Young at Heart Film Festival

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Young at Heart Film Festival
Photograph: Supplied
Viceroy's House

The film festival with special interest for seniors has a lot more to offer than just nostalgia

Australia’s only film festival dedicated to film lovers aged 60 and up, Young at Heart, is returning for its 12th year in April. The festival program includes acclaimed features, special guests, Q&As and cinema classics brought back to their rightful home on the big screen. 
 
The program includes films such as Neruda from director Pablo Larrain (Jackie), about the famous poet during his clashes with the Chilean government; Gael Garcia Bernal co-stars.

Comedic drama Their Finest, directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education), is an all-star portrayal of the London Blitz and a young screenwriter (Gemma Arterton) making propaganda films for the British Ministry of Information.
 
Another WWII drama, Sophie and the Rising Son, concerns a South Carolina artist who becomes involved with a Japanese man.
 
Viceroy's House features Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten, the viceroy who oversaw the transition of power back to India in 1947; Gillian Anderson plays his wife.
 
Fans of the Martin Sheen film The Way may be interested in Looking for El Camino, a documentary about the pilgrimage in Northern Spain, El Camino de Santiago.
 
Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot) directs The Secret Scripture, concerning 100-year-old Roseanne McNulty (Vanessa Redgrave) recalling the events of her life from a mental hospital; Rooney Mara and Eric Bana co-star.

Whiteley, the new documentary about Australian art legend Brett Whiteley, gets a screening, as does Tommy's Honour, about two famous Scottish golfers both called Tom Morris and directed by Sean Connery's son, Jason Connery. 
 
Retrospectives, as usual, are a highlight of Young at Heart, and this year there are three classics from the UK.
 
The Third Man (1949) is often cited as the greatest British film of all time and with good reason. Carol Reed's fascinating thriller set in postwar Vienna tackles greed and opportunism and features Orson Welles as the elusive villain, Harry Lime.
 
Tales of Hoffman (1951), by genius UK director-producer team Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, interprets a 1881 opera by Jacques Offenbach, blending ballet, opera and great filmmaking.
 
The Lion in Winter (1968) is the film that won Katharine Hepburn her third Oscar, playing Eleanor of Aquitaine oppsite Peter O'Toole's Henry II of England; Anthony Hopkins has his first major film role in the movie.
 
Australian actress Lynette Curran in the festival ambassador this year. Curran starred in major Aussie films Bliss, Somersault, The Boys and Japanese Story and is currently playing an oversexed oldie in comedy A Few Less Men (and stealing the picture, in fact).
 
Screenings are at Palace Norton Street and Palace Verona and if you're a senior you're looking at just $7.50 a ticket plus booking fee (sorry, full price is $19). 

By: Nick Dent

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