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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 7. 1961.

Like, What's Happening?

Like, What's Happening?

[The following remarks are taken from comments about the Film Society's 1961 programme, made by the Secretary, Mr Everard, at the committee meeting last week.]

You people may not realise it, but we have got the best film society for miles around, and the films we are going to see over the next few months are going to make some people here sit up and take notice.

The main reason we started our own film society of course, was the dissatisfaction we felt with the efforts of the local city organisation. The Wellington Film Society is dead on its feet, but it won't lie down. A perusal of its programmes for 1961 reveals just how low its standards have dropped ... Rewi's Last Stand, Power Among Men, A Day At The Races and This Is The B.B.C., not to mention Two Men Of Fiji. Wow, Admittedly they have Aparajito and Frenzy listed also, but the list is, on the whole, pretty depressing. No doubt they will be screened on the Society's special postage-stamp-sized screen, in glorious eye-straining circumstances.

It's true that it is hard to get films in New Zealand, but there still remains a large number of films which are available, which the W.F.S. has not shown and which (I may be wrong, but I don't think so) they probably won't even get around to, either. Meanwhile, we will go on getting Nanook and Moana until the prints fall to pieces.

What they need is a transfusion of enthusiasm. Admittedly a large part of any film society's job is the fostering of appreciation of the older films, but where is awareness of contemporary cinema; what could be called the cinema of social purpose? As for their discussion meetings and "film schools," it is incredible the amount of hot air that is used to no good result.

O.K. then, let's put our money where our mouth is; what are we doing anyway?

Well, we are not going to show Nanook, Moana or any other overworked warhorses. We are going to look at some of the oldtlmers, but we are going to concentrate on films made in the last five years; some of them political dynamite, some of them real weirdos. We are going to be lively, perhaps controversial, and we are going to show films that reveal much of the commercial junk that the city theatres dish up, as the slop it is.

We've already seep Ivan The Terrible (II), Don Quixote and The Last stage. Next term we are really aiming high. Let's look at some of the titles.

Unternehmen Teutonenschwert (1958) and Ein Tagebuch fur Anne Frank (1958). Two films from East Germany which the British Censor banned in 1959 because of controversy and perhaps because they are not for the squeamish. Operation Teutonic Sword and A Diary For Ann Frank remind us of what the Eichmann trial is about. The Wolf Trap (Czechoslovakia. 1957). The story of a love affair between a married man and his niece, a girl 21 years younger.

Battleship Potemkin (1925) and Alexander Nevsky (1938). No need to say anything about these two Eisenstein masterpices from Russia, the titles are bywords in cinema history.

Woman Basketball Player No. 5 (China, 1957). Frankly, it sounds forbidding, but it has English subtitles and is in colour, so we might as well have a look at it anyway—it won't bite us.

The Forty First (U.S.S.R., 1956). Pretty well known, I think. Special Award and Prize for Best Actress at Cannes, 1957. We will show the the colour print with English dialogue.

The Young Chopin (Poland. 1951). I hope this is not a Polish Song Without End. The London Tunes critic liked it, so it should be pretty well all right.

Council Of The Gods (East Germany, 1950). An indictment of the rise of Gennan militarism and a fitting rejoinder to I Aim At The Stars' theme that the scientist is "above ordinary morality."

From My Life (Czechoslovakia, 1955). Another biography of a composer, this time Smetana. It includes excerpts from three of his operas and some of his other works.

Othello (U.S.S.R., 1955). Bon-darchuk's acting and Khacha-turlan's music in some of the best filmed Shakespeare yet. In colour with English dialogue; award for direction at Cannes, 1956.

Swan Lake (U.S.S.R., 1958). page 7 Like Romeo And Juliet, a full-length ballet film from Russia, perhaps not quite so well done as the former. With Mai Plisetskaya as Odille-Odette, in colour.

These are only a few of the films we hope to run off during the second and third terms; there is a lot more we can show, but it depends on how big our audiences are, whether we get them or not.

Finally, there is the question of the Festival in the new building next term. We will be showing a couple of lunchtime programmes (of shorts) and a feature screening on the night of Friday, May 26, Entrance to this will be by ticket only, and as the demand will be pretty heavy, all those who want to go will have to get their tickets early. The notices, giving details, will be on all the notice-boards and tickets will be available at Stud. Ass. Office. If anyone ban any requests for special films, a note may left here for the society, especially if they know of any available which are controversial and provocative enough to give us something to argue about.