We have a great selection of films for 2017, ranging from the outrageous Maggie Smith in “Travels With My Aunt” to open in February, through the deeply moving “Amour” in August and the controversial “Body Heat” in October, and the very funny “Withnall and I” to end the season in November. Check out the trailers on our page 2017 Programme. Note that our screening in May of the Australian classic “The Sundowners” will be at the Nuriootpa Memorial Hall in conjunction with the town Committee to celebrate the early years of film screenings in Nuriootpa, when “The Sundowners” was shown. As always, we do not expect all our members to love every film, but, if you love the art of film, this year’s selection will provide a wide range of styles and genres. As always, all the films (except “The Sundowners”) will show at the Faith Wine Centre at 7.30 pm on the third Friday of each month.
See you there!
Swedish film “As It Is in Heaven”, directed by Kay Pollack, is Barossa Film Club’s selection for screening in June. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, it was made in 2004, and stars Michael Nyqvist, Frida Hallgren and Helen Sjoholm, telling the story of Daniel, a successful international conductor who suddenly interrupts his career and returns alone to his childhood village in Norrland, in the far north of Sweden. It doesn’t take long before he is asked to come and listen to the fragment of a church choir, which practises every Thursday in the parish hall. Just come along and give a little bit of good advice. He can’t say no, and from that moment, nothing in the village is the same again. The choir develops and grows. He makes both friends and enemies. And he finds love.
It’s all about finding your own voice, Daniel tells the villagers and the choir. And when those individual voices come together — mystically, inexplicably, beyond any rational explanation of notes or time signatures — something close to rapture can occur. It happened to Daniel once before, for 58 seconds, when the lights went out and his orchestra kept on playing in the dark. You might suspect it’ll happen again. And when it does, you can be sure it’s a culmination of the film’s every pointed lesson: that loving matters more than judging, that true community blossoms in an atmosphere of honesty and trust.
“As It Is in Heaven” screens on Friday 16th June at 7.30 pm at Faith College Wine Centre. Admission is free to members and membership is obtainable at the door. A trailer of the film can be viewed on the Club’s website. Inquiries to President Imelda Carson on 8564 8225.
A reasonable crowd at our March screening of “The Station Agent”, considering it was right in the middle of The Barossa Vintage Festival. Starbox rating of an average 3.6 out of 5, which was probably fair. A few scores of 5, a few of 1, but mostly about 4 or 3.
Barossa Film Club’s screening for April is the British film “The Station Agent”, which will show on 21st April at 7.30 pm at the Faith College Wine Centre. Written and directed by Thomas McCarthy, the film stars Peter Dinklage (of “Game of Thrones” fame), Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale, and won a BAFTA award plus numerous other nominations
“The Station Agent” is a slice-of-dwarf-life character study which takes a long, hard look at little person Fin (Dinklage), a train buff who inherits an old, inactive train depot where he takes up residence and then becomes involved with the locals. This poignancy packed flick spends its full 88 minute run with a sometimes cheeky, sometimes plaintive and always human, development of a handful characters who all have problems of their own. An extraordinary first outing for writer/director McCarthy, this little indie received raves from critical corners and applause from the public at large making it an almost sure thing for potential viewers. A wonderful film which makes the point that size does matter when it’s size of character and not stature. (2004 review by George Parker).
The evening will open with a short film at 7.30 followed by a break for refreshments and then the feature. Membership is available at the door and a trailer of the film is available on the Barossa Film Club website. Enquiries to Imelda Carson on 8564 8225.
“The Kite Runner” was a huge hit with the audience scoring 4.3 out of 5!
The Barossa Film Club is holding its Annual General Meeting at Faith College Wine Centre at 6.45 pm on Friday 17th March, followed by the award-winning Afghan film, “The Kite Runner”, directed by Marc Foster and Rebecca Yeldham. Based on Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel, spanning from the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy to the atrocities of the Taliban reign, an epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, an unlikely friendship develops between Amir, the son of a wealthy Afghan businessman, and Hassan, a servant to Amir and his father. During a kite-flying tournament, an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever. As an adult haunted by the childhood betrayal, Amir seeks redemption by returning to his war-torn native land to make peace with himself and reconcile his cowardice.
After the AGM,, there will be a short film commencing at 7.30, followed by a break for refreshments, and then “The Kite Runner” will screen. Membership of $35 for the year, or $12 for 3 screenings, is available at the door, and further details are available from President Imelda Carson on 8564 8225.
