Inaugural Scandinavian Film Festival 2014

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The inaugural Scandinavian Film Festival opens at exclusively Palace Electric tomorrow night (8 July) and runs through to Sunday 20 July. Over the course of 13 days, Palace Electric will play host to some of the finest Scandinavian drama, crime and comedy, courtesy of films from Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway.

The festival kicks off with the Australian premiere of ‘The 100-Year- Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared’, an unexpected and extraordinary comedy based on a best-selling novel by Jonas-Jonasson which has been published in more than 35 countries. Finnish actress Laura Binn, the festival’s Ambassador and star of two festival films (Heart of a Lion and August Fools), will also be in attendance. Check out the trailer below:

The Programme

Other Swedish delights include ‘Waltz for Monica’, a glossy and classy biopic based on the life of popular Swedish jazz-singer Monica Zetturland and Swedish crime fans should find solace in the ‘Easy Money’ trilogy. Other offerings include ‘Ego’, a rom-com sure to delight with an irresistible cast and style to boot; ‘Home’, billed as an off-beat, tender and humorous perspective of those on social fringes; and ‘Hotell’, a cathartic oddball drama about an unconventional therapy group. ‘Remake’, an intimate and honest relationship drama exploring contemporary attitudes and approaches towards love, with an unexpected twist, is the final film in the programme.

Denmark offers four films: ‘Flow’ described as Nordic 8-Mile with a fresh sensibility, is an authentic rags-to-riches tale, accompanied with slick visuals and a distinct Danish beat; ‘Soap’ a soulful family drama, overflowing with expressive rock ’n’ roll reminiscent of the 60s; ‘The Hour of the Lynx’, a profound exploration of the fragility of faith and the redeeming power of love; and ‘The Keeper of Lost Causes’ a suspenseful crime thriller based on the international bestselling novel of the same name.

Three films from Norway include: ‘Ballet Boys’ a story of adolescence, new challenges, ambition and identity; ‘I Am Yours’ Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones) stars in this taut, intelligent relationship drama that skilfully depicts a complicated tangle of race, love and family; and ‘Pioneer’ a twisting tale of life, death and conspiracy in the aftermath of the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1980s, which is based on true events.

Iceland is represented by two films: ‘Metalhead’ a powerful family drama of loss and grief that respects the sounds of heavy metal without turning up the volume; and ‘Spooks and Spirits’ a ghoulish comedy of manners, misunderstandings and a haunting or two.

And finally to Finland with a triple bill of: ’21 ways to Ruin a Marriage’, this fast riotous comedy about love and marriage is one of Finland’s most successful films of all time; ‘August Fools’, a smart, uplifting comedy set in the dark context of the Cold War; and ‘Heart of a Lion’, a stirring but surprisingly funny portrait of the changing hearts and minds of a former leader of a white supremacist Neo-Nazi group freshly released from gaol.

All the above descriptions have been taken from the official programme.

So there we have it, a packed programme that can be fully downloaded here.

The Canberra Film Diary: 6 – 12 February 2014.

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Hello all and welcome to the latest edition of The Canberra Film Diary, your one stop shop for all notable cinematic screenings within the ACT.  For details on specific cinemas check out the Canberra page.

An interesting week ahead here in the Territory, with another early glimpse at an Oscar front runner, some sneaky Stallone and a whole bunch of new releases to wrap your eyeballs around.  So without further ado, here are the weeks highlights:

Highlights

Dallas Buyers Club – Fri – Sun, Dendy, Palace Electric & GRU

The McConaissance continues with Matthew McConaughey starring as Ron Woodroof who fights against the system to provide his fellow AIDS sufferers with medicine at affordable prices. Both McConaughey and Jared Leto are up for shiny gold statues, as is the film itself.

Bullet To The Head  – Friday 7.30pm, Arc

Part of Arc’s ‘Blink and You Miss it’ schedule which showcases films which never made it to Australian screens, Sly Stallone stars as a world-weary New Orleans hitman who teams up with a younger DC detective to hunt down the man who killed both their partners. Bullet to the Head has been referred to as an underrated retro-styled action film and is showing just the once, so be quick.

The Blue Lagoon – Sunday, 3pm, Palace Electric (Vintage)

Brooke Shields stars in this 1980’s classic and with temperatures as hot as they are, then an air-conditioned cinema watching the tale of two you teenagers shipwrecked on a tropical island sounds like a good escape plan to me.

Major Releases

Five major releases hit the ACT screen this week:

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom – Idris Elba stars in the biopic of this great man.  Screening everywhere

Labor Day – Jason Reitman is one of my favourite young directors, so I am looking forward to his latest offering, though the trailer didn’t fill me with joy.  Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star in this tale of an escaped convict looking for shelter and perhaps more.  Screening everywhere.

