Fairytales and Fables
Fairytales and Fables
10 January – 30 March 2014 | Free admission
From fantastical adventures to cautionary tales, ‘Fairytales and Fables’ looks at the cinematic allure of these two traditional forms, and their continued ability to enchant, enthral and unnerve. The program reaches beyond the well-known animated Disney adaptations, which dominate contemporary understandings of fairytales in particular, to delve into wider filmic interpretations of European tales and their influence on these genres in North America and beyond. It considers the early silent magical tales of Georges Méliès and the animated fairytales and fables of Lotte Reiniger, through to fantastical contemporary tales by filmmakers Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands 1990) and Terry Gilliam (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen 1988) and more. Ranging in tone from light-hearted romps to more disturbing accounts, the program incorporates cinematic renditions and reinterpretations of classic tales, as well as original stories that combine elements of fairytale and fable with parody, experimental film and horror.
‘Fairytales and Fables’ offers an opportunity to revisit some of the genre’s most popular titles, and to discover other films that investigate and reinvigorate these narrative genres on the big screen.
Film notes for the 'Fairytales and Fables' program are listed chronologically by year of production. A quick PDF guide to the screening schedule can be downloaded here.
Highlighting the magical possibilities offered by silent cinema, this program strand explores the early silent tales of Georges Méliès, Lotte Reiniger and Ernst Lubitsch as well as the reappearance of the visual aesthetic of silent cinema in contemporary fairytale films.
A selection of films that explores a reoccurring theme in fairytales and fables: the trope of a child abandoned - emotionally or physically - in an uncertain world. Left to confront seemingly insurmountable obstacles, these young protagonists become the author of their own narrative.
A selection of films offering cinematic renditions and reinterpretations of classic tales, as well as original stories that draw on the structural elements of both literary and oral fairytale and fable traditions.
Celebrating depictions of animals in folklore, these films feature anthropomorphic animals with human character traits and protagonists who have been physically transformed, voluntarily or not, into animal form through magical intervention. From the endearing fable of the sheep-herding pig Babe 1995 to the tortured prince bound in the body of a beast in the fairytale Beauty and the Beast 1946, these animal forms provide the plot device and moral lesson of the tales.
Drawing on the classic European fairytales, these films present the stories through another cultural lens. The program includes Cinderella Moon 2012 a film based on the Chinese tale Ye Xian (768 A.D.), on the earliest known literary version of Cinderella, the thrillers Cinderella 2006 and Hansel and Gretel 2007 from Korea, and Ponyo 2008 an eco-inspired spin on the Little Mermaid from Japan.
Combining elements of fairytale with surrealistic and poetic filmmaking, this selection of films seeks to question, dislodge and deconstruct the fairytale. Alongside cult classics Valerie and her Week of Wonders 1969 and Little Otik 2001, the program also features the extraordinary puppet animation The Pied Piper of Hamelin 1985.
Drawing on the aura of the fairytale, the films in this program strand sidestep the retelling of any single tale and instead interweave fairytale fragments with elements of other genres. While not true fairytales, their use of fairytale archetypes and tropes compliments and renews the genre.
Sun 19 Jan 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (WITH LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 60 MINUTES (SHORTS PROGRAM), FRANCE / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: GEORGES MÉLIÈS / PRODUCTION COMPANY: STAR-FILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: NATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO LENDING SERVICE / SCREENING FORMAT: 16MM
Live Wurlitzer organ accompaniment by David Bailey.
Considered by scholars as the founder and pioneer of the fairytale film, Méliès brought to films his passion for illusion and transformation, born of his years as a stage magician and the desire to play with the viewer’s perceptions of reality. Through the narrative of well-known tales, Méliès was able to produce spectacular animated tableaux, alluding to the existing fairytale plot, while experimenting with technical effects. This program of short films features a number of fantastical tales including A Trip to the Moon 1902, The Kingdom of the Fairies 1903, The Magic Lantern 1903, An Impossible Voyage 1904, The Palace of Arabian Nights 1905 and Baron Munchausen’s Dream 1911.
Sun 2 Feb 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 58 MINUTES, GERMANY, GERMAN INTERTITLES (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: ERNST LUBITSCH / SCRIPT: ERNST LUBITSCH, HANNS KRÄLY / ORIGINAL STORY: ETA HOFFMANN / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: THEODOR SPARKUHL, KURT WASCHNECK / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PROJEKTIONS-AG UNION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: MURNAU-STIFTUNG / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP
Live piano accompaniment by Paul Hankinson.
Young Lanzelot (Hermann Themig), pursued by 40 virgins, chooses to marry a life-size doll instead. With a nod to filmmaker Georges Méliès' trickeries and fairground attractions and German Romantic author ETA Hoffmann's Tales, Ernst Lubitsch creates a playful fantasy with painted backdrops, authorial interventions (the director himself appears like a magician to set the scene), and shifting levels of representation.
Sun 16 Feb 2.00pm (60 mins) / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 47 MINUTES, GERMANY, GERMAN INTERTITLES (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: ERNST LUBITSCH / PRODUCER: PAUL DAVIDSON / SCRIPT: ERNST LUBITSCH, HANNS KRÄLY / CINEMATOGRAPHER: THEODOR SPARKUHL / CAST: CURT BOIS, JULIUS FALKENSTEIN, MAX KRONERT / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PROJEKTIONS-AG UNION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: MURNAU-STIFTUNG
Live piano accompaniment by Paul Hankinson.
‘A witty satire on idiot Americans abroad as well as on the Prussian aristocracy. When Ossi (Ossi Oswalda), the daughter of an American 'Oyster King', reads of a friend's marriage to a count, her father promises to buy her a prince of her own. The victim recommended by their marriage broker is Prince Nucki, who lives in a run-down apartment with his bald friend Josef. When Josef is sent to scout out the prospective bride, he is introduced as the prince. What follows is one of the most lavish weddings ever filmed, but the wedding night is not at all what our 'princess' had in mind.' Pacific Film Archive
Sun 30 Mar 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 105 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH INTERTITLES / DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: HERBERT BRENON / SCRIPT: J M BARRIE, WILLIS GOLDBECK / CAST: GEORGE ALI, ESTHER RALSTON, CYRIL CHADWICK, BETTY BRONSON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JAMES WONG HOWE / MUSIC: PHILIP CARLI / PRODUCTION COMPANY: FAMOUS PLAYERS-LASKY CORPORATION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE
Live Wurlitzer organ accompaniment by David Bailey.
‘This is not Disney's animated version but an enchanting silent film featuring the sprightly Betty Bronson as Peter Pan. A perfect blend of fairy tale magic with Sir James Barrie's special kind of whimsy and pathos. Though essentially theatrical (deliberately and sincerely so, out of respect to the form of the original), and only occasionally taking advantage of the possibilities of the cinema (as in the shots of the mermaids lolling off the Catalina coastline, or the incredibly lovely shot of the galleon taking off from the water and flying back to London), Herbert Brenon's adaptation of Barrie's Peter Pan was an enchanting film. Barrie's text was condensed but undistorted, and the beauty of his original dialogue, which could so easily slip into fey or embarrassing sentimentality, was handled by both performers and director with impeccable taste. Most of all, the film owed its success to the energetic, sprightly, dancing, joyous performance by Betty Bronson as Peter. Even if one can sense, occasionally, the off-screen guidance of this then relatively inexperienced teen-age actress, it is a radiant performance, capable of shifting from joy to sadness with the slightest change of expression or a nuance of body movement.' William K. Everson, Pacific Film Archive
Fri 10 Jan 6.30pm and Sun 16 Mar 11.00am / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE (TINTED), MONO, 66 MINUTES, GERMANY, ENGLISH INTERTITLES / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/ANIMATOR: LOTTE REINIGER / CINEMATOGRAPHY: CARL KOCH / MUSIC: WOLFGANG ZELLER / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PRODUCTION COMENIUS-FILM / PRINT SOURCE: MILESTONE FILMS / RIGHTS: BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE
Live musical accompaniment by Oscar and Marigold (Kim Cunio and Heather Lee).
The Adventures of Prince Achmed is the earliest surviving animated feature and the debut film by pioneering female animator Lotte Reiniger. Crafted in exquisite silhouette animation style, the film follows Prince Achmed who, tricked by a sorcerer, soars into the sky on a magical flying horse with Aladdin and the Witch of the Fiery Mountain, in a series of adventures taken from The Arabian Nights. A staggering feat of animation, Reiniger worked alongside experimental German animators Walter Ruttman and Bertold Bartosch to complete her incredibly detailed and beautiful film.
Sun 9 Mar 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 65 MINUTES, FRANCE, FRENCH, DIRECTORS: IRENE STAREWICZ, WLADYSLAW STAREWICZ / PRODUCER: LOUIS NALPAS, ROGER RICHEBÉ / SCRIPT:JOHANN WOLFGANG GOETHE, JEAN NOHAIN, ANTOINETTE NORDMANN, ROGER RICHEBÉ, IRENE STAREWICZ, WLADYSLAW STAREWICZ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: WLADYSLAW STAREWICZ / EDITOR:LAURA SEJOURNÉ / CAST: CLAUDE DAUPHIN, ROMAIN BOUQUET, SYLVAIN ITKINE / MUSIC: VINCENT SCOTTO / PRODUCTION COMPANY: WLADYSLAW STAREWICZ PRODUCTION / PRINT SOURCE: BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE / RIGHTS: STAREWITCH ESTATE
‘Adapted by master animator Wladislaw Starewicz from northern European folklore, the film follows the comic adventures of the fox Renard, an anarchic trickster. Starewicz's iconic visual style, fluid stop motion puppetry and strikingly naturalistic menagerie of anthropomorphic misfits, were informed by a lifelong passion for zoology. American film director Wes Anderson cites the film as an inspiration for his own The Fantastic Mr. Fox.’ MoMA
Sun 19 Jan 2.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 101 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTORS: VICTOR FLEMING, MERVYN LEROY, KING VIDOR / SCRIPT: NOEL LANGLEY, FLORENCE RYERSON, EDGAR ALLAN WOOLF / BASED ON AN ORIGINAL STORY BY L FRANK BAUM / CINEMATOGRAPHER: HAROLD ROSSON / EDITOR: BLANCHE SEWELL / PRODUCTION COMPANY: METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER / PRINT COURTESY/RIGHTS: CHAPEL DISTRIBUTION
Victor Fleming’s technicolour Wizard of Oz is a timeless musical adventure based on L Frank Baums’s 1900 children’s fantasy. Judy Garland gives a heartfelt performance as Dorothy, the orphan who find herself somewhere over the rainbow. In her ruby slippers, Dorothy takes the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, hoping to find a way back home. Along the way she befriends a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) looking for a brain, a Tin Man (Jack Haley) looking for a heart, and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) hoping to find courage.
