So you want to see a movie. This needn’t involve ludicrous ticket prices in a soulless cineplex. Many Sydney theatres offer discounted and themed film nights, such as Dendy’s beloved Cult Classics series. There are also some unassuming venues hosting odd and exciting cinematic experiences. Here are some of our favourite film nights in Sydney.
Freda’s After Hours
After Hours is a new community of cinephiles. It is starting a monthly film night at Freda’s with no real theme – just movies the group loves. The inaugural screening is La Madre Muerta (The Dead Mother), a Spanish thriller with an art-house edge. There’ll be custom choc tops, popcorn and a themed drink. Expect impassioned discussion of international cinema, and an acknowledgement that choc tops are necessary for true film appreciation. Future films include The Decline of Western Civilization in May, and Laurence Anyways in July.
La Madre Muerta screens on April 5 at 8pm. More details are available here.
Soda Factory’s Monday Movie Night
Every weekend there’s a queue that starts at the fridge door that is Soda Factory’s entry. It’s not just boozy milkshakes that make this space warm and inviting, there’s also a tight schedule of live music, Tarantino-themed meals and gourmet hot dogs. Soda Factory’s Monday Movie Night is very relaxed, and screens Hollywood blasts from the past. This April, there’s Back To The Future, Fargo and Fight Club.
Visit www.sodafactory.com.au/events for the full line-up of events.
Newtown Hotel’s Smash Cut Cinema
This King Street institution screens a film each week on Tuesday. Smash Cut Cinema brings the greatest cinema of the 20th century to the vaguely interested drinker. This month’s classics include: Rosemary’s Baby, Rumble Fish, The Royal Tenenbaums and Boy. Although, it can be tricky to hear dialogue over the rabble.
Follow Smash Cut Cinema on Facebook for their weekly film announcement.
Hayden Orpheum’s The Room: An Interactive Experience
This long-running monthly tradition is only for fans of bad cinema. Or of this particular example of bad cinema, to be exact. The Room (not to be mistaken for 2015’s Room for which Brie Larson won Best Actress at the Academy Awards) is an independent film and an international phenomenon. The film is lovingly mocked for its cringe-worthy self indulgence and technical flaws. Fans around the globe partake in these “interactive” cult screenings. Patrons hurl spoons around the auditorium whenever an artwork appears in the film that features a spoon (there’s a lot), à la projectile toast and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (it’s tradition to throw toast when the character Frank proposes a toast). You’ll simply need to see The Room to understand. The Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace has been operating since 1935, and this opulent venue is a wonderfully incongruous backdrop for plastic-spoon wars.
The Room screens the first Friday of every month, visit www.orpheum.com.au/wp-cinema/movie for exact dates.
MCA’s Contemporary Film Program
Each Saturday in April, the MCA is screening cinema from young filmmakers of New York. The focus is on Joshua and Benny Safdie. These brothers shoot feature films on a shoestring budget, creating an aesthetic which looks incredibly true to life. The MCA is showing The pleasure of being robbed, as well as the devastating basketball documentary Lenny Cooke. The last screening in April comes from Alex Ross Perry, a contemporary of the Safdie brothers. Queen of Earth stars Elizabeth Moss –as brilliant as ever – in a bizarre imagining of the thriller-by-the-lake.
Visit the MCA website for details on their Contemporary Film Program.