Top 10 films
Top 10 films
1. THE GENERAL: Buster Keaton assumes the rank of a legendary hero in this classic silent comedy.
1. THE GENERAL (74 minutes) G
BUSTER Keaton assumes the rank of a legendary hero in this classic silent comedy. He plays a timid southern engineer in pursuit of his beloveds - a girl and a train - in the American Civil War. The daring of the stunts is bound to amaze as well as amuse. 35mm print. Astor, Sunday 7pm. Double bill with Modern Times.
2. METROPOLIS (150 minutes) G
FRITZ Lang's 1927 epic about an oppressive future city has inspired countless imitators but few have been as successful in fusing every aspect of cinema - production design, performances, editing - into a total, stylised vision. This restored version incorporates 25 minutes of newly discovered footage, shedding light on important characters. Digitally projected. Astor, Saturday 7.30pm.
3. GILDA (110 minutes) PG
FILM theorists are still catching up with the dreamlike perversity of Charles Vidor's 1946 film noir, centred on the sadomasochistic bond between a pseudo-tough gambler (Glenn Ford) and his provocative old flame (Rita Hayworth, who lights up the screen from the moment she rears into shot). Seniors $6, carers free. Digitally projected. ACMI, Saturday and Sunday 11am.
4. FOOTNOTE (103 minutes) PG
TALMUDIC scholarship might not seem a promising subject for comedy but Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar proves otherwise with this intellectual farce about duelling academics (Shlomo Bar'aba and Lior Ashkenazi), also father and son. A self-consuming artefact in the vein of the Coen brothers or Charlie Kaufman, the film dramatises the profound difficulty of ascertaining meaning of any sort. Selected.
5. THE AVENGERS (142 minutes) M
IT'S the ultimate comic-book blockbuster, as Iron Man (Robert Downey jnr), Captain America (Chris Evans) and other Marvel superheroes join forces to save the planet. Writer-director Joss Whedon delivers in terms of bombastic spectacle but fans will be glad that his love of actors - and language - remains undimmed. General.
6. THE BLACK POWER MIX TAPE 1967-1975 (100 minutes) M
THE radical US Black Power movement was at its height in the late 1960s and early '70s, when a Swedish team recorded interviews with leading figures such as Stokely Carmichael and Angela Davis. Newly assembled in this 2011 documentary, the footage is extremely interesting not only as straight political history but as a catalogue of streetscapes, fashion choices and styles of rhetoric. Digitally projected. ACMI, Saturday and Sunday 6.45pm.
7. THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN (107 minutes) PG
COMIC-book purists may regret that Belgium's famous boy reporter has gone Hollywood but this ''motion capture'' adventure, exuberantly directed by Steven Spielberg, is fast and fun. Centred on a globe-hopping search for treasure, the plot is an excuse for a string of improbable chase scenes. Digitally projected. Astor, Sunday 2pm.
8. CAFE DE FLORE (120 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.
9. THE WAY (123 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. As a storyteller, Estevez has more sincerity than skill but his New Age earnestness is matched by a genuine curiosity about the wider world. Selected.
10. THE WOMAN IN THE FIFTH (80 minutes) M
ETHAN Hawke gets another chance to trot out his latter-day beatnik routine in this old-fashioned but engaging mindbender about an American writer down on his luck in Paris, directed in a tricky, fragmented style by Pawel Pawlikowski and co-starring a hilariously stiff Kristin Scott Thomas as a potentially sinister older woman. Cinema Nova.