Free film screenings!Free film screenings!

Angel's Egg (1985)

Free film screenings!Free film screenings!

Bright Star (2009)

Free film screenings!Free film screenings!

The Selfish Giant (2013)

Free film screenings!Free film screenings!

Fish Tank (2009)

Free film screenings!Free film screenings!

Ratcatcher (1999)

Free film screenings!Free film screenings!

The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

SAM Cinémathèque Screenings

SAM Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run programme for screening films on a weekly basis. The screening series are free, independently run by students, and are supported by the School of the Arts & Media, The University of New South Wales (UNSW), and are held in Cinema 327, Robert Webster Building, Kensington campus.

The curatorial concept behind the series is to provide the chance for film and culture enthusiasts to come together and watch films for review/criticism purposes with an emphasis on arthouse and indie films yet also films that were overlooked or underrated at the time of their release but deserve a chance of being watched again and appreciated.

The programme is set up to cover a variety of genres, national cinemas, movements and eras, and is structured to include well-known arthouse features and cult films, but also lesser-known independent films and films that are relatively unknown or overlooked despite the fact that they were made by established, critically-acclaimed directors.

In addition, we are open to the idea of holding special screening events on certain occasions; e.g., screening several films of a director who has recently attracted critical acclaim, or holding a special programme as a tribute to a director who has recently passed away in order to show his/her legacy and significance for the film history, or a structured programme of screening films that are often associated with a movement.

Also, students are strongly encouraged to volunteer to introduce lesser-known or widely-forgotten films they believe to be worth the introduction and screening. Please do not hesitate to contact any of the administrators of the page, should you be interested to contribute.

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Keyvan Tavanaye Manafi

Mulholland Drive : 13 December 2016

mull driveMulholland Drive (2001)
directed by David Lynch

When: Tuesday 13 December, 7pm - 9:30pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

Following a car crash on Mulholland Dr., a woman (Laura Harring) is left amnesiac. She is even unable to remember her own name and adopts the name "Rita" after seeing a poster of Rita Hayworth for the film Gilda. Injured, confused, and in shock, she wanders the streets of Los Angeles till she eventually takes shelter in a random apartment. There she is found by Betty (Naomi Watts) – an aspiring actress, a wide-eyed innocent girl who has just arrived to audition for movies and pursue her hopeful dream of stardom. Yet, having witnessed how shattered and traumatized Rita is, Betty decides to help her to rediscover her identity – a quest that seems to unleash what lies beneath the Hollywood glamour

A neo-noir thriller, David Lynch's MULHOLLAND DRIVE starts as a suspenseful mystery film yet goes on to shock and frustrate the viewer: the film turns out to be not a puzzle in which the pieces fit together, but a bizarre, nightmarish take on Hollywood and its troubling blend of promise, obscurity, and wickedness. A self-reflexive commentary on cinema and particularly the Hollywood dream factory – a place where the dream itself seems to haunt the dreamers. With darkly comic and grotesque scenes, and a handful of engrossing, genuinely thrilling surreal set pieces

Lynch's career demonstrates his own unique experimental approach to film as an artistic medium. And MULHOLLAND DRIVE seems to be his finest, maturest achievement to date, even though it may lack the raw, less refined, yet creepier qualities of his early works – ERASERHEAD, BLUE VELVET, and TWIN PEAKS

Also starring Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, Robert Forster, Angelo Badalamenti, Dan Hedaya, and Melissa George.

Watch the trailer. 

Cries and Whispers : 6 December 2016

Cries and WhispersCries and Whispers (1972)
directed by Ingmar Bergman

When: Tuesday 6 December, 6pm - 8pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

The 4th event in the series titled "Costume Drama Revisited" will be a screening of Ingmar Bergman's CRIES AND WHISPERS. Set in turn-of-the-century Sweden on a manor estate in a rural area, the film centres around the reunion of three sisters whose lives are attached to one another by a troubled, painful past. Agnes is dying of cancer – a slow, agonizing death. Torn between the fear of death and the hope that death will eventually rule and she will be set free, Agnes is visited by her sisters who await the inevitable outcome on her deathbed. Yet, the sisters, Maria and Karin, find it too demanding to comfort the dying. Their distance and mutual disgust deter them from fulfilling the sisterly responsibilities the way they are expected to, amid the resurfacing of long-repressed feelings, the anxious eruptions and expressions of grudge and contempt. Meanwhile, it is the deeply religious maid Anna, with an equally wounded soul, who generously offers Agnes intimate solace.

