Thursday 28 April 2022

CINEMA REBORN - Friday 29 April - Tarkovsky's MIRROR, Welles' THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI plus much more


Andrei Tarkovsky

Is Andrei Tarkovsky the most revered film-maker of our age? some thoughts

"Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [of us all], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream". INGMAR BERGMAN


"His unusual sensitivity is both overwhelming and astounding. It almost reaches a pathological intensity. Probably there is no equal among film directors alive now." … "I love all of Tarkovsky's films. I love his personality and all his works. Every cut from his films is a marvelous image in itself.” AKIRA KUROSAWA


"Tarkovsky's works separate me completely from physical life, and are the most spiritual films I have seen”. ABBAS KIAROSTAMI

MICHAEL HANEKE voted for Mirror on his top 10 films in the Sight & Sound directors' poll and later said that he has seen the picture at least 25 times. 


"I remember, the first time I saw a Tarkovsky film, I was shocked by it. I did not know what to do. I was shocked by it. I was fascinated, because suddenly I realized that film could have so many more layers to it than what I had imagined before". ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU 


“Have you seen Mirror? I was hypnotised! I’ve seen it 20 times. It’s the closest thing I’ve got to a religion – to me he is a god". LARS VON TRIER


If you are convinced you have two chances to see MIRROR, Tarkovsky’s 1975 masterpiece. Tonight at the Randwick Ritz at 8.15 pm has an introduction by film-maker Alena Lodkina and it also screens on Sunday morning at 10.30 am.

Book now through this link to the Randwick Ritz webpage.


Or maybe you prefer American noir drama. In which case it could be Orson Welles whose THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI  which has its second screening tonight at 6.00 pm.


Orson Welles in The Lady from Shanghai

Welles has dominated the Best Film of All Time lists with Citizen Kane, since that film was first voted top back in 1962.


Here’s a small taste of David Hare’s program notes from the website.


William Castle, a pal of Welles,  a young hotshot, was doing the rounds of the writing desks at various studios, most lately Harry Cohn’s Columbia Pictures where he had sniffed out Sherwood King’s original novel and won over Cohn who agreed to take on Welles as star and director. 


As Welles’ best biographer, Simon Callow says, he was a perpetual flirt – men, women - and he could charm the pants off a rhino, including one as tough as Harry Cohn. So he did just that securing a two million dollar budget for The Lady from Shanghai,  as a vehicle for Columbia’s biggest star, Rita Hayworth whom in another unbelievable stroke of fate, Welles had married two years earlier but from whom he was now in the process of a protracted but  amicable separation and divorce.  


With no acrimony between them to muddy the waters, a Hayworth picture with a budget like this was something Welles couldn’t pass. 


…and now the superb restoration, first premiered a couple of years ago at Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato, is here as part of CINEMA REBORN 2022. For links bookings  for today’s final screening at 6.00 pm click on this link



Trouble in Paradise

There are also daytime screenings today of TROUBLE IN PARADISE (Ernst Lubitsch, USA, 1932, 11.00 am),  a major retrieval from Iran that is still banned in that country THE DEER (Masoud Kimiai, 1974 at 1.00 pm. Also screens tomorrow at 10.00 am) and the first screening of Tanaka Kinuyo’s superb Ozu-scripted drama THE MOON HAS RISEN (Japan, 1955) at 3.40 pm.


Much to enjoy. And if you want to read all the program notes in a single document you can read or download the 76 page Cinema Reborn catalogue (cover above) at your leisure Just click on this link

If you wish to purchase a copy enquire at the Cinema Reborn information desk in the Ritz foyer or send an email to to find out about postal details.

Wednesday 27 April 2022


Jeanne Moreau in Mr. Klein

It’s the first of four days when Cinema Reborn will be screening from morning till night. Today brings on a brilliant array of restored classics. Ranging from one of the most brilliant Hollywood comedies of the 30s, Trouble in Paradise,  to our first ever film from the Philippines, the ferocious allegory of the Marcos regime Batch ’81. Something for everyone. 

