Film Screening 14th October, 2011

Poster for El Gaucho Goofy (Short Film)

El Gaucho Goofy (Short Film) 

8:00 PM, 14th October, 2011
No Guests

  • NR
  • 6 mins
  • 1943
  • Jack Kinney
  • George Johnson (voice)

Goofy stars as a North American cowboy transported to Argentina to become a gaucho, his South American counterpart. During the Second World War, the US Government felt it would be wise to strengthen ties with Latin America, and this short (derived from the short feature Soludos Amigos) was a result of Walt Disney's government-sponsored goodwill tour of the region.

Poster for Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys & Aliens 

8:06 PM, 14th October, 2011
No Guests

  • M
  • 118 mins
  • 2011
  • Jon Favreau
  • Roberto Orci,  Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
  • Daniel Craig,  Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde

The year is 1873 and, in the Arizona desert, a stranger (Craig) with amnesia awakens. With the only clue to his identity a strange, futuristic shackle on his wrist, he wanders into the nearby town of Absolution, ruled over by the iron-willed Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). When spaceships piloted by extra-terrestrials suddenly and violently attack, however, the stranger the town initially rejected soon becomes their only hope for salvation. Aided by an elusive traveller (Wilde), he joins forces with former enemies - including Dolarhyde, local outlaws and Apache warriors - in order to survive a showdown against an enemy unlike anything they've ever known.

Directed by Iron Man's Jon Favreau, and produced by a remarkable collection of directors in their own right (including Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg), it should come as no surprise that the film is a visual and special effects treat. Scenes of dusty, sepia-tinted western towns being blown apart by blue-toned, phosphorous spacecraft easily join the ranks of 'things I never thought I'd see' and are simply a sensation to behold.

Craig, in steely 'Bond' mode, is solid as the film's mysterious lead and Ford has fun as the grizzled, temperamental Dolarhyde. But while there are also plenty of acting chops on offer - in the form of supports Sam Rockwell and Paul Dano - this is, first and foremost, a summer blockbuster of the highest degree. Unashamedly, the ultimate name of the game is quality action and special effects, and on both counts Cowboys & Aliens delivers.

Bryan Pike

Poster for Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty  

10:15 PM, 14th October, 2011

  • MA
  • 97 mins
  • 2011
  • Julia Leigh
  • Julia Leigh
  • Emily Browning,  Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie

Lucy (Browning) is a university student living a distant, apathetic life. Embarking on numerous endeavours to make money (including a research experiment which opens the film and sets a confronting vibe that reverberates throughout), Lucy treats herself with an indifferent, self-destructive attitude. Her one friend, Birdmann (Leslie), is an alcoholic and it is only with him that she is able to engage on some kind of emotional level.

Throughout the course of the increasingly surreal film, Lucy's new job - that of a Sleeping Beauty, a girl rendered unconscious and placed naked in a room for clients to do whatever they wish to - becomes more and more disturbing for both the viewer and Lucy, as she starts to question what is happening to her while she is asleep.

This is the first film from acclaimed writer Julia Leigh, who was personally mentored by fellow director Jane Campion (The Piano), and marks the entry of an interesting and unafraid director. Emily Browning steps back from her Sucker Punch role to deliver a brave performance that is simultaneously beautiful, devastating and utterly riveting. Sleeping Beauty is not for the faint-hearted, but, as a film that focuses on some of the darker portions of human nature, will stay with the viewer long after it has ended.

Alex Henry