Watch the trailer. 

Grindhouse - Death Proof : 29 November 2016

GrindhouseGrindhouse – Death Proof (2007)
directed by Quentin Tarantino

When: Tuesday 29 November, 6pm - 8pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

“Stuntman” Mike (Kurt Russell) is a scarred professional body double who uses his “death proof” car to stage deadly accidents with the young women he stalks. Yet, things begin to go wrong for him once he targets a group of tough, uncompromising female friends who do not easily fall prey to his wicked trap.

Quentin Tarantino’s playful homage to the late 60s and early 70s exploitation cinema, DEATH PROOF also pastiches the grindhouse phenomenon – the idea of drive-in theatres with double-feature sessions in which theatre owners had the freedom to re-edit the films. The film curiously looks amateurish and sloppy particularly with regard to editing. Yet, it’s Tarantino’s self-indulgent appropriation and recycling of sloppiness – his purposeful, deliberate attempt at creating a B-movie. Another illustration of Tarantino’s masterful fusion of genres and his tireless subversion of the high-vs.-low-culture binarism.

Co-starring Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Tracie Thoms and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The real-life stuntwoman Zoë Bell (who was Uma Thurman's double in KILL BILL) stars as herself.

Watch the trailer. 

Picnic at Hanging Rock : 22 November 2016

Picnic at Hanging RockPicnic at Hanging Rock (1975) 
directed by Peter Weir

When: Tuesday 22 November, 6pm - 8pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

Based on a novel of the same title, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK is a fictitious account of the disappearance of three schoolgirls and a teacher on Valentine's Day during a picnic at Hanging Rock, Adelaide, in 1900. They vanish while leaving no trace behind and their absence begins to unnerve and haunt the others.

Peter Weir takes the inexplicable mystery of the novel and, through lyricism and impressionistic images, turns the story into a disquieting, melancholic expression of sexual repression, hysteria and loss.

The 3rd event in “Costume Drama Revisited” screening series.

Watch the trailer. 

Barbara : 15 November 2016

BarbaraBarbara (2012)
directed by Christian Petzold

When: Tuesday 15 November, 6pm - 8pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

East Germany, 1980. Barbara (portrayed by Nina Hoss) is a physician who, after making an official request to leave East Germany, is banished and transferred from East Berlin to a hospital in a small town. Of course, the life in the rural area brings her no solace as she has to deal with Stasi’s – the official state security service of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) – omnipresent monitoring and surveillance, and is constantly subjected to humiliating strip and cavity searching. Yet, her already anxious life is exposed to further troubles as she gets involved with two people: André Reiser (Ronald Zehrfeld), a kind-hearted surgeon who runs the department Barbara is working at; André shows affection for Barbara yet she suspects him to be a Stasi agent; and Stella (Jasna Fritzi Bauer), a rebellious yet vulnerable young girl who has run away from labour camps but is captured and brought to the hospital as she is suffering from meningitis. Barbara’s life gets tougher as she faces André’s romantic overtures and also witnesses how Stella is developing a strong attachment to her amid Barbara's own quest to escape the country to join her lover who has recently escaped.

Christian Petzold’s rigorously composed drama is a thoughtful, deliberately slow-paced, unsentimental yet involving film that frustrates the generic requirements of political thrillers and instead draws suspense in the most unconventional, austere ways. Petzold is considered as one of the leading figures of what is often referred to as the Berlin School – a new cinema characterized by its reworking of realism and political filmmaking. He won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival for BARBARA.

Watch the trailer.

Wuthering Heights : 9 November 2016

Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights (2011)
directed by Andrea Arnold

When: Wednesday 9 November, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

Following the screening of Jane Campion’s BRIGHT STAR (2009), the second event in the series titled “Costume Drama Revisited” will be a screening of Andrea Arnold’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS (2011).

A poor boy from an unknown background, Heathcliff is saved from destitute when Earnshaw, a benevolent, kind-hearted farmer, accepts to foster him against the wish of other members of his family. Meanwhile, Heathcliff develops an intensely passionate romantic bond with Cathy, the foster’s daughter, invoking further hatred and fury in the people who have despised him from the outset. And things take the turn for worst once Earnshaw passes away and Heathcliff is forced to face the naked truth of his existence as an outsider and stranger.

