Queenstown Film Society screens every Tuesday night (except July school holidays) at 8.30 pm from 7 May to 5 November at Dorothy Browns cinema, Arrowtown.
We have non-commercial screening rights for our programme, which means we're unable to sell tickets. Instead we operate on a membership basis, but it's easy to join and great value at just $120 for the entire season of 25 films - that's less than $5 per film! Membership runs for one year from the date you join, so if you sign up later in the season you won't miss out. New members can join before any screening or take advantage our three-film sampler for $30 - an ideal taster which can be upgraded to full membership or a great option for anyone visiting Queenstown.
This year’s schedule includes black-and-white classics, must-see films for the cinephile, recent world cinema, and the best of New Zealand film. Among them are documentaries, dramas, comedies and a pretty out-there musical. Each screening is preceded by a short talk about that night’s presentation.
There are no bookings, so get there early to be sure of a seat. The programme is subject to change without notice. Kinshasa Symphony is open to non-members by donation.
Juan José Campanella, Argentina, 2009, 127 min, R16
A retired criminal court investigator finds a 25-year-old murder cold case still haunts him. 'This Oscar-winning Argentinian thriller packs emotional punch and a dazzlingly virtuosic narrative.' - Observer
14 May 2013: Black Sun
Gary Tarn, UK, 2005, 70 min, PG
This profoundly beautiful film, which pushes the boundaries of documentary, was inspired by the experience of artist Hugues de Montalembert. 'A film about blindness that makes us see the world hungrily, deeply, anew.' - Daily Telegraph
Preceded by Taika Waititi's short film Tama Tu.
21 May 2013: Tony Takitani
Jun Ichikawa, Japan, 2004, 75 min, M
Translated into film, Haruki Murakami's strange short story about a solitary illustrator who briefly tastes fulfilment becomes a dreamlike meditation on loneliness. 'An exquisite film, as elegant and precise as an impeccably cut diamond.' - LA Times
Preceded by Peter Burger's short film Turangawaewae.
28 May 2013: Ruggles of Red Gap
Leo McCarey, USA, 1935, 90 min, G
This riotous clash between Old World and New features the great Charles Laughton in one of his iconic roles, as a British butler who is shipped out to the Wild West when his services are won by an American in a high-stakes poker game. We will be screening the sparkling Blu-ray re-release.
4 June 2013: Viva Maria!
Louis Malle, France, 1965, 119 min, PG
Starring Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau as a pair of feisty vaudeville dancers and Mexican revolutionaries, Louis Malle's campy comedy-adventure is an underappreciated jeu d'espritgleaming with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière's surrealist gags and anticlerical hijinks.
11 June 2013: The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell
Brendan Donovan, New Zealand, 2010, 77 min, M
Actor William McGuinness nails the can-do, ever-loving BBQ dad (with rocks in his head) in this affectionate comedy-drama. 'A lovingly observed study of the dynamics of an ordinary family when disaster strikes.' - Sunday Star Times
Preceded by Tearepa Kahi's short film Taua - War Party.
18 June 2013: Badlands
Terrence Malick, USA, 1973, 95 min, R16
Malick's first film, starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as a young couple on a killing spree, is one of American cinema's most powerful and daring debuts. 'Transcendent themes of love and death are fused with a pop-culture sensibility and played out against a mid-western background.' - Dave Kehr
25 June 2013: Eraserhead
David Lynch, USA, 1977, 90 min, M
David Lynch's debut feature, a surrealist horror film he described as a 'dream of dark and troubling things', is a work of queasy genius. 'It astounds through its expressionist sets and photography, the startling, sinister soundtrack, and relentless imaginative fluency.' - Time Out
2 July 2013: White Material
Claire Denis, France/Cameroon, 2009, 106 min, R16
Isabelle Huppert is mesmerising as a French coffee plantation owner refusing to budge from a West African country riven by civil war. 'A tense, convulsive portrait of change and a thing of terrible beauty.' - Village Voice
9 July 2013: Free Radicals: A History Of Experimental Film
Pip Chodorov, France, 2011, 82 min, not rated
Exploring avant-garde cinema from post-war pioneers through to the 1970s, Free Radicals is a paean to the unfettered creativity of a generation of experimental artists. 'A pleasant ramble through little-known cinematic territory.' - Seattle Times Presented with the support of the Embassy of France.
Preceded by Zoe McIntosh's short film Day Trip.
30 July 2013: 35 Shots of Rum
Claire Denis, France/Germany, 2008, 100 min, M
This subtle, intimate portrait of the bond between a young woman and her widowed father stars Alex Descas and Grégoire Colin. 'The warmth radiating from 35 Shots of Rum…reminds viewers how rarely movies capture the easygoing love embodied in a functional family.' - Variety Presented with the support of the Embassy of France.