Sun 26 Jan 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 106 MINUTES, UK, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: LUDWIG BERGER, MICHAEL POWELL, TIM WHELAN / PRODUCER: ALEXANDER KORDA / SCRIPT: MILES MALLESON, LAJOS BIRÓ / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GEORGES PÉRINAL / EDITOR: CHARLES CRICHTON / CAST: CONRAD VEIDT, SABU, JUNE DUPREZ / MUSIC: MIKLÓS RÓZSA / PRODUCTION COMPANY: LONDON FILM PRODUCTION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP
‘This magnificent fantasy, rich in oriental splendor, weaves the tales of the Arabian Nights into a romantic adventure involving a handsome prince of Bagdad whose throne is usurped by his wicked Grand Vizier. Miraculous things happen to the prince and the little thief whom he meets while in search of his princess in a distant land. The flying horse, the djinni in the bottle, the all-seeing eye and the magic carpet are among the legends that enter into the story. Sabu gives a delightfully energetic performance as the little thief, and Conrad Veidt is a splendid, gimlet-eyed villain, with Rex Ingram appearing as the djinni. Set designs by William Cameron Menzies are just the start of this extraordinary fantasy trip; three or four directors were employed to manage the technical wizardry involved in proving that 'everything is possible when seen through the eyes of youth' - with the help of glorious Technicolor and trick photography! ' Pacific Film Archive
Sun 23 Feb 1.00pm and Wed 26 Feb 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 114 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: GEORGE CUKOR / PRODUCER: ARTHUR HORNBLOWER JR / SCRIPT: JOHN VAN DRUTEN, WALTER REISCH, JOHN L BALDERSTON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSEPH RUTTENBERG / EDITOR: RALPH E WINTERS / CAST: CHARLES BOYER, INGRID BERGMAN, JOSEPH COTTON / MUSIC: BRONISLAU KAPER / PRODUCTION COMPANY: METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CHAPEL DISTRIBUTION
A Bluebeard inspired tale Gaslight's 'Ingrid Bergman won her first of three Oscars for this suspense thriller, crafted with surprising tautness by director George Cukor. Bergman stars as Paula Alquist, a late 19th century English singer studying music in Italy. However, Paula abandons her studies because she's fallen in love with dapper, handsome Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer). The couple marries and returns to the U.K. and a home inherited by Paula from her aunt, herself a famous singer, who was mysteriously murdered in the house ten years before. Once they have moved in, Gregory, who is in reality a jewel thief and the murderer of Paula's aunt, launches a campaign of terror designed to drive his new bride insane. Though Paula is certain that she sees the house's gaslights dim every evening and that there are strange noises coming from the attic, Gregory convinces Paula that she's imagining things. Gregory's efforts to make Paula unstable are aided by an impertinent maid, Nancy (teenager Angela Lansbury in her feature film debut). Meanwhile, a Scotland Yard inspector, Brian Cameron (Joseph Cotten), becomes suspicious of Gregory and sympathetic to Paula's plight.' Karl Williams, New York Times
Fri 21 Feb 6.00pm and Sun 9 Mar 2.30pm / Cinema A
35MM (RESTORATION), BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 96 MINUTES, FRANCE, FRENCH (SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR: JEAN COCTEAU / PRODUCER: ANDRÉ PAULVÉ / SCRIPT: JEAN COCTEAU / STORY BY JEAN COCTEAU AND JEANNE-MARIE LEPRINCE DE BEAUMONT / CINEMATOGRAPHER: HENRI ALEKAN / EDITOR: CLAUDE IBÉRIA / CAST: JEAN MARAIS, JOSETTE DAY / MUSIC: GEORGES AURIC / PRODUCTION COMPANY: DISCINA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: SOCIÉTÉ NOUVELLE DE CINÉMATOGRAPHIE
New 35mm print.
'Jean Cocteau’s classic remains one of the cinema’s most enchanting and sensuous excursions into the realm of poetic fantasy. It is the story of Belle (Josette Day), who, in order to save her father, agrees to live with the hideous Beast (Jean Marais). Slowly, she grows to feel some emotion for him, and her love transforms him. With its superb cinematography by Henri Alékan, splendid makeup creations, and fantastic sets, Beauty and the Beast is a feast for the fairy-tale faithful. But Cocteau reverses the happy ending by making the Beast’s transformation a cause for regret. “My aim,” he said, “would be to make the Beast so human, so sympathetic, so superior to men, that his transformation into Prince Charming would come as a terrible blow to Beauty, condemning her to a humdrum marriage and a future that is summed up in that last sentence of all fairy tales: ‘And they had many children.’” Pacific Film Archive
Sun 2 Feb 2.30pm and Wed 5 Feb 7.45pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 133 MINUTES, UK, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: MICHAEL POWELL / PRODUCER: MICHAEL POWELL, EMERIC PRESSBURGER / SCRIPT: EMERIC PRESSBURGER, KEITH WINTER, MICHAEL POWELL / BASED ON THE FAIRYTALE BY HAND CHRISTIAN ANDERSON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JACK CARDIFF / EDITOR: REGINALD MILLS / CAST: MOIRA SHARER, MARIUS GORING, JEAN SHORT AND ANTON WALBROOK / MUSIC: BRIAN EASDALE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: THE ARCHERS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CHAPEL DISTRIBUTION
‘Cardiff reportedly didn’t care for ballet until Michael Powell forced him to visit Covent Garden multiple times per week in preparation for this film. The cinematographer subsequently became a huge admirer of the art, which comes through loud and clear in this masterpiece of color and motion, which has as its exquisite centerpiece a nearly twenty-minute ballet sequence. Cardiff’s wonderfully fluid camera and lustrous Technicolor photography are every bit the equal of his two previous Powell-Pressburger collaborations—and they perfectly capture the story’s fairy-tale origins. The film follows the trajectory of young English ballerina Victoria Page (Moira Shearer), whose tremendous talent and ambition find their match in producer Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) and composer Julian Craster (Marius Goring), with whom she collaborates on a production of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes. Soon, a blossoming romance threatens the relationship among the three—and tragedy grows inevitable’. Jonathan L Knapp, Pacific Film Archive
Sat 1 Feb 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 52 MINUTES (SHORTS PROGRAM 1), GERMANY/UK, NO DIALOGUE / DIRECTOR/ANIMATOR: LOTTE REINIGER / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PRODUCTION COMENIUS-FILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE/ SCREENING FORMAT: 16MM
The creator of the exquisite silhouette animation The Adventures of Prince Achmed 1926, the earliest surviving animated feature and her debut film, Lotte Reiniger utilises her signature paper cut out animation techniques to envisage classic fairytale stories. This first program of short animations features Little Chimney Sweep 1935, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp 1953, Snow White and Rose Red1953 and Grasshopper and the Ant 1954.
Lotte Reiniger drew inspiration from the literary fairytales by Brothers Grimm’s and Charles Perrault. When discussing her films Reiniger was quoted saying "I believe in the truth of fairytales more than I believe in the truth in the newspaper." This second program of shorts features Puss in Boots 1954, The Three Wishes 1954, Sleeping Beauty 1954 and Thumbelina 1955.
Wed 5 Feb 6.00pm and Sun 23 Feb 3.15pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 93 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: CHARLES LAUGHTON / SCRIPT: JAMES AGEE / ORIGINAL STORY: DAVIS GRUBB / CINEMATOGRAPHER: STANLEY CORTEZ / EDITOR: ROBERT GOLDEN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PAUL GREGORY PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE / RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP (RESTORATION)
A crazed and deadly preacher (Robert Mitchum) chases two children across a Gothic southern landscape in a story saturated in allegory and shimmering, poetic atmosphere. Lillian Gish stands as the children’s protector, fighting off one kind of old-time religion with another. A box office failure on its release, Laughton’s film is now widely considered his masterwork.
