Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas party and screening "Soul Kitchen"

Reels Members and Guests' Christmas Party

Thursday 2nd December 2010
6.30pm Christmas drinks and special nibbles
7.30pm "Soul Kitchen"

Join us for the Reels @ Wehl Christmas party, where Christmas cheer will abound with champagne, wine and special nibbles. A cheerful, feelgood film about food, love and family will screen afterwards.

Soul Kitchen

Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans… (John Lennon)

Soul Kitchen is about family and friends, about love, trust and loyalty and about the struggle to protect a place called home in an increasingly unpredictable world.

**** Margaret ****1/2 David




Young restaurant owner Zinos is down on his luck. His girlfriend Nadine has moved to Shanghai, his Soul Kitchen customers are boycutting the new gourmet chef, and he’s having back trouble! Things start looking up when the hip crowd embraces his revamped culinary concept, but that doesn’t mend Zinos’s broken heart. He decides to fly to China for Nadine, leaving the restaurant in the hands of his unreliable ex-con brother Illias. Both decisions turn out disasterous: Illias gambles away the restaurant to a shady real estate agent and Nadine has found a new lover! But brothers Zinos and Illias might still have one last chance to get Soul Kitchen back if they can stop arguing and work together as a team.

"Soul Kitchen is cheerful, wild, colourful … thoroughly enjoyable" David Stratton, At the Movies

"Feelgood comedy" The Age


Read the full story on the making of Soul Kitchen

Country of Origin: Germany
Language: German w/English subtitles
Duration: 99 minutes
Rating: MA
Director: Fatih Akin
Featuring: Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu, Birol Unel

Friday, November 5, 2010

Next screening "Van Dieman's Land"

Thursday 18 November 2010

The true story of Australia's most notorious convict, Alexander Pearce

Hunger is a strange silence

**** David Stratton, ABC's At the Movies

The true story of Australia's most notorious convict, Alexander Pearce and his infamous escape into the beautiful yet brutal Tasmanian wilderness.

A point of no return for convicts banished from their homeland, Van Diemen's Land was a feared and dreaded penal settlement at the end of the earth. The entrance to its remote station of secondary punishment, Macquarie Harbour, was named 'Hell’s Gates' by its prisoners as a reference to the gates of hell in Dante's 'Inferno' - "Abandon all hope ye who enter here" - was plastered at the Harbour's mouth as a warning to all souls sent there.

In 1822, eight convicts escaped Macquarie Harbour in a fateful bid for freedom. This band of Irish, English and Scottish thieves were immediately hurled into chaos as their plan failed and they were thrust into the heart of a harsh and foreboding landscape. With little food or equipment, in a place these immigrants knew little about, they battled a merciless enemy - the unforgiving, barren land - a land where God wields an axe.

Official site

Review & Trailer

Rated MA  |  Runtime 104 minutes  |  Language English

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Next screening "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Thursday 21st October 2010  |  6.30pm
A mystery wrapped in a riddle, stamped with a tattoo. 
* * * *  ABC's At the Movies

In 2009 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was the most successful film in Europe, despite not having a UK or Ireland release. The impetus was the success of Stieg Larsson’s posthumous Millennium Trilogy – The Girl With the Dragon TattooThe Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – which have become a publishing phenomenon, shifting approximately 30 million copies worldwide with little sign of the sales abating.


Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her beloved uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and the tattooed and troubled but resourceful computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) to investigate. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vanger’s are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

Everyone has secrets in the "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," a mind-bending and mesmerizing thriller that takes its time unlocking one mystery only to uncover another, all to chilling and immensely satisfying effect. 


Rated MA15+
Running Time - 152 mins  |  Language Swedish  |  Country Sweden


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Heckle & Jeckle's squawk on 'Bliss'

"Bliss" was not quite blissful, perhaps if it had finished 30 minutes earlier it may have been. That, however, is one opinion, which may not reflect the Reels members, as Bliss received 4 stars in the starbox rating a little bird told me.

What was interesting was the reaction to many of our members after the screening, ‘what was so confronting?’ When it was first released in the 1980s Bliss had people walking out of cinemas, received an R rating and major distributors refused to screen the film. It then became an art-house classic.

We viewers in 2010 didn’t find Bliss confronting at all – well I can’t speak for all the audience – only about a dozen with whom I managed to have a chat. So much in the film was intimated, as opposed to being shown in great detail and today seems rather tame. One of our members thought that Harry was at heart a decent man, who was sucked into the vortex of vacuous human endeavours but then manged to escape the confines of concrete jungles and office cells.

