of his anarchic mum, Jackie (played by SAG-winner Marion Bailey). But his efforts are frustrated by the family doctor who confronts him at the doors of the bank, unnerving his resolve and shattering his plans. Danny drives around town in his battered VW van with Jackie in the back, a dead pigeon on the passenger seat, and a growing sense of desperation, as we begin to sense that everything is not as it seems…

Saturday 16:45pm: Withnail and I, Certificate 15 Duration 108
London, 1969. Two ‘resting’ (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp, cold, piles of washing-up, mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to leave their squalid Camden flat for an idyllic holiday in the countryside at Withnail’s uncle Monty’s country cottage. But when they get there, it rains non-stop, there’s no food, and their basic survival skills turn out to be somewhat limited. Matters are not helped by the arrival of Uncle Monty, who shows an uncomfortably keen interest in Marwood.

Sunday 11:00am: Asteroid City, Certificate 12A Duration 105
The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organised to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.

Sunday 16:45pm: The Fence, Certificate 18 Duration 80
The story follows an 18-year-old working class lad who has his motorcycle stolen the day he buys it. He seeks the help of his scoundrel friends and notorious older brother to track it down before it’s gone forever. There is a strong moral theme examining the culture of the period, peer pressures and difficult individual choices. But ultimately, it’s a fun film with heart, that combines nostalgia, strong characters, comedy and a fast paced narrative. Not to mention a terrific soundtrack of 80s music!



Wednesday 20:15pm: Candyman, Certificate 15 Duration 97
In present day, many years after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, Anthony and his partner move into a loft in the now gentrified Cabrini. A chance encounter with an old-timer exposes Anthony to the true story behind Candyman. Anxious to use these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, he unknowingly opens a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence.

Wednesday 22:00pm: The Wicker Man: Special 50th Anniversary screening, Certificate 15 Duration 94
Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives on the small Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate the report of a missing child. A conservative Christian, the policeman observes the residents’ frivolous sexual displays and strange pagan rituals, particularly the temptations of Willow (Britt Ekland), daughter of the island magistrate, Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). The more Sergeant Howie learns about the islanders’ strange practices, the closer he gets to tracking down the missing child.

Friday 17:00pm: M3gan, Certificate 15 Duration 101
When Gemma suddenly becomes the caretaker of her orphaned 8-year-old niece, Cady, Gemma’s unsure and unprepared to be a parent. Under intense pressure at work, Gemma decides to pair her M3GAN prototype with Cady in an attempt to resolve both problems – a decision that will have unimaginable consequences.

Saturday 15:00pm: Renfield, Certificate 15 Duration 93
In this modern monster tale of Dracula’s loyal servant, Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss is forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding, no matter how debased. But now, after centuries of servitude, Renfield is ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness. If only he can figure out how to end his co-dependency.

Sunday 00:30am: A Clockwork Orange, Certificate 18 Duration 136
In an England of the future, Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his “Droogs” spend their nights getting high at the Korova Milkbar before embarking on “a little of the old ultraviolence,” while jauntily warbling “Singin’ in the Rain.” After he’s jailed for bludgeoning the Cat Lady to death, Alex submits to behaviour modification technique to earn his freedom; he’s conditioned to abhor violence. Returned to the world defenceless, Alex becomes the victim of his prior victims.



Thursday 15:15pm: Creature + Q&A, Certificate 12A Duration 120
Based on the acclaimed English National Ballet production, choreographed by Akram Khan and directed by Academy Award-winning director Asif Kapadia (Senna, Amy, The Warrior), CREATURE is a genre-busting collaboration that fuses film and contemporary dance. In a dilapidated former Arctic research station, Creature (Jeffrey Cirio) is unknowingly enlisted by a military brigade into an experimental programme. Creature meets and falls in love with Marie (Erina Takahashi), a cleaner who shows him kindness and compassion; together they dream of escape. This vivid cinematic experience is a beautiful, tragic tale of an outsider’s search for belonging, the insatiable desires of the powerful, and the enduring hope found in human connection and compassion.