Sun 26 Jan 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 88 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: NATHAN JURAN / PRODUCER: CHARLES H SCHNEER / SCRIPT: KEN KOLB / CINEMATOGRAPHER: WILKIE COOPER / EDITOR: ADWIN BRYANT, JEROME THOMS / CAST: KERWIN MATHEWS, KATHRYN GRANT, RICHARD EYER / MUSIC: BERNARD HERRMAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION, MORNINGSIDE PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: AMALGAMATED MOVIES
‘For this fantastical tale from a 1001 Nights, Ray Harryhausen perfected his process called Dynamation, the integration of three-dimensional animated figures and live actors. Many of Harryhausen’s signature creations appear in this installment of Sinbad’s Voyages: the cloven-hoofed cyclops, the fire-breathing dragon, the two-headed roc, the skeleton warrior, and the unforgettable multiarmed, serpent-tailed dancer. This original Sinbad adventure (the series continues with the Golden Voyage and Eye of the Tiger) finds the bold buccaneer (Kerwin Mathews) from Baghdad landing upon the shores of the mysterious island of Colossa accompanied by his fiancée, Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant née Crosby), the malevolent magician Sokurah (Torin Thatcher), and his cranky crew. From here on, Sinbad must contend with an arabesque array of angry creatures, all the while protecting the pert Parisa who, under Sokurah’s evil spell, has been shrunk to a height of five inches. This fanciful film finds its stop-motion action even more buoyant beside the great Bernard Hermann score, which adds intriguing motifs from the Middle East to this clash of titans.’ Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archive
Sat 8 Mar 2.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, MONO, 83 MINUTES, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, CZECH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR: KAREL ZEMAN / SCRIPT: JIRÍ BRDECKA, JOSEF KAINAR, RUDOLPH ERICH RASPE, KAREL ZEMAN / BASED ON THE BOOK BY GOTTFRIED AUGUST BÜRGER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JIRÍ TARANTÍK / EDITOR: VERA KUTILOVA / CAST: MILOS KOPECKÝ, RUDOLF JELÍNEK, JANA BREJCHOVÁ / MUSIC: ZDENEK LISKA / PRODUCTION COMPANY: FILMOVÉ STUDIO GOTTWALDOV, KRÁTKÝ FILM PRAHA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE PRAGUE
'The whimsical Baron Münchausen mistakes a modern-day astronaut for a lost moon man and leads him on a series of miraculous adventures, riding on seahorses, battling the sultan's armies, and romancing the beautiful Princess Bianca. Zeman's lovely, humorous version of Gottfried Bürger's classic tale is like a nineteenth-century magic lantern show brought to life. "Zeman captures perfectly the sense of wonderment in [Gustave Doré's illustrations for an edition of Bürger's novel] by using live action against a series of fairy-tale backgrounds...the film's visual pyrotechnics are both fascinating and enchanting." (Monthly Film Bulletin) Grand Prize, International Days of Youth, Cannes '64.' Pacific Film Archive
Sat 1 March 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 73 MINUTES, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, CZECH, DIRECTOR: JAROME JIRES / PRODUCER: JIRÍ BECKA / SCRIPT: JAROMIL JIRES, ESTER KRUMBACKOVÁ, JIRÍ MUSIL / BASED ON THE NOVEL BY VÍTEZSLAV NEZVAL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JAN CURÍK / EDITOR: JOSEF VALUSIAK / CAST: JAROSLAVA SCHALLEROVÁ, HELENA ANỲZOVÁ, PETR KOPRIVA / MUSIC: LUBOS FISER, JAN KLUSÁK / PRODUCTION COMPANY: FILMOVÉ STUDIO BARRANDOV / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE PRAGUE / RIGHTS: ATELIERY BONTON ZLIN
‘Valerie and Her Week of Wonders has achieved the status of a cult classic. The film adapts the tricks of cinema to the art of the fairytale to inscribe a young girl's passage from innocence to womanhood with eerie beauty. In a constantly surprising mixture of gentle eroticism and gothic nightmare, shot through with cobwebs and lace, thirteen-year-old Valerie (Jaroslava Schallerová) innocently turns the denizens of a turn-of-the-century village into the fairies and demons of childhood—a childhood that is at once distinctly female and ageless. The dark fruits of repression are both mocked and oddly savored in the film's bizarre imagery: Grandmother-vampire cavorts with a lascivious priest; a procession of nuns crosses a field of wheat into unimagined realms of sensuality; a father is a weasel, a lover is a brother; a mother's sparkling earrings hold the key to all that is magical in sexuality.’ Judy Bloch, Pacific Film Archive
Fri 7 Mar 8.00pm and Wed 12 Mar 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 100 MINUTES, FRANCE, FRENCH (SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR: JACQUES DEMY / PRODUCER: MAG BODARD / SCRIPT: JAQUES DEMY / BASED ON THE FAIRYTALE BY CHARLES PERRAULT / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GHISLAIN CLOQUET / EDITOR: ANNE-MARIE COTRET / CAST: CATHERINE DENEUVE, JEAN MARAIS, JACQUES PERRIN / MUSIC: MICHEL LEGRAND / PRODUCTION COMPANY: MARIANNE PRODUCTIONS, PARC FILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CINE-TAMARIS / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP (RESTORATION)
'This charming adaptation of a fairy tale by Charles Perrault (creator of Cinderella) has been called Jacques Demy’s “grand synthesis of Cocteau and Minnelli.” With its wondrous costumes and vivid play of colors; its ingenious trick effects, calculated flights of fancy, and dream sequences; and its stellar cast, Peau d’âne has become a classic for adults and young people alike. There are dark sides to the fable, with an unusual theme of incest; but in Demy’s tongue-in-cheek translation, the net result is infectious delight. The tale involves a beautiful Princess (Catherine Deneuve) whose own father, the Blue King (Jean Marais), desires to marry her in order to fulfill a deathbed promise to his wife that his next wife be even more beautiful than herself. The Princess enlists the aid of the Lilac Fairy (Delphine Seyrig), and together they devise a scheme of imaginative demands designed to thwart even the most ardent suitor. When all are met—this being an enchanted kingdom—the Princess is forced to flee, clothed in a donkey skin, to a nearby forest where she takes refuge until a charming prince provides the inevitable happy ending. Talking roses, magic donkeys, Blue Kings and Red Princes, and philosophical fairies floating in the sky: make-believe was never wittier, nor more enchanting.' Pacific Film Archive
Sat 22 Mar 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 100 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: MEL STUART / PRODUCER: STAN MARGUILIES, DAVID L WOLPER / SCRIPT: ROALD DAHL, DAVID SELTZER / BASED ON NOVEL ‘CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY’ BY ROALD DAHL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ARTHUR IBBETSON / EDITOR: DAVID SAXON / CAST: GENE WILDER, JACK ALBERTSON, PETER OSTRUM / MUSIC: LESLIE BRICUSSE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PARAMOUNT PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CHAPEL DISTRIBUTION
'Adapted by Roald Dahl from his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this colourful confection of a film is part comedy, part musical, and all imagination. Reclusive candymaker Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) holds a contest for five lucky people to win the chance to tour his mysterious factory. Young Charlie, from a family too poor to buy more than one chocolate bar, is a miraculous winner, along with four supremely spoiled and bratty children and their indulgent parents. In Wonka's wonderland, they witness chocolate waterfalls, never-ending jawbreakers, seven-course meals in one stick of gum, and, of course, hordes of green-haired Oompa-Loompas.' Pacific Film Archive
Fri 7 Mar 6.00pm and Wed 12 Mar 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 90 MINUTES, UK/USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: JACQUES DEMY / PRODUCERS: SANFORD LIEBERSON, DAVID PUTTNAM / SCRIPT: JACQUES DEMY, ANDREW BIRKIN / BASED ON THE FAIRYTALE ‘THE PIED PIPER’ BY JACOB AND WILHELM GRIMM / CINEMATOGRAPHER: PETER SUSCHITZKY / EDITOR: JOHN TRUMPER / CAST: JACK WILD, DONALD PLEASENCE, JOHN HURT / MUSIC: DONOVAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: SAGITTARIUS PRODUCTIONS INC, GOODTIMES ENTERPRISES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CINÉ TAMARIS / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP (RESTORATION)
'Demy’s only British production was shot on location in Germany. Closer to the Brothers Grimm source than the romanticism of the Robert Browning poem, Demy’s darkly political interpretation of this legend, with its fantastical images of death, is not intended as a children’s film. Pop singer Donovan, who scored the film, plays the fourteenth-century piper hired to rid the town of Hamelin, beset by the Black Plague, of its rats. “The Pied Piper deserves to be remembered as a very strange hybrid indeed: a neo-Marxist fairytale” (Reynold Humphries, Jump Cut).' Pacific Film Archive
Sat 1 Feb 2.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 75 MINUTES, CZECHOSLOVAKIA/EAST GERMANY, GERMAN/CZECH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: VÁCLAV VORLÍCEK / SCRIPT: BOZENA NEMCOVÁ, FRANTISEK PAVLÍCEK / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSEF ILLÍK / EDITOR: MIROSLAV HÁJEK, BARBARA LEUSCHNER / CAST: LIBUSE SAFRÁNKOVÁ, PAVEL TRÁVNÍCEK, CAROLA BRAUNBOCK / MUSIC: KAREL SVOBODA / PRODUCTION COMPANY: DEUTSCHE FILM, FILMOVÉ STUDIO BARRANDOV / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE PRAGUE /RIGHTS: ATELIERY BONTON ZLIN
‘This live-action version of the classic fairy tale presents an energetic Cinderella whose prowess at hunting and riding helps win her prince. The rich costumes and snow-covered forest locations of this beautifully produced film simultaneously capture the enchantment of the fairy tale and make it seem real.' Pacific Film Archive
Sun 12 Jan 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 105 MINUTES, UK, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: TERRY GILLIAM / PRODUCER: SANFORD LEIBERSON / SCRIPT: CHARLES ALVERSON, TERRY GILLIAM / INSPIRED BY POEM 'JABBERWOCKY' BY REV CHARLES DODGSON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TERRY BEDFORD / EDITOR: MICHAEL BRADSELL / CAST: MICHAEL PALIN, HARRY H CORBETT, JOHN LE MESURIER, WARREN MITCHELL / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PYTHON FILMS, UMBRELLA FILMS / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE, AUSTRALIA / RIGHTS: ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT
“Terry Gilliam's first solo directorial effort after sharing credit on Monty Python and the Holy Grail returned him to that film's picturesque vision of medieval mud, blood, gloom and fog. In the reign of good King Bruno the Questionable, bright-eyed proto-capitalist Dennis Cooper (Michael Palin) journeys from his home village to the capital city, which is being terrorized by a fearsome beast. Much ribaldry, fornication and defecation ensues, along with a cameo by Python alum Terry Jones as an unlucky poacher and some gleefully disgusting dismemberments that rival the fate of Holy Grail's stubborn Black Knight.” Toronto International Film Festival
Fri 28 Feb 6.00pm and Wed 5 Mar 8.15pm / Cinema A
35MM, MONO, COLOUR, 98 MINUTES, ITALY, ITALIAN, DIRECTOR: DARIO ARGENTO / PRODUCER: CLAUDIO ARGENTO / SCRIPT: DARIO ARGENTO, DARIA NICOLODI / BASED ON BOOK ‘SUSPIRIA DE PROFUNDIS’ BY THOMAS DE QUINCEY / CINEMATOGRAPHER: LUCIANO TOVOLI / EDITOR: FRANCO FRATICELLI / CAST: JESSICA HARPER, STEFANIA CASINI, FLAVIO BUCCI / MUSIC: DARIO ARGENTO / PRODUCTION COMPANY: SEDA SPETTACOLI / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: VISUAL FACTORY UK