The radicality of Arnold’s approach mostly resides in her decision to extend her already fully-fledged social realist style (FISH TANK) to a literary adaptation of a classic novel of the same title by Emily Brontë, downplaying the romantic undertones and delivering an utmost unsentimental realization of the novel that brings forth and accentuates the bleak and gloomy aspects of the life of Heathcliff who, curiously enough, is an Afro-Caribbean former slave in Arnold’s take on the novel, and his doomed, obsessed involvement with Cathy. Rather than serving the script, Arnold’s camera is more involved with a heightened scanning of things and bodies, summoning a radical physical presence unprecedented in costume/period dramas, undermining the habituated expectations associated with the subgenre.

Watch the trailer. 

The Babadook : 31 October 2016

The BabadookThe Babadook (2014)
directed by Jennifer Kent 

When: Monday 31 October, 6pm - 8pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

In her directorial debut, Jennifer Kent tells the story of Amelia (stunningly played by Essie Davis) – a single mother who is deeply plagued by the death of her husband yet is also forced to deal with her son's fear of a sinister monster which he believes to have come out of a children's book.

An Australian-Canadian psychological horror-thriller film based on Kent's 2005 short film titled Monster, THE BABADOOK abstains from gore and cheap jump scares and instead focuses on creative uses of editing, space and sound to slowly yet effectively evoke an overwhelmingly uneasy atmosphere of dread, suspense, and melancholia.

Praised at the Sundance Film Festival, and described by William Friedkin (the creator of THE EXORCIST) as the scariest film of all time, THE BABADOOK gained cult following soon after its release mainly thanks to its innovative approach to the genre against the backdrop of the repetitive and formulaic features of mainstream horror cinema.

Watch the trailer. 

Bright Star : 26 October 2016

Bright StarBright Star (2009)
directed by Jane Campion  

When: Wednesday 26 October, 6pm-8pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

Jane Campion produced, co-wrote, and directed this British-French-Australian biographical drama about Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) and her three-year romantic relationship with poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw). Campion's ambitious mission to translate the romantic obsessions of Keats' poems into visual terms – which at the same time is her daring, self-conscious testimony to the unbridgeable gap between words and images – is accompanied by deliberately slow-paced storytelling and often restrained performances, resulting in a masterful reworking of the established generic expectations associated with costume dramas. Also starring Paul Schneider as Charles Armitage Brown, Keats' best friend, housemate, and associate in writing.

Watch the trailer.

Angel's Egg : 19 October 2016

ScreeningAngel's Egg (1985)
directed by Mamoru Oshii  

When: Wednesday 19 October, 7pm-9pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

The collaboration between director Mamoru Oshii and illustrator and character designer Yoshitaka Amano is a rich, challenging visual experience accompanied by Yoshihiro Kanno's haunting, sublime score. Described as "animated art rather than a story", with almost no spoken dialogue, and set in a world that is both medieval and post-apocalyptic, ANGEL'S EGG depicts the life of a dispirited young girl living in a deserted town inhabited by restless shadows. She carries a large egg under her dress to protect it against evil; yet, what she fears often seems unidentifiable as the world of the transient, ephemeral shadows she lives in is too otherworldly and beyond comprehension.

Regarded as "one of the highlights of 'artistic' anime" despite its negative reception upon the initial preview which sent it directly to video rather than theatrical release, ANGEL'S EGG is a profound example of Oshii's complex visual mythology and radical symbolism.

Watch the trailer.

The Selfish Giant : 14 October 2016

Selfish GiantThe Selfish Giant (2013) 
directed by Clio Barnard 

When: Friday 14 October, 2pm-4pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

The third event in the series of the contemporary British social realism – with an emphasis on female directors’ contribution – will be a screening of Clio Barnard’s THE SELFISH GIANT (2013). A heart-wrenching coming-of-age drama characterized by its honest, often stark realist style, the film recounts the story of two thirteen-year-old boys from working-class families in a poor neighborhood of Bradford, northern England, who start to collect scrap metal to sell to a devious dealer after they are suspended from school. Arbor is a hyperactive boy while Swifty is a bit slow-witted – yet their bond is beyond their apparent differences as they find themselves forced to undergo similar tragedies and life-changing adventures. Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s story of the same title.

