Environmental Film Festival
The Environmental Film Festival Australia began in Melbourne in 2010 and has now expanded to five more cities, including Sydney. This year beloved author Tim Winton joins the EFF as co-patron with Bob Brown. Winton is an environmental advocate of some 20 years experience. “You could say we’re living through a kind of cultural awakening on this front,” Winton tells the EFF on its website. “An international resurgence in nature writing is one sign of this. And a festival like EFFA going national is another. I’m pretty excited about both.” Screenings will be held at the Chauvel and Palace Verona over one weekend – here’s the program. Time to Choose The film by Charles Ferguson (Inside Job, No End in Sight) is a comprehensive primer in the climate change debate. Narrated by Oscar Isaac, it features interviews with entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders and individuals living on the front lines of climate change. Bugs on the Menu This Canadian documentary presents a study on the benefits of eating insects, both for health and for the environment. Tunnel VisionDocumentary maker Ivan Hexter investigates the risks for the environment in the East-West Link in Victoria and follows the work of Community groups in opposing it. Australian ShortsA program of eight local short films explores the multiplicity of Australian environments. Sonic SeaFrom the US comes this exposé of the human-made noise that is harming marine life. ZeroUdo Kier stars in a surreal story of beekeepin
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with Live Orchestra
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Japanese Film Festival Classics
The annual Japanese Film Festival in Sydney runs a parallel program of classic movies at the Art Gallery of NSW. Tickets to the classic films are free, but don’t arrive too late, as they’re on a first-come-first served basis. Highlights include 1981 animation Yuki-Snow Queen, in which the celestial Yuki descends from heaven to inspire farmers to rise up against feudal warlords. Onibaba is an eye-opening 1964 erotic horror-drama in which a mother and daughter in feudal Japan murder wandering samurai for their possessions. Children of Hiroshima (1952) has a teacher travelling back to postwar Hiroshima to visit her parents’ graves, while A Story from Echigo (1964) tackles rape in a poverty-stricken village and examines the economic causes of tragedy. Blue Mountains and Blue Mountains 2 (both 1949) were made during the US occupation of Japan and concern a teacher trying to introduce democracy into her classes. They represent massive sea changes in Japanese society after the war.
The final Fantastic Beasts trailer is here
Attention Potterheads... the final trailer for the movie you've all been waiting for has landed, with a complete glimpse of the prequel world to JK Rowling's Harry Potter series of books and films.
Guides for Sydney movie lovers
Read reviews of all the latest films
Get expert opinions on the films currently in Australian cinemas
Upcoming film festivals in Sydney
Attention movie buffs: add these film festivals to your diary
The best outdoor cinemas in Sydney
Enjoy a movie alfresco with Time Out's guide to all the outdoor cinema seasons
The top ten Aussie films to scare off tourists
A sweaty handful of movies making Tourism Australia's job that little bit harder
Films in cinemas now in Sydney
Film events in Sydney
Japanese Film Festival Classics
The movies are free at JFF’s season of cinema greats
Art After Hours
Head to AGNSW after work on Wednesdays for free films, live music, art lectures and celebrity talks
The best cinemas in Sydney
Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace
Without doubt the grandest cinema in Sydney, Cremorne’s Art Deco picture palace is a stunning step back in time. Built in 1935 by George Kenworthy, the top theatrical architect of the period, today’s version is even glitzier than the original thanks to a $2.5-million restoration some years back by owner and local TV celeb Mike Walsh. Each of the six auditoria has its own colour scheme and decor, but the 744-seat Orpheum is the true star of the show. It even has a genuine Wurlitzer cinema organ, which rises out of a stage pit on weekend evenings complete with flashing lights and a grinning organist. Expect a mix of mainstream US, British and Australian fare, with some art-house, special presentations and the occasional cabaret show.
Ritz Cinema Randwick
With a distinctive Art Deco design restored to its former 1930s glory and an impressive sound system, the six-screen Ritz cinema is both a local landmark and an excellent venue for catching the latest mainstream releases. Signs explain the regulations – no alcohol, bare feet, smoking or skateboards – which make sense if you hit the place in the afternoon after school’s out. In the evening the place attracts a different crowd, including film geeks who seek out the Ritz for its great acoustics and old-fashioned flair. Upstairs the inimitable Bar Ritz boasts a marble bar and balcony – perfect for pre- and post-film drinks. Bus 372, 373, 376, 377.
Palace Norton Street Cinemas
Leichhardt's Palace Cinemas were fully refurbed in 2013 and now have eight auditoria, all licensed, and an impressive foyer with a lounge bar and café on site. Palace Norton Street plays host to some of the best annual film festivals such as the French, Spanish, Greek, German and Italian. It is also in close proximity to the eateries and vibrant culture of Norton Street.
