Thursday, March 24, 2011
Young at Heart Film Festival
The luminous Helen Mirren once again takes centre stage at the Young at Heart Film Festival. In 2010, Dame Mirren dazzled as Tolstoy's wife in The Last Station, and this year she delves into more sinister territory in Rowan Joffe's stylish adaptation of Graham Greene's Brighton Rock.
But cinema's beloved queen will have to fight for the spotlight as this year's festival programme proves its most impressive yet. Festival-goers will delight in the chance to revisit old favourites like The Graduate, The Pink Panther and a focus on John Huston and Humphrey Bogart, which boasts screenings of timeless classics The Maltese Falcon and The African Queen. Australia's Bruce Beresford (Mao’s Last Dancer) will also be honoured, with The Fringe Dwellers and Breaker Morant both returning to the silver screen.
Up and coming Australian filmmaker Belinda Chayko will be taking part in a Q&A screening of her beautifully realised tale Lou. The film stars British veteran John Hurt (who is also in Brighton Rock) as well a remarkable debut performance from Lily Bell-Tindley in the titular role as a questioning 11-year-old who strikes a deep bond with her estranged grandfather.
Rounding out this marvellous lineup is the vibrantly retro, must-see Aussie legend Red Dog (see it now or wait until August!), Robert Duvall's cantankerous funereal fable Get Low and a short film competition. Plus, fresh from the French Film Festival are two sure favourites: Catherine Deneuve's comedy Potiche and the wondrous underwater documentary Oceans.
So ok, the Young at Heart Film Festival might technically be for seniors (taking place during NSW Seniors Week), but with such brilliant films screening - not to mention many events include free drinks - this is definitely a case where you should learn from your elders, and make a beeline for the Dendy Opera Quays.