Monday, December 1, 2014

The Last Picture Show at Wehl Street

It wasn't the Peter Bogdanovitch 1971 great "The Last Picture Show" that the Reels Film Society chose as their November 2014 screening, but the Award winning foreign film "The Great Beauty" from Italy. The Bogdanovitch B&W classic drama may have been appropriate as it was not only the Society's final film for 2014, but our last picture show at the Wehl Street Theatre before the move to the Sir Robert Helpmann in January 2015. Incidentally, "Le Grande Belleza" produced one of the most diverse star box ratings ever with voting discs in each and every category. Across the spectrum there were a spread of votes in each from ones to fives, delivering an overall 3 star rating. Members and their guests turned out in numbers for the Wehl Street wind up with regulars not only from the Mount Gambier district supported by strong showings from Coonawarra, Penola, Millicent and over the border to say farewell to what has been the home to Reels and art house cinema since the inception of the film society. It was also wonderful to welcome back and see familiar faces from the Italo Australian Club. As usual the pre movie drinks and nibbles were enjoyed by all, this time to celebrate the society's history at Wehl Street as well as relive some great cinema moments and mark the beginning of the season of goodwill. Next year our expanded 2015 program will start with the feted "AMOUR" on the 15th January 2015 at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre. One extra movie in 2015, but good news the membership subscriptions remain the same ($80). The Committee has delivered their own "Efficiency Dividend" and cut the pension and student rate by $10, down to $60 pa for concession card holders. We have a great program in store for the New Year so avoid the Christmas rush, renew your Reels membership subscriptions now. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


The "La Grande Belleza" or The Great Beauty was filmed in Rome in late 2012 and premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

The film won Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards as well as the Golden Globe and the BAFTA Award in the same category.  With a production budget of 9.2 million Euro, the film so far has grossed more than 23 million worldwide.

The PLOT: Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.

"This is a 5 Star Homage to Rome"

"Come to Reels on the 27th of November and pay due homage to La Grande Bellezza and the Wehl Street Theatre."

The Lemon Tree (Israel 2008)

This movie released in March 2008 achieved critical success when it was released internationally a year later.

It revolves around an unlikely friendship that takes place along the border of Israel and the West Bank.  Salma is a Palestinian woman who lives at the boundary of the two regions, and she finds her beloved lemon trees are in danger of being taken away at the request of her new neighbour, the Israeli Defence Minister.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Reels at Wehl Film Society has found Pearls of the Far East, an INDI (Independent) and award winning film which is not normally available in Australia through the normal channels. 

The anthology is based on a series of short stories and a novel, Between Two Mountains of Love, The Package of Cam le Tobacco, Blood Moon, Beauty, The Diary of an Abandoned Woman, Love is Out of Mind, and Beyond the Truth by Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc who also wrote the screenplay and stars in the cinematic adaptation.  

Unlike  his Cloud Atlas (2012) there is no intercutting this time and different actors are used in each of the seven stories.  These factors work in the favour of the film as viewers are allowed the time to absorb each new world.  Filmmaker Cuong Ngo has taken a difficult creative path for his feature debut by minimizing the dialogue and relying on the visual impact of the images to tell his story. 

The cinematography is gorgeous and so is the cast which works with mixed results; whereas the Vietnam landscape enhances the picture, the latter at moments contributes to a Harlequin romance quality which is hard to ignore.  The musical score accentuates the internal conflicts and also helps to unify the different segments together. 

Country of Origin: Canada/Vietnam

Released: 2011

Ratings and Starbox scores:

The Federation of Victorian Film Societies scoring it 4.7 stars out of 5.

Whitehorse Film Society in Melbourne Starbox rating of 3.9

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The terrific audience who saw the Oscar winning performance of Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine" gave it a rating of 3.89 when rounded up became a rating of 4 Stars.  This topic became the basis of animated discussions over coffee and cake post screening.