Heavily influenced by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 'Suspiria is widely regarded as the magnum opus of Dario Argento, shock maestro of the Italian film genre known as giallo (a stylish mix of mystery, horror and, often, eroticism that takes it name — literally, "yellow" — from the lurid yellow covers of Italian pulp-fiction paperbacks). American cult actress Jessica Harper plays a young ballet student newly arrived at a prestigious German dance academy plagued by a murderous coven of witches. Argento choreographs a stomach-churning, sensory-overload ballet of bravura technique, vivid colour and surreal, bloody mayhem. The score is by Italian prog rockers Goblin. "Never has gratuitous bloodletting seemed so ornately beautiful...Long admired in cult circles, Suspiria stands as one of the most visually striking horror films ever made, and the high watermark of a first-rate splatter stylist" (Scott Tobias, The Onion). "Argento’s masterpiece pulses with profondo rosso...Argento has yet to top the spectacular overture of driving rain and double homicide...[But] Argento’s delectation in female suffering [is] a possible stumbling block for any newcomer to his work" (Jessica Winter, The Rough Guide to Film).' The Cinémathèque CA
Fri 17 Jan 8.15pm and Sun 9 Feb 2.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 102 MINUTES, WEST GERMANY/USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: WOLFGANG PETERSEN / PRODUCER: BERND EICHINGER, DIETER GEISSLER, BERND SCHÄFERS / SCRIPT: WOLFGANG PETERSEN, HERMAN WEIGEL / BASED ON NOVEL BY MICHAEL ENDE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOST VACANO / EDITOR: JANE SEITZ / CAST: BARRET OLIVER, NOAH HATHAWAY, ALAN OPPENHEIMER, TAMI STRONACH / MUSIC: KLAUS DOLDINGER / PRODUCTION COMPANY: NEUE CONSTANTIN FILM, BAVARIA STUDIOS, WESTDEUTSCHER RUNDFUNK, WARNER BROS, PRODUCERS SALES ORGANISATION, BAVARIA FILM / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE, AUSTRALIA / RIGHTS: ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT
‘This beloved fantasy film from director Wolfgang Peterson (Das Boot) is a grand adventure set in a magical world where the greatest power is imagination. One day while playing hooky, shy schoolboy Bastian Bux wanders into a strange bookstore and discovers a novel called The Neverending Story. As he reads the book, he becomes so consumed in the unfolding tale that he escapes reality (and the bullies who torment him) when he finds himself catapulted into the land of Fantasia himself. Soon he's drawn into an incredible world of Rock Biters and Luck Dragons, Swamps of Sadness and a destructive force called The Nothing that threatens to destroy the entire kingdom of Fantasia. Delving into the story of the brave young warrior Atreyu, the timid Bastian discovers that he may actually hold the key to rescuing Fantasia. Can Bastian save his new friends and return to his own world? Based on the classic novel by Michael Ende, and filled with startling pre-CGI effects and elaborate puppetry work, The Neverending Story spawned two sequels and stands today as a thrilling, out-of-this-world adventure tale fueled by the power of reading and dreaming.’ The Loft Cinema
Fri 31 Jan 8.00pm and Sat 22 Feb 2.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 95 MINUTES, UK, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: NEIL JORDAN / PRODUCER: CHRIS BROWN, STEPHEN WOOLLEY / SCRIPT: ANGELA CARTER, NEIL JORDAN / BASED ON STORY ‘THE COMPANY OF WOLVES’ BY ANGELA CARTER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: BRYAN LOFTUS / EDITOR: RODNEY HOLLAND / CAST: ANGELA LANSBURY, DAVID WARNER, GRAHAM CROWDEN / MUSIC:GEORGE FENTON / PRODUCTION COMPANY: INCORPORATED TELEVISION COMPANY, PALACE PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS
'The Company of Wolves is an utterly adult reinvention of Little Red Riding Hood, in which the wolf is "hairy on the inside" and Grannie (Angela Lansbury) is adorable but oddly ambiguous. The setting is not the world of nightmares but that of dreams, and instead of the good-or-evil dichotomy of the horror film there is the morally neutral inclusiveness of inner consciousness. At issue is the terror and thrill of emerging sexuality, as discovered in the dreams of a thirteen-year-old girl. The narrative is built of tales told within a dream-fantastic tales of men and beasts, and of their seductive union in the legendary figure of the werewolf. The legend is turned upside down and inside out, as each tale deliciously contradicts the last, mingling feminism with eroticism, horror with sly, absurdist comedy, and, finally, dreams with reality.' Naomi Wise, excerpt, Express
Sun 2 Mar 2.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 121 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: RICHARD DONNER / PRODUCER: RICHARD DONNER, LAUREN SHULER DONNER / SCRIPT: EDWARD KHMARA, MICHAEL THOMAS, TOM MANKIEWICZ, DAVID WEBB PEOPLES / CINEMATOGRAPHER: VITTORIO STORARO / EDITOR: STUART BAIRD / CAST: MATTHEW BRODERICK, RUTGER HAUER, MICHELLE PFEIFFER / MUSIC: ANDREW POWELL / PRODUCTION COMPANY: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION, WARNER BROS / PRINT/SOURCE RIGHTS: HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS
‘Rutger Hauer is perfectly cast as dashing knight Etienne Navarre, with Michelle Pfeiffer as his beautiful true love Lady Isabeau. Navarre is cursed to take the form of a hawk by day. When Navarre rescues a young thief named Mouse (Matthew Broderick), events are set in motion that will bring justice to the wicked and reunite the cursed lovers in this enthralling medieval epic. Great supporting work by veteran actor Leo McKern as Father Imperius the Monk, and a very young Alfred Molina. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro makes stunning use of the Italian locations, and The Alan Parsons Project-produced rock score, which some thought dated at the time, actually ages quite nicely.’ American Cinémathèque
Sat 8 Mar 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 53 MINUTES, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, WEST GERMANY, NO DIALOGUE, DIRECTOR: JIRÍ BARTA / SCRIPT: KAMIL PIXA / NOVEL BY VIKTOR DYK / CINEMATOGRAPHER: VLADIMÍR MALÍK, IVAN VÍT / EDITOR: HELENA LEBDUSKOVÁ / CAST: OLDRICH KAISER, JIRÍ LÁBUS, MICHAL PAVLÍCEK / MUSIC: MICHAEL KOCÁB / PRODUCTION COMPANY: KRÁTKÝ FILM PRAHA, STUDIO JIRÍHO TRNKY, TV 2000 FILM-UND FERNSEHPRODUKTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE PRAGUE
‘Jirí Bárta teamed up with the legendary Jirí Trnka Animation Studio to re-imagine the Pied Piper fable in this extraordinary combination of puppet animation, ornately designed oil-painted backdrops, and live action. Recreating a Czech medieval town on a miniaturized set of baroque slants and Expressionist shadows, Bárta creates a Gothic never-was world caught somewhere between Gaudí and Kafka, Caligari and Svankmajer. The story you know: A town is overrun with rats; when a piper leads the vermin away, the greedy townsfolk reward him not with praise but with disdain, and thus seal their doom. Bárta uses various woods and patterns to create a different look for each human puppet—he even gives them an imaginary language to speak—but overruns both fake town and fake townspeople with alarmingly real rats, giving further power to this parable of a society overrun with vermin, and consumed by scavengers.’ Jason Sanders, Pacific Film Archive
Fri 17 Jan 6.00pm and Sat 25 Jan 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 101 MINUTES, UK/USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: JIM HENSON / PRODUCER: ERIC RATTRAY / SCRIPT: TERRY JONES / STORY DEVISED BY DENNIS LEE AND JIM HENSON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ALEX THOMSON / EDITOR: JOHN GROVER / CAST: DAVID BOWIE, JENNIFER CONNELLY, TOBY FROUD / MUSIC: DAVID BOWIE, ROBERT HATHAWAY / PRODUCTION COMPANY: HENSON ASSOCIATES, LUCASFILM, THE JIM HENSON COMPANY, DELPHI V PRODUCTIONS, TRISTAR PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE: AMERICAN GENRE FILM ARCHIVE / RIGHTS: AMALGAMATED MOVIES
‘In this fantasy a young girl, Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), innocently dreams of being rid of her babysitting chores, but her dream turns into a nightmare when she meets Jareth (David Bowie), the strangely compelling Goblin King. With his magical powers, Jareth can pull crystal balls out of the air, create castles in the sky, and turn humans--like Sarah's baby brother--into goblins. He puts Sarah to the test: she must make her way through the Labyrinth to the castle in Goblin City to save her brother. It is a journey full of obstacles, and a race against time in which Sarah--along with her new goblin friends, the homely, kindly Hoggle, and Ludo, the timid giant--learns the importance of friendship and trust. Making their way through the maze they meet the most amazing characters, including The Keyper, A Wise Man in a Talking Hat, Sir Didymus the bridgekeeper, The Junk Lady, and Hugh Mongous. In a New York Times interview, Henson has said, "We wanted to do a story with small, delightful relationships. The film captures a moment when an adolescent girl realizes she is responsible for her life.’ Pacific Film Archive
Fri 10 Jan 8.15pm and Sat 15 Feb 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 98 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: ROB REINER / PRODUCERS: ROB REINER, ANDREW SCHEINMAN / SCRIPT: WILLIAM GOLDMAN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ADRIAN BIDDLE / EDITOR: ROBERT LEIGHTON / CAST: CARY ELWES, MANDY PATINKIN, CHRIS SARANDON, ANDRÉ THE GIANT, ROBIN WRIGHT / MUSIC: MICHAEL DITTRICK / PRODUCTION COMPANY: ACT III COMMUNICATIONS, BUTTERCUP FILMS LTD, THE PRINCESS BRIDE LTD / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP
‘Adapted for the screen by William Goldman from his equally hysterical and brilliant novel, director by Rob Reiner brought to the screen a modern day classic filled with memorable performances, sharp wit, derring-do, and heaping helpings of romance. Thoroughly tongue-in-cheek and forever quotable, The Princess Bride is filled with iconic characters and moments: the Dread Pirate Roberts, insanity-inducing cliffs, a wily Sicilian, a six-fingered count, a friendly giant, the Fire Swamp, and the ultimate story of "Wuv, True Wuv" as read to us by that most lovable of grandpas, Peter Falk.’ Seattle International Film Festival
Sun 12 Jan 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 126 MINUTES, UK/ITALY, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: TERRY GILLIAM / PRODUCER: THOMAS SCHŰHLY / SCRIPT: CHARLES MCKEOWEN, TERRY GILLIAM / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GIUSEPPE ROTUNNO / EDITOR: PETER HOLLYWOOD / CAST: JOSH NEVILLE, ERIC IDLE, SARAH POLLEY, OLIVER REED / MUSIC: MICHAEL KAMEN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION, PROMINENT FEATURES, LAURA-FILM, ALLIED FILMMAKERS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: AMALGAMATED MOVIES
‘From the wackiness and exuberant imagination of Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam is the much-adored The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, the third film in his so-called 'Imagination' trilogy (after Time Bandits and Brazil). In war-torn 18th-century Europe, a stage production of Baron Munchausen’s legendary life is interrupted by the 'real' Munchausen (John Neville), who protests that the tall tales are inaccurate. Narrating to the audience (wink!) the true nature of his adventures – which includes starting the war that is ravaging the city – the Baron soon realizes that only he can put an end to the conflict. Joined by stowaway Sally Salt (a young Sarah Polley) and a band of super-powered friends, the Baron embarks on a series of magical and oft-bewildering adventures that includes a trip to the moon in a balloon made of women’s underwear, an aerial waltz with Botticelli’s Venus come to life (Uma Thurman), and a heroic escape from the stomach of a gluttonous sea monster. Filled with spectacular live-action effects and a memorable, uncredited cameo by Robin Williams as the King of the Moon’s floating head, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is Gilliam’s most family-friendly film, and a strange, wondrous, and at times terrifying one at that.’ The Cinémathèque, CA
