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The Reel McCoy Film Group

Screening world cinema and forgotten gems since 1990

The Reel McCoy Film Group is a not-for-profit film society that since 1990 has been catering for people interested in cinema, particularly those who like to see timeless classics and overlooked gems at low cost.

Membership is $50 per annum, $35 for 6 months, or $20 for 3 months. Membership runs from the date of joining.

With grateful support from

Canberra Museum and Gallery
Members of CMAG are welcome to join the Reel McCoy at a substantial discount:
membership for a year for only $20.

Screenings are held in the Theatre of Canberra Museum and Gallery, usually on the second and last Saturdays of each month at 1:00 pm.

Next screening:

Due to the current situation regarding public health we very much regret that we have decided to suspend our screenings until further notice.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience. We are reluctant to do this, but we think public safety must come first.

We will be back, and all memberships will be adjusted to take into account the period of non-screening.

Best wishes, and stay healthy,
the Reel McCoy Film Group

For more information, e-mail us or come along to a screening

Programme for the first half of 2020:

Saturday 8 February

USA · 1974 · 131 min.
Director Roman Polanski
Cast Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Hillerman, John Huston

A classic detective picture, set against a background of political corruption. Hired by the widow (Dunaway) of a murdered City Water Commissioner, Nicholson’s J. J. Gittes moves through the familiar world of the forties film noir. Starting with a murder investigation, he slowly uncovers a sinister conspiracy involving her father (Huston), the future of Los Angeles, and an even more sinister secret. Polanski’s last film in the United States, this was nominated for 11 Oscar®s with Robert Towne winning for his complex and literate script inspired by the California Water Wars. One of the great films of the 1970’s.

Saturday 29 February

France · 1928 · 105 min.
Director René Clair
Cast Albert Préjean, Geymond Vital, Olga Tschechowa

Fardinand is on the way to church to get married, when his horse eats a straw hat which was sitting on a bush. The hat belongs to a married woman who, behind the bush, was having an affair with a lieutenant; and if she returns home without the hat, everyone will know. So Fardinand must replace the hat with an identical copy whatever it takes – yet do so without throwing his own wedding off schedule. A silent feature debut from soon-to-be master director René Clair, this inventive farce is considered one of the high points of silent comedy.

Saturday 21 March

USA/Austria/Switzerland · 1995 · 101 min.
Director Richard Linklater
Cast Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Jesse and Céline, two 20-something travellers, meet on a train from Budapest. They decide, on a whim (but also sensing a connection), to disembark at Vienna to spend the day and evening together, wandering the city, encountering locals, and discussing life in all its subtleties, absurdities, and philosophies.


USA/France · 2004 · 80 min.
Director Richard Linklater
Cast Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Then, quite unexpectedly to fans, a second film was released to show what happened to Jesse and Céline. They meet again nine years later, when Jesse is in France promoting a book he wrote about their experiences in Vienna. The second part of the trilogy plays out in real time, and the writing is credited to Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy.

Saturday 28 March

USA/Greece · 2013 · 109 min.
Director Richard Linklater
Cast Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Fast forward another nine years, and this time we are meeting up with Jesse and Céline in Greece for the final part of the trilogy. Linklater is a writer-director obsessed with the passage of time, and this series deals with the many stages of a relationship over a period of almost two decades. Almost magical in its romanticism, this series has honest characters and deep emotions all the way through, and it speaks to everyone, from adolescence to the end of life. Nominated for two Oscar®s (for the writing in the second and third films).

Saturday 18 April

Germany · 1979 · 120 min.
Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cast Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Lowitsch, R. W. Fassbinder

World War 2 and Maria Braun and her husband are married as the bombs drop around them. Two days later he is sent to the front. Maria needs to become very tough to survive in war-wracked Germany. When the war ends, she searches every day, longing for his return. But his home-coming is not the happy reunion she hoped for. She still loves him, indeed so much she may be even willing to kill for him. But she has to deal with a lover who still wants to control her. The film has a powerful, unexpected ending.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Saturday 9 May

France · 1949 · 85 min.
Director Jacques Tati
Cast Jacques Tati, Paul Frankeur, Guy Decomble

Jacques Tati stars as an inept and easily distracted postman who attends the village fair and sees a documentary on the advanced, mechanised American postal system and is overcome with enthusiasm for speed. The first, and some say best of Jacques Tati comedies, provides hilarious slapstick while giving a sympathetic portrayal of what was already a vanishing way of life. It is set in the real-life village of Sainte-Sévère-sur-Indre, with villagers playing many of the parts. Largely a visual comedy in the silent tradition, the film displays the same droll comedy, gentle humanism, clever sight gags, and relaxed pace the director is famous for.

Saturday 16 May

USA · 1970 · 172 min.
Director Franklin J. Schnaffner
Cast George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates

The great actor George C. Scott shines in this Oscar®-winning representation of the war-loving, controversial American World War 2 general, George S. Patton. The film follows the career of the egomaniacal but tactless genius from his commands in North Africa, to his removal from command for the assault of a shell-shocked GI in Sicily, and then his rise to success in the famous Battle of the Bulge. The epic screenplay was written at the height of the Vietnam War by a young Francis Ford Coppola, and anticipates his later classic, Apocalypse Now.

Saturday 30 May

USA · 1953 · 92 min.
Director Henry Hathaway
Cast Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotton, Jean Peters, Max Showalter

Two couples are honeymooning at Niagara Falls, and the wife of one couple plots with the husband of the other to murder her own husband. This film brought the tropes of film noir into the glossiest and sexiest Technicolor; and is "ironically" largely responsible for cementing Niagara’s reputation as a honeymoon destination.


USA · 1952 · 76 min.
Director Roy Ward Baker
Cast Richard Widmark, Marilyn Monroe, Anne Bancroft

Monroe occasionally got a role that was a departure from ditzy blonde or femme fatale; this may be the furthest departure of all. Initially we might be watching a romantic comedy: an airline pilot falls head over heels for his babysitter neighbour. Then he comes to suspect that she may be dangerous.

Saturday 13 June

USA · 2017 · 90 min.
Director Alexandra Dean

The true story about screen-goddess Hedy Lamarr’s incredible secret life as a research scientist.

Saturday 27 June

UK · 1954 · 108 min.
Director David Lean

Tyrannical widower Henry Hobson is faced with three daughters conspiring for their freedom.

Saturday 11 July

Japan · 2015 · 126 min.
Director Hirokazu Kore-eda

A tender film: three sisters are joined by their 14 year-old half-sister after their father dies.

Saturday 25 July

Australia · 1966 · 107 min.
Director Michael Powell

Likeable, funny story about an Italian migrant in beautifully-filmed Sydney of the sunny sixties.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Saturday 8 August

Denmark · 1991 · 118 min.
Director Lars Von Trier

An American joins Germany’s Zentropa Railways in the dark days after the fall of the Reich.

Saturday 29 August

USA · 1936 · 95 min.

Very funny double bill about eccentric butlers ...


USA · 1935 · 90 min.

... who delightfully turn the tables on their employers.

Programme details are subject to change without notice

Copyright © 2020 Reel McCoy Film Group