What hasn’t changed over the years are the elements of the story about the human condition – greed, relationships, love, hate, seeking for true meaning of life, destruction of our environment, redemption.

Seeing the movie again after all those years has, however, made me want to go out and re-read the novel.

That's the squawk for now. Original squawkers will be back soon with their entertaining reviews.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Next screening "Bliss - the Director's Cut" & our AGM

'Bliss - the Director's Cut' will be the film for our next Reels event, Thursday 29th July.

Annual General Meeting- prior to the screening we will hold our AGM. All roles on the committee will be vacated and the current committee is welcoming new members. We especially need help with the promotions,
setup, setdown.

AGM 5.30pm Thursday 29th July 2010 at Wehl Street Theatre.

'Bliss - the Director's Cut'
Thursday 29th July 2010
6.30pm pre-screening wine
7.00pm film commences

"Bliss" has been re-released with the Director's Cut. This coincides with Bliss the opera, that has been playing in Australia and has now ventured overseas.

Bliss is the acclaimed movie based on Peter Carey's award-winning novel, Bliss, and the debut film of celebrated director Ray Lawrence (Lantana, Jindabyne)

Following a four-minute death from a heart attack, Harry Joy (Barry Otto) returns to life finding the certainties of his former existence have entirely vanished. The world he previously knew, which saw him drifting amiably through life as a successful advertising executive, has become a literal living Hell. His wife Bettina (Lynette Curran) is in a sordid affair with Harry's business partner (Jeff Truman) and his teenage son (Miles Buchanan) engages in an incestuous relationship with his sister (Gia Carides) - exchanging drugs for sex with her... All around him people are dying of cancer and Harry's advertising agency has taken to promoting carcinogenic products.

Harry is convinced he actually is living in Hell and befriends an angel in the form of ex-prostitute Honey Barbara (Helen Jones) to return him to happiness.

To say it was ahead of its time is an understatement – the boldness of its metaphors and the sharpness of its satire were too much for many people in 1985. Indeed, the film was almost stillborn after 400 people walked out during its first screening at the Cannes Film Festival (another 1,600 stayed). No Australian distributor would touch it, especially once it received an ‘R’ classification, because of the depiction of incest between Harry’s children, David and Lucy (Gia Carides). The classification was overturned on appeal and the film eventually opened in the smallest cinema in Sydney, a former newsreel theatre with 130 seats. A couple of glowing reviews helped it to find an audience that kept growing. When the film won the AFI Awards for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Adapted Screenplay for 1985, Bliss had become an art-house hit. It played for six months in Sydney and around the country.
(source http://aso.gov.au/titles/features/bliss/notes/)

Trailers & further information

The film http://aso.gov.au/titles/features/bliss/

The opera http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2009/s2781757.htm

Heckle & Jeckle's squawk on 'Cold Souls'

Well, we really liked last night's weird film. 4 stars from both of us.
It took us a while to work out what was going on - was it of the old genre of the cold war, spies and espionage or was it about people smuggling? However, as it rolled on the penny dropped and we found ourselves very engrossed in the adventures of Paul (no snores from Jeckle this time) and his abandoned soul. What an imaginative and strange story.

To us, Paul was a very likeable character and his facial expressions were marvellous. In fact we liked all the characters except for the Russian "boss" (can't remember his name).
We decided that the moral of the story is to be comfortable with and accept yourself, no matter what your short comings.
Good choice committee. Thank you.

It was great that people hung around afterwards. The film had a lot of people nattering in the foyer, so Heckle hopped around surreptitiously and did some eavesdropping. The most interesting comment overheard was that this film about souls did not mention religion once. Excellent observation.

Heckle also reports that the latest Nova film seen is, I Am Love. In a word - Divine ! The great news is that the committee is negotiating for us to see it, so I will say no more at this stage.
Over and Out for sure this time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Next screening "Cold Souls" [USA/Russia]

"Cold Souls" screens Thursday 8th July 2010
6.30pmpre-screening drinks and nibbles
7pmfilm screens

**** Margaret ***.5 David from ABC's At the Movies

"Much of cinema is so predictable these days. COLD SOULS isn’t." Margaret Pomeranz

Paul is an actor who feels bogged down by his participation in a production of Chekov's play, Vanya.

A soul searching comedy, from the hustle and bustle of New York City to the snow-bound streets of Moscow, Cold Souls is a surreal comedy in the vein of Being John Malkovich. Paul Giamatti stars as Paul Giamatti, an actor agonizing over his interpretation of the famously difficult role of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in a new Broadway production.