The Past – Fresh from CIFF, Ashgar Farhadi the director of A Separation, continues this theme with a tale of divorce, children and a clash of cultures in this powerful and enthralling French language drama. Screening at Palace. ★★★★

Robocop – There are some films that should never been remade and I would put Robocop into this category.  I will however reserve judgement till I see it, which you can everywhere.

Last Vegas – Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party to celebrate the marriage of Michael Douglas to a lass half his age.  Is this a true story I hear you ask? Screening everywhere.

Other Notable Screenings

Grease (Sing along) – Monday 10am & 6pm, Dendy

Have a good week and let me know what you fancy seeing in the comments.

The Canberra Film Diary: 23 – 29 January 2014

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Hello all and welcome to the latest edition of The Canberra Film Diary, your one stop shop for all notable cinematic screenings within the ACT.  For details on specific cinemas check out the Canberra page.

Highlights

Lots of Australia Day offers plus plenty of Oscar action await you this week in the ACT, as well something special for all your Beliebers out there.  So without further ado, here are this week’s highlights:

$5 Tickets All Weekend –  Palace Electric

The Palace Electric celebrates its first birthday this weekend and appear keen to share this occasion with as many Canberrans as possible, as they are offering all tickets for all sessions between Friday and Monday for a mere $5 each.  That’s practically giving them away and will no doubt be extremely popular so grab them while you can.  My personal recommendation – Her, my first ★★★★★ film of this year.

Australian Cinema – Sat & Sun, Arc Cinema

Continuing the Australia Day theme, the Arc cinema is offering a weekend of Australian cinema for you to enjoy.  On Saturday you can catch The Rocket, Mystery Road and The Goddess; whilst on Sunday, the family favourite Satellite Boy, along with Tim Winton’s epic The Turning.

Oscar Favourites – All week, Dendy

No doubt you will have seen the Oscar nominations last week but just in case you haven’t quite made your mind up, Dendy are bringing back American Hustle, Gravity 3D and Blue Jasmine to Canberra screens.  Screening at different times so best check the Dendy site for more details.

12 Years A Slave – Fri – Sun, Dendy, GRU and Limelight

One of the big guns of this Oscar season with 9 nominations overall is here in Canberra for a preview weekend before opening wide on Thursday next week.  By all accounts this is a harrowing, but must see tale of one man’s fight for freedom.

Justin Beiber’s Believe – Fri – Mon, Limelight

Apparently this film reveals the long-awaited answers to questions about Justin’s passion to make music, relationships and coming of age in the spotlight, as well as never seen before concert footage, unprecedented behind the scenes access and blah blah blah blah.  Probably just for those ‘dedicated’ fans out there.  I thought he had retired?

Major Releases

Three major releases hit the ACT screen this week:

The Great Beauty – The recent winner of the Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes and the opening night feature at the Lavazza Italian Film Festival, finally gets a full and exclusive run at Palace Electric.

The Wolf Of Wall Street – Martin Scorsese’s latest epic is tipped for awards galore and if you have three hours spare and fancy seeing Leonardo Di Caprio fully embracing wealth, women and white powder, then this the flick for you.  But be warned, it’s one long and wild ride, which for me was slightly overcooked. Screening everywhere. ★★★★

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – More colons and more freaky action.  Not a sequel, more of a spin-off.  Screening at Hoyts.

Other Notable Screenings

Reality – Friday 2pm, Arc

A Fistful Of Dollars – Saturday 7.30pm, Arc (Outdoors)

The Castle – Sunday 6.30pm, GRU

Have a good week and let me know what you fancy seeing in the comments.

The Canberra Film Diary 21 – 27 November 2013

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Welcome to the second edition of The Canberra Film Diary, your one stop shop for all notable cinematic screenings within the ACT.  For details on specific cinemas, check out the Canberra Page.

A bit of an epic week in the Territory with the British Film Festival in full swing at the Palace Electric (check out my preview here), Sunset Cinema hitting its stride, the last week of this semester for the ANU Film Club, Harvey Weinstein’s Body of Work, plus the long-awaited release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and a couple of real hidden gems.

Highlights

So many highlights this week, I’m not sure where to begin:

Body of Work – Harvey Weinstein

This weekend sees the inaugural Body of Work which this year will honour Hollywood supremo Harvey Weinstein.  Body of Work ‘is a weekend long conversation on the importance of independence to the film industry – how independence breaks new ground through innovation, risk taking and the search for talent.’

Harvey Weinstein’s Body of Work will consist of a series of intimate discussions with the man himself alongside numerous high-profile Australian filmmakers and actors.  Additionally there will be screenings of the US version of The Sapphires, The Piano (including a Q&A with Sam Neil and Margaret Pomeranz) and the Australian Premiere of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.  Tickets are limited so you will need to act fast if you want to come along.  Click here for more details.

