The 2015 Season has finished, once again with a mixed reception. Some loved our selections, others hated them. Using the “Starbox” system, members of the audience are invited to vote out of 5 on each film – it is most interesting the range of views on any particular showing – recently, we had a total of 26 votes – 4 gave 5, 14 gave 4, 3 gave 3, 3 gave 2, and 2 gave 1. This was a full gamut of opinion from “outstanding” (5) to poor (1), which illustrates that film, as with any art form, is a very personal experience.
No doubt, the 2016 season will arouse a similar range of opinions. If some films arouse passionate debate, we have succeeded in our aim: to expose our members to the vast range of styles and interpretations used by the makers of films, the artists of our generation. Even the trailers, available now on our 2016 Season page, we hope will pique your curiosity and interest. Happy viewing!
Barossa Film Club presents an unusual and thrilling action film for its screening on Friday 15th July. “Hidalgo” is a Western with a difference, about a legendary American rider and his horse, Hidalgo, and tells the story of possibly the greatest test of man and horse ever seen.
Held yearly for centuries, the Ocean of Fire–a 3,000 mile survival race across the Arabian desert–was a challenge restricted to the finest Arabian horses ever bred, the purest and noblest lines, owned by the greatest royal families. In 1890, a wealthy sheik invited an American, Frank T. Hopkins, and his horse to enter the race for the first time. During the course of his career, Hopkins was a cowboy and dispatch rider for the U.S. cavalry–and had once been billed as the greatest rider the West had ever known. The Sheik puts his claim to the test, pitting the American cowboy and his mustang, Hidalgo, against the world’s greatest Arabian horses and Bedouin riders–some of whom are determined to prevent a foreigner from finishing the race. For Frank, the Ocean of Fire becomes not only a matter of pride and honour, but a race for his very survival as he and his horse attempt the impossible.
The film stars Viggo Mortensen and was directed by Joe Johnson in 2004. It will be shown at the Faith College Wine Centre on 15th July, with a short film showing at 7.30, then a break for refreshments before the main screening. A trailer is available on the Barossa Film Club website and enquiries may be directed to President Imelda Carson on 8564 8225.
Our film for June, “My Afternoons with Margueritte” scored one of our highest scores ever, 4.6 out of 5. Most of the audience loved it – the minimum individual score was 3. Gerard Depardieu gives all us overweight, ageing men some hope – you can look like an oaf, but people still love you!! Great movie.
On Friday 17th June, Barossa Film Club is showing an acclaimed French film from 2010 “My Afternoons with Margueritte”. “My Afternoons with Margueritte” is the story of life’s random encounters. In a small French town, Germain, a nearly illiterate man in his 50’s and considered to be the village idiot by his friends at the local bistro, takes a walk to the park one day and happens to sit beside Margueritte, a little old lady who is reading excerpts from her novel aloud. She’s articulate, highly intelligent and frail. Between Germain and Margueritte, there are 40 years and 100 kilos difference. Germain is lured by Margueritte’s passion for life and the magic of literature from which he has always felt excluded. As Margueritte broadens his mind via reading excerpts from her novel, Germain realizes that he is more of an intellectual than he has ever allowed himself to be. Afternoons spent reading aloud on their favorite bench transform their lives and start them both on a new journey — to literacy and respect for Germain, and to the deepest friendship for Margueritte.
Directed by Jean Becker, this film could have been over-sentimental and mawkish, but Gerard Depardieu, who plays Germain, is determined to look on the bright side. The film isn’t about the actor’s intelligence. It’s about his emotional radiance.
The evening commences at the Faith College Wine Centre at 7.30 pm with a short film followed by a break for refreshments, and then the main feature. Club membership is obtainable at the door. View the short at the Film Club website or on the Facebook page, or ring President Imelda Carson on 8564 8225 for more information.
Australian film “Disgrace”, directed by Steve Jacobs, screened last Friday and was scored highly by the audience of Barossa Film Club members. 28 people voted and most gave it 4 or 5 Starbox points, although there were a few dissensions, with an average rating of 4.05. John Malkovich was outstanding – he is a very fine actor, and a little more restrained than he usually is, while Jessica Haines has matured into a very good and subtle actor. An outstanding film.
Barossa Film Club is showing a powerful Australian drama “Disgrace”, made in 2008, directed by Steve Jacobs, and starring John Malkovich. Based on J.M. Coetzee’s Booker-winning novel, it tells the story of Cape Town professor David Lurie, who blatantly refuses to defend himself for an affair with a coloured student whom he gave a passing grade for an exam she didn’t even attend. Dismissed, he moves to his daughter Lucy’s farm, which she runs under most disadvantaged terms, favouring the black locals. Yet rowdies, unprovoked, violently rob and abuse them both. Lucy refuses to fight back, unlike David, who is surprised by his own altruistic potential.