Screenings start at 11.15 am with Joseph Losey’s Cesar Award-winning Mr. Klein, then a repeat of last night’s scintillating openerBeau Travail, followed by the first screening of Orson Welles 1947 noir The Lady from Shanghai with Welles and Rita Hayworth starring.


Rita Hayworth goes blonde, The Lady from Shanghai

Full details of all films with links to some superb program notes by Mark Pierce, Adrian Martin, David Hare, Geoff Gardner and Noel Vera can be found ON THIS LINK. Advance ticket sales that enable you to walk straight to the Ritz’s Cinema 5 are available on the Ritz website or you can purchase tickets all day at the theatre box office (regular prices from $8-21).  



Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins
Trouble in Paradise

There is indeed some trouble in the Cinema Reborn paradise. A couple of rather sad notes. The proposed introduction to Trouble in Paradise by film scholar Ivan Cerecina of Sydney Uni wont be taking place. Ivan has come down with Covid and is in isolation.


We are also sorry to report that the introduction by David Stratton proposed for The Lady from  Shanghai on Friday night at 6.00 pm will also not be taking place. David is battling a serious bout of ill-health and is not able to leave his home at the moment.


Ivan and David have sent their apologies. Cinema Reborn will have somebody at the screenings to make some introductory remarks and we wish both of our  friends and presenters the very best for quick recoveries.


In the meantime, we have twenty four sessions of our 2022 selection to go. Enjoy.

Tuesday 26 April 2022

CINEMA REBORN – Off to a Flying Start – Tonight at 7.00 pm BEAU TRAVAIL (Claire Denis, France, 1999) – Introduced by Angelica Waite

Claire Denis

Expat critic Adrian Martin sums up our opener just so:

Beau Travail is a masterpiece (most fans regard it as Denis’ best so far), a film whose rich inner life only becomes more absorbing and intricate with repeated viewings. Oh, and have I mentioned the dance scenes? The film opens, stunningly, with a club crowd dancing to the Turkish hit by Tarkan, “Şımarık” (better known to Australians as “Kiss Kiss”, Holly Valance’s cover version), and ends, immortally, with one of cinema’s most extraordinary and oft-referenced spectacles: Lavant dancing his soul out to Corona’s 1993 “The Rhythm of the Night”. After seeing and hearing that, don’t let anyone tell you that disco is dead.  Click on the film title at the start of the paragraph to read the full version of Adrian's very illuminating Program Notes.


The film will be introduced by Angelica Waite (pictured above) a member of the Cinema Reborn Organising Committee.


Angelica has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Film Studies from the University of Sydney. Her Honours research centred around Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up(1990), exploring the film’s interaction with dynamics of perfomativity, transformation, and generative processes of ‘truthmaking’ in documentary film.


Angelica has been on the Organising Committee of Cinema Reborn since 2019. She also works in research and academic support at the University of Sydney Library and as a Media Manager at SBS.


In 2020, Angelica was co-founder of The Film Group, a collaborative film screening and publication project with a focus on documentary film and artists' moving image.     


Tonight’s screening begins at 7.00 pm. Tickets at regular Ritz prices ($8-21) are available at the door but if you want to avoid the line-up and go straight to the screening you can book online IF YOU CLICK HERE


There is a repeat screening of the film tomorrow Thursday 28th at 2.00 pm (no introduction) which you can also book on the link above.

Monday 25 April 2022

CINEMA REBORN 2022 - Young Australian film-makers and scholars Ivan Cerecina, Alena Lodkina and James Vaughan to present at Cinema Reborn.

One of Cinema Reborn’s features lies in the way it presents its program. At the main evening and weekend sessions each film will have an introduction by a person with some deep and abiding interest in the film. 

Among those presenting at Cinema Reborn 2022 are three young cinephiles who will bring fresh eyes to their subject.


Ivan Cerecina (above) who lectures in Film Studies at the University of Sydney will be introducing Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 pre-Code comic masterpiece TROUBLE IN PARADISE at the session commencing at 6.00 pm on Thursday 28thApril.