Fri 7 Feb 6.00pm and Wed 12 Feb 8.30pm / Cinema A
16MM, COLOUR, MONO, 86 MINUTES, CZECHOSLOVAKIA/SWITZERLAND/UK/GERMANY, CZECH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JAN ŠVANKMAJER / BASED ON THE NOVEL 'ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND' BY LEWIS CAROLL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SVATOPLUK MALÝ / EDITOR: MARIE ZEMANOVÁ / ANIMATOR: BEDŘICH GLASER / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ATHANOR / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM
‘When Alice follows the White Rabbit into Wonderland, so begins this dream expedition into the astonishing landscape of childhood, through many dangerous adventures, and ultimately to Alice's trial before the King and Queen of Hearts. Jan Švankmajer has created a masterpiece of cinema, a strikingly original interpretation of Lewis Carroll's classic tale. Švankmajer’s Alice remains true to the absurdity of Carroll's original, but bears the stamp of his own distinctive style and obsessions. Combining techniques of animation and live action, he gives a new and fascinating dimension to the classic tale of childhood fantasies.’ Siren Visual Entertainment
Sat 1 March 2.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 103 MINUTES, SOVIET UNION, RUSSIAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: KAREN SHAKHNAZOROV / SCRIPT: ALEKSANDR BORODYANSKIY, KAREN SHAKHNAZAROV / CINEMATOGRAPHER: NIKOLAY NEMOLYAEV / EDITOR: LIDIYA MILIOTI / MUSIC: EDUARD ARTEMEV / CAST: LEONID FILATOV, OLEG BASILASHVILI, VLADIMIR MENSHOV / PRODUCTION COMPANY: MOSFILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: MOSFILM
‘One of the key films of the Perestroika era, Zero City tells the story of a Moscow engineer named Varakin who arrives in a small town with instructions to change the size of a locally manufactured air-conditioner part. At the company office he is welcomed by a naked secretary and then finds himself sitting down to a lunch where dessert is a cake that strongly resembles his own head, baked by a chef who soon shoots himself. With its images of a burdensome past and an indeterminate future based on both folk tales and more modern forms of absurdism, Shakhnazarov's very funny and poignant film is a true historical touchstone.’ Harvard Film Archive
Fri 31 Jan 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, DOLBY, 78 MINUTES, ICELAND, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/SCRIPT/EDITOR: NIETZCHKA KEENE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: RANDOLPH SELLARS / CAST: BJÖRK GUÔMUNDSDÓTTIR / MUSIC: LARRY LIPKIS / PRODUCTION COMPANY: KEENE/MOYROUND PRODUCTION / PRINT SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN FILM ARCHIVE / RIGHTS: VERSATILE MEDIA/CORBEAU FILMS
‘This stark black-and-white drama is a retelling of one of the stories from the Grimm's Fairytales about two sisters who have survived after their mother was burned as a witch. Told in a rigorous and challenging manner, the story focuses on the two sisters after their escape. The eldest sister has married a widowed man with a young son. The younger sister is a teenager and lives in the new household. The challenge of winning over her hostile young stepson eventually proves too much for the elder sister, and since the younger sister has been warning the boy that her sister is "a witch," it stands to reason that the whole situation quickly becomes very difficult indeed.’ New York Times
Fri 24 Jan 6.00pm and Wed 29 Jan 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 105 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: TIM BURTON / PRODUCER: TIM BURTON, DENISE DI NOVI / SCRIPT: CAROLINE THOMPSON / STORY BY TIM BURTON AND CAROLINE THOMPSON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: STEFAN CZAPSKY / EDITOR: COLLEEN HALSEY, RICHARD HALSEY / CAST: JOHNNY DEPP, WINONA RYDER / MUSIC: DANNY ELFMAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION / PRINT/SOURCE RIGHTS: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
'Edward is unfinished—the creation of a mad inventor (Vincent Price), now deceased, he has an all-too-human soul but scissors for hands. So he lives alone like Leo the Last in his ancient mansion overlooking a changed neighborhood, all late-sixties pastels and door-to-door housewives. Avon calls, and Edward's life begins: Dianne Wiest's Peg Boggs, the neighborhood naïf, sees a kindred spirit in need of a good astringent, and adopts him. Like his inventor's charming, zany automated assembly-line cookie cutter straight out of Charley Bowers, Edward (the marvelous Johnny Depp) can't do anything practical like eat a pea, but can only create beauty. Topiary leads to nouvelle coiffures for the womenfolk, for whom his snipping touch is positively orgasmic. Tim Burton is Fritz Lang with a happy face, not only in playing off the eroticism of the mechanical but in his observation that the coffee klatch is only a heartbeat away from the lynch mob. Hell hath no fury like a woman shorn.' Judy Block, Pacific Film Archive
Mon 27 Jan 2.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 89 MINUTES, AUSTRALIA/USA, DIRECTOR: CHRIS NOONAN / PRODUCERS: BILL MILLER, GEORGE MILLER, DOUG MITCHELL / SCRIPT: GEORGE MILLER, CHRIS NOONAN / BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘THE SHEEP PIG’ BY DICK KING-SMITH / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ANDREW LESNIE / EDITOR: MARCUS D’ARCY, JAY FRIEDKIN / CAST: JAMES CROMWELL, MAGDA SZUBANSKI, CHRISTINE CAVANAUGH, HUGO WEAVING / MUSIC: NIGEL WESTLAKE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: KENNEDY MILLER PRODUCTIONS, UNIVERSAL PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP
'A young pig fights convention to become a sheep dog -- or, rather, sheep pig -- in this charming Australian family film, which became an unexpected international success due to superior special effects and an intelligent script. The title refers to the name bestowed on a piglet soon after his separation from his family, when he finds himself on a strange farm. Confused and sad, Babe is adopted by a friendly dog and slowly adjusts to his new home. Discovering that the fate of most pigs is the dinner table, Babe devotes himself to becoming a useful member of the farm by trying to learn how to herd sheep, despite the skepticism of the other animals and the kindly but conventional Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell). Because technically impeccable animatronics and computer graphics allow the farm animals to converse easily among themselves, first-time director Chris Noonan can treat the film's menagerie as actual characters, playing scene not for cuteness but for real emotions. The result is often surprisingly touching, with Noonan and George Miller's script, based on Dick King-Smith's children's book and, indirectly, a true story, seamlessly combining gentle whimsy and sincere feeling. These same qualities are embodied by in Cromwell's beautifully understated performance as Farmer Hoggett, which anchors the film. Despite its unlikely premise and low profile, Babe's inspirational story was embraced by audiences and critics, and the movie became an international sleeper that won an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.' Judd Blaise, New York Times
Sun 16 Mar 3.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY SR, 74 MINUTES, FRANCE/BELGIUM/LUXEMBOURG, FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: MICHEL OCELOT / PRODUCER: DIDIER BRUNNER / EDITOR: DOMINIQUE LEFEVER / VOICE CAST: DOURDOUR GUEYE THIAW, MAIMOUNA N’DIAYE, AWA SENE SARR / MUSIC: YOUSSOU N’DOUR / PRODUCTION COMPANIES: LES ARMATEURS, ODEC KID CARTOONS, MONIPOLY PRODUCTIONS, TRANS EUROPE FILM, STUDIO O, FRANCE 3 CINÉMA, RADIO TÉLÉVISION BELGE FRANCOPHONE (RTBF), EXPOSURE / PRINT SOURCE: L’INSTITUT FRANÇAIS / RIGHTS: MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT
‘You know you’re in for an unusual and wondrous experience with the first words spoken in the animated film Kirikou and The Sorceress. "Mother," says a child still in his mother’s womb, "bring me into the world." Caught off guard, the mother nevertheless responds with: "A child who can speak from inside his mother’s womb can bring himself into the world.’ And so he does, whereupon the already-walking baby boy announces that his name is Kirikou. Michel Ocelot’s splendid feature tells a sensual and beautiful story – a West African fable about the power of original innocence. It’s the satisfying tale of the journey of a tiny baby boy who rarely stops moving until he defeats the sorceress Karaba, who threatens his village. Taking its artistic inspiration from African sculpture and Egyptian art, the distinctive pictorial style of Ocelet’s award-winning film is bolstered by an authentic soundtrack from Senegalese musician Youssou N’dour.’ The New Zealand Film Archive
Fri 24 Jan 8.30pm and Wed 29 Jan 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 105 MINUTES, USA/GERMANY, ENGLISH, LATIN, DIRECTOR: TIM BURTON / PRODUCER: SCOTT RUDIN, ADAM SCHROEDER / SCRIPT: KEVIN YAGHER, ANDREW KEVIN WALKER / BASED ON THE STORY ‘THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW’ BY WASHINGTON IRVING / CINEMATOGRAPHER: EMMANUEL LUBEZKI / EDITOR: CHRIS LEBENZON, JOEL NEGRON / CAST: JOHNNY DEPP, CHRISTINA RICCI, MIRANDA RICHARDSON / MUSIC: DANNY ELFMANN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PARAMOUNT PICTURES, MANDALAY PICTURES, AMERICAN ZOETROPE, KAROL FILM PRODUCTIONS, TIM BURTON PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARAMOUNT PICTURES
‘Washington Irving's classic American folk tale gets the Hammer horror treatment - complete with a Christopher Lee cameo - in Burton's sweeping, suspenseful, Gothic remake. Burton's inspired adaptation pits the enduring mythological image of the Headless Horseman against the 'new world' figure of Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp), reinvented as a New York City sleuth who, in stark contrast, is all but imprisoned within the rational workings of his own (somewhat addled, sleep-prone) head. "As beautifully crafted a film as anyone could ever hope to see, Sleepy Hollow is an entertainingly eccentric horror that envelopes the audience in a dreamy nightmare" Variety.’ Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Fri 21 Mar 8.15pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 159 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: STANLEY KUBRICK / SCRIPT: STANLEY KUBRICK, FREDERIC RAPHAEL / ORIGINAL STORY: ARTHUR SCHNITZLER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: LARRY SMITH / EDITOR: NIGEL GALT / PRODUCTION COMPANY: HOBBY FILMS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ROADSHOW FILMS
Loosely drawing on the motifs of the Brother's Grimm fairytale The Twelve Dancing Princesses, a tale of twelve Princesses who attend a forbidden ball nightly until their actions are unmasked, Eyes Wide Shut explores the private arena of sexuality through the shifting veil of dreams and reality, following the journey of a man who becomes obsessed with his wife’s confessed sexual fantasy. After meeting with an old acquaintance he becomes fixated by a tale of wild bohemian parties of costume, passwords and sexual dalliances and consequently strays into this surreal pseudo-sexual underworld of unfulfilled encounters. The final film by legendary Stanley Kubrick, it featured then-married Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Like Lolita and A Clockwork Orange before it, Eyes Wide Shut faced was censored in the United States and Canada with the inclusion of digital figures strategically placed to mask much of the group sex scenes.
