Join Director Gabrielle Brady for an introduction & discussion prior to our Special Screening of this Tribeca Film Festival Best Documentary award winner.
The tiny Indian Ocean Territory of Christmas Island has been a centre for migrating populations for millennia – first, the distinctive Christmas Island red crabs; then phosphate miners from Malaya in the 19th century; and most recently, people seeking asylum in Australia. It is here, at the nexus of the three, that first-time feature documentarian Gabrielle Brady locates her extraordinary essay, an expansion of her award-winning 2017 short The Island.
As trauma therapist Poh Lin gently coaxes detainees to tell their stories, the island’s willing residents perform “hungry ghost” rituals for spirits whose lack of proper burial has doomed them to wander its jungles for eternity; meanwhile, the crabs march across the land in their millions, in an endless cycle that repeats every year. Poetic and hypnotic, Island of the Hungry Ghosts presents a unique and moving meditation on politics, people and primeval nature.
Tickets available HERE.
7th February M United States 120mins
Dr Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist, who is about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighbourhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation.
14th February TBC Lebanon 118mins
After being jailed for committing a violent crime, Zain, a mistreated 12-year-old boy, sues his parents for giving him life. Zain’s large family live hand to mouth in a squalid apartment in Lebanon. The kids work instead of going to school. When Zain’s 11 year old sister is sold into marriage, he flees the family home in search of a better life. He is taken in and lovingly cared for by an illegal Ethiopian worker, Rahil, who lives in a shanty house with her baby. But when Rahil disappears, Zain is suddenly left to fend for himself and her baby, resorting to increasingly desperate measures to survive.
28th February M Iceland 97mins
A nail-biting tale of heroism set against a stunning glacial backdrop. A man stranded in the Arctic is finally about to receive his long-awaited rescue. However, after a tragic accident, his opportunity is lost. He must then decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown for potential salvation. Mads Mikkelsen (Rogue One, Casino Royale, The Hunt) gives a physical, career-best performance in this gripping survival thriller.
ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS
7th March TBC Australia 92mins
Located off the coast of Indonesia, the Australian territory of Christmas Island is inhabited by migratory crabs travelling in their millions from the jungle towards the ocean, in a movement that has been provoked by the full moon for hundreds of thousands of years. Working on the island is Poh Lin Lee; a “trauma therapist” who lives with her family in this seemingly idyllic paradise. Every day, she talks with the asylum seekers held indefinitely in a high-security detention centre hidden in the island’s core, attempting to support them in a situation that is as unbearable as its outcome is uncertain.
The film is a hybrid documentary that moves between the natural migration and the chaotic and tragic migration of the humans, which is in constant metamorphoses by the unseen decision-making structures.
AT ETERNITY’S GATE
14th March PG France 109mins
Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate is a journey inside the world and mind of a person who, despite skepticism, ridicule and illness, created some of the world’s most beloved and stunning works of art. This is not a forensic biography, but rather scenes based on Vincent van Gogh’s (Academy Award Nominee Willem Dafoe) letters, common agreement about events in his life that present as facts, hearsay, and moments that are just plain invented.
21st March MA India / Australia 119mins
A gripping true story of humanity and heroism, Hotel Mumbai vividly recounts the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India. Among the dedicated hotel staff is the renowned chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and a waiter (Academy Award-Nominee Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire) who choose to risk their lives to protect their guests. As the world watches on, a desperate couple (Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name and Nazanin Boniadi, “Homeland”) is forced to make unthinkable sacrifices to protect their newborn child.
SWIMMING WITH MEN
28th March M United Kingdom 94mins
His job is a drag, his wife may be cheating on him, and he’s not getting any younger. Accountant Eric (Rob Brydon) is simply treading water when he discovers a newfound sense of purpose thanks to an unexpected source: a group of similarly stuck-in-a-rut guys who have found camaraderie and self-worth through synchronized swimming. Sure, they may be a bit paunchy, but they’re determined to prove they have what it takes to be a whirling, twirling, scissor-kicking aquatic dream team. And they’ve set their sights on the ultimate prize: the world championship. Showcasing the sharp wit of The Trip series’ Rob Brydon, Swimming With Men is a big-hearted, delightfully offbeat ode to answering your calling, no matter where you are in life.
6th December M France 104mins
The charming town of Le Mêle-sur-Sarthe, Normandy, is in crisis. Dairy and livestock prices have plummeted due to a flood of imports, and farmers are threatened with foreclosure. Mayor Georges Balbuzard (the irrepressible François Cluzet, beloved from The Intouchables and The Country Doctor) does his best to fight and raise awareness of their plight, but the situation isn’t deemed newsworthy for national media.
Things seem hopeless… until the day famous American photographer Newman (Toby Jones) passes through the village, inadvertently discovering the perfect backdrop for his next shoot. Balbuzard sees a rare opportunity, and sets about convincing the townsfolk – the farmers, the butcher, the pharmacist, some 200 in all – to participate. But, there’s a catch…
Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER & THE FOUR REALMS
13th December PG United States 95mins
Young Clara needs a magical, one-of-a-kind key to unlock a box that contains a priceless gift. A golden thread leads her to the coveted key, but it soon disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. In that world, she meets a soldier named Phillip, a group of mice and the regents who preside over three realms. Clara and Phillip must now enter a fourth realm to retrieve the key and restore harmony to the unstable land.
