“Eat Drink Man Woman” Friday 21st February
This Taiwanese drama centers upon the relationships within a Taipei family. The father is a master chef who’s lost his sense of taste. His wife died so now he lives amongst his three grown daughters. All three really want to get on with their own lives. The oldest daughter Jen, is a school teacher adept at hiding her feelings after she suffered a bad love affair in college. Kien who works for the national airline as a senior executive has just put all her savings into a new apartment. Young Ning is in school and works at a fast-food joint. She is getting involved with her best friend’s boyfriend. Life within the family gets more tangled when Chu marries Madame Liang, the single mother next door.
“In a Better World” Friday 20th March
Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian‟s mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death. Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy. Watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/y5s7NXsAX-E
“Sunday Too Far Away” Friday 24th April
Director Ken Hamman’s breakthrough historical drama was the first Australian film of the 1970s to gain international acclaim, paving the way for the Australian New Wave and the success of movies such as The Last Wave and Breaker Morant. Sunday Too Far Away is a story about the struggles of itinerant sheep shearers in the Outback in the 1950s. Jack Thompson won an Australian Best Actor prize for his role as Foley, a hard-drinking, hard-working shearer who is the best at his profession. When local landowners try to drive away the sheep herders, Foley leads a strike to establish their right to exist and live off the land. The dispute turns violent as the landowners retaliate, and Foley struggles to maintain his supremacy. Many scenes were shot in the same shearing barn used in the 1960 British-Australian hit The Sundowners, which was about an Irish sheepherder who emigrates to Australia. The title comes from a traditional song of complaint sung by sheep shearers’ wives. The film became a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival.
“The King’s Choice” Friday 22nd May
THE KING’S CHOICE is based on the true the story about three dramatic days in April 1940, where the King of Norway is presented with an unimaginable ultimatum from the German armed forces: surrender or die. With Nazi soldiers hunting after them, the Royal Family is forced to flee the capital. In the best interest of the family, the Crown Princess Märtha leaves Norway with the children to seek refuge in Sweden, whilst King Haakon and the Crown Prince Olav flee to a small farming area just outside Elverum and meet the Germans head on. After three days of desperately trying to evade the Germans, King Haakon makes his final decision. He refuses to capitulate, even if it may cost him, his family and many Norwegians their lives.
“The Heiresses” Friday 19th June
Chela and Chiquita, both descended from wealthy families in Asunción, Paraguay, have been together for over 30 years. But recently their financial situation has worsened and they begin selling off their inherited possessions. But when their debts lead to Chiquita being imprisoned on fraud charges, Chela is forced to face a new reality. Driving for the first time in years, she begins to provide a local taxi service to a group of elderly wealthy ladies. As Chela settles into her new life, she encounters the much younger Angy, forging a fresh and invigorating new connection. Chela finally begins to break out of her shell and engage with the world, embarking on her own personal, intimate revolution.
“Suspiria” Friday 17th July
An innocent American ballet dancer’s excitement at being accepted to a prestigious European dance school turns to terror when she discovers that the institution is a cover for a murderous coven of witches.
“Even if it feels a little outdated, Suspiria still stands as a horror classic whose aesthetic power shadows its light story ” – Frederico Furzan. Note the “R” Rating.
“Calamity Jane” Friday 21st August
Doris Day looks no more like the real Calamity Jane than you or I do, but this 1953 film is intended as a lighthearted musical, not a historical tract. As portrayed by the freckled Ms. Day, Jane is a rootin’, tootin’ shootin’ hoyden in the western town of Deadwood. When she isn’t tearing up the town, Jane spends her time cussing out Wild Bill Hickok (Howard Keel). The plot gets under way when Jane promises the citizens of Deadwood that she can persuade classy Chicago stage star Adelaide Adams (Gale Robbins) to perform at the local opry house. Through a case of mistaken identity, Jane brings Adelaide’s maid Katie (Allyn Ann McLerie) back to town. Katie proves to be a success all the same, and out of gratitude promises to make a “lady” out of Jane, who is sweet on handsome Lt. Gilmartin (Philip Carey). When the lieutenant chooses Katie over Jane, our heroine is heartbroken–until she realizes that she has loved Wild Bill Hickok all along, and that the feeling is mutual so far as Hickok is concerned. The peppy musical score by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster includes the Oscar-winning Secret Love, which became a million-selling hit for Doris Day.
“Cry, the Beloved Country” Friday 18th September
In the back country of South Africa, black minister Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) journeys to the city to search for his missing son, only to find his people living in squalor and his son a criminal. Reverend Misimangu (Sidney Poitier) is a young South African clergyman who helps find his missing son-turned-thief and sister-turned-prostitute in the slums of Johannesburg.
“The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover” Friday 16th October
This is probably Peter Greenaway’s most famous (or infamous) film, which first shocked audiences at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and then on both sides of the Atlantic. A gang leader (Michael Gambon), accompanied by his wife (Helen Mirren) and his associates, entertains himself every night in a fancy French restaurant that he has recently bought. Having tired of her sadistic, boorish husband, the wife finds herself a lover (Alan Howard) and makes love to him in the restaurant’s coziest places with the silent permission of the cook (Richard Bohringer). Though less cerebral than Greenaway’s other films, featuring deadly passions reminiscent of Jacobean revenge tragedies of the early 17th century, the picture still offers the director’s usual ironic and paradoxical comments on the relations between eating and sex, love and death. The film is at once funny and horrific, and those who are not used to Greenaway’s peculiar style might be even disgusted or shocked; however, one might mention Sacha Vierny’s brilliant camerawork, Jean-Paul Gaultier’s gaudily stylized costumes, and Michael Nyman’s somber, pulsating music, which will haunt the viewer long after the film’s end. (Note this film is not suitable for Children Under 17)
“The Bicycle Thieves” Friday 13th November
This landmark Italian neorealist drama became one of the best-known and most widely acclaimed European movies, including a special Academy Award as “most outstanding foreign film” seven years before that Oscar category existed. Written primarily by neorealist pioneer Cesare Zavattini and directed by Vittorio DeSica, also one of the movement’s main forces, the movie featured all the hallmarks of the neorealist style: a simple story about the lives of ordinary people, outdoor shooting and lighting, non-actors mixed together with actors, and a focus on social problems in the aftermath of World War II. Lamberto Maggiorani plays Antonio, an unemployed man who finds a coveted job that requires a bicycle. When it is stolen on his first day of work, Antonio and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) begin a frantic search, learning valuable lessons along the way. The movie focuses on both the relationship between the father and the son and the larger framework of poverty and unemployment in postwar Italy. As in such other classic films as Shoeshine (1946), Umberto D. (1952), and his late masterpiece The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1971), DeSica focuses on the ordinary details of ordinary lives as a way to dramatize wider social issues. As a result, The Bicycle Thief works as a sentimental study of a father and son, a historical document, a social statement, and a record of one of the century’s most influential film movements.