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 “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.
An interesting range of responses from the audience who attended our screening of “The Babadook”, with Starbox rating from 1 to 5, giving an average of 3.4 – by no means the worst score for a film, but probably a pretty good indication that most people liked the film but did not consider it the best ever.
Barossa Film Club presents Award-winning Australian thriller “The Babadook”, starring Essie Davis, in a very different role to her incarnation as Phryne Fisher. This was the directorial debut of Jenifer Kent, who also wrote the script. Widely acclaimed at overseas film festivals, such as Sundance, this is not a conventional horror movie. It does not rely on special effects and the gore of many current movies of this type, but more a creeping dread and a study of a mother and son facing the inexplicable.
Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6 year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son’s behaviour, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real.
“The Babadook” will screen on Friday 16th September at the Faith College Wine Centre. The evening starts at 7.30 pm with a short film, then the main feature after a break for refreshments. Members and guests are welcome, with membership obtainable at the door. Further details and enquiries to President Imelda Carson on telephone 8564 8225.
The audience at our screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” gave the film an excellent average rating of 4.2 out of 5. Only one scorer was not so enthusiastic, while most gave 4’s and 5’s. Classic Hitchcock – a suspenseful murder mystery, but equally enthralling were the glimpses of other lives through the windows of the apartments visible from James Stewart’s window.
Barossa Film Club presents one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films, when “Rear Window” screens on Friday 19th August at the Faith College Wine Centre. The story:
Laid up with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To pass the time between visits from his nurse (Thelma Ritter) and his fashion model girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), the binocular-wielding Jeffries stares through the rear window of his apartment at the goings-on in the other apartments around his courtyard. As he watches his neighbours, he assigns them such roles and character names as “Miss Torso” (Georgine Darcy), a professional dancer with a healthy social life or “Miss Lonelyhearts” (Judith Evelyn), a middle-aged woman who entertains nonexistent gentlemen callers. Of particular interest is seemingly mild-mannered travelling salesman Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who is saddled with a nagging, invalid wife. One afternoon, Thorwald pulls down his window shade, and his wife’s incessant bray comes to a sudden halt. Out of boredom, Jeffries casually concocts a scenario in which Thorwald has murdered his wife and disposed of the body in gruesome fashion. Trouble is, Jeffries’ musings just might happen to be the truth. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s very best efforts, Rear Window is a crackling suspense film that also ranks with Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1960) as one of the movies’ most trenchant dissections of voyeurism. As in most Hitchcock films, the protagonist is a seemingly ordinary man who gets himself in trouble for his secret desires.
The evening commences at 7.30 pm with a short film, followed by “Rear Window” after a break for refreshments. Club Membership of 3 screenings for just $12 is obtainable at the door. For details visit the Club’s website or Facebook page or ring Imelda Carson on 8564 8225.
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.