10 April 2024

Book Club at the NFSA | Little Women (2019) + Discussion

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Still from Little Women showing three young women looking out a window

Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019)

G | 135 Mins | 2019 | DCP | US | D: Greta Gerwig
Closed Captions and Audio Description available

Greta Gerwig offers a fresh interpretation of Lousia May Alcott’s beloved story, bringing the March sisters to life for a new generation. Little Women reunites Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet – stars of Gerwig’s breakout hit, Ladybird (2017) – along with heavyweights Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scalan and Laura Dern.

Gerwig’s critically acclaimed adaptation of this coming-of-age novel is both boldly 21st century and richly true to its period roots.

‘Like any good novelist and every great filmmaker, Gerwig isn’t afraid to let her audience work a little. She trusts our intelligence and our curiosity, and also her own command of the medium’ – The New York Times

The screening will be followed by a discussion of Louisa May Alcott’s novel and the film adaptations directed by Gillian Armstrong (1994) and Greta Gerwig (2019) with special guests Gillian Armstrong AM and Dr James McNamara.


Gillian Armstrong AM is an acclaimed Australian film director. Notable works include Starstruck, Mrs Soffel, High Tide, The Last Days of Chez Nous, Little Women, Oscar and Lucinda, Charlotte Gray, Unfolding Florence: The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst, Death Defying Acts, and Love, Lust and Lies. Armstrong first garnered attention for her debut feature, My Brilliant Career (1979), adapted from the Miles Franklin novel. Since then, her work has been nominated for Academy and Golden Globe Awards and has screened at numerous international film festivals including Berlin, Singapore, Sundance and Cannes. Armstrong was the first President of the Australian Director’s Guild. She has received an AM for services to the Australian film industry, a Doctor of Letters from the University of NSW and the University of Sydney, and an Honorary Doctorate in Film from Swinburne University.


Dr James McNamara is the creator and Co-Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed television series The Artful Dodger, for Disney+ and Hulu. He is also the creator and Executive Producer of Detective Cooper, an international television drama for Goalpost Pictures and Quizzical Pictures. Other recent work includes writing, producing and directing an audio series with Princess Pictures for Audible, as well as television writers’ rooms for See Saw Films, Matchbox Pictures/NBC Universal, Foxtel, ABC and Endemol Shine. McNamara lectures in film and media studies at the University of California, specialising in adaptation studies – with a particular interest in screen adaptations of Shakespeare. He holds a doctorate in English from Oxford, as well as degrees in English and Law from the University of Western Australia and in screenwriting from AFTRS.

A discounted double film pass is available to see both Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 Little Women (19 May) and Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation (26 May). The 26 May event will be followed by a discussion with special guests Gillian Armstrong AM and Dr James McNamara. Learn more

A discounted season pass is available for the Book Club at the NFSA program. Learn more

Book Club at the NFSA is presented in partnership with Canberra Writers Festival.

The details

What: Little Women screening + discussion
When: Sunday 26 May at 1pm
Where: NFSA Acton (Arc Cinema)
Cost: $18–20. Book tickets

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