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70 Years of Film Love

Wellington Film Society, Wellington, 9 February 2016: 70 years of collective film love will be celebrated every Monday night until November this year in Wellington.

The Wellington Film Society (WFS) celebrates 70 years in 2016, and will open the programme with Blue Velvet screening on 35mm film on Monday 29 February. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) will also screen later in the programme (Monday 4 April).

“We start the year with the cult classic David Lynch film screening on film. With the support of the Paramount Cinema we are able to present the film, using a 35mm projector, which is now a true rarity in New Zealand theatres. We’re also looking forward to screening great digital restorations of classics, and world contemporary cinema, by providing the best possible viewing experience: with an audience at the movies.” Says WFS President Chris Hormann.

The Wellington Film Society’s annual programme starts from Monday 29 February and new members are invited to join the weekly screenings at the Paramount cinema. The annual membership equates to less than $3 per film.

Classic cinema takes pride of place on the programme with a digital restoration of Battleship Potemkin (1925) to be screened at the 70th AGM on 7 March. The film was first screened by the Society at the inaugural AGM. This screening is open to members and intending members. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), which was on the original WFS programme, will screen on 27 June with cooperation from the Goethe-Institut. The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) has been beautifully restored and will play on 29 August.

Contemporary world cinema sees festival highlights return to the giant screen.
The Grandmaster (2013) a spectacular epic from Wong Kar-wai, German satire Stations of the Cross (2014), Timbuktu (2014) a France/Mauritania co-production, and The Chinese Mayor (2015) a documentary following the mayor of one of China’s most polluted cities, are a few of the international highlights.

British female filmmakers are highlighted in the Leading Ladies section. The Arbor (2010), not seen on cinema screens since it played at NZIFF, though highly requested, is the complex and moving documentary about the legacy of British playwright Andrea Dunbar (Rita, Sue & Bob Too). Dreams of a Life (2011), is a behind-the-headlines portrait of vivacious London woman Joyce Vincent, whose disappearance went unnoticed for almost three years. Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold’s 2009 drama starring Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender, and Unrelated, Joanna Hogg’s 2007 feature starring Kathryn Worth and Tom Hiddleston, are also confirmed for the programme.

Two recent New Zealand releases will screen. Robert Sarkies’ eccentric and increasingly black comedy Two Little Boys (2012), starring Bret McKenzie and his buddy Hamish Blake, screens on 5 September. Ever The Land (NZIFF 2015), Sarah Grohnert’s observation of the planning and construction of New Zealand’s first ‘living building’, Te Wharehou o Tūhoe, screens on 14 November.

The 2016 programme will close on 28 November with 1942 title The Palm Beach Story, a blazing battle-of-the-sexes comedy starring Claudette Colbert.

WFS screenings are open to members of the public to join for an annual fee and are run by a volunteer committee. The weekly screenings are held on Monday evenings at the Paramount from the end of February through to November. Members also have access to regular newsletters, social events, guest speakers, and concession pricing at most cinemas around town as well as at the New Zealand International Film Festival in July.

The 2016 70th anniversary Wellington Film Society programme comprises of 33 films spanning the years 1920 to 2015. Wellington Film Society, affiliated to the NZ Federation of Film Societies, is the longest-standing film society in New Zealand. Formed in 1945 the Film Society is a registered charity and is run entirely by volunteer members. Full waged memberships cost $95 which equates to less than $3 per film across the year, in addition to receiving discounts at many Wellington cinemas. Screenings are held at the Paramount on Courtenay Place every Monday from 6.15 pm. For a full listing of the 2016 season please visit http://www.filmsocietywellington.net.nz/.