2019 Programme

Friday 15th February: “The Lunchbox”

The Lunchbox is a bittersweet love story about two strangers in Mumbai, who have never met and communicate only through notes. A strikingly original, idiosyncratic and charming love story told with subtlety and with superb acting by the three central characters. The film was an amazing directorial debut for Ritesh Bara.

Friday 15th March: “My Sweet Pepper Land”.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, Baran, a Kurdish independence war hero, resolves to accept a position in a godforsaken village at the borders of Iran and Turkey, an illegal trafficking Eldorado .  There he meets Govend, a beautiful young woman who has come to work as the teacher in the newly-opened school despite her twelve brothers’ hostility to the idea. The result is a film of great cultural interest plus suspense and humour. (David Stratton)

Friday 12th April: “Tanna”

Tanna is an incredible window on to a traditional tribal way of life as it persists in the modern era. The Yakel people of the island of Vanuatu enact their own true story of events that occurred in 1987, with help from some non-indigenous filmmakers. This is not a documentary. The movie is gorgeously photographed on the island of Tanna (with its rainforests and active volcano), and the tribespeople give magnetic performances. The film examines a forbidden love affair and the resulting clash between the old ways and the new. At the Venice Film Festival, Bentley Dean was awarded Best Director of Photography, and the film also received the audience award for the best feature film of International Film Critics’ Week.

Friday 17th May: “The Grapes of Wrath”

Adapted from John Steinbeck’s novel, this classic drama shows how the Great Depression affected one American family. Evicted from their Oklahoma farm homes, the Joads head West to seek work. In California, the family’s deterioration continues as they live in poverty in migrant camps. Described as a potent drama that is as socially important today as when it was made, The Grapes of Wrath is affecting, moving, and deservedly considered an American classic. It is starkly realistic, and loaded with social and political fireworks. The film won Oscars for best director and best actress, and is generally considered one of the very best American films ever made.

Friday 21st June: “Cache” (Hidden)

A psychological thriller about a TV talk show host and his wife who are terrorized by surveillance videos of their private life. Delivered by an anonymous stalker, the tapes reveal secret after secret until obsession, denial and deceit take hold of the couple and hurl them to the point of no return. Michael Haneke’s dark thriller explores how the shadows of a man’s past can come back to haunt him with a vengeance. The film won Best Director for Michael Haneke at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and Best Foreign Film at the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, 2006. A typical Michael Haneke film – never simple and one dimensional.

Friday 19th July: “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”

Based extremely loosely on the Stephen Vincent Benet story Sobbin’ Women, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of the best MGM musicals of the 1950s. Most of the story takes place on an Oregon ranch, maintained by Adam Pontabee (Howard Keel) and his six brothers. When Adam brings home his new bride Milly (Jane Powell), she is appalled at the brothers’ slovenliness and sets about turning the unwashed louts into perfect gentlemen. The choreography of Michael Kidd in the dance and fight scenes is outstanding, (most of the actors are played by professional dancers). The film is appallingly sexist from today’s viewpoint and eyebrows have to be raised over the method the brothers use to get their wives. However the dancing is superb, the film is a great energetic watch, and the story ends happily, of course.

Friday 16th August: “the Salesman”

Rana and Emad, a childless married couple are both actors, members of a theatre company engaged in a production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. After the wife is assaulted in her new home, the husband determines to find the perpetrator, in spite of his traumatised wife’s objections, and in doing so puts into jeopardy that which he most values.

Director Asghar Farhadi believed his screenplay explored similar themes to Arthur Miller’s play. The film has won numerous awards including Best Actor at Cannes Film Festival and Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.

Friday 20th September: “They’re a Weird Mob”

This movie version of the book titled They’re a Weird Mob was made in 1966, and, as well as sticking roughly to the novel’s plot, it is a marvellous snapshot of Sydney in the 1960’s. Hair styles and wardrobe fashion are delightful to see. Nino is played by Walter Chiari, Graham Kennedy appears for a brief cameo and the cast includes young versions of John Mellion, Chips Rafferty, Ed Devereaux, Tony Bonner, Barry Creyton and Noel Brophy.

A wonderful time capsule and source of nostalgia  which is perhaps a little bittersweet too when you consider how much of that attractive welcoming character Australia has since abandoned.

Friday 18th October: “Appaloosa”

A traditional Western set in New Mexico, 1882, with two great leading men and a love triangle. It is magnificently shot by the cinematographer Dean Semler (who hails from Renmark, by the way). There is gunplay, but it is handled quickly – (they’re all such good shots). The film deals realistically with the tenor of the times. It features great writing, wonderful performances from the Mortensen and Harris, and Dean Semler’s atmospheric cinematography.

Friday 8th November: “The Barbarian Invasion”

During his final days, a dying man, whose life had not been an unblemished one, is reunited with old friends, former lovers, his ex-wife, and his estranged son before dying as pleasantly as could be possible in the circumstances. The Barbarian Invasions is considered historically significant as the first Canadian film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Marie-Josée Croze won the Cannes Best Actress Award. Although the spectre of death hangs over the whole film, the story is neither depressing nor grim. Director Denys Arcand, who also wrote the script, has injected a great deal of wit into the film and its lead character is enormously likeable.