Alena Lodkina is a young Melbourne-based film director whose debut feature STRANGE COLOURS (2017) was described by Luke Buckmaster in The Guardian as ‘very fine, very memorable”. Luke went on to note that it belongs to a long line of films that contemplate remote Australian locations and the people who inhabit them – from The Back of Beyond to Wake in Fright and the Mystery Road series. 


The film emerged out of the Venice Film Festival’s  Cinema College (where the picture above was taken). Alena is now readying a second feature for production but is making the trip from Melbourne to Sydney especially to introduce Andrei Tarkovsky’s MIRROR at the 8.15 session on Friday 29 April at the Randwick Ritz.


James Vaughan, who joined the Cinema Reborn Organising Committee for the 2022 festival, has recently had quite a success with his debut feature FRIENDS AND STRANGERS. That film has screened at festivals throughout Australia and the world, including very prestigious events in New York and London, and was the only Australian film to be listed in Sight & Sound’s annual round up of the best fifty films of the year. A singular honour especially as the film was made on a miniscule budget but looks like it cost a million dollars.


James (pictured above) will be introducing Edmund Goulding’s 1947 noir classic NIGHTMARE ALLEY  starring Tyrone Power at its screening at 7.45 pm on Sunday 1 May.


Advance bookings for all films may be made if you got to this page on The Randwick Ritz website


If you would like to read more about both films then head for this page on  The Cinema Reborn website where you will find comprehensive notes by Rod Bishop on MIRROR, John Baxter on NIGHTMARE ALLEY and Geoff Gardner on TROUBLE IN PARADISE.

As  a matter of interest MIRROR is currently leading in the race for the Cinema Reborn Box Office champion for the year.

Saturday 23 April 2022


A few quick reminders

All Cinema Reborn screenings including our Opening are at regular Ritz prices ranging from $8 for Senior Ritz Card Members, $10 for Members (join on the website if you click here) through to $21.




CINEMA REBORN gets underway with a screening of BEAU TRAVAIL Claire Denis’ take on Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd” “…a masterpiece (most fans regard it as Denis’ best so far) a film whose rich inner life only becomes more absorbing and intricate with repeated viewings” (Adrian Martin).  


If you want to book tickets to enable you to go straight to the cinema and avoid the line-up at the box office JUST CLICK HERE




This splendid publication is a key feature of Cinema Reborn and this year it’s being given away right now and FREE. You can read it online if  you just  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE 2022 CATALOGUE.


For our 2022 edition the book has 76 pages of almost entirely newly written  material by eminent, scholars, critics, educators, festival programmers and enthusiasts including international contributors John Baxter, Adrian Martin, Annouchka De Andrade, David Hare, Tony Rayns, Pamela Hutchinson, Ehsan Khoshbakht, Noel Vera and Marshall Deutelbaum. This is on top of contributions from local critics, scholars and film-makers Jane Mills, Margot Nash, Janice Tong, Rod Bishop, Mark Pierce, Adrian Danks, and Helen Goritsas




The information in the catalogue is drawn from our own website  and if you want to start at the start just click on that link or head straight to the FESTIVAL SCHEDULE to map out viewing plans.




If you park in the multi-story carpark about twenty metres along from the Ritz Cinema on St Pauls Street you can do so at a discount if you ask for a voucher at the box office. Maximum discounted price is $7.00


There are buses from the city and Bondi Junction and the L2 tram from Circular Quay ends near the Randwick shops. Full details of Parking and Public Transport are on the Ritz website




Our first film from Africa has been given some special attention by Philippa Hawker in The Saturday Paper. It’s in a two page spread which says some very nice things about Cinema Reborn and what we are trying to achieve. Pick up a copy before it sells out….


There is only a week left before the Australian Cultural Fund will close off our charitable donations page for 2022. If you are minded to make a tax deductible donation, large or small, to support the work of our all-volunteer group and bring more film classics back to the screen in Sydney click here for  THE AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL FUND

Friday 22 April 2022

CINEMA REBORN - Critic and scholar Peter Galvin recommends RETURN HOME (Ray Argall, 1989)

 Dear Film Alert

The following essay originally appeared on page 180 in the book 100 Greatest Films of Australian Cinema, Edited by Scott Hocking and published by Scribal in 2006.

