With the Summer Season almost over at smallfry Wines – and what a great success this has been – time to start our regular season with our opening screening of “The History Boys”, an excellent adaptation of the very successful stage show. It tells the story of an unruly class of gifted and charming teenage boys who are taught by two eccentric and innovative teachers, as their headmaster pushes for them all to get accepted into Oxford or Cambridge.
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writers: Alan Bennett (screenplay), Alan Bennett (play)
Stars: Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Clive Merrison.
As this is the first screening of our regular season we are offering wine and cheese from 7 pm, before the short screens at 7.30 pm. Faith Wine Centre Friday 20th February. Please note that you must be a financial member of Barossa Film Club to be admitted, BUT if you paid $12 for summer season membership, this includes admittance to this film and our March screening, OR you can pay an additional $23 to gain full membership through to November.
One of the great musicals of our time, based on one of the funniest (albeit somewhat sexist!) Shakesperean plays, “The Taming of the Shrew”, this film, with music by Cole Porter, was an adaptation of a most successful stage show, one which is still being performed by amateur and professional companies half a century later. Directed by George Sydney, and with a great cast of Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller and Keenan Wynn, the story tells of a touring repertory company which is staging Shakespeare’s play and the discord between Petruchio and Katherine is echoed by the leading actors. There are some great songs, reflecting the wit and sparkle of the 1950s. One interesting sideline is that it was filmed in 3D, quite successfully, giving it a depth of vision which is unusual for the period.
A Spanish short “Metropolos Ferry” will run first before the main film.
This screening will take place in conjunction with the Rotary Club of the Barossa Valley and we will be offering wine and cheese as refreshment. The first film will commence at 7.30 pm at Faith Wine Centre on Friday 21st June. All welcome, including non-members.
“Ringu” is the original (1998) Japanese film which inspired the 2002 horror film “The Ring”. In this psychological horror story from Japan, a legend circulates among teenagers that if one watches a certain video at a certain time of the night, the telephone will ring right afterward, and one week later, you will die. When Masami (Hitomi Sato) tells her friend Imako this story, she scoffs — but a week later, Imako dies. Imako’s aunt, a television journalist named Reiko (Nanako Matsushima), hears that not long before she died, Imako was watching a strange video with her friends — all of whom have turned up dead. Reiko tracks down a copy of the video, and as she watches its strange, spectral images, the telephone begins to ring….The next morning, Reiko begins a desperate search to solve the mystery of the video, convinced she has only seven days to live; assisting her is Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada), a mathematics expert and her former husband. Ringu was a box-office success in its native Japan, and a surprise blockbuster in Hong Kong, where it became the biggest grossing film of the first half of 1999.
If you remember the later Naomi Watts film, this original picture will be a most interesting contrast. The evening will commence with British short “Plank” at 7.30 pm, then a short break for refreshments, and the main film. All welcome.
Showing Friday 12th April at Faith Wine Centre, Commences 7.30 pm with short Australian film “Franswa Sharl”. Then, after a short break, the main feature, “In the Bedroom”:
Character actor and noted photographer Todd Field made his directorial debut with this emotionally powerful drama, which earned enthusiastic reviews at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Frank Fowler (Nick Stahl) is a handsome and amiable young man who has recently graduated from high school and is spending the summer working as a lobster fisherman before heading off to college in the fall. Frank is also involved with Natalie (Marisa Tomei), an attractive woman ten years his senior who is separated from her husband Richard (William Mapother), though their divorce has not yet been finalized. Frank’s parents, Matt (Tom Wilkinson) and Ruth (Sissy Spacek) wonder if it’s wise for their son to be pursuing a romance that he won’t be able to continue in a few months; Matt trusts Frank and leaves him to make his own decisions, while Ruth quietly but firmly registers her objections. One day, Richard snaps, and breaks into Natalie’s home; when he discovers Frank is there, he viciously kills him. The wheels of justice turn in an unexpected direction, and Richard is released on bail, free to go his own way as he awaits his trial. Matt and Ruth are both deeply traumatized by the event; while Matt tries to deal with his hurt by retreating into his work and avoiding his feelings, Ruth instead becomes increasingly withdrawn, losing interest in her job as a music teacher and spending her nights chain smoking in front of the television. In the Bedroom was adapted from the short story Killings by Andre Dubus
On 25th March the Club will screen a ground-breaking film “Panther Panchali” or “Song of the Little Road”, directed by Satayajit Ray. It was ground-breaking because it was the first Indian film to stir any real interest in Europe or America. Made in 1955, it tells the simple tale of Apu, a child of a small family eking out an existence in a ramshackle Bengal village, displaying Ray’s eye for visual poetry.