PRISONERS Starring Hugh Jackman - screened Thursday 15th May

Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has snared top talent for PRISONERS, his first English language film, with JAKE GYLLENHAAL playing Loki, a cop investigating the disappearance of two girls on Thanksgiving. They're the daughters of Keller and Grace Dover - HUGH JACKMAN and Maria Bello and of the friends they were spending the day with - Franklin and Nancy - TERRENCE HOWARD and VIOLA DAVIS. An immediate suspect is local lad Alex - PAUL DANO.

When Alex is discovered to be mentally challenged and is released on insufficient evidence Keller decides to take matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.

Ratings: ABC’s At The Movies team of Margaret: four starsDavid: four stars both give it 4 Stars
IMDB give it 8.1

Classification: MA
Duration: 153 mins

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Lead actor: Hugh Jackman
Release Date: September 2013
Language: English

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Coming Attraction, Thursday 10th April screening of "BLUE JASMINE"

Hot on the heels of last month's Italian comedy Basilicata Coast to Coast at Reels at Wehl comes the much anticipated and celebrated Blue Jasmine. CATE BLANCHETT stars in Woody Allen's latest film playing the role of Jasmine who flies first class from New York to San Francisco, talking non-stop to the stranger sitting next to her. First class seat one can only assume! She's come west to stay with her sister Ginger, though the siblings - adopted and with different birth parents have little in common. Flashbacks show how Jasmine was formerly married to Hal, ALEC BALDWIN a NYC wheeler dealer and Jasmine was part of a social whirl, unaware that Hal was a serious womaniser. All that has come crashing down, and Jasmine has to start life all over again, broke and in a strange city - it requires a great deal of re-adjustment. This is a movie that you have heard and seen a lot about and if David Stratton of ABC's At the Movies rates this highly with 4.5 Stars, it is a must see on Thursday 13th April. New members are always welcome to the film society and enjoy the movies with other lovers of quality cinema at the unique and intimate Wehl Street cinema.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Next Screening | Friday - February 14th, 2014 | A Royal Affair




6:30pm - Drinks and Nibbles
7:00pm - Short film followed by 'A ROYAL AFFAIR'

About The Film...
The true story of an ordinary man who wins the queen’s heart and starts a revolution. Centering on the intriguing love triangle between the ever more insane Danish King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), the royal physician who is a man of enlightenment and idealism Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) and the young but strong Queen Caroline Mathilda (Alicia Vikander), A ROYAL AFFAIR is the gripping tale of brave idealists who risk everything in the pursuit of freedom for their people... and above all, it is the story of a passionate and forbidden romance that changed an entire nation.

Read on for review by Margaret and David from ABC's 'At The Movies...

Ratings:  Margaret: four stars David: three-and-a-half stars 

Review by Margaret Pomeranz

The Danes are riding high on the international film scene at the moment with MADS MIKKELSEN winning best actor in Cannes recently. He stars in a new release here, A ROYAL AFFAIR, about a possibly little-known historical event in Denmark in the 18th Century. A young English princess, Caroline - ALICIA VIKANDER - travels to Copenhagen to be married to the Danish king Christian - MIKKEL BOE FOELSGAARD.She's horrified to discover that her young husband is mentally unstable. When Johann Struensee, Mikkelsen, is appointed to be his personal physician, a dangerous closeness develops between the young Queen and the doctor.

When the Queen and Struensee become involved in politics, trying to reform some of iniquities in Danish society, they enter even more dangerous territory.This has been beautifully directed by Nikolai Arcel from a screenplay he wrote with Rasmus Heisterberg, the duo that brought us the first and the best of the Stieg Larsson adaptations, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. It's not only a grand romance, it's also an insight into the dangers of personal and political hubris. MADS MIKKELSEN is wonderful as Struensee as is ALICIA VIKANDER as the Queen, but it's the performance of MIKKEL BOE FOELSGAARD as the King that is stunning, he brings a beautiful pathos to his demanding role. It is quite a conventional film in many ways, but it's been done intelligently, it is an engrossing work.