Mandy Walker, DoP and director  Ray Argall filming
Return Home


No local film better captured the mixed emotions of a lazy suburban summer day like Ray Argall’s Return Home. In a book about great Australian films, does that seem too modest a project to warrant an exultation? But consider; how many of the movies written about here are built on the need to look outside of one’s backyard? How many owe their existence to a heartfelt, restless spite that looks at all those red-roofed fibro and brick houses, and sees only a prison populated by bourgeois monsters? It’s fair to say that in our movies, ‘suburbia’ is often nothing but a dark seam of outrage and discontent; a ‘perfect’ setting for grotesque comedy or psycho drama.


Ben Mendelsohn

Ray Argall’s suburbia in Return Home is not a site for fear or caricature. It’s generous but not romantic; its characters too full of genuine frustration to be passed off as cute movie types. Still, there is more hope than anger in this straightforward story about brotherly love, teen romance and the rewards and pleasure that comes from working with your hands in a job that warrants a lifetime of commitment. Argall aims to convince us that this is a place where good things happen, and that if happiness has not yet arrived, then, with luck, it might be far off.


Return Home opens with a series of vignettes that captures Adelaide’s Henley Beach as a sun-bleached comfort zone wide avenues lined with modest homes and palms, where there’s cricket and muscle cars and mullets. Argall sets this against the lilting majesty of Dvorak’s New World Symphony and the effect is immediate and persuasive; this story of so-called ‘little people’ in a ‘nothing place’ deserves beauty and poetry and a clear-eyed respect.


Frankie J Holden, Micki Camilleri

When it was first released in late 1990 some critics placed Return Home in the cinematic tradition of minimalist grit-Brit naturalism, a la Ken Loach, sans the simmering dread and foul language. But, against the gentle rhythms and careful detail of Argall’s vision – and the fact that it is distinctly, laconically Australian, the comparison to the predominantly gloomy, class-obsessed work of Loach is hopelessly inadequate in capturing the wry humour and unhurried candour of Return Home. If anything, the film’s premise would seem, if it weren’t for Argall’s doggedly anti-dramatic tone, the stuff of soap opera.


A Melbourne insurance man, Noel (Dennis Coard), returns home to visit his brother Steve (Frankie J Holden), a mechanic who took over the family business, an old-fashioned petrol station/garage in suburban Adelaide. Noel explores the old neighbourhood, helps out in the garage, befriends Steve’s lovesick apprentice Gary (Ben Mendelsohn), and discovers that the business is being squeezed by ‘progress’. Early on, his sister-in-law Judy (Micki Camilleri) confides in Noel that “we may not make it.” Steve is reluctant to change; he sees the coming ‘Americanisation’ of services as a compromise; “I don’t want to make a killing - I just want to stay in business.” Too ashamed to ask his brother for help, Steve plods on into what seems like commercial oblivion, as Noel contemplates a possible new future.


Dennis Coard

Without phony climaxes Argall creates a tremendous emotional power in Noel’s unspoken yearnings. Divorced, prematurely aged, and childless, Noel’s sense of loss is conveyed in tiny intimate moments that are shared exclusively with the movie audience; as when he returns to a favoured teenage romantic spot to trace the carved initials that declared a love affair long soured.


Shot on 16mm on a tiny budget, Return Home  earnt its sense of lived experience honestly as Argall spent time in Adelaide as a teenager; the movie’s love of cars and working-class setting come directly from his memories. Perhaps what is truly great about the film is not the careful verisimilitude, or the way cinematographer Mandy Walker captures the inky sweat of a hot night or the white glare of a summer day; but the performances. The cast seems to breathe in life here; they’re not acting, they are being.

Dennis Coard, Joe Camilleri

Return Home was a success, though a modest one, and a huge critical hit, though today it’s hardly remembered, perhaps because the mystique of such a tender film is so desperately difficult to articulate. Maybe it’s best to say that to experience it is like spending time with an old friend one hasn’t seen in a while. When it’s over, all that’s left is that strange mixture of elation and sadness that comes with necessary goodbyes. It’s a small masterpiece.

