Have you seen the 2014 Australian comedy The Little Death? No? Pity. Josh Lawson’s film is a daring, adult sex comedy exploring what happens when various suburban Aussies start to act on their fetishes. Back then, Time Out wrote that the film “deftly weaves together surreal scenarios into a constantly surprising package”. But moviegoers stayed at home – most likely because the words “erotic” and “Australian comedy” just don’t sit comfortably in the same sentence together. So it’s no shock to us that the movie has been remade, very successfully, in Spain. Director Paco Léon has worked out the kinks, so to speak, of Lawson’s film and with Kiki, Love to Love managed to unseat Batman vs Superman from the top of the Spanish box office. The film has garnered comparison to the work of Pedro Almodóvar, and will be the opening night film of the 20th Spanish Film Festival. The film’s bombshell star, Natalia de Molina (Living is Easy with Eyes Closed), will be visiting Australia as festival guest. Closing night film, meanwhile, will be The Trip to Spain – the third ‘trip’ movie, in which Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden play themselves on assignment, driving through Spain, eating at its best restaurants and exchanging improvised banter. Iberian superstar Penélope Cruz stars in The Queen of Spain. The sequel to 1998’s The Girl of Your Dreams, it’s a comedic drama about a 1950s Hollywood star who returns to her native Spain to shoot a film. Thriller fans will go for The Fury of a Patient Ma
The Alaska Projects Car Park in Elizabeth Bay will be the scene of a horror triple feature that has been programmed as part of the FFS (For Film's Sake) Festival. The movies screening on that dark, eerie Saturday night will be XX, Bitch and Near Dark. XX is a horror anthology of short work by four women (geddit?): 'The Birthday Party' by Annie Clark, 'Her Only Living Son' by Karyn Kusama, 'Don’t Fall' by Roxanne Benjamin and 'The Box' by Jovanka Vuckovic. The LA-based Benjamin (Southbound and V/H/S) will be in attendance on the night. Next up is Bitch by Marianna Palka – the story of a woman who snaps under life pressure and assumes the psyche of a vicious dog. Oh, we've all been there.And lastly, to see you through to the sun's first rays, it's a classic vampire quasi-western form 1987 – Kathryn The Hurt Locker Bigalow's Near Dark, featuring that late, great movie coward, Bill Paxton. As the man with the deep voice says: "Pray for daylight. The night has its price." That would be $30 – a bargain for a night of cutting-edge work from some brilliant chillmeisters.
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 March, Art After Hours is focusing on Australian art legend John Olsen, in conjunction with their exhibition John Olsen: The You Beaut Country. In addition to guided tours of the show, there will be a series of talks taking you inside his world and work. See what else is on offer after hours via Sydney's new Wednesday-night Culture Up Late initiative.
A US documentary about Australia’s James Bond is among the highlights of the American Essentials Film Festival, which brings the best of American independent cinema to Australia. Twenty movies are having their local premieres at the festival, and there’s additionally an exciting program of retro greats including Eraserhead, Annie Hall, Andy Warhol’s Bad, Barfly, The Graduate and the adaptation of Carrie Fisher's memoir Postcards from the Edge. Opening night film is 20th Century Women from director Mike Mills (Beginners), starring Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning. It’s about a single mother raising her teenage son in the late 1970s with the help of two other women. Its screenplay was nominated for an Oscar this year. Are We Not Cats is an oddball comedy romance that veers into body horror territory, while American Pastoral is an adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel about a Jewish businessman whose life goes awry amid the turmoil of the 1960s. It’s also the directorial debut of Ewan McGregor. Australia’s one-shot Bond, George Lazenby (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), is the subject of documentary Becoming Bond. Played for laughs, the film features Lazenby telling his own lamentable story, as well as Josh Lawson playing Lazenby in dramatised sections. Another doco, G-Funk, tackles West Coast hip hop and features interviews with Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Warren G, the late Nate Dogg, and Ice Cube. And with Twin Peaks returning, David Lynch: The Art of Life, which featu
After a two-week program in its home base of Melbourne, the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival will embark on a national tour that includes a stopover in Sydney. Over five days, the Dendy Newtown will screen documentary shorts and films that touch on activism, human rights and social change. Opening night's film promises to be a highly publicised and controversial documentary. Highlights from the program already anounced include the world premiere of Happyland by director Marti Salva. It's set in Manila’s slum communities of Baseco and Happyland (from a local word ‘hapilan’ for dumpsite) where most residents live in makeshift homes built with scavenged waste. In 2016, street artists Cheeseagle and Kaff-eine decided to change this with an art installation and housing project. They raised money and installed thirty large art tarpaulins, featuring Kaff-eine's portraits of local residents. Raving Iran spotlights the music of Iranian DJ's Blade & Bear whose music is deemed illegal in their country. Susanne Regina Meurs followed the DJs for a year, during a crucial phase in their lives. From the Netherlands comes Radio Kobanî. When liberation came to the Syrian border town of Kobanî, 20-year-old Kurdish reporter Dilovan started a radio station. She and her friend Biter report on refugee camps, talk to survivors and interview fighters and musicians. Filmed over ten years, Australian feature documentary Constance on the Edge by director Belinda Mason is a portrayal of one
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
A bunch of highlights have been announced for June’s big feast of movies. Among the information revealed is the fact that the Ritz Cinema in Randwick will now be holding screenings – bringing the number of Sydney Film Festival venues to 11. Of the 28 movies revealed so far, Time Out has selected the top 11 we’re most excited about. The full program will be revealed on Wednesday May 10. 1 An American Werewolf in London at the Skyline Drive-in“Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.” First released in 1981, An American Werewolf in London was the first genuinely terrifying horror comedy. The career high point of John Landis (The Blues Brothers), it stars David Naughton as a backpacker who survives a werewolf attack in Yorkshire and falls in love with a nurse (Jenny Agutter). This one plays brilliantly with audiences. 2 A Ghost StoryThe new film from David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon) features Casey Affleck as a dead man who wears a bed sheet (to comic but eerie effect) and Rooney Mara as his grieving widow. Time Out New York raved that it’s “strange and wonderful, with a romantic metaphysics all its own – a film that dares to put those special-effects squads out of business.” 3 Whitney: ‘Can I Be Me?’In the wake of Amy, a documentary on the tragic life of Whitney Houston seems well overdue. The filmmaker is Nick Broomfield (Kurt and Courtney, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer), who will be in
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra will be the first Australian orchestra to perform the soundtrack from La La Land live alongside a full screening of the critically acclaimed film. A 100-piece orchestra will perform composer Justin Hurwitz’s Oscar-winning score live – from the toe-tapping opener 'Another Day of Sun' to the delightful 'Planetarium' instrumental and the recurring 'City of Stars' – on stage at the Sydney Opera House. The film picked up a cool six Academy Awards, including Best Original Score and Best Original Song. Seeing it realised live by the Sydney Symphony will be a treat for fans. Read Time Out's review of La La Land.