Every Wednesday evening, the Art Gallery of NSW welcomes you into its hallowed halls and throws the ultimate in absolutely free mid-week social and cultural events. Until 10pm, Art After Hours offers a regular program of live music, lectures and celebrity talks, drawing workshops, film screenings, gallery tours and other events – and, of course, nocturnal access to its latest exhibitions. Through July, Art After Hours is themed around the exhibitions Mervyn Bishop and Making Modernism: O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith. In addition to guided tours of the show, there will be a series of talks taking you inside the life and work of the artists. Check out our hit list of the best art to see in Sydney this month.
Like the finest wines available to humanity, Withnail and I just gets better with age. The Beckettian comedy of two drunken, failing actors living in London in squalor at the end of the '60s who take an ill-advised trip to the country is so seeded with hilarious dialogue and pungent scenes that despite failing in cinemas on first release it went on to become one of the most beloved (if not the most beloved) British comedy of all time. Future Doctor Who Paul McGann stars as the unnamed narrator, and the late Richard Griffiths is brilliant as Withnail's predatory Uncle Monty. But the film belongs to the then-utterly unknown Swaziland-born actor Richard E Grant who got his big break in the title role (and ironically, was teetotal). His performance uniting drunken narcissism, craven cowardice and self-destructive joie de vivre is one for the ages."I originally wrote it as a novel and people used to photocopy it and hand it around," writer-director Bruce Robinson told Time Out some years ago. "Then a rich guy read it and gave me five thousand pounds to turn it into a screenplay. Then nothing happened for 16 years. "After The Killing Fields [Robinson’s screenplay for the Cambodian-set movie was Oscar-nominated in 1985] my friend [producer] Paul Heller said, “If I get the money, will you do it?” And fuck me, he got the money. The next thing, I’m up a hill with 50 people."Poignant, witty, scabrous and quite unlike any other movie, Withnail is getting a 30th anniversary screening at
The fourth Scandinavian Film Festival is now on with films from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Sweden, screening at Palace Norton Street and Palace Verona. “It came about because Scandinavia makes so many amazing films and so many of them weren’t being picked up for distribution here, or even being picked up by the festivals,” says festival director Elysia Zeccola. “I think audiences are drawn to the dark tone of gripping Scandi noir dramas. The deadpan humour of Nordic comedies is also popular. Scandinavian films tend to have very well-drawn characters, the story is the main focus, not bells and whistles, and so I find myself getting absorbed in the drama.” Here are Elysia’s picks of the festival. Heartstone Iceland “Iceland doesn’t make that many films and has a small population but it always has at least one remarkable film every year that has really stunning landscapes – those amazing icy peaks and mountains creating this dramatic background to the film already before anything’s even happened. Heartstone is a beautiful coming-of-age story with a stunning sense of place.” A Conspiracy of Faith Denmark “It’s the highly anticipated third installment of the Department Q trilogy [starring Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Fares Fares]. We screened The Keeper of Lost Causes and The Absent One and they were both really successful in previous festivals so we knew that the audience would be keen to see the third one. It’s a cold case crime thriller about a serial killer who
Why should the adults get all the fun? Kidtopia, the three-day festival especially made for kids, is back for 2017. Returning to Parramatta Park this October, Kidtopia really is a utopia for little ones: there will be a bounty of interactive activities, workshops, food, a circus school, comedy, live music and more. Acts on the main stage include Hillbilly rascal band the Pigs alongside junk percussion group Junkyard Beats and Samson from Justice Crew’s Base 181 school dance team. This year’s event also sees the addition of a new performance area, La Petite Grand, which will present some of the world’s best circus, daredevil and comedy acts. Kids can sign up to masterclasses in dance, coding, magic, percussion and the very popular Slime, Sherbert and Giant Bubbles classes. Plus, the little ones can hit up Littletopia, Kidtopia’s dedicated space for kids under five.
