Tuesday 5 April 2022

CINEMA REBORN 2022 – April 27 to 1 May – Ritz Cinemas Randwick THREE FILMS FROM BEYOND THE MAINSTREAM


Sambizanga, the first film to be screened at Cinema Reborn from Africa, is also the first feature film to be made and released in Africa by a woman of African descent, director Sarah Maldoror. Maldoror co-wrote the script with her compagnon Mario de Andrade, co-founder and first President of the Angolan Liberation Movement against the Portuguese.

Lost for decades in a battle over rights, Sambizanga has finally been restored with help from Maldoror’s children and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation. Restored in 4K at L’Image Retrouvée (Paris) from the 35mm original negatives in association with Éditions René Chateau and the family of Sarah Maldoror. Funding provided by Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. This restoration is part of the African Film Heritage Project, an initiative created by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers, and UNESCO – in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna – to help locate, restore, and disseminate African cinema. 


At Cinema Reborn’s website you can find a superb set of notes about the film by Helen Goritsas as well as a short introductory note by Sarah Maldoror’s daughter Annouchka De Andrade. Click though on this link to screening times (Screens twice). CLICK HERE


To book go direct to the Ritz Cinemas website HERE


Behrouz Vossoughi, The Deer

Premiered at Tehran International Film Festival in November 1974, The Deer  was an instant sensation and Behrouz Vossoughi's magnificent performance as Seyyed won him the Best Actor prize. Shortly afterwards, however, director Masoud Kimiai was arrested during a violent raid by SAVAK, the Iranian secret service. A few days later, the film was banned.


The Deer is being sent to Cinema Reborn by Iranian-born filmmaker Ehsan Khoshbakht who has devoted a huge amount of his time to re-assemble the film. What can we expect. Ehsan writes:While I can imagine the majority of the films shown at Cinema Reborn are beautifully restored copies, one should note that this format inevitably brings some limitations: a great number of restored films are those which (often rightly but not always) have passed through the filters of national and cultural significance defined by big institutions and companies, with the idea of contributing to a cultural agenda and whenever possible bringing in some revenue. But what if a film is not endorsed by the institutions and people who have control over it, such as national archives and ministries of culture? What if a film is completely repressed, denied and locked away? That is the case with The Deer, of which it is believed there are no key elements (such as a camera negative) remaining. It is a film that, owing to the cultural totalitarianism of the current regime, cannot be shown – let alone salvaged. 

The version presented at this festival – the result of the sheer enthusiasm of various individuals – is a scan of the director's rather battered positive print. Its multiple missing and damaged scenes are completed from other copies. The National Film Archive of Iran provided some of the missing elements, as well as the censored ending of the film, which will be screened right after the original ending. The result of this home-made "reconstruction" should enable you to see a film whose images are so charged with passion that any imperfections of the copy will immediately move to the background. Even as you notice the faults, every scene of this charmingly scratchy copy will leave a scratch on your soul. 


At Cinema Reborn’s website you can find Ehsan’s complete notes. Click though on this link to screening times (screens twice). CLICK HERE


To book go direct to the Ritz Cinemas website HERE


Batch '81

The boldest and likely most controversial film to be screened at Cinema Reborn 2022, Mike De Leon’s BATCH ’81, was made in the Philippines in 1982 when the Marcos family were still pillaging that country. it is in fact an allegorical treatise on the nature of fascism, particularly that of the very same Marcos administration. This is a film from a Third World country which has been compared to Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. For our comprehensive program notes on the film Cinema Reborn has been fortunate to obtain permission to reprint the outstanding analysis of the film, in which the comparison with Kubrick’s work is laid out in fine detail, by the highly regarded Filipino critic Noel Vera. You can read Noel’s notes plus a specially written biographical note on director Mike De Leon by British critic Tony Rayns plus find links to session times (screens once only) if you CLICK HERE


To book go direct to the Ritz Cinemas website CLICK HERE.

************* 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

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


The full Cinema Reborn 2022 Program is now listed on the Ritz website CLICK HERE More essays and Program Notes will be published on the Cinema Reborn website shortly and you will soon be able to download a copy of the full catalogue containing all the notes plus more.

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