Peter Galvin is a writer and filmmaker. His first book, ‘A Long Way from Anywhere, The Story of Wake in Fright and the Australian Feature Film Revival 1968-1972’, is nearing completion.


Return Home  screens twice at Cinema Reborn. Saturday 30 April at 5.15 pm and Monday 2 May at 3.00pm. At the session on Saturday 30 April Ray Argall will be present to introduce the movie. Also screening at both sessions is Lucinda Clutterbuck's 10 minute award-winning animated film Tiga.  The two films were originally released on the same program on first release back in 1990. Lucinda Clutterbuck will also attend the 30 April session to introduce her film. Bookings on the Randwick Ritz website  JUST CLICK HERE 

The Restoration

Ray Argall writes: The Return Home restoration has been a labour of love, it was one of the first films I started to restore over ten years ago. Since then there has been so much change and evolution in the digital environment that the restoration work has been reinvented several times. We scanned the camera original negative, then matched the A&B rolls which required a lot of stabilisation on the cement splices, then did a shot by shot grade and a painful amount of dust busting. For the soundtrack we digitised the original 3 track 35mm magnetic mix into separate DME (Dialogue Music Effects) tracks. We then replaced all the music with digital stereo versions of the original music stems and created a 5.1 digital sound master. Greg P Fitzgerald did the remix from mono and stereo stems to the new digital 5.1 master. Our original restoration master was in 2K and presented at MIFF 2019. Last year I went back to the original scans and restored the picture to a 4K master, which is having its first public screening at Cinema Reborn.


Thursday 21 April 2022

33rd Alliance Française French Film Festival 2022 and The Current Cinema - Janice Tong's 🎥 5th Filmic Postcard - L’ÉVENÉMENT/HAPPENING (Audrey Diwan, 2021)

Anamaria Vartolomei as Annie, a young woman
in the midst of navigating what life has to offer (or take away)

Based on an autobiographical novel of the same name by Annie ErnauxHappening won the Golden Lion at 2021 Venice Film Festival last year.  There are good reasons for this accolade, given the rare glimpse of quiet talent in a field saturated by stars, and Audrey Diwan’s sensitive but purposeful handling of its subject matter. Ernaux was in her 60s when she wrote the novel which was published in 2003. 


There is something quite modest about this film, and straight forward too. I recall reading an interview with Ernaux who said that she tried very hard to keep emotions and sentimentality out of the text; and as she had been a co-writer of the script (alongside  Diwan and seasoned screenwriter Marcia Romano); that same feeling of exactitude and lyrical storytelling permeates the film.


Some critics have picked up on the restrained performance, (or, sometimes unkindly, the “lack of emotions”) shown by the lead character; but one should note that this is by design. The impulse of the story was not meant to be sentimental; nor was it about learning from hindsight. It was, very simply, a story that needed to be told; and its subject matter to be given the airtime it deserves. There is a lot of stigma that still surrounds teenage pregnancy and abortion, despite current societal tolerances, compared to the very different era of 1963 when Ernaux was just a young student in France. 


The sharp-minded Annie

Happening is a prismatically intimate film, rendered with beautiful close-ups – of the girls, of experiences and secrets shared; of boarding school environments and the relative freedoms away from home that young adults have to navigate through. But at the same time, the film casts a darker glimpse of the dictates of society – that certain decisions were only available to be made by men. And whilst the film deals with an important subject – that of pro-choice – by telling it as a first-hand experience and through the perspective of a strong-willed young woman, Annie Duchesne (portrayed with astonishing sensitivity by Anamaria Vartolomei) – it throws wide open the questions around ideas of freedom. It asks of us to think deeply about the kind of freedom women can and should have over their own bodies. 


