The Reel McCoy Film Group

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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: $45 per annum, or $30 for 6 months, or $15 for 3 months. Membership runs from the date of joining.

Friends of the National Library of Australia are welcome to all screenings free of charge.


Screenings are at 6:00 pm every second Wednesday, from February to December.

They take place in the Theatre of the National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Parkes, ACT. Please enter by the front doors and go down to the theatre on level LG1 by the stairs on the right-hand side or use the lift in the foyer.

Next screening:

Wednesday, 1 October 2014, at 6:00 pm

SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT

(Sweden 1955) 104 min. DVD
Director Ingmar Bergman
Cast Gunnar Björnstrand, Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dalhbeck, Harriet Andersson, Margit Carlquist

Ingmar Bergman's 16th film brought him an international reputation, but it's not what anyone today would expect from Bergman – it's essentially a sex farce. The players include an attorney in his fifties (Björnstrand), entering into his second marriage with a young virgin (Jacobsson); he has a mistress (Dalhbeck) who's also having an affair with a count, and a shamelessly flirting maid (Andersson). Even in Bergman's sunniest film, there's a touch of melancholy; these are smiles of a summer night. But this far north, summer nights are short – just long enough to cloak one's latest affair.
Swedish with English subtitles

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


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


2014 second half-year programme:

July 9
THE PHILADEPHIA STORY
(USA 1940) 112 min. DVD
Director George Cukor
Cast Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart

A rich socialite family gathers for their daughter's wedding and finds that all manner of people, invited and uninvited, welcome and unwelcome, turn up to complicate matters. It's the second marriage for the wilful, high-spirited daughter (Hepburn) and her ex-husband (Grant) is not prepared to let her go without a fight. Enter James Stewart as a reporter doing a story on how the rich live. One of the comedy classics and on everyone's list of favourite films.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

July 22  NB: Tuesday
CASABLANCA
(USA 1942) 102 min. DVD
Director Michael Curtiz
Cast Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt

In the Library's recent online survey, Casablanca was voted the most popular film, reflecting its status as a film classic. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical nightclub owner in Casablanca, discovers that his ex-lover, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), who abandoned him years before, has arrived in Casablanca with her husband, Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Rick is forced to abandon his cynicism and decide which side he will be on. This film is a love story, it is a buddy movie, it is a war-time propaganda film, and it is a triumph of the Hollywood studio system. So round up the usual suspects and join us for this classic film experience.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

August 6
A TALE OF TWO CITIES
(USA 1935) 128 min. DVD
Director Jack Conway
Cast Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allan, Edna May Oliver

A JOINT SCREENING WITH THE DICKENS SOCIETY

An exciting, atmospheric adaptation of Dickens' classic tale of the French Revolution. Dissipated lawyer Sydney Carton defends émigré Charles Darnay from charges of spying against England. He becomes enamoured of Darnay's fiancée, Lucie Manette, and agrees to help her save Darnay from the guillotine when he is captured by revolutionaries in Paris.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

August 20
MR HULOT'S HOLIDAY
(France 1953) 87 min. DVD
Director Jacques Tati
Cast Jacques Tati, Nathalie Pascaud, Micheline Rolla, Raymond Carl, Lucien Fregis

It's a quaint French seaside hotel and a group of people turn up for their yearly holiday. Into their midst stumbles the gangly, awkward, endearing Monsieur Hulot who has the capacity to turn everything upside down. What follows is the most wonderful series of mishaps, shambles, gags, and catastrophes. The visual ingenuity of this great film is up there with Chaplin and Keaton.
French with English subtitles

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Followed by our
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Come along and have your say

September 3
SMITHY
(Australia 1946) 114 min. 35 mm
Director Ken G. Hall
Cast Ron Randell, Muriel Steinbeck, John Tate, Joy Nichols

A JOINT SCREENING with the FRIENDS OF THE NFSA
Introduced by Ray Edmondson, President

Smithy is a landmark Australian film biography of the legendary aviator Charles Kingsford Smith. The Australian film studio Cinesound and director Ken G. Hall have a history of producing popular, successful feature films and this is no exception. Modelled on the style of the sumptuous Hollywood biopic, Smithy follows the young aviator in his quest for perfection, culminating in his famous trans-Pacific flight.

