The cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne is inarguably the premiere location for film fans down under (no matter what anyone from Sydney tells you). These weekly posts will take you beyond the multiplex and highlight the Top 5 movie alternatives worth checking out each week.
1. Metropolis (The Astor)
Along with Apocalype Now and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Fritz Lang’s epic and massively influential silent sci-fi classic is an eternal staple of the Astor Calendar, and with good reason. A tale of class rebellion and science gone wrong, the film, with its colossal sets and then-revolutionary special effects, is a masterwork of production design, and would have to be ranked amongst the most important movies ever made. (Sunday, February 10, 1:30pm)
2. Elevator to the Gallows (ACMI)
The debut fiction feature of the then twenty-four year old Loius Malle, Elevator to the Gallows is a simmering noir about a woman who plots with her lover to murder to wealthy husband. The movie launced the film career of radiant new wave icon Jeanne Moreau; it’s actually screening at ACMI as part of their Focus on Jeanne Moreau series, which, spoiler alert, I’ll be writing about a lot more this time next week. (Thursday, February 14, 7pm)
3. The Ballad of Narayama // The River Fuefuki (Melbourne Cinémathèque)
Housed at ACMI, the Melbourne Cinémathèque returns for 2013 with a retrospective on the films of prolific Japanese director Keisuke Kinoshita. The Ballad of Narayama tells the story of a village in ancient Japan where food is so scarce that its elderly residents are abandoned on a mountain top to die. The River Fuefuki, meanwhile, spans 70 years in feudal history its exploration of the futility of war. Tickets are available in four-film passes, or you can purchase a yearly membership; a bit of an investment, but a worthy one for hardcore cinephiles. (Wednesday, February 13, 8:50pm)
4. Attack the Block (Rooftop Cinema)
Part savvy social commentary, part Joe Dante inspired sci-fi/comedy/action movie mash-up, Joe Cornish‘s Attack the Block, about a group of teenagers who square off against a horde of extraterrestrials who attack their South London housing commision, was one of the coolest films of 2011. If you didn’t catch it then, make this Saturday night screening at the Rooftop Cinema & Bar a priority. (Saturday, February 9, 9:30pm)
5. Dark Star (Rooftop Cinema)
The directorial debut of John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) and the writing debut of Dan O’Bannon (Alien, Blade Runner), this sci-fi spoof about a rag-tag team of terminally bored astronauts in the 22nd century doesn’t exactly reach the same heights of its creators’ later works; it is, however, a hilariously campy good time, and well deserving of the cult-film status it has achieved. (Tuesday, February 12, 9:30pm)
What are your thoughts on this weeks selections? And what will you be watching this week, in Melbourne or anywhere else?