The Ritz in Randwick is one of Sydney's true architectural gems, built in 1937 and one of only two Art Deco cinemas left in Sydney. A visit here can bring lustre to any film. To mark the 80th birthday of the Ritz, they have programmed a season of nine all-time Hollywood greats spanning 1939 to 1967, all of them digitally restored and all of them must-sees for everyone who loves movies.Sublimely funny, desperately romantic, and endlessly quotable, Casablanca (1943) kicks off the season, with Humphrey Bogart in the iconic role of café owner Rick and Ingrid Bergman as his lost love Ilsa. Will they be reunited in Nazi-occupied Morocco? Will one of the usual suspects take the rap, will Sam play it again, and will they always have Paris? Vivien Leigh vows to get her man at the end of the Civil War in the epic Gone with the Wind (1939), while Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway go on a rampage as Bonnie and Clyde (1967), evoking the spirit of rebellion of the 1960s. Also from 50 years ago is The Graduate. This hilarious counterculture touchstone will seduce you with its witty performance from Dustin Hoffman and smouldering turn from Anne Bancroft, and touch you with its tale of the bitter older generation reaching out to strangle the younger. Indulge your sentimental side with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in the 1957 romantic weepie An Affair to Remember, or join Cary in the white-knuckle Alfred Hitchcock adventure North by Northwest, made two years later. Love La La Land? Then see o
Jane Campion’s cult TV show Top of the Lake is returning for a second season with Elizabeth Moss reprising her role as detective Robin Griffin, who finds herself investigating the death of a girl at Bondi Beach. Top of the Lake: China Girl will have its Australian premiere at Sydney Opera House and writer-director Jane Campion will be there to answer your fan questions in a Q&A session with director Ariel Kleiman and co-writer Gerard Lee. Watch the trailer for Top of the Lake: China Girl.
The KOFFIA is run by the Korean Culture Centre Australia, which offers public education programs about the Republic of Korea throughout the year. The 2017 film festival will be the eighth. Check back here for more details as they're released.
From taboo sex to drug binges, from conspiracy theories to occult mania, from surreal comedy to the furthest reaches of horror, SUFF has screened it all – and then some. Last year, co-directors Stefan Popescu and Katherine Berger enlisted famous UK illustrator Ralph Steadman to design the event's poster. This year, they've got none other than Mambo legend, the mental-as-anything Reg Mombassa. Check back here for more details on the 2017 event as they become available.
If you’re a film lover in Australia then you probably owe a debt of gratitude to the Zeccola family without knowing it. Brothers Antonio and Franco Zeccola arrived in Melbourne in 1957 at age 14 and 12 and went on to open cinemas for the purpose of screening Italian films to migrants. Sixty years later Antonio is the grandee of the Palace Cinemas dynasty and one of his daughters, Elysia Zeccola, is the director of the Lavazza Italian Film Festival, which Antonio founded in the late 1990s. “I grew up watching foreign language films from a young age,” says Elysia. “I’ve always loved that unpredictability of not knowing where the film is going. To this day I don’t like formulaic mainstream films... “The Venice, Rome, Berlin and Cannes film festivals have featured an exciting range of star-studded Italian films in the last 12 months and we are excited to be presenting them on the big screen." A dozen titles have already been announced for the 2017 festival. Once highlight is Fortunata starring Jasmine Trinca, who won the Best Actress Award in Un Certain Regard at Cannes and the Best Lead Actress Award at the more recent Nastri d’Argento Awards. Sergio Castellitto’s film is the emotionally charged tale of a single mother fighting for her independence. A major hit in Italy is It's the Law, a comedy is set in the Sicilian village of Pietrammare where the leadership of a corrupt mayor is set to be challenged. Messy Christmas tackles religion and diversity with its tale of th
The 2017 Russian Resurrection Film Festival will screen new release movies and restored retrospectives at Event Cinemas George Street and Burwood. Already announced for the festival is the Australian premiere of Valery Todorovsky’s latest film The Bolshoi. The Bolshoi tells the story of a small-town girl who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer; Todorovsky’s crew was the first in history to be given access to the majestic Bolshoi Theatre to shoot a film. Check back here for details of the program as they become available.