Fri 7 Feb 8.00pm and Wed 12 Feb 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 132 MINUTES, CZECH REPUBLIC/UK/JAPAN, CZECH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JAN ŠVANKMAJER / BASED ON THE FAIRYTALE BY KAREL JAROMÍR ERBEN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JURAJ GALVÁNEK / EDITOR: MARIE ZEMANOVÁ / ANIMATORS: BEDŘICH GLASER, MARTIN KUBLÁK / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ATHANOR
‘Surrealist master Jan Švankmajer brings a famous Czech legend eerily to life in the darkly hilarious cautionary tale of Otesánek. An ordinary couple, Karel and Bozena, are unable to conceive a child. When Karel digs up a tree root and whittles something vaguely resembling a human baby, Bozena's maternal longings transform the stump into a living creature with a (literally) monstrous appetite that can't be met with baby formula. Švankmajer brilliantly mixes his wicked humor with his subversive politics and love of mythology into a stunning live-action fable for our times.’ Zeitgeist Films
Sun 2 Mar 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 55 MINUTES, USA / DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/SCRIPT/EDITOR: MILFORD THOMAS / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: JONATHAN MELLINGER / CAST: PAT BELL, MISH P DELIGHT, JAMES FERGUSON / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PUT DOWN THE PLOW PRODUCTIONS INC / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PUT DOWN THE PLOW
Live Wurlitzer organ accompaniment by David Bailey. Film screening followed by a Q&A with the director Milford Thomas.
‘Set in a storybook 1920’s rural American South and inspired by the Japanese fairytale Kaguyahime, Milford Thomas’ Claire tells the story of a childless elderly male couple who discover a princess made of moonlight inside an ear of corn. The enchanting young Claire bewitches onlookers with her readings of fantastic poetry in unfamiliar languages, entrances a local boy and discovers her miraculous healing powers when he jumps from a cliff in an attempt to win her heart. While exemplifying the nontraditional family (two men lovingly raising a moon-child), Claire celebrates the diversity of family and poignantly treats the grief of losing a love one. Homage to early cinema, the film was glowingly shot on a vintage hand-cranked 35mm camera. Like its silent-era camera, all set-design and special effects were achieved the old-fashioned way, using canvas backgrounds, semi-hidden wires and multiple exposures, creating a timeless atmosphere of wonderment and magic.’ Frameline
Wed 22 Jan 6.00pm and Sun 30 Mar 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 125 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: TIM BURTON / PRODUCER: BRUCE COHEN, DAN JINKS, RICHARD D ZANUCK / SCRIPT: DANIEL WALLACE, JOHN AUGUST / CINEMATOGRAPHER: PHILIPPE ROUSSELOT / EDITOR: CHRIS LEBENZON / CAST: EWAN MCGREGOR, ALBERT FINNEY, BILLY CRUDUP / MUSIC: DANNY ELFMAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION, JINKS/COHEN COMPANY, THE ZANUCK COMPANY, TIM BURTON PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: SONY PICTURES
‘In his twilight years, Edward Bloom (portrayed at various stages of life by Ewan Macgregor and Albert Finney) realises that he remains a profound mystery to his son William (Billy Crudup). In an effort to debunk family mythologies, Will visits his ailing father intent on separating - once and for all - truth from tall tales. Adapted from a novel by Daniel Wallace, Tim Burton invests this fantastical tale of lives both lived and imagined with personal resonances and fable-like elements that are by turns comical, wondrously charming and melancholic.’ Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Fri 14 Feb 8.30pm and Wed 19 Feb 6.00pm / cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 115 MINUTES, SOUTH KOREA, KOREAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR: KIM JEE-WOON / PRODUCER: JEONG-WAN OH / SCRIPT: KIM JEE-WOON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MO-GAE LEE / EDITOR: HYEON-MI LEE / CAST: KAP-SU KIM, JUNG-AH YUM, SU-JEONG LIM / MUSIC: BYUNG-WOO LEE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: BOM FILM PRODUCTIONS CO, MASULPIRI FILMS / PRINT SOURCE: PEOPLE IN COMMUNICATIONS / RIGHTS: AZTEC INTERNATIONAL ENTERTAINMENT
‘As countless Asian psychological horror films find their way to the American multiplexes as Hollywood remakes, this screening marks an opportunity to see a true original. When two little girls are sent to live with their wicked step mother in the country, strange events occur. Director Kim Ji-woon spends most of his film focussed on the quiet, stately rhythms of family life before making an audacious, surrealist turn. Jung-ah Yum gives a manic performance as the step mother on par with Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Fay Dunaway in Mommie Dearest.’ Harvard Film Archive
Sat 29 Mar 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 77 MINUTES, UK/USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: TIM BURTON / PRODUCER: ALLISON ABBATE, TIM BURTON / SCRIPT: JOHN AUGUST, CAROLINE THOMPSON, PAMELA PETTLER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: PETE KOZACHIK / EDITOR: CHRIS LEBENZON, JONATHAN LUCAS / VOICE CAST: JOHNNY DEPP, HELENA BONHAM CARTER, EMILY WATSON / MUSIC: DANNY ELFMAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: WARNER BROTHERS, TIM BURTON ANIMATION CO, LAIKA ENTERTAINMENT, PATALEX PRODUCTIONS, TIM BURTON PRODUCTIONS, WILL VINTON STUDIOS / PRINT/SOURCE RIGHTS: ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT
'For his second feature-length stop-motion film, Tim Burton transformed a nineteenth-century European folktale about a man caught between two women—one breathing, one not so much—into a musical filled with exquisitely crafted characters who prove that what appears frightening is often just misunderstood.' MoMA
Sat 8 Feb 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR AND BLACK AND WHITE, DOLBY DIGITAL, 99 MINUTES, GERMANY/UK/FRANCE, PORTUGUESE, ENGLISH, DIRECTORS: STEPHEN QUAY, TIMOTHY QUAY / PRODUCER: HENGAMEH PANAHI / SCRIPT: ALAN PASSES, STEPHEN QUAY, TIMOTHY QUAY / CINEMATOGRAPHER: NICHOLAS D KNOWLAND / EDITOR: SIMON LAURIE / CAST: AMIRA CASAR, GOTTFRIED JOHN, ASSUMPTA SERNA / MUSIC: CHRISTOPHER SLASKI / PRODUCTION COMPANY: ARTE, KONINCK STUDIOS, LUMEN FILMS, MEDIOPOLIS FILM-UND FERNSEHPRODUKTION, ZWEITES DEUTSCHES FERNSEHEN, ARTE FRANCE CINÉMA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TAMASA DISTRIBUTION
‘The Quay brothers are two of the most incorruptible and imaginative artists to have come out of modern animation cinema. In their second feature they apply their stop-motion techniques to the morbid Gothic tale of an opera singer kidnapped by a sinister doctor who wants to turn her into an automaton. Felisberto Fernandez is a piano tuner of exceptional skill, hired by Dr.Emmanuel Droz to come to a remote clinic to clean and refurbish Droz's seven automatons. Droz wants the work done quickly, in time for an opera he's staging for himself. Fernandez's attentions are captured by two women at the clinic, Assumpta, the manager, and Malvina van Stille, a patient who is also a superb singer.’ San Sebastian Film Festival
Fri 14 Mar 6.00pm and Wed 26 Mar 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 104 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: DAVID SLADE / PRODUCER: MICHAEL CALDWELL, DAVID HIGGINS, RICHARD HUTTON / SCRIPT: BRIAN NELSON / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JO WILLEMS / EDITOR: ART JONES / CAST: PATRICK WILSON, ELLEN PAGE, SANDRA OH / MUSIC: HARRY ESCOTT, MOLLY NYMAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: VULCAN PRODUCTIONS, LAUNCHPAD PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ICON DISTRIBUTION
Unwittingly drawing on motifs found in Little Red Riding Hood, from the folkloric heroine to the predatory big bad wolf, ‘Hard Candy is anything but sweet, following a 14-year-old girl as she torments a suspected paedophile in his home. It’s a striking debut for David Slade whose crisp direction provides a great showcase for the fearless acting of Patrick Wilson (The Phantom Of The Opera) and the precocious Ellen Page. Together they pull off an extraordinary balancing act - a film that will have you both squirming in your seat and teetering on the edge of it. Slade explores every dark corner in the space between four walls. Wilson is tied down for the most part as this pretty young thing engages him in a deadly mind game. But as much as it is tense and claustrophobic, it’s also sardonically funny. Page has an arsenal of deadpan dialogue and in among the verbal jousting, writer Brian Nelson reveals just how twisted both these characters are. The combination of wit and violence only adds to the overall unsettling effect.’ BBC
Sat 15 Mar 1.00pm and Fri 28 Mar 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 117 MINUTES, USA/INDIA, ENGLISH, ROMANIAN, LATIN, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: TARSEM SINGH / SCRIPT: DAN GILROY, NICO SOULTANAKIS, TARSEM SINGH / CINEMATOGRAPHER: COLIN WATKINSON / EDITOR: ROBERT DUFFY / CAST: CATINCA UNTARU, JUSTINE WADDELL, LEE PACE / MUSIC: KRISHNA LEVY / PRODUCTION COMPANY: GOOGLY FILMS, ABSOLUTE ENTERTAINMENT (II), DEEP FILMS, NETWORXX - FILM MANAGEMENT, RADICAL MEDIA, TREE TOP FILMS INC. / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: UMBRELLA ENTERTAINMENT
‘Director Tarsem Singh reworks the 1981 Bulgarian film Yo Ho Ho for this stylish fantasy. A movie stuntman (Lee Pace), lying despondent in a Los Angeles hospital in 1915, spins an exotic tale for the benefit of a five-year-old girl who's recovering from a broken arm (Catinca Untaru). In his story the dashing Black Bandit (Pace again), assisted by a slave, a mystic, an anarchist, and Charles Darwin, battles the evil Governor Odious. The girl and the hospital patients and staff also turn up in his improvised adventure, extravagantly garbed by costume designer Eiko Ishioka.’ Seattle PI
Fri 28 Feb 8.15pm and Wed 5 Mar 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 119 MINUTES, SPAIN/MEXICO, SPANISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: GUILLERMO DEL TORO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GUILLERMO NAVARRO / EDITOR: BERNAT VILAPLAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: ESTUDIOS PICASSO, TEQUILA GANG, ESPERANTO FILMOJ / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: HOPSCOTCH FILMS
‘The film takes place during Franco’s time and thus deals with fascism. To me, fascism is the representation of total horror and is, therefore, a perfect theme for an adult fairytale. In fact, it is, above all, a form of repression of innocence and thus of childhood, which consumes a person’s soul before it consumes his body.’ Guillermo del Toro
‘Pan’s Labyrinth is undoubtedly one of the most beautifully brutal films produced in the last decade and beyond. Ofelia, a young girl enchanted by fairy tales, moves in with her sadistic stepfather, a captain for the Spanish army, as her mother enters the final months of pregnancy. One night, a fairy guides her through a labyrinth to meet a faun, who tells her she is a princess. However, before she is allowed into their alternative world, she must pass 3 grueling tests to prove herself worthy.