Our first screening for 2017, the Maggie Smith vehicle, “travels With My Aunt”, attracted a large audience and quite a few new members. Nearly everybody enjoyed the film, which was really a film adaptation of a stage play adapted from a Graham Greene novel! As always, Maggie Smith totally dominated every scene and was able to portray a teenage schoolgirl, a courtesan in her 30’s and an elderly woman, partly with clever makeup, but mostly by changing the timbre of her voice.
38 people voted and gave an average score of 3.8.
“Travels With My Aunt” takes its title, much of its dialogue, many of its situations and almost all its characters from a fine Graham Greene novel that, in the long run, it does not so closely resemble. The characters include Henry Rulling, a retiring London bank manager; his exuberant Aunt Augusta, well into her ’70’s, with passions modified but unextinguished; Zachary Wordsworth, Augusta’s black and very loyal lover, and Tooley, an affectionate American hippie traveling east on the Orient Express.
East is where everyone else is traveling—to the aid of the kidnapped Mr. Visconti, the charming unspeakable love of Aunt Augusta’s youth. Of Visconti we see very little, except in Aunt Augusta’s memories and in the small parts of him (an amputated finger here, an ear there) that show up along the route.
In type, the film is a comedy adventure-mystery, and ostensibly its aim is to save Mr. Visconti, while there is still some of him left. But its real aim is the revitalization of Henry, sunk deep into his dahlias and conventional middle age. This is achieved, but not so simply as you might imagine. And the great charm of “Travels With My Aunt” is the surprising emotional complexity it manages in terms of its light tone and its nutty, endlessly involved plotting.
Maggie Smith, playing a woman twice her age, seems to have surrounded her character rather than to have inhabited it. She is wonderfully gotten up and made up—even to the most refined shade of carrot-red dye in her hair—and she is energetic enough for any five ordinary performers. But it is the energy of caricature rather than personality, and Aunt Augusta is sufficiently an original not to need any eccentricities added on.
But the film is full of privileged moments, lucid, controlled and graceful, and any of them might serve to epitomize the style and the meaning of the valuable cinema of George Cukor.
Our last showing for 2016, “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence”, received a score of 3.1 out of 5 which is a fair score. Perhaps the biggest criticism was that all the publicity was about David Bowie, who certainly played an intriguing and interesting figure. But the star, at least for English-speaking audiences, was Tom Conti, who gave an outstanding performance.
Barossa Film Club presents “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence”, an intriguing film of wartime interaction between East and West. Conflicting cultural imperatives and repressions between East and West collide with tragic consequences in Nagisa Oshima’s enthralling World War II drama, which sees a war of wills – and unspoken erotic attraction – unfold between a rebellious prisoner (David Bowie) and a Japanese POW camp commander (Ryuichi Sakomoto).
Nagisa Ôshima made his English language debut with this multilayered drama, which also features Tom Conti as a bilingual prisoner who tries to bridge the divides between captor and prisoner, and Takeshi Kitano in his first dramatic role as a sadistic sergeant. But it is Bowie’s maverick and often anarchic Major Celliers that steals the show – “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence” is a testament to his uncanny magnetism on screen.
The evening will commence at 7.30 pm on Friday 18th November at the Faith College Wine Centre with a short film, then a break for refreshments, then the main feature. This is the last screening for 2016 and the Club will offer wine and cheese. All members are welcome (membership, including a limited season screening of three films, is available at the door). A preview of the film is available on the Barossa Film Club website or Facebook page.
Based on the bestselling 2009 debut novel by Jonas Jonasson, the wildly whimsical narrative follows the misadventures of Allan Karlsson (Swedish comedy great Robert Gustafsson) who escapes from an old people’s home just in time to miss his own centenary birthday party.
Shambling to the nearest bus stop in cork-soled slip-ons, Allan buys a ticket to nowhere, accidentally purloining en route a suitcase full of money. Pursued by an incompetent motorcycle gang, and variously teaming up with an ageing rogue, an incomplete man and a feisty woman with a pet elephant, Allan follows a trail of unintentional destruction through which the haphazard cataclysms of his past are refracted. One minute, he’s attempting to dispose of a deep-frozen body in the dreamily chaotic present; the next, he’s flashing back to a life in which his undying desire to blow things up saw him killing a neighbour as a child, becoming embroiled in both sides of the Spanish civil war as a young man and casually helping to invent the atom bomb as a fully grown destroyer of worlds.
A quirky and original film, this is a great example of Scandinavian humour. It is showing at Faith Wine Centre on Friday 21st October, starting at 7.30 pm with a short film and then supper and the main feature. All members welcome – or you can get short-term membership at the door.