A British filmmaker known for her documentary as well as feature cinematic achievements, Clio Barnard gained worldwide critical acclaim and attention thanks to her debut film THE ARBOR (2010) – an experimental documentary about the life of the playwright Andrea Dunbar. The film was nominated for the BAFTA award for Outstanding Debut by a British Director.

Watch the trailer.

Fish Tank : 7 October 2016

Fish TankFish Tank (2009) 
directed by Andrea Arnold 

When: Friday 7 October, 2pm-4pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

A British coming-of-age drama about Mia (stunningly portrayed by Katie Jarvis in her debut performance) – a fifteen-year-old socially isolated girl, a loner yet also a rebel who lives in a council estate with her oddly precocious younger sister Tyler (Rebecca Griffiths), and her hard-partying single mother Joanne (Kierston Wareing), an alcoholic and a chain-smoker who spends her days doing anything but looking after her alienated daughters. Chaos reigns from the outset but the whole predicament gets drastically exacerbated once the mother brings home her new boyfriend Conor (Michael Fassbender) – a charming Irishman who, unlike the others, appears to express remarkable sympathy towards Mia, encouraging her to pursue her dream of starting a career as a professional dancer.

Arnold's second feature film is too unnerving and disquieting to simply fall under the category of youth-in-trouble classics. With its unsentimental yet engrossing realist style, FISH TANK is instead a major contribution to the contemporary British social realism, to its aesthetics and not least to its gender politics.

Watch the trailer.

Ratcatcher : 28 September 2016

RatcatcherRatcatcher (1999)
plus two short films, Small Deaths (1996) & Gasman (1998) 
directed by Lynne Ramsay 

When: Friday 28 September, 6pm-8pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

Set in a poor neighborhood of Glasgow in 1973 amid a rubbish collectors' strike, RATCATCHER (1999) is a rigorously composed and captivating coming-of-age drama about James Gillespie – an observant, 12-year-old boy haunted by a dark secret who not only struggles with his own guilty conscience but also witnesses the hopeless world of the people surrounding him: his almost always drunk father and his kind, vulnerable mother whose only hope is to get the approval to move from the uninhabitable council estate they live in to a newly-built one; Margaret Anne, a 14-year-old girl who allows herself to be abused by the local gang but forms a Platonic bond with James; and Kenny, a socially alienated boy who struggles to maintain his innocence despite the incessant bullying.

Lynne Ramsay’s low-budget debut feature is an unsentimental yet attentive look at the lives of the marginalised. The film’s success was followed by Ramsay’s further cinematic achievements: MORVEN COLLAR (2002) and WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (2011).

Also included in the session are 2 short films by Ramsay:

SMALL DEATHS (1996): Ramsay's graduation film (from the UK's National Film and Television School) which won her the 1996 Cannes Prix de Jury. She is also credited as the cinematographer for this episodic film (11 min).

GASMAN (1998): nominated for BAFTA, the film is about an eight-year-old girl named Lynne who is headed to a holiday party at a pub during the Christmas season with his father, his brother, and another woman and her two children (15 min).

Ramsay is among the female directors (including Andrea Arnold, Carol Morley, and Clio Barnard) who have greatly contributed to the contemporary British social realism – the latter mostly dominated by their male colleagues.

Watch the trailer.

The Marriage of Maria Braun : 23 September 2016

Maria BraunThe Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun) (1979)
directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder  

When: Friday 23 September, 2pm-5pm
Where: Cinema 327, Webster Building, UNSW Kensington

In Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s widely successful and acclaimed THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN, Hanna Schygulla stars as the title character – a penniless widow who builds an industrial empire in West Germany following the Second World War.

Indisputably the film that brought popular acceptance to Fassbinder’s cinema among the German as well as the international audience and solidified his position as a reputed filmmaker, MARRIAGE is the first film in his trilogy about women in post-war Germany followed by VERONIKA VOSS (1982) and LOLA (1982). Characterized by its bleak atmosphere, stunning cinematography, and highly stylized yet also obscure performances, the film is a dramatic but also deliberately distanced study of a society involved in the process of reconstructing itself

Directed by: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Starring: Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny, Gisela Uhlen
Music by: Peer Raben
Cinematography by: Michael Ballhaus
Country: West Germany
Language: German, English (with English subtitles for non-English parts)

Watch the trailer.