The Canberra Film Diary 21 – 27 November 2013


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.


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.

The Canberra Film Diary: 14 – 20 November 2013


It’s been a while I know, for which my apologies.

During my rather long hiatus I have been discovering the various cinematic gems contained within the ACT. One thing I discovered during this process is that there was a lot more going on in the ACT than I had realised and I had been missing out on some real fun.  Therefore in order to make sure I was up to date on all available options I put together a list, which I named ‘The Canberra Film Diary’.   I used this diary to highlight all notable cinematic events across the Territory and I thought it might be nice to share this on a weekly basis with all you fine folks out there.

Therefore welcome to the first edition of ‘The Canberra Film Diary’, which will be posted each Wednesday and will cover the following (Thurs-Weds) cinematic week.  It will contain news on latest releases, festivals, special screenings and the occasional hidden gem.  I personally have found it very useful and I hope you do to, though I suspect it will only be of relevance to Canberra-based cinephiles. I will cover all cinemas within Canberra and please see here for their full details.

So off we go.  There are two major cinematic events kicking off this week, plus three major releases:

Firstly it is time to welcome back to Canberra the simply delightful Sunset Cinema, which is back in the capital for its second year. Screening from 15 November – 21 December, Sunset Cinema provides the opportunity to relax in the outdoor setting of the gorgeous National Botanic Gardens and watch a wide variety of recent releases, as well as a smattering of modern-day classics.   Full details of the programme can be found here.  My personal highlight: Top Gun, you can’t beat a bit of Maverick outdoors.

Secondly, Palace Electric will be hosting the British Film Festival, which will screen from 19 November – 1 December.  The festival kicks off with One Chance, and closes with the highly acclaimed Philomena.  Sandwiched in-between is a cracking selection of British fayre including screenings of the BFI Top 5 and a Q&A session of Closed Circuit with Eric Bana.  Full details of the extensive programme can be found here and a preview of the festival will be up later on in the week.

Major Releases

Three major releases hit the capital’s screens this week:

Enough Said – James Gandolfini’s penultimate performance, and by all accounts one of his best.  Currently receiving rave reviews, this has been called a sharp and insightful comedy that humorously explores middle-aged romance.  Screening at Palace and Dendy.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – Another Jackass character spin-off.  Never seen the original show, see no reason to start now. Screening at Dendy, both Hoyts and Limelight. 

The Fifth Estate – Is this the real story behind Wikileaks?  From the reviews I have read so far, the answer seems to be a resounding no. Screening at Palace and Greater Union Manuka. 

Other Notable Screenings

15 Nov – Sunset Cinema – Diana

15 Nov – ANU – R.I.P.D.

15 Nov – ANU – Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

16 Nov – Sunset Cinema – About Time

16 Nov – ANU – Turbo

16 Nov – ANU – Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters

16 Nov – Palace Electric – Stephen Sonheim’s Merrily We Roll Along

17 Nov – ARC – Decalogue Seven, Eight

17 Nov – ARC – La Maison de la Radio

17 Nov – Palace Electric – Vintage screening of Oklahoma!

17 Nov – Palace Electric  – Mary Meets Mohammad (Special one-off screening)

17 Nov – Palace Electric – Stephen Sonheim’s Merrily We Roll Along

18 Nov – Dendy Cult Classic – Barbarella

19 Nov – Palace Electric – One Chance (opening night of the British Film Festival)

20 Nov – Sunset Cinema – Gravity (Gravity outdoors in the dark sounds superb)

20 Nov – Palace Electric  – BFF – Jump

20 Nov – Palace Electric – BFF – Blood

20 Nov – GU Manuka – Merrily We Roll Along

So that’s it, hope everyone has a good week and let me know what you fancy seeing in the comments below.