WHAT FORTUNE lies with those who hearts are younger than their minds…
And Sydney’s latest film festival – Young At Heart – will celebrate the ‘joie de vivre’ of cinema seniors – those aged over 60 who love the chance to explore the world through the big screen.
This year’s festival ambassador is veteran Aussie actor Lynette Curran, who has been making an unforgettable contribution to the home-grown film industry since her early days in the cult ’60s soap Bellbird, and the classic Bliss, to more recent hits The Boys and Somersault.
She is currently working on the Australian comedy A Few Less Men, where she turns the senior stereotype on its head.
This Year’s Festival Program includes:
Simon Aboud delivers a contemporary fairytale in the coming of age film, This Beautiful Fantastic. In a dreamy spot in central London, Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay, Downton Abbey) fantasizes about writing and illustrating a successful children’s book. When forced by her landlord to deal with her neglected garden or face eviction,she meets her ultimate match in miserable green-thumb, Alfie (Tom Wilkinson, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel).
Neruda is an audacious film from multi-award winning director Pablo Larraín (Jackie). A
lavishly-mounted reimagining of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet’s pursuit into political exile, the film is set in the Cold War era, where Neruda (Luis Gnecco) accuses the government of betraying the Communist Party, and finds himself on the run from bumbling police prefect Oscar Peluchonneau (Gael García Bernal).
Set against the backdrop of WWII, Sophie and The Rising Sun tells the dramatic story of interracial lovers swept up in the tides of history. An injured first-generation Japanese-American man (Takashi Yamaguchi) shows up unexpectedly in a small town, where he is cared for by a local townswoman (Julianne Nicholson). But the local community, driven by fear,reacts with unrelenting suspicion.
Lone Scherfig (An Education) returns with the comedy-drama Their Finest, set during the Blitz of London in World War II. A young screenwriter Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) is charged with bringing a female perspective to morale-boosting war films made by the British Ministry of Information’s Film Division. Overflowing with witty banter and period detail,the film also stars
Bill Nighy, Sam Claflin, Jake Lacy, Richard E. Grant, and Jeremy Irons.
The Young at Heart program will also feature restoration screenings of two classic films:
The Tales of Hoffman (1951) is Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s impressive reinterpretation of the 1881 opera by Jacques Offenbach. Combining the best film, music and dance performers of its time, the 4K restoration features never-seen-before footage. Featuring Robert Rounseville in the title role of Hoffmann, a storyteller beyond compare, the film blends ballet and opera to great effect, showcasing the talents of legendary dancer and actor Moira Shearer.
The Third Man (1949) is the story of a Pulp novelist who visits Vienna, where he discovers that an old friend has died in puzzling circumstances. The film-noir classic is anchored by sterling performances from Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, and Orson Welles and striking Oscar-winning cinematography from Robert Krasker. Demanding to be seen on the big screen, the 4K restoration is regarded by the British Film Institute as the Best British Film of the 20th Century.
Capping off the huge Young at Heart line-up are five previously announced titles. Catch the Australian premieres of Viceroy’s House and Whiteley, the moving father-son drama Tommy’s Honour, Jim Sheridan’s latest film The Secret Scripture and a screening of The Lion In Winter, starring Katharine Hepburn in one of her Oscar-winning performances.
Young At Heart is presented by Palace Cinemas: www.youngatheart.net.au
Sydney: April 3 – 9, Palace Norton Street, Leichhardt, and Verona, Paddington.