Australia on Celluloid

As part of its 85th birthday celebrations, the Ritz is spending a year screening iconic Australian films on 35mm.
Sarah Ward
Published on July 29, 2022


No one celebrates their birthday just once in any given year, especially if you're hitting a big milestone. Where's the fun in that? Yes, that proves true of cinemas as well, including the Ritz in Randwick — which is marking 85 years of screening movies, movies and even more movies with not one but two huge retrospective programs.

The first, called 85 Films in 85 Days, is showing a different film from each of the venue's 85 years on each and every day until mid-October. That's a hefty effort, but the cinema's Australia on Celluloid program has it beat, at least in terms of duration.

Again, that title is descriptive. In this retro showcase — which runs from Saturday, July 30, 2022–Monday, July 24, 2023 the Randwick picture palace is diving back into Aussie movie history, and also screening each and every flick on its list in glorious 35mm. So, you're getting a blast from the past in two ways: in what you're watching and via how it's being shown.

The program is filled with gems, unsurprisingly, kicking off with 1978's Newsfront — which is set in the 1940s, and follows two Cinetone newsreel company employees (Bill Hunter and Chris Haywood) covering news stories in the days before TV. Also on the list: the original Storm Boy, Aussie war dramas such as Gallipoli and Breaker Morant, and everything from They're a Weird Mob and The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith through to Love Serenade and The Last Days of Chez Nous, plus Jedda, Shame, Don's Party, The Man From Hong Kong and The Coca-Cola Kid as well.

Almost every genre is covered — and if it's an Aussie film released between the 50s and the 90s, odds are it'll flicker across the Ritz's screens at some point during this lineup.

Among the many highlights, expect to see plenty of Aussie stars in their early days — including Bryan Brown in 1980's Stir, Noni Hazelhurst and Michael Caton in 1982's Monkey Grip, Colin Friels in 1986's Malcolm, Ben Mendelsohn and Claudia Karvan in 1990's The Big Steal, and Hugo Weaving and Russell Crowe in Proof the same year.

Sessions run on Saturday afternoons weekly, with encores on Monday evenings.


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