Paralyzed by anxiety, he stumbles upon a solution via an article in the New Yorker about a high-tech company that promises to alleviate suffering by extracting the soul. Giamatti engages their services, but finds to his horror that his soul has the size and shape of a chickpea… But when he finds his life without a soul, well, soulless, Giamatti decides he wants his soul back—only to discover that it has been stolen by a mysterious soul-trafficking mule for re-introduction into an aspiring Russian soap starlet.

Giamatti is joined by David Strathairn ( Good Night and Good Luck ), Emily Watson ( Punch Drunk Love ) and Six Feet Under ’s Lauren Ambrose in this mind-bending response to bigger, better, shinier American consumerism—a dazzlingly inventive comedy which walks a tightrope between humour and gravity, reality and fantasy. {Synopsis courtesy Madman}

Classification M
Genre Comedy Drama
101 minute

Director: Sophie Barthes
Lead actor: Paul Giamatti
Cast: David Strathairn, Dina Korzun, Emily Watson, Katheryn Winnick, Lauren Ambrose


A squawk from Heckle & Jeckle re My Tehran for Sale

We have been very remiss lately with handing in our reviews. We have a good excuse though. We went on a 5 week holiday, then poor old Heckle got the flu, along with half the population of Mount Gambier. Anyway we are back on track now. It is so good to see that the audience numbers are pretty consistent despite the chilly weather.

My Tehran for sale was deserving of 3 1/2 stars in my estimation (Heckle's opinion only). Being one of those "dreadful, bleeding heart" refugee sympathisers, I found the familiar storyline heartbreaking and depressing, but the characters were endearing, especially Marzieh, the young woman seeking asylum. She was wonderfully stoic and dogged in her determination to escape to a life free of the danger of the vengeful men in her family. At times there were some rather long drawn out parts of the story, which seemed unneccessary, but I thought it was well done. Congratulations team on a good choice.

A short footnote here. Once again during a recent jaunt to Adelaide to see our brilliant children, we made it to another film at the Nova to see The White Ribbon. This was as excellent as Margaret and David have reported. A very grim story with sinister undertones of malevolence in the children and adults of a small German village. Filmed in black and white, the story was set during the period just before the first world war.

This is nothing to do with films, but we also went to see Big Mother, the newly acquired exhibit at the Art Gallery. It is absolutely amazing in that it is so incredibly lifelike. We loved it. It stirred all sorts of emmotions though - a degree of horror, affection and empathy but also for me a very deep sadness for some reason. Anyway go and see it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Tehran for Sale

A brave and absorbing film ... unique. I want to see it againEvan Williams, The Australian

4 stars, “…an ode to a city under cultural siegeMargaret Pomeranz, At the Movies

Marzieh is a young female actress living in Tehran. The authorities ban her theatre work and, like all young people in Iran, she is forced to lead a secret life in order to express herself artistically.

At an underground rave, she meets Iranian born Saman, now an Australian citizen, who offers her a way out of her country and the possibility of living without fear.

Shot entirely on location in Tehran, MY TEHRAN FOR SALE tells the story of modern day Iranian youth struggling for cultural freedom. It brings to the screen never before seen images of modern urban Iran, and reveals how young Iranian people live behind closed doors.

MY TEHRAN FOR SALE is the first Iranian/Australian feature film collaboration and is the directorial debut of contemporary poet Granaz Moussavi.

Writer-director Granaz Moussavi is an established Iranian poet with several volumes of published verse. Migrating to Australia in 1997 with her family at the age of 22, she went on to graduate in filmmaking and editing. With this debut feature she returns to her native Tehran, employing former friends as lead actors and imbuing her fact-based tale with an angry personal intensity.

Strikingly attractive, if unrelentingly mournful, Marzieh Vafamehr dominates the screen as a dedicated fringe actress (also named Marzieh) who sees a rare opportunity to escape the state’s persecution of her art when she meets Saman (Chegini) at an illegal after-hours disco. He’s a tall, dark Iranian who, through his family’s emigration, now has Australian citizenship.The disco is raided by an outraged militia: “Do you think this is Europe?” one cries, lashing out. Marzieh and Saman start a relationship, become engaged and she begins the lengthy and often corrupt process of applying for a visa to enter the Australian ‘paradise’ that Saman talks about.

