Powerful Polish film screens in April

Barossa Film Club’s film screening for April is “Katyn”, a powerful film from Poland about one of the tragic events of World War Two. In the spring of 1940, following the invasion of Poland by Russia’s Red Army in 1939, up to 20,000 Polish officers and soldiers were executed by Stalin’s secret police. The men were imprisoned in three POW camps, one of which was based in the Katyn forest. Working from a novel by Andrzej Mularczyk and real life accounts, “Katyn” tells the story of four fictional families, forever separated from one another in 1939. A brutal and devastating work, it also received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008.
Director Andrzej Wajda was 83 when he made this film, and is the son of one of the victims of this tragedy. Critic Danusha Goska said, “When a movie is named “Katyn” the viewer knows how it will end; it’s kind of like a movie named “Auschwitz” or “Kolyma” or “Wounded Knee.” There isn’t going to be a surprise ending. I was still surprised by the ending, by how courageous and moving I found it. Once again, Andrzej Wajda managed to wow the film-goer in me. And he managed to move the human in me. See “Katyn.” See a movie you can respect, a movie that is worth your time.”
“Katyn” will be screened at the Faith College Wine Centre on Friday 13th April. The evening will commence with a short film at 7.30 pm, followed by a short break and then the main feature. Admission is free to Barossa Film Club members, and membership can be obtained at the door. A trailer of the film can be viewed on the website barossa.filmclub.org.au. For further details ring President Imelda Carson on 8564 8225.

“I, Daniel Blake” to open 2018 season

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the latest from legendary director Ken Loach is a gripping, human tale about the impact one man can make. Gruff but goodhearted, Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is a man out of time: a widowed woodworker who’s never owned a computer, he lives according to his own common sense moral code. But after a heart attack leaves him unable to work and the state welfare system fails him, the stubbornly self-reliant Daniel must stand up and fight for his dignity, leading a one-man crusade for compassion that will transform the lives of a struggling single mother (Hayley Squires) and her two children. Graced with humour and heart, “I, Daniel Blake” is a moving, much-needed reminder of the power of empathy from one of the world’s greatest living filmmakers.
Doors open at 7 pm on Friday 16th February with Australian short film “Ace” showing at 7. 30 and then “I, Daniel Blake” after a break for wine and cheese or a cuppa. Free to Barossa Film Club members.

“Body Heat” in the Barossa

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

Classic “Gaslight” screens 15th September

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

Academy Award Winning French Film “Amour”

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.

“As It Is in Heaven” screens 16th June

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.

“The Station Agent” showing April 21

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.