WINTER IS DARK
In a good way. Dark and indulgent, and curious, and moody and eccentric and romantic and strange. And to celebrate the darker side of the seasons, we present to you our first ever Sydney film and gin festival!
WINTER IS DARK: A Sydney Winter Film + Gin Festival in collaboration with Golden Age Cinema, running every Wednesday during the month of August. We're bringing you a program of brilliant, dark cult films covering the genres from comedy and drama, through to romance and horror.
And of course, every week gets a Bloody Shiraz Gin cocktail to match, a bargain at $12. Plus gin chocolate and gin salt & vinegar popcorn from the snack bar...
Scroll down to check out the weekly films programmed for this, our third film + gin festival (and first ever in Sydney!!).
WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 6:30PM HAROLD & MAUDE
One of the all time greats, Harold and Maude is a black comedy about romance and acceptance above all odds from cult director Hal Ashby (Shampoo, Coming Home).
Hearse-driving Harold (Bud Cort) — the ultimate existential outsider in his early 20s — is obsessed with the idea of death, taking great pleasure in pretending to kill himself in a variety of amusingly dramatic ways whenever his wealthy, distant mother tries to set him up with straight-laced girls she deems worthy.
His interest in women is only piqued when he attends one of his regular funeral beats and catches the eye of Maude, a 79-year-old woman and true bohemian who greets each day with intense chutzpah. Together they break the law, play the banjo and make love to a Cat Stevens soundtrack. It’s just beautiful.
WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST 8:30PM FARGO
Minneapolis car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) needs a lot of money, badly. His father-in-law is loaded, but they don’t get on too well ya' see.
So he hires two crooks from Fargo (lumbering Peter Stormare and a typically jittery Steve Buscemi) and pays them to kidnap his wife and hold her for ransom – which Jerry plans to keep most of for himself. When things go wrong, the criminals from Fargo get violent.
The investigation is carried out by a pregnant, sweet-as-pie policewoman named Marge (France McDormand in one of her most memorable roles). Everyone talks in funny Minnesota accents ('you betcha!'), and the action plays out across the beautiful snowed-over plains of a northern midwest winter.
WEDNESDAY 14 AUGUST. 6:15PM ENTERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
"Why remember a destructive love affair?" When softspoken Joel (Jim Carrey) meets the free-spirited Clementine (Kate Winslet) on a suburban train, the two are immediately and inextricably drawn to each other. Little do they know — they've already dated.
After a particularly harsh break-up, the couple hired mysterious company Lacuna, Inc. to erase all their memories of each other. What follows is an exhilarating and entirely unpredictable flashback into Joel's mind as he undergoes the erasure procedure and is forced to abandon a love now passed.
WEDNESDAY 14 AUGUST. 8:30PM ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, Only Lovers Left Alive is a bitingly cool tale from our most idiosyncratic auteur.
Tom Hiddleston stars opposite Tilda Swinton as a reclusive vampire at odds with the modern world. After a rich history of influencing musicians and scientists across centuries, he now holes himself up outside of Detroit, recording and inventing while living off blood-bank donations.
When his sulky depression gets to the point of suicide, his wife Eve (Swinton) returns from living in Tangier to console him. Shortly after they’re joined by her little sister (Mia Wasikowska) who brings trouble to their newfound happiness in blood bohemia.
WEDNESDAY 21 AUGUST. 6:15PM McCABE & MRS MILLER
It’s 1902 in wintry Washington State and charismatic but slow-witted gambler John McCabe (Warren Beatty) arrives in town to set up a local tavern.
The shrewd brothel madam Mrs. Miller (Julie Christie) hits the scene soon after and offers to use her experience to help McCabe run his business, while sharing in the profits. The whorehouse thrives and McCabe and Mrs. Miller draw closer, despite their conflicting intelligences and philosophies.
Soon, however, the mining deposits in the town attract the attention of a major corporation, which wants to buy out McCabe along with the rest. He refuses, and his decision has major repercussions for him, Mrs. Miller, and the town.
WEDNESDAY 21 AUGUST. 8:40PM FORCE MAJEURE
A pitch-black dramedy set on the glaring white slopes of the French Alps, Force Majeure takes the role of the male in modern family life and throws it tumbling down the side of a mountain.
Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke) is on a ski holiday with his wife and two children when an impulsive decision in a moment of crisis leaves the family dynamic shaken to the core in its aftermath.
Will their nuclear four-some ever recover? It doesn't seem likely.
WEDNESDAY 28 AUGUST. 6:15PM THE THING
A group of American scientists undertaking an expedition in the blistering cold of the Antarctic discover an evil force that has the ability to shape-shift into whatever creature it kills.
The team must work together to stop this alien life-form from destroying everything in its path, including them, but paranoia takes hold as they realise that they can’t be sure of who has already been infected, and they begin to turn on one another.
WEDNESDAY 28 AUGUST. 8:30PM THE EXORCIST
Released several years after Rosemary's Baby and a little before The Omen, this 1973 film completes a trio of 'demonic child' movies that made strong arguments for birth control.
Ellen Burstyn plays a suburban mother in Washington D.C. whose daughter Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting more than peculiar. After realising the young girl is possessed by a demon, they enlist a priest to perform an explosive exorcism, resulting in a special effects laden showdown between the powers of good and evil.
The Exorcist has remained a sensation since its first release, when it was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.