The Reel McCoy Film Group

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Screening world cinema and forgotten gems since 1990

The Reel McCoy Film Group is a not-for-profit film society that since 1990 has been catering for people interested in cinema, particularly those who would like to see timeless classics and overlooked gems at low cost.

Membership is $50 per annum, $35 for 6 months, or $20 for 3 months. Membership runs from the date of joining.

With grateful support from



Canberra Museum and Gallery
Members of CMAG are welcome to join the Reel McCoy at a substantial discount:
membership for a year for only $20.


Screenings are held in the Theatre of Canberra Museum and Art Gallery and are usually on the second and last Sundays of each month, at 1:00 pm.

Next screening:

Sunday, 14 August 2016 at 1:00 pm

ALL ABOUT EVE
(USA 1950) 138 min.
Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Cast Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, with Marilyn Monroe in a small part

Aging Broadway star Margo Channing (Davis) takes a troubled young woman, Eve (Baxter), under her wing. Eve proceeds to become indispensable in Margo’s professional and private life. But is Eve genuine, and where does she come from? What is her background? The film, told in flashback, presents a number of surprises as it answers these questions. It is a witty and acerbic look at Broadway life and the colourful, eccentric, and very fragile people who populate the American theatre. Davis’ role as Channing has generally been considered to be her greatest career performance; and she is matched all the way by George Sanders as the reptilian critic, Addison DeWitt.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


For more information, e-mail us or come along to a screening


Programme for 2016:

Sunday 14 February

THE RED CIRCLE
(France 1970) 140 min.
Director Jean-Pierre Melville
Cast Alain Delon, Gian Maria Volonte, Yves Montand

Newly released ex-con Corey (Delon) is ensnared by poor choices, mishaps, and old associates and agrees to help rob a fancy Parisian jewellery store. This attracts the attention of a police investigator determined to do his duty. Shot in monochrome, the film’s highlights include an extraordinary and thrilling heist scene that is easily the most ambitious cinematic use of silence since the introduction of sound. The Red Circle is an austere, understated, stylish meditation on chance, character, and justice – an unsentimental and fatalistic masterpiece.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 28 February

NASHVILLE
(USA 1975) 159 min.
Director Robert Altman
Cast Ned Beatty, Karen Black, Keith Carradine, Una Chaplin, Jeff Goldbum, Lily Tomlin

The lives of twenty-four individuals become entangled over five days as they converge on a combined political rally and music concert in support of a presidential candidate who promises national renewal. A kaleidoscopic succession of scenes – vignettes revealing the motives and backgrounds of the characters, interspersed with performances of country music – forms an astonishing account of an entire society and era. Nashville is beautifully composed, patient in execution, and merciless in its exposure of delusion and pretence.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 13 March

TRUE GRIT
(USA 1969) 128 min.
Director Henry Hathaway
Cast John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper

After the father of 14-year-old Mattie Ross (played by 21-year-old Kim Darby) is murdered, she seeks the help of crusty old "Rooster" Cogburn (Wayne) to avenge her father's death. She is told he is a wild card, but has "true grit". They are joined by Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Campbell) who is seeking a federal reward. Things don't work out as expected. Hathaway shapes the film around his star John Wayne, who won his only Oscar® for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn. More of an icon than an actor, Wayne plays Rooster as the classic movie cowboy.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 20 March

TRUE GRIT
(USA 1910) 110 min.
Directors Joel and Ethan Coen
Cast Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin

Remaking True Grit over 40 years later, the Coen brothers played up the witty dialogue and characters making an art of their own stubbornness. Of the film’s 10 Oscar® nominations perhaps the most deserved were the dual – and duelling – lead roles, with 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross holding her own against old hand Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn. The Coen brothers put the emphasis on the young girl who narrates the film and we learn to see characters through her eyes. Edgier and grittier than the original, Bridges' Rooster Cogburn is portrayed as part of an outlaw world that's disappearing.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 10 April

BELLE DE JOUR
(France 1967) 101 min.
Director Luis Buñuel
Cast Catherine Deneuve, Michel Piccoli, Jean Sorel, Geneviève Page

Severine (Deneuve) is a respectable, upper-middle-class housewife whose husband (Sorel) admires her moral purity and whose husband’s friend (Piccoli) is intrigued by her icy standoffishness. She also works as a prostitute for a couple of days each week. Spanish-born surrealist director Buñuel returned permanently to Europe with this film, which is perhaps the glossiest of his career. Typically, there are sequences of fantasy hard to tell from real events – which Buñuel uses to explore both his own fetishes and some of Severine’s that he simply made up. Yet the eroticism is inexplicit, and so elegant it’s almost chaste.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 24 April

THE LADY EVE
(USA 1941) 94 min.
Director Preston Sturges
Cast Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, William Demarest

Jean Harrington (Stanwyck) is a con woman who travels first class on a luxury liner with her father (Coburn), fleecing rich travellers in card games. She sets her sights on Charles Pike (Fonda), heir to a brewery fortune, as he comes aboard after a snake-hunting expedition in South America.

