8:00 PM, 29th July, 2005
Ramon (Bardem) is a man surrounded by women who love and care for him. No, this isn't a movie about a Spanish Hugh Hefner, it's actually an Oscar winning Spanish film. Since a diving accident, Ramon has been a quadriplegic for 30 years of his life. Now, he wants to die. The topic of this film is a serious one, and although the debate in Australia is out of the mainstream media these days, it's no less important and thought provoking. With that in mind, it's hard to know whether to smile or cry after you see this film. It's not as depressing as it sounds; there are some very beautiful and touching moments, and others that will rip your heart out. You might not feel warm and fuzzy when you leave, but it's a film well worth seeing - one that resonates and stays with you for a long time afterwards.
10:00 PM, 29th July, 2005
The UBS Evening News is struggling in its ratings and the network decides to replace its anchor, Howard Beale (Finch). After learning that his contract has been terminated, Howard announces live on the air that he will commit suicide during his final broadcast within one week. The network is flooded with calls of protests, but the ratings go up. After discussion with the news director, Max Schumacher (Holden), Beale agrees to rectify the situation. When he goes on air the following night he announces he won't commit suicide, but delivers a blistering attack on everything that is wrong with America. Schumacher is fired for this tirade, until the network discovers that the ratings have gone up again. Meanwhile an ambitious programming executive, Diana Christensen (Dunaway), pleads with the head of UBS for control of the news division which she claims she could turn into the most watched newscast in the country. Nearly 30 years ago this film was seen as a searing satire of the direction that television was taking, but today it is seen as highly prophetic. The film won Oscars for its screenplay, and for its acting: Finch (who won posthumously), Dunaway and Beatrice Straight (who plays Schumacher's neglected wife).