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

September 16  NB: Tuesday
CUL-DE-SAC
(England 1966) 107 min. DVD
Director Roman Polanski
Cast Donald Pleasence, Françoise Dorléac, Lionel Stander, Jack MacGowran

In a crumbling English island castle live a timid Englishman (Pleasence) and his French wife (Dorléac). A pair of criminals arrive – nearly drowning when they plough their car off the coast – and the couple must play unwilling hosts. Cul-de-sac is generally regarded as the most successful of Polanksi's three English films – as much a psychological thriller as the first (Repulsion), and as much a black comedy as the third (Dance of the Vampires aka The Fearless Vampire Killers). The title is due to one of the film's producers, who thought the story was primarily about the two interlopers: a pair of gangsters who found themselves in a dead end.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

October 1
SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT
(Sweden 1955) 104 min. DVD
Director Ingmar Bergman
Cast Gunnar Björnstrand, Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dalhbeck, Harriet Andersson, Margit Carlquist

Ingmar Bergman's 16th film brought him an international reputation, but it's not what anyone today would expect from Bergman – it's essentially a sex farce. The players include an attorney in his fifties (Björnstrand), entering into his second marriage with a young virgin (Jacobsson); he has a mistress (Dalhbeck) who's also having an affair with a count, and a shamelessly flirting maid (Andersson). Even in Bergman's sunniest film, there's a touch of melancholy; these are smiles of a summer night. But this far north, summer nights are short – just long enough to cloak one's latest affair.
Swedish with English subtitles

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

October 14  NB: Tuesday
THE LAST BRIDGE [DIE LETZE BRÜCKE]
(Germany 1954) 98 min. DVD
Director Helmut Kautner
Cast Maria Schell, Bernhard Wicki, Barbara Rutting, Carl Mohner

Winner of numerous international film awards, this is a powerful German film about World War Two. Maria Schell is luminous as a young German doctor who finds herself in the position of providing medical assistance to both sides of the conflict. Stationed at a field hospital in the Balkans, she is kidnapped by partisans. When typhoid strikes the partisans' camp, she finds she is unable to simply turn away. Schell won a number of awards for her moving performance.
German with English subtitles

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

October 29
SHOCK CORRIDOR
(USA 1963) 101 min. 16 mm
Director Samuel Fuller
Cast Peter Breck, Constance Towers, Paul Dubov

A special screening in memory of our dear colleague Brian Dunne. This was one of his favorite films.

Johnny Barrett (Breck) is a journalist determined to win the Pulitzer Prize at any price. He attempts to feign mental illness in order to become an inmate at a psychiatric hospital and investigate an unsolved murder case. However, as the investigation unfolds Barrett finds himself losing his grip on his own sanity. Can he solve the case before he loses his mind altogether? Described when released as sensational and stylistically outrageous, Shock Corridor alienated many critics upon its release but today the film has become one of Fuller's most admired and frequently revived works.

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

November 12
THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE
(Sweden 1921) 91 min. DVD
Director Victor Sjöström
Cast Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg, Astrid Holm

Within a few years of its release in 1921, Victor Sjöström's The Phantom Carriage was considered a masterpiece of silent cinema. Sjöström plays a drunk, who, while drinking with friends, tells the legend of The Phantom Coach. The legend states that the last person to die in a year, if he is a great sinner, will have to drive the phantom chariot for a year and pick up the souls of the dead. Then he dies in a brawl at the stroke of midnight and the coachman comes for him. Sjöström is considered the greatest Swedish film director before Bergman. This is his most famous film and is generally considered to be one of the central works of Swedish cinema.
Silent film with musical soundtrack

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

November 26
THE LOVE PARADE
(USA 1929) 107 min. 16 mm
Director Ernst Lubitsch
Cast Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane

It's Sylvania and Queen Louise's cabinet, worried that she will become an old maid, is delighted when she marries the rogue Count Renard. Unfortunately, Renard finds his position as Queen's Consort decidedly unsatisfying and without purpose. The marriage soon runs into difficulties. A master director and a stellar cast join forces in this early Hollywood musical.

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Join us for wine, cheese, and other nibbles to celebrate the last screening of the year


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