It’s about time I wrote something about the 2010 Adelaide Cinémathèque which is now well under way. For those who aren’t familiar with it the Cinémathèque is a film club based at the Mercury Cinema on Morphett St. They have a program running each year from the end of March up until mid December consisting of a great variety of films usually grouped into session of 3 or 4 films which are linked by a particular theme. There are two films per week, they show each Monday and Thursday at 7:30pm. Due to the conditions under which they get access to the films (as a film club), they cannot sell single tickets, instead you have to become a member. This is easy, you just fill in a form and pay for either 4 films ($35/$25 concession), 16 films ($70/$50) or an annual membership for $99/$80 – this can be great value, I got an annual membership last year for the first time and went to about 25 films.
To give you an idea of the variety on offer, some of the highlights for me last year were:
Distant Voices, Still Lives a compelling drama by English filmmaker Terence Davies who I wasn’t previously familiar with, Russian Sci-fi classic Solaris, some big screen epics – Lawrence of Arabia and Gone With the Wind, a Sam Peckinpah series including his masterpiece The Wild Bunch, a series by one of my very favourite directors Ingmar Bergman, Starstruck – a crazy 80’s Australian film set about a band competition which was very silly and lots of fun, the rare Cool World with it’s ultra-realist take on 60’s new york teenage gangs, some brilliant and completely different animations including the obscure Australian film Grendel Grendel Grendel , a witty retelling of Beowulf from the point of view of the monster, and the disturbing and essential Waltz with Bashir, an account of one person’s attempt to regain memories of their part in the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. There were also some hilarious Cary Grant comedies, but the last program I saw was possibly my favourite of the whole year as I was introduced to the genius of Jaques Tati. In particular Play Time is an absolute masterpiece.
And then there’s all the things that I can’t believe I missed, such as Aguirre and the Kurosawa program and lots more.
This year’s program is available here, go and have a browse through it, there’s plenty of great stuff there. As usual a great variety of genres, and mix between popular classics and rarely seen obscurities.
Based on tonight’s Jaques Demy film (which is not renowned as one of his best but was nevertheless excellent) it should be worth catching the remaing films in the current series. I’m also keen on seeing the amazing Baraka on the big screen again,
The online program goes only to July but there will be films from then right up to December, the full program for the second half of the year will be announced towards the end of the current one (memberships continue to the second half of the year).