Palace Verona Cinemas
Paddington’s intellectuals, gays and art-house crowds are always seen milling about the Palace Verona with glee. The four screens are on the small side, the seats are snug and the pre-show commercials... well, they tend to go on forever. But we're forgiving film lovers, especially since this oft-buzzing venue screens an expertly curated line-up of arthouse releases from name directors (Woody, the Coens, PT Anderson...), world movies, quirky Australian indies and special one-offs, like screenings of overseas stage productions and concerts. There's a licensed café, wine and espresso bar on the premises – good for a pre-movie drink, a post-movie chat or even just a day date, since you don't have to purchase a ticket to enjoy what they're pouring and brewing. And if you're a frequent moviegoer, you'll want to check out Palace's great-value membership schemes, which are more than worth the investment if you see flicks on the regular.
Named after the Australian film pioneer Charles Chauvel - of Jedda fame - this much-loved local cinema is part of the Palace cinema chain. Its proscenium arch brings true grandeur to the art of film and the staff really know their stuff. Screenings tend to be seriously arty and the place also holds Cinemateque screenings. Be sure to seek out the lovely upstairs bar. Bus 333, 352, 378, 380. Screens 2. Tickets $16.50; $9-$12.50 reductions; $8 Tue.
Upcoming film releases in Australia
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Jameson Caskmates at the Time Out Hop-up
What do you get if you age whiskey in craft beer barrels? Something like Jameson Caskmates. It’s the fruit of a collaboration between Jameson’s head distiller and the head brewer of local craft brewery in County Cork, Ireland. They hatched a plan to send a few Jameson casks to the Franciscan Well Brewery and see how this might influence their craft Irish stout. Neither head brewer nor whiskey master knew what this experiment would bring, but both men hoped that some Jameson magic might rub off on the fine Irish stout – and they were delighted with the results. The empty casks journeyed back to the Jameson Distillery after the beer had been bottled, full of new stout character from their sabbatical at Franciscan Well. The Jameson Master of Whiskey generally prefers not to mess with a good thing, but his curiosity got the better of him and he decided to repeat the experiment – this time re-filling the stout-soaked casks with Jameson Whiskey. So how does it taste? While the triple-distilled smoothness is very much intact, the whiskey sings a different tune, with notes of cocoa, coffee and butterscotch confirming the stout influence. You can grab the whiskey every day of Craft Beer Week at Time Out’s Hop-Up ale yard. Just upgrade your craft beer of choice to a boilermaker, and you’ll get the chance to pair it with the whiskey – neat or on the rocks, whichever you prefer. And it gets even better. On Saturday 22, Tuesday 25 and Friday 28 October, members of the Jameson Crew
Sydney Italian Festival
Sydney Italian Festival is an annual event organised by the Italian Trade Agency designed to promote all things Made in Italy. Between October 12 and 30, events will take place in Italian restaurants, bars, gourmet food stores, design and furniture showrooms across Sydney. The calendar includes retail promotions, aperitivo nights, food and wine, cooking classes, art and culture events and much more. Attendees at all events are eligible to enter the Live Life in Style Competition to win one of three fabulous prizes.
The Turquoise Elephant
It’s pretty exciting – and a bona fide Big Deal – when you get one of Australia’s most successful directors, Gale Edwards, taking on a gig on one of our smallest stages. As if that weren’t endorsement enough, Stephen Carleton’s play also won the 2015 Griffin Award for new Australian writing – on which occasion artistic director Lee Lewis described it as “a shockingly funny and black, black, black farce. It is an accomplished political comedy from a very clever, very wicked playwright who sees all our hypocrisies about climate change and the environment and turns them into his weapons in the fight for the planet.” The Turquoise Elephant pitches its tent in the temperature-controlled home of a politically privileged family, as they watch the climate disaster climax. This production stars Catherine Davies, Maggie Dence, Julian Garner, Belinda Giblin and Olivia Rose.
Eden Gardens Halloween
Halloween is almost upon us – the one night of the year where pumpkins are carved into jack-o-lanterns, trick or treaters knock endlessly on your door and the dead supposedly wander among the living. For Halloween-loving adults, sometimes it’s hard to find a place that will welcome fake blood and witch costumes for those well beyond childhood. But, fear not: Eden Gardens are hosting an adults-only party especially for all you spooky mature souls. On Saturday October 29, Eden Gardens will be transformed into a haunted garden. Expect a glass of specially brewed Halloween Punch on arrival; canapé stations scattered around the grounds; and a photobooth to capture all those scary moments. Dance the night away to the tunes of DJ Dracula, wander the haunted gardens and mingle with other Halloween-loving adults. There’ll be a themed open-air Garden Bar where you can purchase cocktails and drinks and, for those of you who need to park your broomsticks, on site parking. Tickets are $65 per head.