Pan’s Labyrinth is a fairy tale like no other; bleak, ruthless and violent, but mesmerising, magical and extraordinary all the same. It is a dark masterpiece, where death lurks around every corner and where innocence collides with horror, corruption and violence. The historical drama subplot of the film complements the fantasy as they seamlessly weave in and out of each other, giving the magical elements an incredibly, and sometimes disturbingly, realistic dimension. And it’s not just the visuals that are wonderfully executed, as every other aspect of the film is tuned to perfection, establishing Pan’s Labyrinth as one of the filmic highlights of the decade.’ Raindance Film Festival
Sun 23 Mar 1.00pm / cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 99 MINUTES, FRANCE/BELGIUM/SPAIN/ITALY, ARABIC/FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: MICHEL OCELOT / PRODUCER: CHRISTOPHE ROSSIGNON / EDITOR: THOMAS JAQUET / CAST: CYRIL MOURALI, KARIM M’RIBA, HIAM ABBASS / MUSIC: JEAN-PIERRE ARQUIE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: NORD-OUEST PRODUCTIONS, MAC GUFF LIGNE, STUDIO O, FRANCE 3 CINÉMA, RHÔNE-ALPES CINÉMA, ARTÉMIS PRODUCTIONS, S2 INTERNATIONAL, ZAHORÍ MEDIA, INTUITION FILMS, CANAL +, LUCKY RED, TPS STAR, EURIMAGES, CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA CINÉMATOGRAPHIE, RÉGION ILE-DE-FRANCE, COFINOVA 2 / PRINT/SOURCE RIGHTS: WILD BUNCH
‘Azur & Asmar, an animated fable by Michel Ocelot, unfolds in a flat, storybook style worlds away from the sculptured digital aesthetic pioneered by Pixar and emulated by everyone else. Set in a mythic Middle Eastern landscape, the story opens in the childhood of two young boys whose fates will diverge and then reunite in the realms of magic and adventure. Asmar, an impetuous, dark-featured youth, sits with his best friend, Azur, a blue-eyed prince, as they marvel at songs of the Djinn Fairy, a legendary creature locked away in sadness beyond enchanted doors and guardian monsters. As Azur comes of age, he is separated from his lowborn companion to be groomed for princely affairs, but the memories of the Djinn Fairy never go away. And so begins a quest for magic keys, spells of safety and a route to the mystic mountain where lies a spirit to be released and a friendship to be reconciled.’ New York Times
Fri 21 Mar 6.00pm and Wed 26 Mar 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 94 MINUTES, SOUTH KOREA, KOREAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR: BONG MAN-DAE / SCRIPT: SON KWANG-SOO / EDITOR: MUN IN-DAE / CAST: AHN AH-YUNG, AHN GYU-RYUN, JEON SO-MIN / MUSIC: HYUN JIN-YUNG / PRODUCTION COMPANY: MINI FILM PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FINELINE FILMS
'Apparitions from the past come to haunt a woman who helps others transform their appearance in this atmospheric thriller from South Korea. Yoon-hee (Do Ji-won) is a successful plastic surgeon who has built a lucrative career out of the obsessions of a growing number of young women who long to have 'the perfect face.' Yoon-hee has a daughter in her early twenties, Hyun-soo (Shin Se-kyung), who is studying art, and a number of Hyun-soo's classmates have been her mother's patients. However, one night a strange apparition appears to Yoon-hee, demanding that its old face be returned. As Yoon-hee tries to make sense of this bizarre event, a number of young women who have had plastic surgery begin mutilating themselves in hopes of restoring their old appearance, and Yoon-hee tries to uncover the truth behind it all while Hyun-soo makes a surprising discovery about her mother's past.’ New York Times
Fri 14 Feb 6.00pm and Wed 19 Feb 8.15pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 117 MINUTES, SOUTH KOREA, KOREAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR: YIM PIL-SUNG / PRODUCER: KANG YOUNG-MO / SCRIPT: KIM MIN-SOOK, YIM PIL-SUNG / CINEMATOGRAPHER: KIM JI-YONG / EDITOR: KIM SUN-MIN / CAST: CHEON JEONG-MYEONG, JANG YOUNG-NAM, JIN JI-HEE / MUSIC: LEE BYUNG-WOO / PRODUCTION COMPANY: BARUNSON FILM DIVISION, CJ ENTERTAINMENT, CINECLICK ASIA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FINECUT
‘When Eun-son (Jeong-myeong) has a car accident he find himself in the care of three strange children in the depths of a forest. His new guardians turn out not to have his best interests at heart... Yim Pil-Sung’s feature is the stand-out Korean film — combining the left-centre whimsy of Park Chan-Wook’s I’m A Cyborg with the haunting darkness of Pan’s Labyrinth. The story, which filters that most traditional of European fairy tales through Asian sensibilities, traces the (mis)fortunes of a man whose car crash leads him into the care of three terrifying kids in the 'House Of Happy Children' deep in the woods. Genuinely ghoulish and grim in the best Brothers Grimm tradition.’ Empire Magazine
Wed 15 Jan 8.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 127 MINUTES, UK/USA/IRELAND, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: MATTHEW VAUGHN / PRODUCER: LORENZO DI BONAVENTURA, MICHAEL DREYER, NEIL GAIMAN, MATTHEW VAUGHN / SCRIPT: JANE GOLDMAN, MATTHEW VAUGHN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: BEN DAVIS / EDITOR: JON HARRIS / CAST: IAN MCKELLEN, CHARLIE COX, SIENNA MILLER / MUSIC: IIAN ESHKERI / PRODUCTION COMPANY: PARAMOUNT PICTURES, MARV FILMS, VAUGHN PRODUCTIONS, DI BONAVENTURA PICTURES, INGENIOUS, FILM PARTNERS, TRUENORTH PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARAMOUNT PICTURES
‘Matthew Vaughn’s cinematic adaptation of Neil Gaimen’s graphic novel, Stardust, is possibly the most widely enjoyable fantasy adventure since the days of The Princess Bride. A young man named Tristan, raised in the English village of Wall but born in a magical land sealed away on the other side of the town’s namesake, vows to prove his love for his dream girl, the opportunistic Victoria, by bringing her back a fallen star from beyond the wall. Nothing is quite as it seems beyond the wall and Tristan is drawn into a rollicking quest for the heart of celestial beauty Yvaine. To complicate matters, a coven of animal-gut divining witches want to eat the heart to attain eternal youth, and three princes haunted by the ghosts of their dead brothers also seek the star to prove their right to the throne. The story’s genius is in its subversion of familiar fantasy conventions, forcing adults to remember the magical wonder of childhood while introducing younger audiences to unconventionally mature scenarios. Vaughn’s careful but uncompromising handling of Gaimen’s darkly funny but moral fantasy has created a modern classic.’ Exclaim
Sun 16 Feb 3.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 100 MINUTES, JAPAN, JAPANESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: HAYAO MIYAZAKI / ART DIRECTOR: NOBORU YOSHIDA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ATSUSHI OKUI / EDITORS: HAYAO MIYAZAKI, TAKESHI SEYAMA / MUSIC: JÔ HISAISHI / PRODUCTION CO: STUDIO GHIBLI / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT
A charming eco-inspired spin on Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid, ‘…Ponyo (pronounced ‘Po-Nyo’) is a bright red piscine princess. After running - well, swimming - away from home, she becomes stranded on a beach and meets five-year-old boy Sosuke. He lives in a house on a cliff in a magical world inspired by a town in the real life Setonaikai National Park in Japan. Ponyo’s father has her brought home by the wave demons, but she yearns to become human so she can be with Sosuke and live happily, if a little oddly, ever after.’ nzflicks.co.nz
Fri 21 Feb 8.15pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 80 MINUTES, FRANCE, FRENCH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: CATHERINE BREILLAT / PRODUCER: SYLVETTE FRYDMAN, JEAN-FRANÇOIS LEPETIT / BASED ON THE FAIRYTALE ‘LA BARBE BLEUE’ BY CHARLES PERRAULT / CINEMATOGRAPHER: VILKO FILAC / EDITOR: PASCALE CHAVANCE / CAST: DOMINIQUE THOMAS, LOLA CRÉTON, DAPHNÉ BAIWIR / PRODUCTION COMPANY: FLACH FILM, CB FILMS, ARTE FRANCE / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PYRAMIDE FILMS / SCREENING FORMAT: HDCAM
'France’s masterful Catherine Breillat returns with this playful, intoxicating and highly personal rumination on Charles Perrault’s 17th-century fairytale about a gloomy nobleman with a penchant for murdering his wives. In a safe bourgeois home, sometime in the 1950s, two young sisters withdraw to the attic for repeated readings of the titillating tale. The younger of the two, Catherine, reads aloud to frighten both herself and her more timid sibling with the evocative power of Perrault’s brisk pages. The story’s ogre (a lugubriously corporeal yet canny Dominique Thomas) appears a veritable mountain beside his slender virgin bride (the sparkling, effortlessly voluptuous Lola Creton), whose name, Marie-Catherine, echoes that of our young reader as well as the filmmaker herself. This young but gritty beauty will undo the strangely attractive monster with the sheer frank force of her nature. Breillat brings forward and mingles in a deliberately jarring fashion the palpable sensuousness of two worlds—the fairytale and childhood—to capture provocatively, and with more than a little silent laughter, a seminal moment at work in the terror of children’s stories: enough for a lifetime of fantasies; a lifetime to murder and create.' Robert Avila, San Francisco International Film Festival
Sat 11 Jan 1.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 87 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, FRENCH, DIRECTOR: WES ANDERSON / PRODUCER: ALLISON ABBATE, WES ANDERSON, JEREMY DAWSON, SCOTT RUDIN / SCRIPT: WES ANDERSON, NOAH BAUMBACH / BASED ON THE BOOK BY ROALD DAHL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: TRISTAN OLIVER / EDITOR: RALPH FOSTER, STEPHEN PERKINS / CAST: GEORGE CLOONEY, MERYL STREEP, BILL MURRAY / MUSIC: ALEXANDRE DESPLAT / PRODUCTION COMPANY: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, INDIAN PAINTBRUSH, REGENCY ENTERPRISES, AMERICAN EMPIRICAL PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
‘Wes Anderson adapts a short story by Roald Dahl for his first animation movie, fantastically supported by Hollywood star-packed cast who lend voice and soul to the characters. Anderson goes beyond mere family cinema to revisit his sweet and sour reflections on the family, its happy times and its misfortunes. Mr and Mrs Fox lead an idyllic homely life with their son Ash and their young nephew Kristofferson, who has come to visit. But after twelve years of peaceful domestic life, the happy existence is too much for Mr Fox's animal instincts and he returns to his old ways as a cunning chicken thief, endangering not only his beloved family, but also the entire animal community. Trapped underground, without enough food to share between them, the animals finally join forces against the evil farmers.’ San Sebastian Film Festival
