What we're about

We’re a group of local film enthusiasts who come together most Monday nights between February and October to watch the best local and international cinema. You’ll find us in the inner city at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū on Montreal Street.

We’d love you to join us for a drink, snacks, and casual socialising from 7pm in the Art Gallery’s spacious foyer followed by a short introductory talk and our film screening which begin at 7:30pm.

We also regularly hold pre-film gatherings for new and existing Meetup members at Fiddlesticks Bar – across the road from the art gallery on Worcester Street – from 6:30pm. These are a great way to get an introduction to the society and meet other new members. Details are included in the first paragraph of our event listings.

Our 2021 programme features an impressive 42 films including dramas, comedies, classics, war and cult films, romances, foreign-language, rarities, and two mini-festivals showcasing Queer Film and Aotearoa NZ film.

If you’d like to try out what we’re offering at no cost, fourteen of our films this year are free and open-to-the-public. Check our events list or the full programme on our website for more details:

https://www.canterburyfilmsociety.org.nz/programme

For those who want to sample further or cherry-pick a few films, we offer a $30 Flexi-Pass which gives one admission to any three films — or three admissions to any one film — and never expires. Once you’re ready for more, you can buy another Flexi-Pass or credit the cost of your used pass toward a 12-month membership. Full membership includes admission to every film we screen, and we offer discounts for students, the unwaged, and seniors.

Thanks to partnerships with our amazing friends at Alice and Lumière Cinemas and the NZ International Film Festival, full members also enjoy generous discounts on tickets at these venues, alongside other perks such as a free guest admission to any one film screening. More details are on our website:

https://www.canterburyfilmsociety.org.nz/join

Upcoming events (5)

Film: Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

You're warmly invited to join us for our screening of Dorothy Arzner’s 1940 classic Dance, Girl, Dance, which is part of our Classic Films selection this year. Doors open for casual socialising from 7pm, with the film – and a brief introductory talk – starting at 7:30pm.

Meetup members are also invited to a pre-film chat hosted by Ali at Fiddlesticks Bar across the road on Worcester Street from 6:30pm.

This event isn't open to the public, but non-members are welcome to join by purchasing a 3-film flexi-pass or full membership, either in advance via our website or at our membership desk on the night.
https://www.canterburyfilmsociety.org.nz/join

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Dorothy Arzner • USA • 1940 • 90 mins • Rated PG

SYNOPSIS:
An aspiring ballerina (Maureen O’Hara) and burlesque queen (Lucille Ball) compete for both fame and love in this feminist classic from one of the few women directors in Hollywood.

TRAILER:
https://youtu.be/Fljry1HocUY

REVIEWS:
IMDB: 6.7/10 • Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

“Dorothy Arzner, the sole woman to work as a director in the Hollywood studio system of the 1930s and early ’40s, brings a subversive feminist sensibility to this juicily entertaining backstage melodrama. A behind-the-footlights look at friendship, jealousy, and ambition in the ruthless world of show business, Dance, Girl, Dance follows the intertwining fates of two chorus girls: a starry-eyed dancer (Maureen O’Hara) who dreams of making it as a ballerina, and the brassy gold digger (a scene-stealing Lucille Ball) who becomes her rival both on the stage and in love. The rare Hollywood picture of the era to deal seriously with issues of female artistic struggle and self-actualization, Arzner’s film is a rich, fascinating statement from an auteur decades ahead of her time.”

— Criterion.com

“This is a feminist cult classic not only because of Arzner’s incisive direction but also for the famous, male-gaze defying scene where O’Hara speaks back to an all-male audience. The film features supple, gritty camerawork by Russell Metty and a support cast including Louis Hayward, Ralph Bellamy, and the indomitable Maria Ouspenskaya.”

— Melbourne Cinematheque

Film: Bombshell — The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017)

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

You're warmly invited to join us for our screening of Alexandra Dean’s 2017 documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, which is part of our Screen Queens selection this year. Doors open for casual socialising from 7pm, with the film – and a brief introductory talk – starting at 7:30pm.

Meetup members are also invited to a pre-film chat hosted by Barbara at Fiddlesticks Bar across the road on Worcester Street from 6:30pm.

This event isn't open to the public, but non-members are welcome to join by purchasing a 3-film flexi-pass or full membership, either in advance via our website or at our membership desk on the night.
https://www.canterburyfilmsociety.org.nz/join

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Alexandra Dean • USA • 2017 • 90 mins • Rated M (nudity)

SYNOPSIS:
This debut documentary is a revelatory and entertaining portrait of an adventurous woman and talented inventor more widely known to the world as the embodiment of Hollywood sex and glamour.

TRAILER:
https://youtu.be/BKXAkITImGU

REVIEWS:
IMDB: 7.4/10 • Rotten Tomatoes: 96% • Metacritic: 70%.

"In the heyday of the Hollywood studios the popular joke about Hedy Lamarr was that she was so gorgeous that she need not concern herself with acting. Though the young Austrian émigré successfully parlayed her looks into Hollywood star power, she came to see her beauty as a ‘curse’, something that blinded onlookers to a far more vital attribute: a brilliant mind for mechanics. Who knew that she had invented a ‘frequency hopping’ system to conceal allied torpedoes from Nazi locater systems? (The science anticipated the technology that underlies WiFi and Bluetooth.)

Her international career began in scandal: she performed naked and was directed in such a way as to appear to be experiencing an orgasm in the Czech film Ecstasy. She was 19. In her later years her plastic surgery provided further fodder for tabloid gossip. Alexandra Dean’s timely documentary draws extensively on a previously unpublished audio interview from 1990 to highlight Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler’s multiple lives and unsung accomplishments. This fully rounded portrait challenges the reductive notions about beauty vs. brains that she, like so many other shimmering screen sirens, have been forced to endure.

– Sandra Reid, NZIFF 2018

Aotearoa Film Festival: The Pā Boys (2014)

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

You're warmly invited to join us for our screening of Himiona Grace’s 2014 drama The Pā Boys, which is one of the seven films in our Aotearoa Film Festival. Doors open for casual socialising from 1:30pm, with the film – and a brief introductory talk – starting at 2pm.

All films in our Aotearoa Film Festival are free and open-to-the-public; non-members are welcome to attend. Donations/koha are always appreciated for these events.

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Himiona Grace • NZ • 2014 • 93 mins • Rated M

SYNOPSIS:
A fictional Wellington reggae band find their roots – both musical and personal – on a Kiwi road trip, playing East Coast and Northland pubs heading up to Cape Reinga.

TRAILER:
https://youtu.be/nYVVQN0KmXk

REVIEWS:
IMDB: 6.8/10 • Rotten Tomatoes: 67%

Aotearoa Film Festival: The Heart Dances (2018)

Alice Cinema & Film Specialists

You're warmly invited to join us for our screening of Rebecca Tansley’s 2018 documentary The Heart Dances, which is one of the seven films in our Aotearoa Film Festival. This screening will be at Alice Cinemas, with the film – and a brief introductory talk – starting at 8pm.

All films in our Aotearoa Film Festival are free and open-to-the-public; non-members are welcome to attend. Donations/koha are always appreciated for these events.

Rebecca Tansley • NZ • 2018 • 99 mins • Rated PG

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SYNOPSIS:
A seductive behind-the-scenes look at the cultural and creative process needed to transform Jane Campion's film The Piano into a new work for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

TRAILER:
https://youtu.be/0Id7l1-Liyo

REVIEWS:
IMDB: 7.9/10

Photos (92)