Thursday 21:45pm: King Rocker + Q&A, Certificate TBC Duration 135
The anti-rockumentary King Rocker, fronted by Stewart Lee, weaves the story of Birmingham’s undervalued underdog autodidact Robert Lloyd into that of the city’s forgotten public sculpture of King Kong, eschewing the celebrity interview and archive-raid approach for a free-associating bricolage of Indian food, bewildered chefs, vegetable gardening, prescription medicines, pop stardom and pop art.

At this special Glastonbury screening, the film will be introduced by Stewart Lee and after the film there will be a Q&A where you can put your questions to Stewart & the film’s Director Michael Cumming in person.

Thursday 00:30am: I Am Weekender documentary with Intro and Q&A, Certificate 15 Duration 75
Wiz’s Weekender (1992) was a film ahead of its time, both in form and content. It engaged with contemporary issues that mainstream media were eager to sensationalise. Consequently, it was branded with an 18 certificate and banned by both the BBC and ITV, never reaching a wider audience. For the past three decades, Weekender has bubbled just below the surface, gaining genuine cult status and influencing a vast network of creators. In the run-up to its thirtieth anniversary, filmmakers Tabitha Denholm and Adam Dunlop interviewed people involved in the project. I Am Weekender is built around those conversations. Before the screening of I Am Weekender there will be a Q&A with the director Chloe Raunet and music video director Wiz (Andrew Whiston).

Thursday 01:45am: Weekender + Post-screening DJ set, Certificate 15 Duration 88
A chance to see a Digitally re-mastered copy of the original Weekender short film (shot on 16mm film) featuring Flowered-Up, and then afterwards, a chance to relive the music and atmosphere of the era with guest DJ’s from the period. With Visuals provided by Wiz until 3AM. As was the tradition at that time, don’t forget to bring your bottled water and glow sticks at the ready.

Friday 01:30am: Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think, Certificate PG Duration 96
For nearly two decades, The Chemical Brothers’ “mind-bending” audio-visual live show has played to packed houses and festivals across the globe. But it has never been documented on film. Until now. In 2011, at the iconic Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, The Chemical Brothers played a headline set in front of 50,000 fans which was captured on 21 cameras. Immersing us in the thick of a frenetic crowd, Don’t Think captures the synesthetic barrage of sound, film and light and the transforming effect it has on its audience. Directed by Adam Smith, one of the show’s visual creators, we are taken on a magical, realist, psychedelic journey where we feel the show rather than merely watch it. —Adam Smith

Saturday 00:30am: The Bodyguard (1992) sing-a-long, Certificate 15 Duration 129
A pop singer has been receiving threatening notes, and her manager hires a bodyguard known for his good work. The bodyguard ruffles the singer’s feathers and most of her entourage by tightening security more than they feel is necessary. The bodyguard is haunted by the fact that he was on Reagan’s secret service staff but wasn’t there to prevent the attack by Hinckley. Eventually the bodyguard and the singer start an affair, and she begins to believe his precautions are necessary when the stalker strikes close to home.

Sunday 13:00pm: Wham! documentary 2023, Certificate TBC Duration 92
This is the story of how in four years Wham! dominated the charts around the world. With unprecedented access to both George and Andrew’s personal archive – including remarkable and never-before-seen footage alongside rare, candid and previously unheard interviews – this documentary charts their journey from teenage school friends to superstars.



Friday 15:15pm: Apple TV+ Buccaneers exclusive preview, Certificate TBC Duration 100
Apple TV+ brings you “The Buccaneers” inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton’s unfinished final novel, starring Kristine Froseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Aubri Ibrag, Imogen Waterhouse and Mia Threapleton as the buccaneers. Written by series creator Katherine Jakeways and directed by BAFTA Award winner Susanna, it is the story of girls with money, men with power, new money, old secrets. A group of fun-loving young American girls explode into the tightly corseted London season of the 1870s, kicking-off an Anglo-American culture clash as the land of the stiff upper lip is infiltrated by a refreshing disregard for centuries of tradition. Sent to secure husbands and titles, the buccaneers’ hearts are set on much more than that, and saying “I do” is just the beginning.