The Cult of ARC – Handmade by Stan: The Terminator and Aliens

On 23 November, ARC continues their homage to two of the most prolific and influential ‘analogue’ special effects masters: stop motion specialist Ray Harryhausen and classic make up artist Stan Winston.   In celebration ARC will be screening the 1984 classic The Terminator followed by the 1986 epic Aliens, for which Stan won the Best Visual Effects Oscar.  Both films will be screened in their gorgeous and original 35mm prints.

The Exorcist – 40th Anniversary Screening + Q&A with Linda Blair

Also on 23 November, GU Manuka offers you a unique opportunity to see one of the scariest films ever made and the first horror to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar on the big screen.  In attendance will be the one and only Linda Blair, who will introduce the film and talk about its making and the influence it had on her career during a Q&A after the film.  A must see for all horror fans.

Honourable Mention

I normally try to keep the highlights down to three events, but no one puts The Doctor in the listings.

Day of the Doctor – Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Episode

On 23 November, Doctor Who, already the world’s longest running sci-fi series, celebrates its 50th anniversary with an extended and 3D episode in cinemas for the first time.  Starring Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman, Bille Piper and John Hurt, this is a must for all Whovians out there.  Playing at Dendy and GU Manuka.

Major Releases

Six (yes that’s right, six) major releases hit the capital’s screens this week:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – the long-awaited sequel to 2011’s The Hunger Games, which to me contained one of the scenes of the year when Jennifer Lawrence was waiting in the tubes to enter the games.  Midnight screenings abound, however I’m too old to stay up that late, but I’ll be there Thursday night for sure.  Screening everywhere.

Adoration – Described as a gripping tale of love and lust starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright.  Screening at Palace and GU Manuka

20 Feet From Stardom – Tells the true stories behind the back up singers who have supported some of the greatest music legends of our time.  Screening at Palace and GU Manuka

After May – Described as a loosely autobiographical and incisive drama about a young French student caught up in a whirlwind of politics, art and sex in the wake of the electrifying events of May 1968.  Exclusive to Palace

Filth  – Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Scotland, James McAvoy stars as a bipolar, bigoted and slightly barmy Scottish policeman who sets out on a campaign for promotion like none other. Fresh from CIFF, this is worth seeing for McAvoy’s performance alone.  Screening at Palace and Dendy

Blackfish – Another CIFF alumni and by all accounts a powerful documentary which chronicles the life of a male Orca, who after seven years in captivity turned on and killed his trainer during a routine performance.  Screening at Dendy.

Other Notable Screenings

21 Nov – ARC – La Maison de la Radio

21 Nov – ARC – Downloaded

21 Nov – Sunset Cinema – Before Midnight

21 Nov – Palace Electric BFF  – Still Life

21 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Mission To Mars

22 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Private Peaceful

22 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Closed Circuit

22 Nov – Sunset Cinema – Turbo

22 Nov – ANU – Gravity

22 Nov – ANU – Riddick

23 Nov – Sunset Cinema – Runner Runner

23 Nov – ARC  – Opal Dream

23 Nov – ARC – NFSA – Decalogue Nine, Ten

23 Nov – ARC – The Cult of ARC – Handmade by Stan: The Terminator and Aliens

23 Nov – ANU – White House Down

23 Nov – ANU – Groundhog Day

23 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Brief Encounter (High Tea Event)

23 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Blood

23 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Dom Hemingway

23 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Good Vibrations

23 Nov – GU Manuka – The Exorcist, including a Q&A with Linda Blair

24 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – The 39 Steps

24 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Austenland

24 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – How I Live Now

24 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Closed Circuit

24 Nov – Palace Electric Vintage – Annie Hall

24 Nov – Palace Electric – Body of Work – The Long Walk To Freedom

24 Nov – Day of the Doctor – 50th Anniversary Episode

24 Nov – ARC – The Sapphires (US Version) (BoW)

24 Nov – ARC – The Piano (BoW)

24 Nov – ARC – Fellini’s Roma

24 Nov – Limelight – Sixteen Candles

25 Nov – Dendy Cult Classics – Fight Club

25 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Private Peaceful

25 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Mission To Lars

26 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – One Chance

27 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Jump

27 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Austenland

27 Nov – Palace Electric BFF – Romeo and Juliet

27 Nov – Sunset Cinema – 2 Guns

27 Nov – Limelight – Titanic

27 Nov – GU Manuka – The Delivery Man (advanced screening)

So thats it, a bumper week of cinematic goodness.  Let me in the comments what you plan on seeing. Have a good week.