Wed 15 Jan 6.00pm and Wed 19 Mar 7.45pm (101 mins)
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 101 MINUTES, USA/AUSTRALIA/GERMANY, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: SPIKE JONZE / PRODUCERS: JOHN CARLS, GARY GOETZMAN, TOM HANKS, VINCENT LANDAY, MAURICE SENDAK / SCRIPT: SPIKE JONZE AND DAVE EGGERS / BASED ON THE BOOK BY MAURICE SENDAK / CINEMATOGRAPHER: LANCE ACORD / EDITORS: JAMES HAYGOOD, ERIC ZUMBRUNNEN / CAST: MAX RECORDS, JAMES GANDOLFINI, CATHERINE O’HARA, PEPITA EMMERICHS / MUSIC: CARTER BURWELL, KAREN O / PRODUCTION COMPANY: WARNER BROS, LEGENDARY PICTURES, VILLAGE ROADSHOW PICTURES, PLAYTONE, WILD THINGS PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT
‘This contemporary fantasy film based on the classic children’s book by Maurice Sendak follows the misunderstood, young Max as he boards a mysterious boat to a land of enormous monsters. Befriended by these wild things and made their king. Max does his best to govern the unruly creatures and learns a few lessons about cooperation and friendship before he is restored to his own world.’ UCLA Film and Television Archive
Fri 28 Mar 6.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY, 84 MINUTES, FINLAND/NORWAY/FRANCE/SWEDEN, FINNISH/ENGLISH (SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR: JALMARI HELANDER / PRODUCER: AGNÉS B, ANNA BJÖRK, PETRI JOKIRANTA, KNUT SKOGLUND / SCRIPT: JALMARI HELANDER / CONCEPT BY HELANDER BROTHERS / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MIKA ORASMAA / EDITOR: KIMMO TAAVILA / CAST: JORMA TOMMILA, PEETER JAKOBI, ONNI TOMMILA / MUSIC: JURI SEPPÄ, MISKA SEPPÄ / PRODUCTION COMPANY: CENET, POMOR FILM, LOVE STREAMS, AGNÉS B PRODUCTIONS, DAVAJ FILM, FILM CAMP, FILMPOOL NORD, KINOLOGY, YLEISRADIO / PRINT/SOURCE RIGHTS: ICON DISTRIBUTION
‘Stripping back the seasonal trimmings, Santa gets a fearsome make-under in this refreshing Finnish tale of Christmas gore and plucky childhood ingenuity. If your idea of seasonal festivity includes reindeer massacre, radiator theft on a grand scale and naughty children tied up in sacks mewling like kittens awaiting drowning, then park your sleigh here. This brilliantly wicked, barmy advent fairytale is purposely about as far removed as you can get from your average Xmas schmaltz, and therein lies its appeal. Set in a rural northern Finland that feels like the end of the earth, our hero is an adorably cute, slightly downtrodden pre-teen named Pietari. When he gets wind that a local archaeological team aren't digging for rocks under the snow but excavating a giant, Santa-shaped burial mound, Pietari sets to work investigating the bearded old codger. The findings aren't good.’ Film4
Fri 14 Mar 8.30pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 104 MINUTES, AUSTRALIA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: JULIA LEIGH / PRODUCER: JESSICA BRENTNALL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GEOFFREY SIMPSON / CAST: EMILY BROWNING, RACHAEL BLAKE, EWEN LESLIE / EDITOR: NICK MEYERS / PRODUCTION COMPANY: SCREEN AUSTRALIA, MAGIC FILMS, SCREEN NSW, DELUXE AUSTRALIA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Reflecting the darker elements of the original Brother's Grimm tale, which told of an unconscious princess and the visiting prince who impregnated her, ‘Julia Leigh’s film follows a young woman who lends herself to be used, but not abused, by men in an erotic situation while she is asleep. Selected for Competition in Cannes 2011, it is a mysterious film. Protagonist Lucy (Emily Browning) remains elusive, her motivations unclear, her reactions to situations when she is awake muted. Although her emotional engagement is enigmatic, that she seeks damage is clear. While all this sounds esoteric, the journey with Lucy is fascinating, her lack of personal connection painful and the catharsis open to interpretation. Sleeping Beauty is a film that provokes passionate, often heated discussion.’ Margaret Pomeranz
Sat 18 Jan 1.00pm and Wed 22 Jan 8.15pm / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 93 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR: BENH ZEITLIN / PRODUCER: MICHAEL GOTTWALD, DAN HARVEY, JOSH PENN / SCRIPT: LUCY ALIBAR, BENH ZEITLIN / BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘JUICY AND DELICIOUS’ BY LUCY ALIBAR / CINEMATOGRAPHER: BEN RICHARDSON / EDITORS: CROCKETT DOOB, AFFONSO GONÇALVES / CAST: QUVENZHANÉ WALLIS, DWIGHT HENRY, LEVY EASTERLY / MUSIC: DAN ROMER, BENH ZEITLIN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: CINEREACHM COURT 13 PICTURES, LOURNEYMAN PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ICON DISTRIBUTION
‘The staggeringly ambitious and stylistically bold first feature by Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild took the Sundance Film Festival by storm with its eccentric, wholly unique vision of ecological apocalypse. Hushpuppy (an astonishing debut by Quvenzhané Wallis) is a six-year-old girl living with her boozing father Wink (Dwight Henry) in a Louisiana shantytown called "The Bathtub," so named because its location in a valley will cause it to be totally wiped out in the event of a flood. When the rains do in fact come and the town is duly washed away, Hushpuppy and Wink embark on an increasingly bizarre odyssey through a flooded, post-apocalyptic American South to restart their lives, and the world itself.’ Toronto International Film Festival
Wed 26 Feb 8.15pm and 15 Mar 3.00pm / Cinema A
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, 104 MINUTES, SPAIN, FRANCE, BELGIUM, SPANISH INTERTITLES (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: PABLO BERGER / PRODUCER: PABLO BERGER, IBON CORMENZANA, JÉRÔME VIDAL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: KIKO DE LA RICA / EDITOR:FERNANDO FRANCO / CAST: MARIBEL VERDÚ, DANIEL GIMÉNEZ CACHO, ÁNGELA MOLINA / MUSIC: ALFONZO DE VILALLONGA / PRODUCTION COMPANY: ARCADIA MOTION PICTURES, NOODLES PRODUCTION, NIX FILMS, SISIFO FILMS AIE, THEKRAKEN FILMS AIE, MAMA FILMS, ARTE FRANCE CINÉMA, BANQUE POSTALE IMAGE 4, CANAL+ ESPAÑA, EURIMAGES, INSTITUTO DE LA CINEMATOGRAFÍA Y DE LAS ARTES AUDIOVISUALES, LE TAX SHELTER DU GOUVERNEMENT FÉDÉRAL DE BELGIQUE, MOTION INVESTMENT GROUP, PALATINE ÉTOILE 9, TELEVISIÓ DE CATALUNYA, UFILM, UFUND / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: RIALTO DISTRIBUTION
“All I can say is that there’s a flash of pure inspiration, unfakeable and unmistakable, in this extraordinarily enjoyable film, a silent-movie melodrama version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves set in southern Spain in 1910. It feels saturated with pleasure: it is extremely pleasurable to watch, and shows every sign of having been extremely pleasurable to make.The director Pablo Berger finds new life and heart in the old myth – certainly more than the recent Hollywood retreads – and daringly locates possibilities for both evil and romance in the ranks of the dwarves themselves. Carmen (Macarena García) is the beautiful daughter of Antonio Villalta (Daniel Giménez Cacho), a once dashingly handsome bullfighter, now a widower and invalid Berger takes inspiration from Hitchcock, with hints of Rebecca and Psycho, Buñuel, Browning and Almodóvar, and conjures a fascinatingly ambiguous ending: melancholy, eerie and erotic. A film to treasure.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Sun 23 Mar 3.00pm (96 mins) / Cinema A
35MM, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, CHINA, MANDARIN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES), DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/SCRIPT: RICHARD BOWEN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: YU WANG / CAST: XIAO MIN, ZHANG JIE, CAIPING WANG / MUSIC: ROBERT MILLER / PRODUCTION COMPANY: LOUISA PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LOUISA PRODUCTIONS
‘Based on the earliest known version of Cinderella, the Chinese tale Ye Xian from 768 A.D., cinematographer Richard Bowen’s wonder-filled feature debut is a gorgeous and enchanting fairytale, with exquisitely ornate costumes, dazzling scenery shot in Yunnan Province, and an underlying message that is as timely today as it was 13 centuries ago. In a mythical kingdom, a girl is born. The village shaman had foretold a boy and Mei Mei’s father is sorely disappointed. Years later, with her mother gone, Mei Mei is left with nothing but a pair of bejeweled slippers and the hope that one day she will get to dance at the Festival of the Full Moon. Meanwhile, the kingdom has been thrown out of balance - the moon is stuck in the sky - and the handsome young king is commanded by his mother to take a wife to restore the celestial harmony. But the king refuses to have a child with a woman he does not truly love. One day, peering through a telescope from his island home, the king spies Mei Mei floating on air in her magical slippers. Convinced that he’s seen an angel, he sets out in search for her - but she runs off, losing one bejeweled slipper along the way.’ American Cinémathèque
Wed 19 Mar 6.00pm / Cinema A
HD, COLOUR, DOLBY DIGITAL, 93 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH, DIRECTOR/EDITOR: GUSTAVO CERVANTES / PRODUCERS: MARK SESSIONS, CYNTHIA TAYLOR / SCRIPT: GUSTAVO CERVANTES, DOUG LAYNE ANDERSON / INSPIRED BY THE FABLE ‘THE THREE LITTLE PIGS’ / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: BOB DODD, GUSTAVO CERVANTES, SCOTT MARTIN / CAST: JOSH NEW, GALLAGHER GOODLAND, THOMAS ANDREW JOHNSON, BRENDAN HOPKINS, BILL AARON TARPENNING, ANDY WOODARD / MUSIC: DOUG LAYNE ANDERSON / PRODUCTION COMPANY: POCKET FULL OF STARS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: POCKET FULL OF STARS
‘A fantasy-western drama, The Brick House tells the story of three estranged brother pigs who are reunited by the inheritance of their Uncle's midwestern homestead after his tragic passing in a deadly house fire. Upon deciding to repair the home for themselves, they quickly become the unfortunate target of some local business tycoons; a ruthless pack of wolves who's seedy plans will have them stop at nothing to claim it for themselves. A low budget independent film funded through crowd-funding website, Kickstarter, The Brick House is the first feature film by Gustavo Cervantes and Doug Layne Anderson. ’ Pocket Full of Stars