Top 10 films
Kirsten Dunst in science-fiction drama Melancholia.
1. THE DEEP BLUE SEA (99 minutes) M
BRITISH director Terence Davies doesn't often get the chance to make movies, perhaps because the intense beauty of his work is accompanied by so much pain. This devastating study of thwarted passion utterly transforms the original play by Terence Rattigan, about an upper-class woman (Rachel Weisz) who leaves her husband (Simon Russell Beale) some years after World War II. Selected.
2. MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO (86 minutes) G
The ultimate comic-book blockbuster The Avengers.
WHILE their mother is in hospital, two little girls distract themselves by exploring around their new home and finding some magical friends. Hayao Miyazaki's beautifully simple 1988 animated fantasy combines realistic observation with just a touch of the bizarre; like any genuine children's classic, it speaks to viewers of every age. ACMI, tomorrow 10.30am and 1pm. Tickets $5-$6.
3. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (112 minutes) PG
GEORGE Cukor's 1940 comedy features Katharine Hepburn as a snooty socialite bent on remarriage, Cary Grant as her former husband and James Stewart in an Oscar-winning performance as a reporter sent to cover the wedding. The material has dated, but with a cast this good who cares? 35mm print. Astor, tomorrow 7pm. Double feature with Arsenic and Old Lace.
Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story.
4. FOOTNOTE (106 minutes) PG
TALMUDIC scholarship might not seem like a promising subject for comedy, but Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar proves otherwise with this wacky yet painful intellectual farce about duelling academics (Shlomo Bar-Aba and Lior Ashkenazi) who happen to be father and son. Selected.
5. MELANCHOLIA (136 minutes) M
Terrence Davies' The Deep Blue Sea.
DANISH trickster Lars von Trier (Antichrist) is back with more doom and gloom, this time in the form of a science-fiction drama starring Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as sisters with contrasting attitudes to the end of the world. Tricked out with von Trier's usual shaky camera work and digitally tweaked tableaux, it's a stylish, witty, distressing ode to the negative. 35mm print. Astor, tomorrow 4pm.
6. THE AVENGERS (142 minutes) M
IT'S the ultimate comic-book blockbuster, as Iron Man (Robert Downey jnr), Captain America (Chris Evans) and a bunch of other Marvel superheroes join forces to save the planet. Writer-director Joss Whedon delivers the goods in terms of bombastic spectacle, but fans will be glad to know that his love of actors remains undimmed. General.
7. AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL EXPERIMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL Unrated
NOW in its third year, this essential local festival is offering three programs of short films and videos over the course of the weekend: "Texting the Image", "The Matter from Which a Thing Is or Can Be Made" and "Life's Rhythm". Check the website at aieff.org for all the details. Loop bar, today 3.30pm and 5.30pm, tomorrow 5.30pm.
8. CHILE: HASTA CUANDO? (59 minutes) PG
TRAVELLING to Chile in the 1980s under the pretence of filming a music festival, Australian documentary maker David Bradbury captured some rare, precious images of life under the Pinochet dictatorship, including interviews with upper-class defenders of the regime as well as dissenters whose anger and grief still resonate a quarter-century on. Double bill with another Bradbury documentary, Front Line (1979). ACMI, today 4pm. Tickets $6-$8.
9. CAFE DE FLORE (121 minutes) MA
FRENCH-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee (C.R.A.Z.Y.) returns with a romantic puzzle involving two stories of all-consuming love - one centred on a middle-aged DJ (Kevin Parent) caught between two women (Helene Florent and Evelyne Brochu), the other on a child with Down syndrome (Marin Gerrier) and his devoted mother (Vanessa Paradis). The hidden connection is a surprising and audacious one. Selected.
10. THE WAY (121 minutes) PG
EMILIO Estevez's fourth film as writer-director is his quirkiest and most personal to date, starring his real-life father Martin Sheen as a grieving Californian optometrist who joins a group of pilgrims on a journey through Spain. Estevez has more sincerity than skill, but his new-age earnestness is matched by genuine curiosity about the wider world. Selected.