Anna Mouglalis as Mme Rivière

Abortion didn’t become legal in France until January 18, 1975; prior to that, you would go to jail for aiding or being found complicit with a woman who seeks this kind of help. The subject of abortion was so taboo in the 1960s that when Annie found out she was pregnant, there was hardly anyone she was able to turn to. Certainly not to her parents or even her closest friends; instead, she went to a doctor who feigned his assistance. Her grades at school plummeted, and her tutor found her disconnection with her studies to be unacceptable. Even her best friends became indifferent to her situation and distanced themselves. She had to fend for herself, almost the whole way. Until she meets an auxiliary nurse by the name of Mme Rivière (played by Anna Mouglalis who I last saw in Philippe Garrel’s Jealousy (2013) against Louis Garrel); introduced to her by a friend of a friend, Laëtitia, (Alice de Lencquesaing makes a guest appearance). I loved the way Mouglalis transformed her voice to play Mme Rivière; deep and raspy, it had the kind of gravitas required for the type of duty she was to carry out, and somehow, you trusted her; her calm, her knowledge, her rules. 


Sandrine Bonnaire as Annie’s mother was also superb, as was Luàna Bajrami, who plays Hélène, one of Annie’s closest friends. Bajrami is another actor to watch, having been seen in the very extraordinary School's Out (2018), Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) and Happy Birthday (2019), Bajarmi has been busy, chalking up 10 feature films over the course of the last four years, not to mention TV series as well as shorts. You cannot help but be drawn to Vartolomei throughout the filmand Laurent Tangy’s cinematography really does her performance justice; her body is a cipher that must be decoded on the big screen; every movement, every sidelong glance and direct look tell us of the immensity of her burden and her strength of will to overcome it. 

Writer Anne Ernaux (photographed in 2021)

Having read Ernaux’s book Simple Passion yesterday, where she refers back to this incident (having made a visit back to the scene of her “clandestine abortion”) in one of the later fragments; her voice, her tone and even her passionate nature is very close to me. Very simply, I hearher. And in this film, you too, can hear and feel Annie; she saturatesthe screen. There is something quite familiar in Ernaux’s writing; just like Duras or Cixous; there is a calling out into the future, searing time as their voices blaze through acontemporaneously. In Ernaux’s books, passion and its rendering within the text is at once stoic and palpable; it leaves you feeling more brave and with enormous respect for her having been successful in her convictions, and ultimately, her act; else there would not have been the writer, Ernaux; instead, she would have been succumbed to “the illness that only strikes women and turns them into housewives” – as her younger self told her literature professor in the film.


The Alliance Française French Film Festival has closed its season in Australia. With sincere thanks for making these glorious films available on the big screen every year.

HAPPENING is now screening at Palace Cinemas in Sydney.

CINEMA REBORN - The Three Hottest Tickets - MIRROR (Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1975) + MR. KLEIN (Joseph Losey, France, 1976) + ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (Sergio Leone, Italy, 1968)

Andrei Tarkovsky

By the look of the advance bookings It appears that Andrei Tarkovsky’s MIRROR  may well be the most popular film at this year’s CINEMA REBORN.

Which just raises the question “Is Andrei Tarkovsky the most revered film-maker of our age.” You judge.

"Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [of us all], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream". INGMAR BERGMAN

"His unusual sensitivity is both overwhelming and astounding. It almost reaches a pathological intensity. Probably there is no equal among film directors alive now." … "I love all of Tarkovsky's films. I love his personality and all his works. Every cut from his films is a marvelous image in itself.” AKIRA KUROSAWA

"Tarkovsky's works separate me completely from physical life, and are the most spiritual films I have seen”. ABBAS KIAROSTAMI

MICHAEL HANEKE voted for Mirror on his top 10 films in the Sight & Sound directors' poll and later said that he has seen the picture at least 25 times. 

"I remember, the first time I saw a Tarkovsky film, I was shocked by it. I did not know what to do. I was shocked by it. I was fascinated, because suddenly I realized that film could have so many more layers to it than what I had imagined before". ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU 

“Have you seen Mirror?  I was hypnotised! I’ve seen it 20 times. It’s the closest thing I’ve got to a religion – to me he is a god". LARS VON TRIER

If you are convinced book now through this link to the Randwick Ritz webpage.  Mirror screens twice. Friday 29thApril at 8.15pm and Sunday 1 May at 10.30 am.