97 mins
Rated M
Iranian with English subtitles


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Next screening 'Brides' from Greece, Thursday 14th April


Thursday 15th April

6.30pm pre-screening complimentary glass of wine
7.00pm screening of 'Brides'

Greek with English subtitles

Executive producer Martin Scorsese

**** Margaret Pomeranz ***1/2 David Stratton



American photojournalist Norman Harris (Damian Lewis) is about to return home to his wife in Detroit, disillusioned with work and life after having his images of the Greece-Turkey war rejected for being "too artistic".

Meanwhile in Samothrace, Greece, a young seamstress called Niki Douka (Victoria Haralabidou) is preparing her bags for Chicago where she is to marry a tailor she's never met. Norman and Niki find themselves on the same ship bound for America.

Norman is travelling first class. Niki is in third class, sharing the cramped space with seven hundred mail order brides from every corner of Greece, Turkey, Russia and Armenia. In heir suitcases each bride carries a photo of her prospective groom and a wedding gown. Sleazy bridal "agent" Karaboulat (Steven Berkoff) is official chaperone or the Russian brides, but he has a secret and sinister agenda for some of his charges...

While the other first class passengers drink and dance the night away, Norman worries about the plight of the brides. But it's the spirited Niki who really catches his eye, his feelings for her are deeper than anything he's ever felt before.

Trailer and review

Rated PG

Star Box results for Piccolo Italian Film Festival

Lessons on Chocolate - awarded 3 stars by the majority of members and their guests

** 28%
*** 46%
*** 12%
***** 14%

Caravaggio - nearly half the audience awarded 4 stars

* 2%

** 20%
*** 27%
**** 49%
***** 2%

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Next Screening "Piccolo Italian Film Festival" 4 March 2010

We will start a bit earlier so we don't run too late screening these 2 feature films in our little Italian film festival.

Come along to either one or both of the films.

6pm "Lessons in Chocolate" (Lezioni di Cioccolato)

7.45pm Intermission – Italian flavoured supper (gold coin donation for the supper in place of the pre-screening nibbles would be greatly appreciated thanks)
8.15pm "Caravaggio"

end 10.30pm

6pm Lessons In Chocolate (90 mins)
Lezioni di Cioccolato

Director: Claudio Cupellini
Cast: Luca Argentero, Violante Placido, Neri Marcorè, Hassan Shapi, Josefia Forlì, Monica Scattini, Francesco Pannofino, Ivano Marescotti
Winner of Best Comedy and Best Actress (Violante Placido) at the 2007 Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival, "Lessons in Chocolate" is a fresh and delightful comedy where humour and pathos are mixed in the right proportions.

Mattia (Luca Argentero), a building contractor in Perugia on a promising career path, is about to close the biggest deal of his professional life, when his illegally-hired worker Kamal (Hassani Shapi) is badly injured when he falls off some scaffolding. Kamal threatens to sue him unless... Mattia takes his place in an advanced chocolate making course! Kamal had came to Italy from his native Egypt to realize his dream of opening his own pastry shop, needing a diploma to do so, and now Mattia has no choice but to take Kamal’s place in the school and pretend to be him. But there, Mattia meets the model student Cecilia (Placido), who for her part, is anything but indifferent to his charm…

Among laughs, misunderstandings and mouth-watering recipes, Mattia will discover a way to bring his and Kamal's disparate cultures together while finding love and life at the same time.

2007 98' Digital 18+

8.15pm Caravaggio (130mins)

Director: Angelo Longoni

Cast: Alessio Boni, Paolo Briguglia, Elena Sofia Ricci, Jordi Mollà, Claire Kleim, Benjamin Sadler, Paolo Giovannucci

Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faNrm0oFxmk

The 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo Caravaggio (Nigel Terry) lies dying in poverty; he remembers his vibrant life, first as a youth, ...

CARAVAGGIO is a mesmerizing and beguiling biopic about the master Renaissance painter that captures the man as well as his work.

Alessio Boni plays Michelangelo “Michele” Merisi, born into a humble family in the town of Caravaggio (from which the future artist would derive his professional moniker). Cursed with a violent temper, Michele becomes as well known for his brawling as for his art, frequenting the seamier side of Rome and using its prostitutes and thieves as models, even for his religious paintings. Eventually, his art creates a fervent group of admirers, while his personal life establishes an equally dedicated battery of enemies…

Director Angelo Longoni (Have No Fear, IFF2005) sets up a complex and revealing interplay between the artist and his era, ably assisted by three–time Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now), Boni gives a great, full-bodied performance as the street fighter and father of one of the most remarkable bodies of work in the entire artistic canon.

2006 130' 35mm 18+

Star Box rating for "How much do you love me?