The evening will open at 6.45 pm on Friday March 15 at the Faith Wine Centre, when the Annual General Meeting of the Club will be held, followed by short Australian film “Spider” at 7.30 pm, a break for refreshments, and then the main feature. Both members and visitors are most welcome.
“The White Ribbon” was our last screening for 2012 and scored 3.7 out of 5, reflecting the mixed reaction of the audience. This was certainly not a “feel happy” film, nor was it the modern glossy Hollywood style. However, it did make us think. The stark black and white photography and the unrelenting grimness and unhappiness of the story’s protagonists was quite confronting, although there was no overt violence. In the best traditions of the early art-form, the cruelty and rigid behaviour was implied rather than seen, but no less understood by the audience, and in fact, contributed to making it believable. Given the setting just prior to the outbteak of the Great War, the film ultimately posed as many questions as it provided answers. The question that remained at the end was: did the looming mood of fascism breed the violence or did the mood of violence give birth to the rise of fascism?
The Barossa Film Club’s last offering for 2012 is a 2009 film, “The White Ribbon”. Directed by Michael Haneke, it stars Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi and Leoni Benesch. On the eve of World War ll in Eichwald, a village in Protestant northern Germany, the oppressed children of the pastor, the widowed doctor and the disliked landowner Baron experience a series of bizarrely violent incidents that inexplicably assume the characteristics of a punishment ritual. The film is full of clues but explanations are few; yet it is mesmerising thanks to consummate acting of the ensemble cast, and to the crisp black and white photography that evocatively recreates a world on the brink of catastrophe. The film hints darkly at the fascist society that breeds such people – or is it the other way around? (Quoted from Urbancinefile, At the Movies) Dialogue is in German with English subtitles.
As this is our last film for the year, we are starting at 7 pm instead of 7.30, to share some wine and cheese, before the short German film “Three Travellers” at 7.30 pm followed by the main feature after a short intermission. “The White Ribbon” is a serious and thought-provoking film. Everybody is most welcome to attend.
“Zatoichi”, released in 2003, was directed by and stars Takeshi Kitano, and also features Tadanabu Asano and Yui Natsukawa. It tells the story of Zatoichi, an itinerant blind masseur who comes to a remote mountain town in 19th century feudal Japan. He has a taste for drinking and gambling, but is also a master swordsman with acute hearing, cunning, quick intelligence and ultra-precise technique. When he throws in his lot with two lovely young geihas out to avenge their parents’ death, he is soon battling innumerable opponents.
This a Japanese take on the early Eastwood Westerns, and Kitano adds his own touches with slapstick, rhythmic riffing and massed tap dancing! This all sounds quite improbable but the end result is a fast, funny and fabulous film.
The movie shows on Friday October 12th at the Faith College Wine Centre. The evening opens at 7.30 pm with Irish short film “The Door”, followed by “Zatoichi” after a break for supper. Everybody is welcome, with free entry for Film Club members and a requested donation of $6 for non-members to help cover costs.
Our last showing was of the classic 60’s Western “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, and was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience, who collectively gave it an average rating of 4.1 out of 5. Perhaps the only real criticism was that the night scenes were so dark as to be almost unseeable – perhaps the fault of the equiupment or the DVD copy. However, the film was a reminder of just how charismatic the leads, Robert Redford and Paul Newman, were, and just how good they were at comedy. Every Western cliche was milked for all it was worth, with a funny, exciting , memorable screen experience the result. It is hard to realise that it was made over 40 years ago!
One of the most likeable movies of the 20th century, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is the September showing by the Barossa Film Club. Made in 1969 and directed by George Hill, the film stars two of the biggest names of the time, Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy and Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid. Loosely based on the exploits of the notorious Hole-in-the-Wall gang, it tells of a botched train robbery which forces the duo to flee to Bolivia with the Sundance Kid’s girlfriend, Etta, played by Katharine Ross. There they resume their criminal careers, until they reach the inevitable shoot-out with the army.
This is an utterly disarming combination of smart, original screen-writing, handsome visual treatment and star power in well-defined, contrasting chracters. The screenplay is exciting, funny and romantic, slyly satirising and embracing the Western legend. Movies just don’t come more attractive and likeable than this one.
The evening opens with a New Zealand short film “Two Cars, One Night”, at 7.30 pm on Friday 21st September at Faith Wine Centre, followed by the main feature after a break for supper. Entry is free for members, with a small donation requested from non-members.