August marks the fifth birthday of the National Film and Sound Archive’s Arc Cinema. To celebrate, there’ll be a month and more of special screenings and events.
Five years since Australian director Rolf de Heer’s last feature, Dr. Plonk had its Australian premiere at Arc, the director will return with a Canberra premiere of his new film, The King is Dead! (classification tbc).
The very first film screened at Arc in 2007 will also return: director Paul Verhoeven’s often misunderstood sci-fi satire, Starship Troopers (MA15+).
Other fifth birthday celebrations will focus on cinema’s current transition from celluloid film to digital projection. On Saturday 11 August, from 7.30pm, The Great Singin’ in the Rain Shoot-Out! (G) offers a unique perspective on one of Hollywood’s most loved musical movie classics. Scenes from the film will screen side-by-side in some of the different film, video and digital cinema screening formats from past and present – concluding with a comparison between 35mm and state-of-the-art DCP projection. Arc Turns 5 celebrations will continue into September.
Arab Film Festival
During July, Arc welcomes back the Arab Film Festival for the fourth year of Canberra screenings. This year’s festival sees a host of Canberra premieres of films from one of the world’s most fascinating and most talked about regions. Many of these films reflect the current political and social change going through the Arab world.
Our opening night film, Habibi (u/c 18+) is one of the few feature films ever made in Palestine’s Gaza Strip. The Tunisian documentary No More Fear (u/c 18+) looks at three stories from the country’s 2011 revolution. The films Asmaa and Cairo 678 (both u/c 18+), look at conflict over the role of women in modern Egypt; whilst the Moroccan film The Rif Lover (u/c 18+), Jordan’s The Last Friday (u/c 18+), and the Lebanese film Tayeb, Khalas, Yalla (u/c 18+), all explore unexpected social change for the people of modern Arab societies.
The festival screens until Thursday 19 July.
Little Big Shots International Film Festival for Kids
For the July school holidays (11-20 July), Little Big Shots returns to Arc Cinema, with sessions especially for age groups five to 15.
Little Big Shots is Australia’s major travelling film festival for families and kids, and often includes films made by kids themselves. Highlights include Melbourne Film Festival “Best of the Fest” favourite, The Gruffalo’s Child, and a session of Australian made films.
All tickets are $5, and children under 2 are free.100 years: Nikkatsu and Universal
July and August continue our twin retrospective seasons exploring some of the thousands of films made by two of cinema’s oldest major film studios, Hollywood’s Universal and Japan’s Nikkatsu – both turning 100 years old in 2012. Both Universal and Nikkatsu have long been renowned for their risk-taking and sometimes controversial genre filmmaking, targeted at youth audiences.
In July, Nikkatsu’s Classics and Revolution moves on to the films for which the studio is most famous: the wild and experimental youth, Yakuza gangster and exploration films Nikkatsu made from then late 1950s to 70s.
Universal’s Horror Movies also continues, featuring horror and fantasy classics like Tower of London(1939, G), This Island Earth (1955, PG), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957, G) and Steven Spielberg’s first feature, Duel (1971, M). The season will also include all the episodes of the classic 1936 Universal serial, Flash Gordon (PG).
Exclusive Limited Seasons
July and August at Arc Cinema also includes exclusive limited seasons of two new Australian films. John Winter’s Black and White and Sex (MA15+) continues until 14 July. Then the first Australian film in over a decade from The Year My Voice Broke director John Duigan, Careless Love (MA15), screens from 28 July to 9 August.
August features a tribute to Australian filmmaker Esben Storm (1950-2011) and his regular collaborator Haydn Keenan’s pioneering production company,Smart Street Films. Storm and Keenan produced such milestone Australian films of the 1970s as 1974’s 27A and 1978’s In Search of Anna.
Adaptation: Films for the International Year of Reading
August begins a series of screenings in celebration of the International Year of Reading, with special emphasis on the relationship between the novel and cinema.
This begins on 19 August with a season of films by director Lee Chang-Dong; leading Korean contemporary novelist, turned film director.
There’ll also be a short season of the new Russian film Target (2011, u/c 18+) – a unique, sci-fi variation on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, scripted by controversial Russian novelist Vladimir Sorokin.
Special event: The Second Longest Night at the NFSA
The final of a series of live events to mark the NFSA’s Extreme Film and Sound Exhibition, is on Saturday 18 August at 7.30pm. Sound designer, film score composer and new NFSA Scholars and Artists in Residence Fellow, Professor Douglas Quin, creates Aurora Passage: a multimedia composition of piano, narrator, soundscape recordings and archival imagery. The work is based on the diaries of Bert Lincoln, one of the crew of Douglas Mawson’s 1911-14 polar exploration vessel, the SY Aurora. Performers also include pianist Arnan Wiesel and composer Vincent Plush.
Prior to Aurora Passage, at 6pm, Douglas Quin will talk about creating Aurora and his ongoing investigation of the Antarctic aural and radiophonic space. The Artist Talk is a FREE session, however bookings are essential – call 02 6248 2000.
Arc Cinema ticketsArc Cinema
tickets $11 Adults / $9 Concession, unless where special prices are noted. For bookings call 02 6248 2000. Full details of the July-August Arc program are at nfsa.gov.au/arc or view http://www.nfsa.gov.au/site_media/uploads/file/2012/06/25/NFSA_0222_Arc_JA_2012_FA.pdf