A great film for the whole family, starring Mackenzie Foy, Keira Kinightley & Morgan Freeman.
THE CHILDREN ACT
20th December M United Kingdom 105mins
Emma Thompson gives a magnificent performance as Fiona Maye; a High Court judge who specialises in family law. Overly dedicated to her work, her marriage to husband Jack suffers, and when he tells her that he would like to have an affair, they become further estranged. At the same time, she presides over a particularly complex case. Adam, a Jehovah’s Witness who’s just under 18, refuses the blood transfusion that would save his life. As he is still legally a child, Fiona can authorise the transfusion against Adam’s wishes and takes the unconventional decision to visit him in hospital before deciding. It is a meeting that will have a profound effect on both their lives in this humane, beautifully acted and riveting drama.
Boxing Day – 26th December M Japan 116mins
After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them.
WINNER – Palme D’Or Cannes 2018
Disney’s MARY POPPINS RETURNS
New Year’s Day – 1st January 2019 PG USA / UK 106mins
In this all-new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manual Miranda plays her friend Jack, and optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light – and life – to the streets of London.
Screening at Pivot Cinema 3 times daily!
15th November M United Kingdom 105mins
March, 1918. C-company arrives to take its turn in the front-line trenches in northern France led by the war-weary Captain Stanhope (Sam Claflin). A German offensive is imminent, and the officers (Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham Tom Sturridge) and their cook (Toby Jones) distract themselves in their dugout with talk of food and their past lives. Stanhope, meanwhile, soaks his fear in whisky, unable to deal with his dread of the inevitable. A young new officer, Raleigh (Asa Butterfield), has just arrived, fresh out of training and abuzz with the excitement of his first real posting – not least because he is to serve under Stanhope, his former school house monitor and the object of his sister’s affections. Each man is trapped, the days ticking by, the tension rising and the attack drawing ever closer…
22nd November MA Australia 85mins
A story of family and estrangement set amid the alien landscape of Australia’s opal mines.
Melina is making the 18-hour bus journey to be with her estranged, ailing father. He’s one of the lost, lonely men who hunt for black opals, deep in the Australian outback. She’s not entirely sure why she’s there, or why she stays, but as Melina is drawn ever further into the community, she discovers that there’s more to these men than she first assumed – and perhaps even more to herself.
Join us for a Special Director + Cast Q&A session ahead of the National Release on Wed 21st November – Tickets available HERE
27th November MA United States 115mins
Beautiful Boy is a deeply moving portrait of a family’s unwavering love and commitment to each other in the face of their son’s addiction and his attempts at recovery. Based on two memoirs, one from acclaimed journalist David Sheff and one from his son, Nic Sheff. As Nic repeatedly relapses, the Sheffs are faced with the harsh reality that addiction is a disease that does not discriminate and can hit any family at any time.
Harrowing, heartbreaking and yet full of joy, hope and love, Beautiful Boy recounts the rehabs, disappearances, broken promises and rage as Nic sinks deeper into the drug world, as well as David’s efforts to save his “beautiful boy” from the ravages of addiction. Directed by Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown), the film stars Academy Award nominees Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name).
Each year, the Melbourne International Film Festival presents the MIFF Travelling Showcase, which hits the road from September to November with a series of weekend programs across regional Victoria. This year The Pivotonian Cinema will host the event for the first time, with screenings at GPAC on October 12th & 13th, and all-day sessions at Pivot Cinema on October 14th.
Screenings in 2018 will feature the MIFF Premiere Fund-supported films Acute Misfortune, The Eulogy, Undertow and The Coming Back Out Ball Movie, as well as the Nick Hornby’s book adaption of Juliet, Naked, starring Rose Byrne, Chris O’Dowd and Ethan Hawke.
MIFF Travelling Showcase screenings will be held in Geelong at GPAC and The Pivotonian Cinema.
12th Oct. GPAC – UNDERTOW
13th Oct. GPAC – THE EULOGY
14th Oct. PIVOT CINEMA – JULIET, NAKED
14th Oct. PIVOT CINEMA – ACUTE MISFORTUNE
14th Oct. PIVOT CINEMA – COMING BACK OUT BALL MOVIE
We are proud to announce that Damian Hill (PAWNO, 2016) will return to The Pivotonian with Director Jason Raftopoulos to meet Geelong’s discerning film-goers for an exclusive Q&A event and film screening.
WEST OF SUNSHINE is a gritty social-realist tale from Jason Raftopoulos that follows a father’s desperate attempts to turn around his life and not disappoint his son.
Jim (Damian Hill) is a working-class courier who has racked up a $15,000 debt to a shady, violent loan shark due to an out of control gambling addiction. The day of reckoning has arrived, and Jim is due to pay in full. His plan is to place a sure bet at the racecourse – and he has no back-up plan if this one fails.
