Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Keeping it reel: Waitati Film Society

Waitati Film Society programme for rest of 2008

Half year memberships now available at $30. Drama, comedy, history
or just plain entertainment in a warm, pleasant environment with
convivial company. Membership allows you free entry to screenings of
Film Society as well as discounts at Film Festivals and some Dunedin
cinemas.
Ring: Leonie 482-2508 for more info or check out our website:
www.nzfilmsociety.org.nz/waitati.htm

by Leonie Rousselot

Tuesday Aug 12
BOYS DON'T CRY USA 1999
A youthful Brandon Teena arrives in a hick Nebraskan town and soon
joins the local rough necks who do nothing much, as there's nothing
much to do, just hang out. But after a sexual encounter with Lana,
Brandon, in reality Teena Brandon, is treated very differently; after
all it's a town where men are men. Unlike the documentary, The
Brandon Teena Story, this version adds a little fiction, but is very
powerful all the same. 114m

Tuesday Aug 19
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS Ireland/USA 1995
Three close girlfriends are in their first year at university in
Dublin. As very different personalities, each has their own romantic
experiences, but, as chance has it, their relationships with their
boyfriends overlap, with complicated consequences. 85m

Tuesday Aug 26
BACKBEAT UK 1993
Before being swamped by fame, the Beatles built up a screaming
teenage following in the cellars of Liverpool and Hamburg. This story
centres on John Lennon's friendship with the fifth Beatle, Stuart
Sutcliffe, who's affair with bohemian Astrid Kirchherr, the creator
of the mop top image of the band, tested their friendship and outlook
on life. 100m


Presenting three films by Ross McElwee
Tuesday Sept 2
CHARLEEN USA 1978
Charleen Swansea had been McElwee's charismatic high school teacher.
This film is a character portrait, revealing a wise, flamboyant
educationalist, equally effective in a classroom of wary
Afro-American poetry students as in a Bible class of genteel southern
white women. 59m
BACKYARD USA 1984
The title refers to McElwee's own backyard - a microcosm of southern
society - surgeon father, medical student brother and their domestic
staff who, as Afro-Americans, barely contain their anger at the
casual racism they have to cope with every day. Also casting a shadow
over this film is the personal tragedy that struck the family. 40m

Tuesday Sept 9
SHERMAN'S MARCH USA 1986
Described as McElwee's most celebrated film, it recounts what
supposedly started as a personal journey retracing General Sherman's
murderous sweep through the secessionist Southern States during the
American Civil War. But, oddly, the film transforms into "a
broken-hearted filmmaker's clumsy chivalrous quest to find love".
155m


Tuesday Sept 16
REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES USA 2001
The conflicts of curvaceous Latino Ana's coming of age include
resolving her restrictive conservative upbringing with the exciting
possibilities opening up if she followed a college education to
develop her burgeoning writing skills. The story fortunately does not
get bogged down with the complexities of teenagidity, because humour
is added to the mix in layers. 93m


Tuesday Sept 23
OMAGH Ireland/UK 2004
For all we know, the town of Omagh could be charming, but
unfortunately it's name is synonymous with the violence of a massive
car bomb that exploded there in 1998. This gripping film covers the
aftermath, the survivors, both Catholic and Protestant, and the hunt
for the perpetrators. Michael Gallagher, a bereaved father, battles
the supposedly impartial and sympathetic authorities, trying to find
answers. You may find a resonance here with the political
exploitation of 9/11 victims and survivors. 106m


Tuesday Sept 30
COSI Australia 1995
People with psychiatric disorders will often respond to emotional
sentiments with heightened passion. Lewis, a hospital drama
therapist, decides to put on a production of Mozart's Cosi fan Tutti
with a cast of, amongst others, a drug addict, nymphomaniac,
introverted neat-freak and arsonist. The somewhat chaotic result,
both on and off the stage, is made up of resolving various troubled
relationships. 100m

Tuesday Oct 14
IN SPRING ONE PLANTS ALONE NZ 1980
Vincent Ward's short but moving story of an 84-year-old Maori mother
trying, as best she can, to look after her handicapped 40-year-old
son. 45m
A STATE OF SIEGE NZ 1978
The first film by Vincent Ward and based on a novel by Janet Frame.
Her new, anticipated, independent lifestyle is in reality not exactly
what this retired teacher expected. 52m

Tuesday Oct 28
EVIL ANGELS Australia 1988
Meryl Streep and Sam Neill play Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, whose
explanation that their child was dragged from their tent by a dingo
was not believed by the authorities. So started an incredibly long
drawn out and tortuous police investigation and prosecution, Lindy
indicted for the murder of her daughter and Michael as an accessory.
This film is based on a story written by a barrister who was critical
of the prosecution's handling of the case. 121m

Tuesday Nov 11
THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL Mexico 1962
As with surrealistic works of art, this film can be searched for
meaning or just enjoyed for what it is. Bourgeois diners inexplicitly
have a compulsion not to leave after the party. Over subsequent days
they reduce the magnificently appointed salon to a sordid rubbish
heap. One guest dies and is stuffed in a cupboard - but that's
nothing compared with other bizarre happenings. 93m

Tuesday Nov 25
THE MOON OVER THE ALLEY UK 1975
A focussed look at a small community of boarders in a rooming house
off Portobello Road, Notting Hill. It is saved from kitchen-sinkism
by the diverse, multi-racial, multi-national, more than ordinary,
quirky characters. It is a drama with musical colouring, revealing a
mixed working class existence in a decaying urban environment. 100m

Tuesday Dec 9
MURIEL'S WEDDING Australia 1994
A less than attractive, ABBA-obsessed Muriel Heslop decides to jump
the rails and move from her comfortable hometown to the big city. The
story is the celebration of an odd ball; it projects a cheeky,
benevolent satirical spirit, celebrating the dreams of losers and
outcasts. Undoubtedly the success of this film was largely due to
Toni Colette as the emotionally flamboyant Muriel. 105m


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