1. THE WIND RISES(126 minutes) PG
This beautiful, solemn, troubling testament from the great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki fictionalises the life story of warplane designer Jiro Horikoshi, portrayed as a gentle visionary who represents the best Japan has to offer – and as a type of narrowly focused, wilfully apolitical artist, bent on creating perfection in an imperfect world. Selected.
2. ROSEMARY’S BABY(136 minutes) M
Roman Polanski’s 1968 Hollywood breakthrough offered Mia Farrow a career-defining role as the chic yet fragile Rosemary Woodhouse, who starts to suspect during her pregnancy that her upstairs neighbours may be Satanists, with even her actor husband (John Cassavetes) in on the plot. A triumph on all levels, and surely the scariest film made about impending motherhood. Digitally projected. Shadow Electric, tomorrow, sundown.
3. THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (117 minutes) MA
A Texas good ol’ boy overcomes his bigotry after being diagnosed as HIV positive: it could have been a bland morality play, but director Jean-Marc Vallee tells the story in an unusual, woozy style, while Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of a lifetime as a man pitting everything he has against his own impending death. Selected.
4. BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (179 minutes) R
Abdellatif Kechiche’s harrowing romantic drama centres on a insecure but passionate working-class teenager (newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos) who falls for a slightly older artist (Lea Seydoux). The highly physical sex scenes are a crucial part of the overall design, for all the criticism they’ve received from viewers with a different notion of what lesbianism “ought” to look like. Selected.
5. THE WICKER MAN(100 minutes) M
The most bizarre of British cult classics, Robin Hardy’s 1973 horror-thriller stars Edward Woodward as a pious police sergeant investigating a disappearance on an island where pagan tradition holds sway. Britt Ekland plays one of the nubile nature worshippers, while the master of ceremonies is the imperious Christopher Lee. There are clumsy moments, but the climax is not easily forgotten. Special extended cut, digitally projected. Astor, tomorrow, 7pm.
6. THAT DARN CAT!(112 minutes) G
Robert Stevenson’s outwardly innocent 1965 caper is one of the slyer Disney live-action features: the real subject is how the young heroine (Hayley Mills) negotiates her entry into adulthood, aided by the cat of the title, a Siamese tom who keeps very busy after dark. Roddy McDowall and Elsa Lanchester are standouts in a supporting cast that is full of comic grotesques.Imported 35-millimetre print. ACMI, today 1pm, tomorrow 10.30am and 1pm.
7. AMOUR (127 minutes) M
A love story of sorts, Michael Haneke’s artful provocation centres on a long-married couple (Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant) enjoying a peaceful old age until a health crisis destroys their comfortable lives. Though the characters are outwardly sympathetic, a suspicion persists that the director is up to his old trick of confronting the bourgeoisie with existential horror. Presented by the Whitehorse Film Society. Digitally projected. Nunawading Civic Centre, today, 7.45pm (members only – join at door for $27.50 half-yearly).
8. TO KILL A KING (102 minutes) M
In the aftermath of the English Civil War, rebel leader Sir Thomas Fairfax (Dougray Scott) finds himself caught between several stronger personalities, including his friend Oliver Cromwell (Tim Roth) and the supercilious deposed king (Rupert Everett). Mike Barker’s 2003 historical drama is well cast, intelligently scripted, and directed with some panache despite a TV budget. Digitally projected. ACMI, today and tomorrow, 11am. Seniors $7 or less, carers free.
9. ANNIE (126 minutes) G
Directed by John Huston, of all people, this 1982 adaptation of the Broadway musical about a Depression-era waif (Aileen Quinn) is an odd mix of nostalgic sentiment and Bob Fosse-style cynicism. Albert Finney is amusing as eccentric billionaire Daddy Warbucks, but the best moments belong to Carol Burnett as the drunken orphan-wrangler, Miss Hannigan, the designated wicked witch. Digitally projected. Palace Balwyn and Palace Dendy Brighton, today and tomorrow, 10.30am.
10. WOLF CREEK 2 (104 minutes) MA
Outback killer Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) is back – as bloodthirsty as ever and with a renewed distaste for foreigners, especially whingeing Poms. Full of dark jokes at the expense of national identity, Greg Mclean’s sequel to his 2005 horror hit is in some ways more provocative than the original, even if it is less chilling. General.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.