Director and writer Preston Sturges made one inspired comedy after another for five years and this is considered his best film. A romantic screwball comedy, it combines sophisticated comedy and slapstick. Sturges gave Stanwyck and Fonda their first comedy roles and capitalised on their chemistry to produce one of Hollywood's most sexy scenes.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 8 May

NOT ONE LESS
(China 1999) 106 min.
Director Zhang Yimou
Cast Minzhi Wei, Enman Gao, Huike Zhang

The teacher in a remote village school is called away for a month and can find no better replacement than his eldest pupil, 13-year-old Wei Minzhi, who is lazy and ill-prepared, but does take her teacher seriously when he tells her not to let even one child run away from school. This film shows that the stylish, often grandiose director Zhang is just as strong in quiet neorealism. Zhang provides a matter-of-fact look at a poor rural area where necessity is the mother of invention. The actors are not professionals, but local people playing characters with their own names.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 22 May

LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN
(USA 1948) 86 min.
Director Max Ophüls
Cast Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians

In 19th century Vienna, Stefan Brand (Jourdan) receives an anonymous love letter that changes his life. The film is the story of a woman (Fontaine) and her three encounters with him spread over a lifetime. When he finally works out who his admirer is, it may be too late to prevent a tragedy. Max Ophüls was a German Jew who fled Hitler to work in France, where he made a number of films including the then controversial La Ronde (de L’Amour). He then moved to the USA where he made some great film noirs, especially Caught and The Reckless Moment.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 12 June

PINOCCHIO
(USA 1940) 88 min.
Directors Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske
Voices Dickie Jones, Cliff Edwards, Evelyn Venable

With their second animated feature, the Disney Studios again stretched their craft and technical capabilities to the limit – and took the audience down much darker paths than they had in Snow White, with scenes that today seem calculated to give children nightmares. (Terry Gilliam is among the film’s staunchest admirers.) The story of a wooden puppet who must learn to be human before he can be granted physical humanity is told with less cynicism than in Carlo Collodi’s original, but no less power. It has been described as the best cartoon ever made.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

+

Betty Boop shorts


Sunday 26 June

THE SNAKE PIT
(USA 1948) 108 min.
Director Anatole Litvak
Cast Olivia de Havilland, Leo Genn, Celeste Holm, Beulah Bondi, Betsy Blair

1 July 2016 will be Olivia de Havilland’s 100th birthday. Happily she is still with us, so the Reel McCoy celebrates her career with a screening of one of her Oscar®-nominated performances. She plays Virginia Cunningham, who finds herself in a state insane asylum without remembering how she got there. This was a ground-breaking production for its time, focusing on the taboo subjects of mental illness and state institutions, and the film maintains strong interest today. The Snake Pit won an Oscar® for Best Sound and was nominated for five others (including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay).

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 10 July

THE LAST WAVE
(Australia 1977) 106 min.
Director Peter Weir
Cast Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil, Frederick Parslow

A murder mystery about a white solicitor (Chamberlain), whose seemingly normal life is disrupted after he takes on a murder case and discovers that he shares a strange, mystical connection with a small group of local Aborigines who are accused of the crime. A "freak rainstorm" over Sydney causes chaos. Only the local Aboriginal people seem to recognise the cosmological significance of this weird weather, and the coming threat it poses. After Picnic at Hanging Rock, Peter Weir again explores the boundary between reality and the supernatural.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 24 July

PEEPING TOM
(UK 1960) 101 min.
Director Michael Powell
Cast Carl Boehm, Anna Massey, Moira Shearer

A powerful portrayal of a serial killer who murders women while using a portable movie camera to record the act. The creepy, voyeuristic theme meant that the film was not well received at the time, but it later became a cult classic. Some people, including director Martin Scorsese, now consider it to be a masterpiece. The film explores the psychology of a killer but also poses questions about our fascination with evil and our voyeurism, as well as the complicity of the film industry. Although on the surface it is easy to dismiss, the film is much more complex than it may appear and challenges many preconceptions.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 14 August

ALL ABOUT EVE
(USA 1950) 138 min.
Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Cast Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, with Marilyn Monroe in a small part

Aging Broadway star Margo Channing (Davis) takes a troubled young woman, Eve (Baxter), under her wing. Eve proceeds to become indispensable in Margo’s professional and private life. But is Eve genuine, and where does she come from? What is her background? The film, told in flashback, presents a number of surprises as it answers these questions. It is a witty and acerbic look at Broadway life and the colourful, eccentric, and very fragile people who populate the American theatre. Davis’ role as Channing has generally been considered to be her greatest career performance; and she is matched all the way by George Sanders as the reptilian critic, Addison DeWitt.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 28 August

THE WILD BUNCH
(USA 1969) 143 min.
Director Sam Peckinpah
Cast William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmund O’Brien

Following a foiled bank robbery, six aging outlaws led by Pike Bishop (Holden) cross into Mexico. On their trail is a mob of murderous bounty hunters led by a former gang member (Ryan). Needing one last job before they can retire, the outlaws agree to rob an American train carrying rifles and ammunition and sell the cargo to a ruthless bandit leader. The choreographed violence at the beginning and end of the film led to considerable controversy. With this movie, the always controversial Peckinpah rewrote the conventions of the western, provided stunning visuals, and produced a metaphor about American involvement in Vietnam.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 11 September

Ray Edmondson's comedy favourites: various titles
(USA)
Director Various
Cast Bob Hope; Bing Crosby; W. C. Fields; Abbott and Costello; Laurel and Hardy

Film historian Ray Edmondson presents special comedy shorts from his fabulous collection.

Prints courtesy of Ray Edmondson


Sunday 18 September

LA DOLCE VITA
(Italy 1960) 174 min.
Director Federico Fellini
Cast

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 16 October

ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (First part)
(USA 1984)
Director Sergio Leone
Cast

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 23 October

ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (Second part)
(USA 1984)
Director Sergio Leone
Cast

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 13 November

THE CAPTAIN FROM KOPENICK
(Germany 1956) 89 min.
Director
Cast

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

+

CARBIDE AND SORREL
(Germany 1963) 81 min.
Director
Cast

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 27 November

OUT OF THE PAST
(USA 1947) 97 min.
Director Jacques Tourneur
Cast

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

+

NIGHTMARE ALLEY
(USA 1947) 110 min.
Director
Cast

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


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