Wednesday 1.00pm: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, Certificate U Duration 85 mins
It’s ‘vege-mania’ in Wallace and Gromit’s neighbourhood, and our two enterprising chums are cashing in with their humane pest-control outfit, Anti-Pesto. With only days to go before the annual Giant Vegetable Competition, business is booming, but Wallace & Gromit are finding out that running a “humane” pest control outfit has its drawbacks as their West Wallaby Street home fills to the brim with captive rabbits. Suddenly, a huge, mysterious, veg-ravaging “beast” begins attacking the town’s sacred vegetable plots at night, and the competition hostess, Lady Tottington, commissions Anti-Pesto to catch it and save the day. Lying in wait, however, is Lady Tottington’s snobby suitor, Victor Quartermaine, who’d rather shoot the beast and secure the position of local hero-not to mention Lady Tottingon’s hand in marriage. With the fate of the competition in the balance, Lady Tottington is eventually forced to allow Victor to hunt down the vegetable chomping marauder. Little does she know that Victor’s real intent could have dire consequences for her – and our two heroes. —DreamWorks SKG

Wednesday 14:30pm: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Certificate PG Duration 102 mins
Sadly, Puss in Boots, the undaunted Spanish lover and hero, is now down to the last of his nine lives, a decade after the events of Puss in Boots (2011). And as if that weren’t enough, the unstoppable bounty hunter known as The Big Bad Wolf is after him. To restore all of his precious lives and escape an inglorious fate, Puss must pluck up his courage to embark on a dangerous quest into the Dark Forest to find the legendary Wishing Star. However, Puss isn’t the only one seeking the map to the magical star. As the daring outlaw puts his skills to good use to stay one step ahead of formidable adversaries determined to get their hands on it, a crucial question arises: does he have what it takes to face his most skilled and terrifying opponent and get his life back on track?

Thursday 13:00pm: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary, Certificate U Duration 115
Left behind by his group of secret visitors, a harmless extra-terrestrial gets stranded on Earth, surrounded by an intimidatingly strange and unknown environment. Alone and fearful, he is fortunate to be discovered by a lonely 10-year-old boy named Elliott, who, after the initial shock, decides to take him in, and gives him a name – E.T. Little by little, a bond will form and as our hospitable blue planet becomes a prison brimming with dangers and government agents, Elliott and his team of rescuers must work fast to find a way to reunite E.T. with his otherworldly family. Even if this means Elliott will lose an unexpected but dear friend.

Thursday 19:30pm: The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Certificate PG Duration 92
A Brooklyn plumber named Mario travels through the Mushroom Kingdom with a princess named Peach and an anthropomorphic mushroom named Toad to find Mario’s brother, Luigi, and to save the world from a ruthless fire-breathing Koopa named Bowser.

Friday 11:00am: Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, Certificate U Duration 117
Matilda lives with her brother and parents, who are unappreciative of her. With the help of her kind-hearted teacher, she utilises her telekinetic abilities to settle the score after her principal brutally tortures her.

Friday 13:00pm: Shazam! Fury of the Gods Certificate, 12A Duration 130
Bestowed with the powers of the gods, Billy Batson and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with their adult superhero alter egos. When a vengeful trio of ancient gods arrives on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Shazam and his allies get thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of the world.

Saturday 11:00am: Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, Certificate U? Duration 90
Sixteen-year-old Ruby Gillman learns that she is in the next legendary line of sea krakens. Despite her lofty destiny, she is desperate to fit in at Oceanside High. Ruby struggles even more to fit in when her mother forbids her from going to the beach. After disobeying her mother’s rules, she discovers that she is descended from the warrior Kraken queens and will ascend to the throne as the Warrior Queen of the Seven Seas. The krakens are a race sworn to protect the world oceans from the vain, power-hungry mermaids by battling with eons. Ruby would need to embrace Chelsea, a mermaid-turned-human who enrols at Oceanside High School.

Saturday 12:30pm: Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, Certificate PG Duration 140
After reuniting with Gwen Stacy, Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is catapulted across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. However, when the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles finds himself pitted against the other Spiders. He must soon redefine what it means to be a hero so he can save the people he loves most.


Back to top