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EVERYBODY HATES JOHAN 1st March 2024

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  Everybody Hates Johan  is a Norwegian comedy of charm and wisdom. The setting is a small barren island, far from most other Norwegians. The gross regional product appears to be wind. How the people make a living is a mystery, as we see no fishing boats. The weather has not made everyone kind: in fact, they mostly enjoy baiting each other, especially Johan and his family. By the time Johan is about five, he is an orphan, cared for by his aunt and uncle. His only friend is the girl next door, Solvor. Their love affair will run long but not smooth, through more thick than thin. The adult Johan just adores lighting sticks of dynamite and lobbing them into the nearby bogs. No wonder the neighbours hate him. It’s hard to describe the charm of this small but clamorous film. The beauty of the setting contrasts with the puny side of the people. Nature has not ennobled them. Johan is the constant victim of awful behaviour, which makes sure we are always on his side. The explosions take charact

REDEMPTION OF A ROGUE 2nd February 2024

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  The exhilarating, Bible-inspired, pitch-black comedy 'Redemption of a Rogue' centers on a prodigal son returning to his rural Ireland hometown to seek redemption for his sins.  It’s been seven years since Jimmy Cullen (Aaron Monaghan) set foot in (the fictional) Ballylough, a godforsaken spot of near-perpetual rain. Back then, he departed in disgrace, leaving behind younger brother Damien (Kieran Roche), a brutal father who raised them with his fists (Hugh O’Brien) and embittered, onetime girlfriend Patricia (Liz Fitzgibbon). Helmer Doherty cleverly doles out information about Jimmy’s shameful past in the form of flashbacks in a 16mm format that reveal his wrongdoings. Amusingly, although these episodes show events from years ago, he’s still pictured as his current bearded, battered, adult self. Forced by the terms of his deceased father’s will to hang around Ballylough until the rain stops and the old man can be buried, Jimmy suffers through a personal purgatory of suicidal

MY OLD SCHOOL 1st December 2023

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  In 1995, a 32-year-old failed medical student called Brian MacKinnon became a global news story and a legend when it emerged he had, two years earlier, posed as a teenager called Brandon Lee to reattend his old school, Glasgow’s Bearsden Academy, taught by his old teachers who did not recognise him, just so that he could retake his Higher exams and reapply to medical schools, which would not admit people over 30. One of his classmates was Jono McLeod, and it is McLeod who has directed this film about MacKinnon’s extraordinary true-life tragicomedy, interviewing his school contemporaries and using animated sequences with Lulu and Clare Grogan voicing incidental characters. He also interviews MacKinnon himself who did not want to appear on camera, lip-synched instead by the actor Alan Cumming.  With staggering chutzpah, this grown man put on a school uniform and bluffed his way through class, befuddled pupils who didn’t want to mention how weirdly old he looked, delighted teachers with

THE ROAD DANCE 3rd November 2023

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     Based on actual events, this 1916 story is set in a small, tight-knit community in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. Kirsty McLeod (Hermoine Corfield) lives a difficult life in a remote village with her hard-working mother, Mairi (Morven Christie) and her sister, Annie (Ali Fumiko Whitney). Ever since the days of sitting on the beach with her late father, listening to him talk about the world beyond their shore, she has been a dreamer. And while her father may be gone, she still dreams of more than planting potatoes. She wants bigger things but those dreams seem so far out of reach as the outside world is bracing for the First World War, bringing brutality and tragedy. The Road Dance is filmed in an exquisitely realised setting on the Isle of Lewis, from the stone houses with grass covered rooftops to the people who make up the community. They  bring an authenticity and character to the film.

A MAN CALLED OTTO Friday, 6th October 2023

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 A memorable performance from Tom Hanks, backed by a crackling good supporting cast. A Man Called Otto is a well-crafted and an emotionally involving remake of a book and film about a widowed old grump who begins to grow and change after experiencing some major life setbacks.  It's a small gem of  wry humour and human insight. Otto is that curmudgeonly neighbour who never just lets things go, whether he’s barking at a woman for letting her dog urinate on his lawn, chastising a neighbor for his too-tight exercise outfit, yelling at a delivery truck driver for unauthorized parking or telling a stray cat to leave him alone. Recently forced out of his managerial engineering position and now retired, Otto has nothing but time on his hands, and he spends much of that time patrolling his gated neighborhood in an unnamed Rust Belt town in suburban America, growling about bicycles that aren’t parked in the rack, garbage that hasn’t been properly sorted into the recycling bin, etc., etc. Ho

UKRAINISTAN ARTIST WAR 1st September 2023

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  This is the latest in George Gittoes' award-winning documentaries about war and the human stories of hope and redemption ( Soundtrack to War ,   2005 and  Love City ,  Jalalabad , 2013).  Ukrainistan Artist War  continues this vital focus, showing the wars raged by artists against invasion. It   is an urgent   and essential film that delivers an outcry of optimism that humanity can end violent conflict and embrace peace through creativity. Ukrainistan Artist War  is an anti-war film in the tradition of Picasso’s  Guernica.  Gittoes and partner, producer/musician Hellen Rose, go beyond the headlines and behind battle lines of Ukraine and Afghanistan to candidly capture the tragedy of those now displaced and separated by the Russian-Ukrainian war. This screening will be a very special event as the documentary makers (local residents of Gerringong area) will be with us to talk about their work, their art and to answer questions. Independent Sydney curator Reverend Rod Pattenden, who

MARGRETE QUEEN OF THE NORTH 7th July 2023

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    Margrete, Queen of the North A grand, sweeping, historical drama from Denmark 1402.  Queen Margarete is ruling Sweden, Norway and Denmark through her adopted son, Erik, but a conspiracy is in the making.  Margrete finds herself in an impossible dilemma that could shatter her life's work - the Kalmar Union. Trina Dyrholm is magnificent as the queen who has only her piety, courage and strength to guide her.