This is an enormously complicated story with great potential for reductive schmaltz, but this is avoided thanks to Anna Maria Monticelli’s sharp, sensitive screenplay and superb performances from Jessica Haines and, particularly, Malkovich as Lurie, a self-described ‘beast’ as isolated and conflicted as the country he inhabits.
The film will show at the Faith College Wine Centre on Friday 20th May. The evening commences at 7.30 pm with a short movie, then a break for refreshments, followed by the main film. Film Club membership is obtainable at the door. For a preview of “Disgrace” visit the Barossa Film Club website or Facebook page or obtain more details from President Imelda Carson on telephone 8564 8225.
The Barossa Film Club presents a film by Hong Kong Director Wong Kar Wai “2046”. This is a companion piece to “In the Mood For Love”.
Chow is a writer. He thinks he writes about the future, but it really is the past. In his novel, a mysterious train leaves for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone goes there has the same intention — to recapture lost memories. It is said that in 2046, nothing ever changes. Nobody knows for sure whether it is true, because nobody who goes there has ever come back — except for one. He was there. He chose to leave. He wanted to change.
Andrew Sarris, New York Times film critic, commented in 2007, “Quite simply an incomparably sublime work of art, a triumph of lyricism over narrative in the cinema, and the most exquisite homage to the beauty of women it has ever been my privilege to witness on the screen.”
The evening will commence at 7.30 pm on Friday 15th April at the Wine Centre at Faith College, with a short film, then, after a break for refreshments, the main feature will screen. Membership is obtainable at the door. Details are available on the Film Club Facebook page or on the website, or ring 8564 8225.
“Senna” screened last Friday night. Many people in the audience were very pleasantly surprised at how gripping and absorbing the documentary was, quite emotionally engaging without over-sentimentality. A very good piece of film-making. The audience gave it an average rating of 4.3 out of 5, one of the best scores we have seen.
“Senna” (2010) is a documentary directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and James Gay-Rees. It was written by Manish Pandey and stars Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Frank Williams and Ron Dennis..
Senna begins quietly, without foreshadowing or bombast, or Icarus analogies, or talking heads. There’s only aural commentary from those who knew Ayrton Senna, the magically confident Brazilian Formula 1 driver who arrived on the scene in 1984. His rise was meteoric, but this great documentary stays grounded, following his career path with steady introspection, race by race, season by season.
There’s no way Asif Kapadia’s movie could fail to satisfy racing fans, particularly those who remember the heady days of Senna’s ascendancy. The narrative is just too strong, particularly the clash of sensibilities with his great rival Alain Prost, ice to Senna’s fire; the cockpit footage through chicanes and dog-legs, much of it previously unseen, puts us in each fraught moment. The shaping of Senna’s story is so methodical and contained that it achieves a mournful scope.
Winner of a BAFTA Award and numerous other awards and distinctions, “Senna” will screen on Friday March 18th at the Faith Wine Centre. The evening will commence at 6.45 pm with the Film Club Annual General Meeting, a short film at 7.30 pm, then a break for refreshments and the main film will screen. Membership for the year will be available at the door. Inquiries to President Imelda Carson on 8564 8225.
Entirely unexpected film last Friday night. We had ordered “Monsiour Lazhar” but when we opened the parcel from the distributor it was an entirely different film, “Of Gods and Men”, a French film about an order of Trappist monks, whose members include Christian (Lambert Wilson) and Luc (Michael Lonsdale), who live among the Muslim population in a quiet corner of Algeria. As the country is plunged into civil war in the mid-1990s, the men of God must decide whether to stay among the impoverished residents who have been their neighbors, or flee the encroaching fundamentalist terrorists. The situation that unfolds, based on actual events, has tragic consequences.
This was a good film, although a little slow for some of the audience’s tastes. Overall, it scored 3.75 out of 5.
Barossa Film Club ends its 2015 season with a screening of French-Canadian film “Monsieur Lazhar”, directed by Philippe Falardeau and starring Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse and Emilien Néron. Made in 2011, this is a moving story of love and compassion.
It tells the story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. Bachir Lazahr, a 55-year old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past.
Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post, commented “Monsieur Lazahr resembles a clear, clean glass of water: transparent, utterly devoid of gratuitous flavourings or frou-frou, and all the more bracing and essential for it.”
This is the Club’s last screening for the year. The evening will commence at 7.30 with a short film from Finland “Do I have to take Care of Everything?”, followed b y a break for wine and cheese and then the main feature. Faith College Wine Centre, Friday 20th November. All members and their guests are welcome. Enquiries Film Club website or Facebook or ring Imelda Carson on 8564 8225.