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November 01, 2017

Film Review - 'Midnight in Paris'

Midnight in Paris is a 2011 film from director Woody Allen. The film focuses on the main character of Gil, an American who navigates his way around Paris with his fiancée.
The film incorporates elements of fantasy and nostalgia as Gil mysteriously goes back in time to 1920s Paris each night at midnight.
 
The film presents a visible tension between American and French culture, or rather, the stereotypes that American culture holds of France.
 
 
Themes of nostalgia, memory, and history are ruminated upon against a romantic Parisian background and this allows for an exploration of characters and of the city itself.
With many of Allen’s films set in New York, ‘Midnight in Paris’ is a rich and vibrant departure.
The Movie Club will be screening ‘Midnight in Paris’ on Wednesday 8 November, 6pm sharp at Narellan Library. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening for a short discussion about the film. See the discussion questions to get some ideas.

October 04, 2017

Film Review - 'Vertigo'

‘Vertigo’ is considered to be one of Alfred Hitchcock’s defining films along with ‘Psycho’ and ‘North by Northwest’. With an intelligent script and intense stylised editing it will keep you intrigued to the end.
The film begins with Scottie, a private investigator, who comes to the realisation he has vertigo. Now out of work, Scottie agrees to help his friend Gavin to investigate his wife’s odd behaviour. This leads to a series of tense and unforgettable events.
The film is compelling both as a stand-alone story which is mysterious and smart, but even more intriguing to know is that the film is one of Hitchcock’s most confessional. Scottie represents Hitchcock and the way he used, feared and controlled women.
 
An intense look at the dangers of obsession, desire and control, the film is striking in visual effects, particularly the final scene. The themes remain relevant to a contemporary audience, and will make you re-think the roles of men and women in society, particularly the way some can manipulate and ‘mould’ others.
The Movie Club will be screening ‘Vertigo’ on Wednesday 11 October, 6pm sharp at Narellan Library. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening for a short discussion about the film. See the discussion questions to get some ideas.

September 04, 2017

Film Review - 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople'


‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ is one of those special films which uses humour to make you feel more human, more compassionate perhaps, more connected to yourself and your surroundings. The film tells the story of foster kid Ricky – young, rebellious and habitually rejected. Ricky finds himself in the care of Hec and Bella, an older couple living in a rural area. When Ricky attempts to escape and Hec goes looking for him, what ensues is a nation-wide man-hunt. A fresh and natural dialogue keeps the film away from cliché territory and the New Zealand wilderness adds another layer of meaning to this very human story.
The film comes from New Zealand director, Taika Waititi, who also directed ‘Boy’. Waititi is known for creating a strong sense of voice in his films. ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ has a voice, a nuanced voice that is refreshing and original.
 

The film was nominated for 25 awards across numerous international film festivals, including the Audience Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The Movie Club will be screening ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ on Wednesday 13 September, 6pm sharp at Narellan Library. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening for a short discussion about the film. See the discussion questions to get some ideas.

August 02, 2017

Film Review - 'Touch of Evil'


Based on a novel titled, ‘Badge of Evil’, the film is an intense story of police corruption on the border of Mexico and America. Narcotics officer Mike Vargas is drawn into the case of a car bombing that occurs on the border. Working with US police officer Hank Quinlan, Vargas begins to suspect the officer of planting fake evidence. Vargas follows this trail of corruption to the displeasure of Hank. During this time, a Mexican crime syndicate are planning an attack on Vargas’ new wife who he thinks is safely hidden away in a hotel on the US side of the border.

The film is visual and use of dramatic suspense creates an intense aura throughout. However, it seems Vargas’ wife Susan, is sometimes forgotten in the film. She is pushed into a hotel and terrorised by local gang members, yet much of this and its effect on her character is ignored.

‘A Touch of Evil’ was re-released in 1998 to reflect the director’s (Orson Welles) original version of the film. The initial 1958 release had been substantially edited by film studio Universal. The 1998 edition was re-edited based on notes written by Welles.
The Movie Club will be screening ‘A Touch of Evil’ on Wednesday 9 August, 6pm sharp at Narellan Library. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening for a short discussion about the film. See the discussion questions to get some ideas.

July 10, 2017

Film Review - 'Little Miss Sunshine'


Part comedy, part road film, part black comedy, part drama, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is a film that covers all the bases. It all starts with Olive Hoover, a young girl obsessed with beauty pageants. In the opening scene Olive is seen staring at the television, watching a pageant. We are then shown the rest of the Hoover family: her unsuccessful motivational speaker dad, her overwhelmed mum, junkie grandad, depressed Uncle, and her mute brother Dwayne. This opening scene around the dinner table clearly defines the family dynamic and sets the tone for the rest of the film.


The entire family embarks on a road trip to get Olive to a beauty pageant in time to compete. Along the way a series of events unfold, painfully for the characters but entertaining and funny for the audience.

What makes this film so great is the acting; all the actors know their characters and you see everything on their faces, the love and the pain.
‘Little Miss Sunshine’ won two Academy Awards for ‘Best Original Screenplay’ and ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for Alan Arkin.


The Movie Club will be screening 'Little Miss Sunshine' on Wednesday 12 July, 6pm sharp at Narellan Library. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening for a short discussion about the film. See the discussion questions to get some ideas.