Manoeuvring through the day while also taking care of his young son over the school holidays, WEST OF SUNSHINE charts a family relationship on the brink of shifting from rosy childhood to brutal reality.
Tickets selling fast! Prebook HERE.
BACK TO BURGUNDY
9th August M France 113mins
Three siblings reunite at their home in picturesque Burgundy to save the family vineyard in this tender tale of a new generation finding its own unique blend from acclaimed director Cédric Klapisch (L’Auberge Espagnole). Jean (Pio Marmaï), the black sheep of the family, unexpectedly returns home from a decade abroad to reconnect with his hospitalized father. He’s welcomed by his strong-willed sister, Juliette (Ana Girardot), who took over the reins of the vineyard after their father fell ill, and Jeremie (François Civil), the youngest of the three who has recently married into one of the region’s more prestigious wine families. Their father passes shortly after Jean’s return, leaving them with the estate and a looming inheritance tax of half a million dollars. As four seasons and two harvests go by, Jean, Juliette, and Jeremie
9th August PG United States 97mins
At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior’s rise to the nation’s highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg ‘s exceptional life and career from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films.
THE BREAKER UPPERERS
16th August M New Zealand 89mins
Fifteen years ago, Mel (Madeleine Sami) and Jen (Jackie van Beek) discovered they were being two-timed by the same man. Bitter and cynical they became fast friends and formed The Breaker Upperers, a small-time business breaking up couples for cash. Now they’re in their late-thirties and business is booming. They’re a platonic, codependent couple who keep their cynicism alive by not getting emotionally involved with anybody else. But when they run into an old victim, Mel develops a conscience and their friendship is truly put to the test.
From the Producers of BOY and HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE
WEST OF SUNSHINE
30th August M Australia 79mins
Jim’s a decent guy who works for a courier company. But he has one terrible problem that’s cost him his marriage. Jim’s gambling addiction has also left him $15,000 in debt to a loan shark. Full payment is due today – or else. Jim’s first thought is to place a big bet on a sure thing in race two at Ballarat. He has no plan B. It’s also school holidays, forcing Jim to take young son Alex around town in search of a solution – or a miracle. Marked by excellent performances and filmed in vibrant, little-seen Melbourne locations, West of Sunshine beautifully captures a father-son relationship and those moments in a child’s life when the adult world comes suddenly and sharply into focus.
Sunshine is a timely and intelligent essay on the eternal theme of how fathers can both inspire and alienate their sons. – Richard Kuipers, Variety
For All Session Times click HERE.
31st May M Australia 115mins
Based on Tim Wintons award-winning novel of the same name, BREATH follows two teenage boys, Pikelet (Samson Coulter) and Loonie (Ben Spence), growing up in a remote corner of the Western Australian coast. Hungry for discovery, the pair form an unlikely friendship with Sando (Simon Baker), a mysterious older surfer and adventurer, who pushes the boys to take risks that will have a lasting and profound impact on their lives.
24th May M France 85mins
A hugely entertaining blend of humour, truthfulness and sensitivity, Blandine Lenoir’s warm-hearted romantic comedy AURORE centres on a middle-aged woman in the midst of major personal and professional life changes. On screen from start to finish, actress and co-writer Jaoui (The Taste of Others, Look at Me) is the heart and soul of this witty, feel-great film. She brings a touching, true-to-life poignancy to an endearing portrait of the resilience of womanhood, as an everyday heroine on the road to (re)discovery
ISLE OF DOGS
17th May PG United States 99mins
In the future, an outbreak of canine flu leads the mayor of a Japanese city to banish all dogs to an island that’s a garbage dump. The outcasts must soon embark on an epic journey when a 12-year-old boy arrives on the island to find his beloved pet.
THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE
10th May M Finland 99mins
Kaurismäki’s thoughtful and unmistakably droll films often depict difficult situations and people working in solidarity to overcome them, but with THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE he reaches new levels of resonance. Indeed, this intelligent, funny and affecting film has been hailed one of his best, and a masterful swansong from one of cinema’s finest auteurs.
For All Session Times click HERE.
Join us for an ‘in conversation’ Q&A with Director Stephen Wallace this Tuesday 10th April at 7.15pm. Stephen has kindly flown down from Sydney to Geelong, for this exclusive Pivotonian Event. Stephen is notable for launching Bryan Brown’s career with a defining performance in the 1981 seminal Australian film STIR.
Stephen has also directed internationally-acclaimed films including his 1984 classic THE BOY WHO HAD EVERYTHING (14th Moscow Int’l Film Festival) and the 1986 drama FOR LOVE ALONE (37th Berlinale). He reached success with BLOOD OATH (1990) and more recently has worked on WATER RATS and directed feature film TURTLE BEACH (2014).
Tickets $20 (Members half-price $10)
7.15pm, Tuesday 10th April
This event forms part of the BRYAN BROWN RETROSPECTIVE screening April 6th -11th