Film Screening 18th October, 2008

Poster for The Flying Mouse

The Flying Mouse 

8:00 PM, 18th October, 2008
No Guests

  • G
  • 10 mins
  • Unknown
  • David Hand

Based on one of Aesop's lesser known fables... A young mouse's wish to grow wings, so he can fly like a bird, is granted; but he finds he is regarded as an outsider by the birds, a traitor by the mice and is merely tolerated - as a freak - by the bats - dark, nihilistic creatures who terrify him. One of Disney's more innovative Silly Symphonies, this cartoon is notable for its attempt to showcase everything animation is capable of, from comedy to pathos to horror.

(This print provided courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive)

Poster for The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight 

8:10 PM, 18th October, 2008
No Guests

  • M
  • 162 mins
  • Unknown
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
  • Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Picking up where Batman Begins left off, The Dark Knight sees Gotham City in chaos and at the mercy of a criminal known as the Joker. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to end the Joker's reign of terror and anarchy. This proves easier said than done, however, when events escalate and the fine line between hero and vigilante becomes increasingly blurred.

Director Christopher Nolan's reboot of the franchise in Batman Begins is widely regarded as the standard by which all comic book adaptations are measured - so it's follow-up, The Dark Knight, certainly has a lot to live up to.

Fortunately, if anything, the lack of the word 'Batman' in the film's title is proof that Nolan's intentions for the franchise are new, exciting and daring. This is no remake of Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film starring Jack Nicholson as the Joker. The Joker here is played by the late Heath Ledger in his final completed screen performance and could not be further from Nicholson's playful prankster interpretation.

The first film's already dark tone is darkened even further, with Nolan and company retaining their successful back-to-basics formula and interpreting the Joker as he was first introduced in the comics in 1940: as a violent, sociopathic mass murderer with a sick sense of humour. Sadly, Ledger's last performance is likely to be the best of his career, while the film itself is poised to be among the best of the year's blockbusters.

Adrian Ma

Poster for Sorry, Wrong Number

Sorry, Wrong Number 

10:57 PM, 18th October, 2008

  • PG
  • 89 mins
  • Unknown
  • Anatole Litvak
  • Lucille Fletcher
  • Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards, Wendell Corey

A spoiled heiress, confined to her bed by illness, spends much of her time on the phone arguing with the operator as she tries to get through to her husband, who's kept back at work. But when she instead overhears two men planning a murder, she's drawn into increasing paranoia, as everyone she calls is unable to help her, or, worse, believes she's simply making it up.

Adapted from a popular radio-drama, this is a tense thriller that still holds attention a half-century later. Flashbacks expand the story beyond Leona's bedroom to explain why she went from confident man-eater to neurotic mess, and why her absent husband might be so noticeably absent. Meanwhile, the real-time sequences of Stanwyck on the phone desperately pleading for somebody, anybody, to help her, builds the suspense second by second as we countdown to murder. Old-style suspense, for the tension-deprived.

(This print provided courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive)

Simon Tolhurst