News from Wellington Film Society
Going to the movies for less than $3 is just one of the reasons to join the Film Society this year. The Wellington Film Society’s annual programme starts on Monday and invites new members to join their weekly screenings.
“We’re a friendly environment of film lovers who meet regularly to enjoy an excellent curated programme of films generally not available at the cinema. We’re aiming to provide the best possible viewing experience for great classics, forgotten films and directors’ retrospectives.” says WFS President David Lindsay.
The 2014 opening night film is Berberian Sound Studio, a 2012 UK release which Variety described as a “delicately detailed immersion into the world of Z-grade Italian horror cinema that ultimately may or may not be a horror film itself.” Toby Jones plays as the mild-mannered English sound engineer hired to create a film soundtrack for a demanding Italian horror director.
Wellington Film Society screenings are open to members of the public to join for an annual fee and are run by a volunteer committee. The free weekly screenings are held on Monday evenings at the Paramount from March through to November. Members also have access to regular newsletters, social events, guest speakers, and concession pricing at most cinemas around town as well as at the New Zealand International Film Festival in July.
The confirmed 2014 programme will have a focus on Aboriginal filmmaking with two contemporary titles confirmed: Samson and Delilah (2009) (Camera d’Or for Best First Film at Cannes) and Toomelah (2011).
Two Shirley Clarke documentaries offer a portrait of the bohemian underbelly of 60s America in The Connection (1962) and Portrait of Jason (1967). Both have never been screened in New Zealand before.
A young David Bowie will feature in the Nicolas Roeg retrospective screening of The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). Roeg’s Eureka (starring Gene Hackman, 1983) and Insignificance (based on the Terry Johnson play, 1985) will also screen.
A presentation of three works from French filmmaker Louis Malle spans four decades with Zazie dans le metro (1960), Black Moon (1975), and Vanya on 42nd Street (1994) starring Julianne Moore.
The curated collection of African cinema in the programme brings a wealth of international filmmaking to Wellington from Mali, the Congo, Chad and France: A Screaming Man (2010), Bamako (2006) and Lumumba (2000).
The oldest film in the programme this year is the 1924 Fritz Lang silent film Die Nibelungen, a 13th century mythical epic, which will screen as two parts.
The classic selection this year includes Orson Welles’ The Stranger (1946), Vincent Minnelli’s An American in Paris (1951), and Howard Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby (1938) starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in a film which is “one of the finest screwball comedies every,” according to Time Out.
Contemporary world cinema titles such as The Mill and the Cross (Majewski, 2011), Holy Motors (Carax, 2012), and Lou Reed’s Berlin (Schnabel, 2007) will also screen.
The 2014 Wellington Film Society programme comprises 33 films from 22 countries spanning the years 1924 to 2012. Wellington Film Society, affiliated to the NZ Federation of Film Societies, is the longest-standing film society in New Zealand. Formed in 1945, the Film Society is a registered charity and is run entirely by volunteer members. Full waged memberships cost $95 which equates to less than $3 per film across the year, in addition to receiving discounts at many Wellington cinemas.
Screenings are held at the Paramount on Courtenay Place every Monday from 6.15 pm.
For a full listing of the 2014 season: http://www.filmsocietywellington.net.nz/.