Reels members and guests voted with our new Star Box to rate "How much do you love me?", which screened on Sunday 14th February 2010.


* = 2 ** = 5 *** = 38 **** = 24 ***** = 5

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"How much do you love me?

Love is a big subject and on Valentine's Day Reels @ Wehl brings you a film about love but not love in a conventional sense. If you are in-love, out of love, single, happily married, happily divorced or you just love going to the movies, this is the film for you.

"How much do you love me?" is a French/Italian movie Combien tu gagnes? (France) Per sesso o per amore? (Italy) starring Monica Belluci and Gerard Depardieu and directed by Bertrand Blier

**** stars Margaret ***.5 David
Rated MA, duration 95 minutes, genre comedy
Sunday 14th February
2.45pm for a glass of champagne.
Film commencing 3.15pm

Controversial French writer and director, Bertrand Biler brings us the highly provocative How Much Do You Love Me? an intensely seductive story about beauty, sex and love.

Balding, elfin-eared Francois (Bernard Campan) enters a hooker-in-the-window joint in Paris' Pigalle district to meet the woman who has become his sexual obsession the voluptuous, fur coat wearing Daniela (Monica Bellucci). Her services can be had for 150 euros and an overpriced bottle of champagne. Francois doesn't balk at the cost. Instead, he reveals that he has just won a fortune in France's lotto and will give her 100,000 euros a month to live with him until the money runs out. Daniela accepts and appears to cheerfully transform herself into the domestic housewife of every man's dreams. But Francois has a heart condition and Daniela's unnerving gangster boyfriend Charly (Gerard Depardieu) isn't about to let her go. The fact that Daniela is a sex worker implies that any man with the necessary cash can have her. But even though Francois can pay to touch her, can he get under her skin?

Trailer and review http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s1608292.htm

Subtitled in English

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis
Welcome to the Sticks (literally, Welcome to the Land of the Ch’tis)

Thursday 21st January 2010
6.30pm pre-screening drink and nibbles
7.00pm film screens

With 20.2 million viewers, it is the most successful French film in in the history of French cinema and surpassing the previous record set by Hollywood blockbuster “Titanic”

Post office manager Philippe Abrams (Kad Merad) and his wife Julie (Zoé Félix) love the sunny South of France. But when Philippe gets caught trying to cheat his way into a transfer to a Riviera resort, the punishment could not be worse. Philippe must pay for his sins by spending three years at a post office in the dreaded Nord Pas de Calais, France's northernmost region, reputed for its heavy industry and cool climate. Leaving Julie and their son Raphael behind and braving the chilly North alone, Philippe soon finds himself having quite a good time with the friendly, fun-loving Northerners. He comes to appreciate the local cuisine and even learns to get by in ch'ti, their incomprehensible patois. But should he let on to the unbelieving Julie? Depressive by nature, she's never been happier than in her new role as the supportive wife of a man battling with adversity, it's a tricky call...
Source: Dendy Cinemas http://www.dendy.com.au/moviedetail.asp?Mov_ID=M1583

The inhabitants of this lost region are termed the Ch'tis in recognition of two key features of the Picarde patois. French 's' sounds become 'ch', and personal pronouns such as 'toi' and 'moi' become 'ti' and 'mi'. The blizzard of misunderstandings in which these and other dialectical oddities entrap Philippe constitute one of the most elaborate, protracted and relentlessly side-splitting linguistic adventures ever attempted on-screen.
Source: Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/jul/21/french.cinema

Politics of the film

  • In May 2008, the film became the object of controversial remarks by Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the Front National political party. Le Pen, who claimed to have disliked the film, argued that the people of Nord-Pas-de-Calais do not look like the two main characters of the movie. He then added that "this is normal, since both of them are Arabs."

  • The film was also criticized for its filming location. The movie was filmed in Bergues where the locals speak both patois Ch'timi (a derivative of Picard) and French Flemish (a dialect of Dutch). This angered some advocates[who?] of the Dutch dialect who are struggling to keep the language alive.

  • While trying to promote the Northern dialect of French and fighting clichés, the film also shocked Occitans as Midi French people are not only portrayed as narrow-minded and prejudiced but worse still, none of the actors (mostly Parisians) have the typical Southern accent apart from a gendarme and a senile madman.[citation needed]

  • Line Renaud's 'Ch'ti' accent was also criticized by some Northerners as not being authentic. Line Renaud was born in Pont-de-Nieppe near Armentières.
    Source Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bienvenue_chez_les_Ch