The Hippopotamus

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United Kingdom | 2016 | 89 minutes | John Jencks

Adapted from the deliciously witty novel by Stephen Fry, Roger Allam gives a wonderfully cantankerous performance as a profane, drunken writer who takes a job investigating a series of unexplained miracle healings at a friend's country manor.

June 11 screening just added! After the June 11 screening of the film, there will be a pre-recorded Q&A with Stephen Fry, Roger Allam, John Jencks and the screenwriter, which was shot at the end of May in Wales. The pre-recorded Q&A runs approximately 35 minutes.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Egyptian

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

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SIFF Cinema Uptown

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Friday, June 2, 2017

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Shoreline

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

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  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Uptown

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English comedian, writer, intellectual and activist Stephen Fry ("A Bit of Fry and Laurie") gets the adaptation treatment with The Hippopotamus, the film version of Fry's biting, brash 1994 novel. The titular "hippopotamus" is Ted Wallace (Roger Allam, "The Thick of It"), a disgraced poet prone to long baths, whom we meet being fired from his position as a theater critic after drunkenly antagonizing an abysmal production of "Titus Andronicus." Desperate for money, Ted runs into Jane (Emily Berrington, "Humans"), the daughter of a former flame. Diagnosed with leukemia, Jane has a lucrative opportunity for him: Go to the country manor of Swafford Hall, reignite contact with her rich uncle Michael Logan (Matthew Modine), and investigate the potentially miraculous "healing hands" of Michael's son and Ted's godson, David. At the estate, Ted must put away the whiskey bottle and get to work, but finds no clues and a cold welcome from a family that wants nothing to do with him. As the mystery deepens and the bon mots fly—"Existential crises are for wankers and characters in Scandinavian films," says the good poet—The Hippopotamus charges head-on, culminating in an outrageous and exceptional climax. Fry's dry wit is apparent in every second of this dark comedy, simultaneously acerbic, maudlin, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Director Biography

John Jencks began his career by directing and producing numerous short films. In 2013, he made his feature-length directorial debut with The Fold. His latest work, The Hippopotamus, is a film adaption of Stephen Fry's commended novel.

Sponsored by British Airways, AM880 KIXI

  • Director: John Jencks
  • Principal Cast: Roger Allam, Matthew Modine, Tommy Knight, Fiona Shaw, Geraldine Somerville
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 89 minutes
  • Producer: Alexa Seligman, Jay Taylor
  • Screenplay: Tom Hodgson, Blanche Mcintyre
  • Cinematographers: Angus Hudson
  • Editors: Robin Hill, John Richards
  • Music: Samuel Karl Bohn
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: The Fold (2013)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Lightyear Entertainment
  • International Sales: Truffle Pictures