6 August 2013: Kinshasa Symphony
Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer, Germany, 2010, 95 min, not rated
A study of people in one of the world's most chaotic cities doing their best to maintain one of the most complex systems of joint human endeavour: a symphony orchestra. A film about the Congo, the people of Kinshasa, and the power of music. This screening open to non-members by donation, courtesy of the Goethe-Institut.
13 August 2013: Trouble in Paradise
Ernst Lubitsch, USA, 1932, 82 min, PG
Expect continental sophistication and precise comic timing from this screwball comedy featuring a pair of prodigiously talented and charming con-artists who target a widow's vast fortune by posing as her assistants.
Preceded by Taika Waititi's Oscar-nominated short film Two Cars, One Night.
20 August 2013: American Splendor
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, USA, 2003, 100 min, M
This investigation of cult comic-writer Harvey Pekar is a lament of failed expectations and stubborn eccentricity. It mimics Pekar's autobiographical style, interweaving footage of the man himself with his surrogate, actor Paul Giamatti. 'A brilliant oddity.' - Orlando Sentinel
27 August 2013: Twin Sisters
Ben Sombogaart, The Netherlands, 2002, 137 min, M
As the Nazis rise to domination in Europe, twin sisters find themselves affiliated, inextricably, to opposite sides. This lavishly produced and solidly acted film 'has the engrossing quality of a big historical novel'. - Variety
3 September 2013: Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence
Oshima Nagisa, UK/Japan, 1983, 123 min, M
Oshima's startlingly unconventional war movie (screened here in a new Blu-ray restoration) stars David Bowie as a New Zealand major in a Japanese PoW camp who engages in a battle of wills with the camp commander. 'A thinking man's Bridge on the River Kwai.' - Cinematheque Ontario
10 September 2013: Dancer in the Dark
Lars von Trier, Denmark, 2000, 135 min, R13
A hip reworking of the classic Hollywood musical directed by the enfant terrible of Danish film and starring Icelandic pop diva Björk and French screen-acting legend Catherine Deneuve. Music, melodrama, migrants, manufacturing, murder and macular degeneration.
17 September 2013: Nostalgia for the Light
Patricio Guzmán, France/Germany/Chile, 2010, 90 min, not rated
Astronomy, archaeology and history are mesmerisingly interwoven in this visually breathtaking meditation on Chile's far distant and more recent past by the remarkable documentarian Patricio Guzmán. 'Electrifying and unexpected.' - Hollywood Reporter Presented with the support of the Embassy of France.
24 September 2013: Local Short Films
The third annual Queenstown Film Society showcase highlights professional and amateur short films with a link to the Queenstown area. Closing date for submissions: 31 July 2013.
1 October 2013: Deep End
Jerzy Skolimowski, UK/West Germany, 1971, 90 min, R18
London's swinging sixties get a gothic makeover in this tale of an awkward teenager's crush on a mod coworker, set in a seedy public bath. Recently restored, starring Jane Asher, with music by Cat Stevens and Can. 'The most brilliantly baleful British comedy of the era.' - Guide to World Cinema
8 October 2013: C.R.A.Z.Y.
Jean-Marc Vallée, Canada, 2005, 127 min, R16
A young middle-class misfit in 1970s Montréal dreams of abandoning his familiar home town to seek a brighter future. 'A full-to-bursting picture that shouts and whispers and darts and meanders and fascinates and frustrates and teems at the seams with raw vitality.' - Globe and Mail
Trapped together in a Balkan War trench, a Serb and a Bosnian play the blame game while the UN, a British TV reporter and a German mine defuser tangle themselves up in the chaotic rescue of a wounded man. Searing and smart, this Oscar-winning black comedy is grounded in the brutality of war.
22 October 2013: Anton Chekhov's The Duel
Dover Kosashvili, USA, 2010, 95 min, M
This superbly acted English-language adaptation of an 1891 Chekhov novella brings shrewd understanding to its ageless tale of indiscretions, infidelity, rivalry and blackmail, set in a summer holiday resort. 'Very satisfying and tonally precise.' - NY Times
29 October 2013: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Werner Herzog, USA, 2010, 89 min, G
This multi-award-winner captures in exquisite detail the 32,000-year-old paintings in the Chauvet Cave. Herzog's astonishing doco uses the art as a springboard to broader philosophical questions. Presented in 3D, as it was always intended to be shown.
5 November 2013: Kenny
Clayton Jacobson, Australia, 2006, 103 min, M
So dead-pan it's hard to tell it's a put-on, this smash hit mockumentary about a philosophical portaloo specialist neatly balances toilet humour with a touching character study of an ordinary, decent Aussie bloke.