Tom Hanks returns as Harvard scholar Robert Langdon, this time summoned to Rome by mysterious Vatican security to investigate the kidnapping of four Cardinals on the eve of the election of a new Pope. A clue (helpfully reading “illuminati”) leads him to believe that a the secret society of scientists and truth-tellers have come to take revenge for their 17th century purging. The Large Hadron Collider (actually working in this piece of fiction) creates a macguffin that could change the shape of Rome as we know it – if not the world.
Those of us that try and take cinema seriously have very few forums where we can truly express our passion and the Monday evening screenings at the Wellington Film Society are the alter at which we worship.
For over 60 years Wellingtonians have been gathering to watch flickering images from all over the world. In the days before the words nerd or geek we were called buffs (and were proud of it) and we still gather in our hundreds at the Paramount picture theatre to bathe in the glory of a rectangular image on a silver screen – shadows cast by films from exotic places (and some from less far afield).
This year’s Feb-Nov programme kicks-off on Monday with a real treat – Garden of Earthly Delights is the first screening in a series of films by acclaimed Polish filmmaker Lech Majewski and it’s a prime example of the kind of screening that only the Film Society can provide. It’s an award-winning art movie about love, loss, morbidity and creation and the director will be present at the screening to take questions.
Other highlights in this year’s broadly curated programme include a couple of early films by Gus Van Sant (Milk), recent documentaries Manufactured Landscapes and Darwin’s Nightmare and rare 35mm presentations of festival favourites La Sentinelle (1992), Diva (1981) and Paradzhanov’s masterpiece The Colour of Pomegranates (1979).
Printed in Wellington’s Capital Times on Wednesday 4 March, 2009.