Joseph Losey


The great David Thomson gives well over a page to Joseph Losey in his Biographical Dictionary of Film, a rare honour. He charts the rises and falls in Losey's career but when he gets to Mr. Klein his enthusiasm for the director rekindles:

" 1976 Losey regained distinction with Mr Klein,  the Borgesian study of a conniving art dealer in occupied Paris haunted by the possibility of a Jewish double. It is a very controlled film, with more stress on decadent high society than the approaching Gestapo. But the trap it poses is gripping and intelligent, and there is even a trace of sardonic humour watching the magnificent alienation of Alain Delon. Mr Kelin was among the best of Losey's films and one wondered if its urgency came in part from the discovery of a new environment - Paris." 

Mr Klein  screens twice. Thursday 28 April at 11.15 am and Sunday 1 May at 5.15 pm

Bookings at

Sergio Leone


Thomson also likes Sergio Leone's great western. "...his best film: a mess of double-crossing stars, manic close-ups, and Rothko-like masses of colour and space." Still, after its release outside Italy in a cut down version, it took a while for Once Upon a Time in the West  to amass a critical consensus about its place in the pantheon. Now directors such as Martin ScorseseGeorge LucasQuentin Tarantino, and Breaking Bad's  Vince Gilligan[ cite the film as an influence on their work. It has also appeared on prominent all-time critics lists, including Time's 100 greatest films of the 20th century and Empire's 500 greatest movies of all time, where it was the list's highest-ranking Western at number 14. In the 2012 Sight & Sound polls, it was ranked the 78th-greatest film ever made in the critics' poll  and 44th in the directors' poll.

Leone's intent was to take the stock conventions of the American Westerns of John FordHoward Hawks, and others, and rework them in an ironic fashion, essentially reversing their intended meaning in their original sources to create a darker connotation. The most obvious example of this is the casting of veteran film good guy Henry Fonda as the villainous Frank, but many other, more subtle reversals occur throughout the film. According to film critic and historian Christopher Frayling, the film quotes from as many as 30 classic American Westerns.

The major films referenced include:

  • The Comancheros (1961): The names "McBain" and "Sweetwater" may come from this film. 
  • Johnny Guitar (1954): Jill and Vienna have similar backstories (both are former prostitutes who become saloonkeepers),
  • The Iron Horse (1924): West may contain several subtle references to this film, including a low-angle shot of a shrieking train rushing towards the screen in the opening scene, and the shot of the train pulling into the Sweetwater station at the end.[48]
  • Shane (1953): The massacre scene in West features young Timmy McBain out hunting with his father, just as Joey does in this movie. The funeral of the McBains is borrowed almost shot-for-shot from Shane.[48]
  • The Searchers (1956): Leone admitted that the rustling bushes, the silencing of insect sounds, and the fluttering grouse that suggests menace is approaching the farmhouse when the McBain family is massacred were all taken from The Searchers

Screen twice. Saturday 30 April at 7.45 pm in Cinema Five and  Tuesday 3 May at 1.00pm on the Ritz's biggest screen in Cinema One

Bookings at


You can now read or download a free copy of the 76pp Cinema Reborn 2022 catalogue (front page above) with critical commentary by Noel Vera,Tony Rayns, David Hare, Adrian Martin, Ehsan Khoshbakht, Rod Bishop, Janice Tong, Jane Mills, Mark Pierce, Adrian Danks, Marshall Deutelbaum, Margot Nash, Scott Murray, Pamela Hutchinson, Annouchka De Andrade, Helen Goritsas, John Baxter and Geoff Gardner. The Randwick Ritz has put up a link to the online catalogue and you access it,



f you are minded to make a tax deductible donation, large or small, to support the work of our all-volunteer group and bring more film classics back to the screen in Sydney click here for  THE AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL FUND

 ....and if you want to maximise your attendance think about joining THE RITZ ROYALTY CLUB and save on all admissions. Seniors get additional savings.