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!
Barossa Film Club presents the 1981 erotic thriller “Body Heat”, with an all-star cast, including Kathleen Turner, William Hurt, Mickey Rourke, Richard Crenna and Ted Danson. An excellent crime drama in the style of Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, and Dashiell Hammett, Director-writer Lawrence Kasdan borrows liberally in style from 1940s film noir and incorporates a plot reminiscent of “Double Indemnity”, but he adds a steamy sexuality more in keeping with contemporary films. Set in steamy hot Florida, the movie follows the ill-fated course of Ned Racine (William Hurt), a rather dim-witted attorney who gets deeply involved with sultry Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner), a woman who wants her husband dead. Hurt gives a superior performance–we can actually see him thinking, rather painfully–while Turner makes a fine femme fatale after the model of Lauren Bacall. Ted Danson is also excellent as a slightly nerdy lawyer-friend of Ned’s while Mickey Rourke, in one of his early screen appearances, shows the promise of things to come.
Doors open at 7 pm for a 7.30pm screening on Friday 20th October, at the Faith College Wine Centre. Entry is free to Film Club Members and guests and membership is obtainable at the door. For enquiries, phone President Imelda Carson on 8564 8225
Barossa Film Club’s screening for September is the 1944 classic movie “Gaslight”. George Cukor’s 1944 Hollywood suspense flick “Gaslight” was originally made in 1940 in England under the title “Murder in Thorton Square”. When the Hollywood producers got hold of this hot commodity, they attempted to make the original film vanish from sight and memory by destroying many of the prints. Interesting how this particular tale parallels some of the mental manipulations employed in the film itself.
This tense, atmospheric film takes place in London in the 1870’s several years after a murder shocked the residents of Thorton Square. Paula, the niece of the deceased woman, has inherited her aunt’s house. Strange things start happening when she begins to occupy the place with her new husband. Through a steady thematic build we watch as she slowly loses her mind. “Gaslight” is a classic psychological thriller in the vein of the best Hitchcock with Ingrid Bergman, fresh off “Casablanca”, stealing the show as the innocent victim of mental illness. Bergmann won the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance, while 17 year old Angela Lansbury made her film debut and received an Academy nomination.
The film will screen at the Faith College Wine Centre at 7.30 pm on Friday 15th September. Admission is free for Film Club members and membership is obtainable at the door. For enquiries contact President Imelda Carson on 8564 8225
Barossa Film Club presents acclaimed French film “Amour” as its August screenings. Directed by Michael Hanneke and starring Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Isabelle Huppert, the film tells the story of Georges and Anne who are a couple of retired music teachers enjoying life in their eighties. However, Anne suddenly has a stroke at breakfast and their lives are never the same. That incident begins Anne’s harrowingly steep physical and mental decline as Georges attempts to care for her at home as she wishes. Even as the fruits of their lives and career remain bright, the couple’s hopes for some dignity prove a dispiriting struggle even as their daughter enters the conflict. In the end, George, with his love fighting against his own weariness and diminished future on top of Anne’s, is driven to make some critical decisions for them both.
Winner of a 2013 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Film Critic David Stratton commented, “This is a profound look at love about a couple who have lived with each other for so many years, know each other so well and this terrible thing that is facing them and there’s a serenity there which makes it even more moving, I think.”
The film will screen at the Faith College Wine Centre at 7.30 pm on Friday 18th August. Admission for Film Club members is free and membership is obtainable at the door. Inquiries to Imelda Carson at 8564 8225.
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.