Rooftop Movies (photography Court McAllister).
Atop an inner-city carpark you’ll find pink flamingos, palm trees and a garland of bright hanging baskets: Rooftop Movies has a kitsch appeal that’s best described as ‘Miami Vice meets sideshow alley’. Candy-pink vans serve as makeshift bars, stocking alcohol, popcorn and imported lollies. For something more substantial, Dough Pizza delivers right to the top.
Fun Fact The Chooseday movie program is all about people power, with audiences able to request which movies are screened. According to program manager Jessica Darlow, there was such a big contingent of people requesting the 80s sci-fi cult classic Repo Man they had to get a “super-high-quality digital copy of it sent to Australia just for us”.
Tip It can get a little windy up there, so pack layers and a blanket – although some are available for rent if you forget. Jessica recommends buying tickets online (you can book pizzas and parking in the same click, and popular movies sell out ludicrously fast), and sorting your parking at the box office so you can drive out right after the film.
The selection of Lotterywest Festival Films is so varied that deciding what to see can be a production in itself. We ask PIAF’s Emma Poletti for her top picks so you can leave the drama to the movies. As usual, the films are screened under the towering Norfolk pines at Somerville in Nedlands and its sister cinema, Joondalup Pines.
1. Maps to the Stars
Julianne Moore will either win an Oscar for her role in this biting satire, or get burned at the stake in Hollywood. She already took out Best Actress at Cannes as aging Hollywood actress Havana whose insular world is disrupted with the arrival of mysterious burns victim Agatha (played by waif-like Australian actress Mia Wasikowsa). Somerville, December 8-14; Joondalup Pines, December 16-21.
2. Winter Sleep
Need we say more than it won the Palme d’Or at Cannes? The Turkish film subtly documents the unravelling of a marriage between a retired actor and his younger wife. The quiet, stirring drama has already been touted as a modern classic. Somerville, February 2-8.
3. Love Is Strange
Marriage was a long time coming for gay couple Ben and George, who finally tie
the knot after 39 years together. But in an ironic twist of fate, they are forced to live separately when George loses his job and they must sell their apartment. “It’s a joyful portrait of love in all its forms,” says Emma. Somerville, February 9-15; Joondalup Pines, February 17-22.
4. The Salt of the Earth
A moving ode to the great Brazilian photojournalist Sebastiao Salgado, this film follows his journeys across war-torn countries, showcasing his iconic images and incredible humanity. Somerville, February 16-22; Joondalup Pines, February 24-March 1.
French actress Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) turns to directing in this rich drama that shows such confidence and flair you wouldn’t know it was her debut. Shy Charlie strikes up a friendship with charming new-girl Sarah but their close bond veers into dangerous territory. Joondalup Pines, March 10-15.
If you’re heading to Margs, make sure to pay this cinema a visit. Scratch that: it’s so good it’s worth planning your trip around. The cinema at the winery gardens screens a combination of classics and new releases, but it’s the food and wine we head there for, with gourmet offerings from Cape Mentelle.
Fun fact Make like you’re holidaying in France in the summer, and partake in a game of Petanque – Cape Mentelle is home to four courts made just for the sport. Bonus: the boules and jacks can be used for free.
Tip A beanbag? Puh-lease. It’s all about the beanbed at this cinema. It’s the perfect option for leaning back and watching the movie, while sneaking glances at the star-strewn country sky.
CAMELOT OUTDOOR CINEMA, MOSMAN PARK
Housed in the intimate limestone-walled gardens of the Art Deco Memorial Hall in Mosman Park, Camelot always manages to select thought-provoking, intelligent films with heart and universal appeal.
Fun fact From January, Wednesdays at Camelot will become Jazz & Oyster Nights, featuring oyster shucking by Andy Grljusich, Fairbridge Festival tasters and musical performances by Funk Club. Tip There is free and easy parking next to the MosArts building. Hungry? Get some woodfired pizza from Jamel’s Pizza on site, or pick up some sushi from Wok and Roll across the street.
Good news for those south of the river: a new open-air cinema has been launched at Murdoch University’s Lower Bush Court, in collaboration with McDonald’s Community Cinemas. As well as new releases that are generating Oscar buzz, the cinema will screen old-school staples like The Breakfast Club and The Goonies.
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