Go to the Movies at the Dell Next Month

21 January 2009

Punks, Motown-lovers and Marilyn Monroe fans should look out for the spectacular schedule of free films coming up next month at the Botanic Garden's Dell as part of the NZCT Summer City festival.

Cuba St Carnival is hosting the series, and Carnival Artistic Director Chris Morley-Hall says they couldn't resist slipping in a film set in a Cuban nightclub, La Tropical (18 February), to the programme.

"And it's a great film, too," says Chris. "Set in an open-air dance hall on the outskirts of Havana, this documentary follows the lives of performers and brilliantly portrays the passionate atmosphere of a Cuban club in the twilight years of Castro's rule."

Two music documentaries will also be screened - the first being a documentary on the Clash's late, lamented front man, Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (4 February). This highly evocative film gets straight to Joe's character with interviews with the likes of Flea, Bono, Martin Scorsese, John Cusack, Johnny Depp and Matt Dillon - those who Joe would meet to discuss life, love and the state of the world.

The other is Standing in the Shadow of Motown (11 February), a heartbreaking documentary about a group of Detroit musicians. Enter a world of unparalleled soul and emotion as Motown's Funk Brothers (the unheralded group of musicians that played on more number one hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Elvis combined) revisit the sites of their musical roots, triumphs, and eventual heartbreak. With the tumultuous '60s as a backdrop, these unsung heroes take the viewer on a compelling journey as they trace the evolution of 'The Motown Sound' from its origins in Detroit.

And while the electric thrill of expectation is in the air on the eve of Carnival, the big screen action will be shifted from the Dell to Cuba Street for a screening of the racy 1959 comedy classic, Some Like it Hot (20 February).

"There's a good reason it's such a legendary movie - it's got everything," says Mr Morley-Hall. "It's got sly wit, gangsters, jazz, car chases, boys in drag, trains, millionaire yacht owners, and most significantly - Marilyn Monroe's spectacular performance as blonde bombshell Sugar Kane."

"We would love for people to come along dressed as their favourite character - sure to get everyone in the mood for Carnival the next day. Come along in a fabulous dress, or your regular millionaire get-up."

Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (M), Standing in the Shadow of Motown (G) and La Tropical (M) will be screened at the Dell, and Some Like it Hot (PG) will be screened at Swan Lane car park. All films start at 9.00pm.

Check out the NZCT Summer City brochure, available from Council service centres, libraries, pools and cafés around town, or the Events Calendar for more information.