He may be without his long-time sparring partner Margaret Pomperanz, but that doesn’t mean Australia’s famous film critic David Stratton is less passionate about the movies.

Having growing up in UK, Stratton is the best man for the job, and is bringing the Great Britain Retro Film Festival to the big screen at Cinema Nova this month, showcasing 19 classic films from the motherland, many remastered and reinvigorated.

“I spent the first twenty years of my life in Britain so I’ve always been especially fond of British movies,” Stratton says. “That’s why I’m so excited about this retrospective film festival. All of these wonderful films will be screened in the digital format on the big cinema screen. I do hope you can join me for some, or all, of this Season One of great British classics.”

The Great British Retro Film Festival starts this weekend, and I have Great Expectations (giggle) it’ll go down a treat!


2001 A Space Odyssey
Made entirely in British film studios, Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece is still the most visionary and challenging science fiction movie ever produced.

A Man For All Seasons
Veteran American director Fred Zinnemann’s flawless adaptation of Robert Bolt’s play about Sir Thomas More’s moral courage in standing up to Henry VIII won five Oscars in 1966.

A Room With A View
One of the best of the films made by the team of James Ivory (director), Ismail Merchant (producer) and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (writer), this sophisticated and witty adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel showcases memorable performances from Maggie Smith, Daniel Day Lewis.

Black Narcissus
This Michael Powell – Emeric Pressburger adaptation of a novel by Rumer Godden is set in India but was filmed almost entirely on eleborate and beautiful sets constructed in a British film studio.

Brassed Off
In this beguiling combination of laughter and tears, Yorkshire miners threatened with the closure of their pit find solace in their brass band. Ewan McGregor and Tara Fitzgerald are notable but it’s Pete Postlethwaite as the stand-out

Brief Encounter
David Lean’s masterly depiction of a tentative romance between two married middle-class Brits was scripted by Noel Coward and based on his play Still Life. As the lovers, Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson give unforgettable performances.” – David Stratton more

Don’t Look Now
Much expanded from a short story by Daphne DuMaurier, Nicolas Roeg’s extraordinary film is partly about a bereaved couple (Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie) coming to terms with loss and partly a tense and suspenseful thriller.

Gosford Park
Near the end of his career the great American director Robert Altman made this deliciously old fashioned British film based on an original screenplay by Julian Fellowes. The setting is a stately home, and the characters, not so much.

Great Expectations
Made immediately after Brief Encounter, this was the first of two magnificent Dickens adaptations made by David Lean (the second was Oliver Twist). Dickens’ complex story with its many characters has been skilfully adapted for the screen.

I Know Where I’m Going
Another Powell-Pressburger classic in which the delectable Wendy Hillier plays a resourceful and ambitious young woman who travels to the Scottish Highlands in order to marry a wealthy man but who finds her plans mysteriously, almost mystically, derailed.

Kind Hearts And Coronets
One of the finest of the distinguished Ealing comedies, Robert Hamer’s dry and extremely witty film is a depiction of the activities of a suave murderer, impeccably played by Dennis Price, who sets out to eliminate all the members of an aristocratic family.

Lawrence Of Arabia
If ever a film demanded to be seen on the big screen it’s David Lean’s great epic about the extraordinary career of T. E. Lawrence and the shaping of the post-World War 1 Middle East. In his first major role, Peter O’Toole is a mesmerising Lawrence.

Peeping Tom
The film that is generally believed to have ruined the career of the great director Michael Powell, this obsessive thriller about a serial killer (Karl Bohm) who works in a film studio and who was traumatised by the cruel treatment of his father.

Sense And Sensibility
This exceedingly handsome Jane Austen adaptation was scripted by actor Emma Thompson and was the first feature directed by Ang Lee outside his native Taiwan. The impeccable cast includes Thompson herself, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant.

Slumdog Millionaire
A British film, directed by Danny Boyle, set in the slums of Mumbai where Jamal (Dev Patel) seeks to make a fortune on the Indian television version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Tales Of Hoffman
The apotheosis of the Powell-Pressburger collaboration, this sumptuous filmed version of Offenbach is a visually exhilarating combination of opera and ballet, not to mention exceptional production design.

The 39 Steps
In the 1930s, Alfred Hitchcock gained an international reputation for a series of amusing and beautifully crafted thrillers including this one, based on a book by John Buchan, with Robert Donat perfectly cast as Hannay.

The Red Shoes
In this masterpiece from the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Moira Shearer plays a young ballerina torn between two controlling men, played by Anton Walbrook and Marius Goring.

The Third Man
Directed by Carol Reed on location in shattered, divided post-war Vienna, and scripted by Graeme Greene, this celebrated suspense film features Joseph Cotten as an American writer who comes to the city searching for his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles).

For screening dates and details, head to www.cinemanova.com.au.

To get you in the monarchy mood, here’s the trailer for The Third Man, complete with I-will-never-get-that-song-out-of-my-head-for-as-long-as-I-live soundtrack. You’re welcome!