23 What with Queen’s Birthday and all, it’s a light, but good month for Film Society screenings.

First up is the 1998 German movie 23, a film by young German director Hans-Christian Schmid is based on the true story of Karl Koch, a young computer hacker who stumbles across a hidden world of intrigue, deception and danger. After the light tone of the first hour the film becomes more chilling as the hidden forces of law and order close in. The classification is R16 (contains drug use and offensive language). Made available through the Goethe Institut, 23 is free to members, with the public admitted by way of donation at the door.

Screens Monday 13, 6.15pm at the Paramount.

Next is Shanghai Express (1932). This American classic by Joseph von Sternberg stars Marlene Dietrich as Shanghai Lily. This mystical and exotic story of love and destruction is stylized to have everything done to the rhythm of a train. The plot concerns an evacuation from Peking to Shanghai, but it’s in every sense a vehicle for something else: a parade of deceptive appearances and identities, centering on the notion of a prostitute with more honour than those around her. It’s a while since we’ve been able to say it, but this screening is for members only.

Screens Monday 20 June, 6.15pm at the Paramount.

And finally, Distant Lights (2002). The distant lights in Hans-Christian Schmid’s engaging ensemble drama are those illuminated by the promise of a better life. The Polish town of Slubice is a dangerous place for
Russians and Ukranians who hope to slip across the Oder River to greater economic opportunities. The film, set over a 48-hour period, follows several criss-crossing trajectories into the morass of treachery, opportunism, desperation and suspense. This film first screened in the 2003 Wellington Film Festival. Made available through the Goethe Institut, Distant Lights is free to members, with the public admitted by way of donation at the door.

Monday 27 June, 6.15pm, Where else but the Paramount?

That’s it for June. Plenty to keep you occupied mid-month in deciding what to book for at the Wellington Film Festival, which commences on 15 July. The list of films already confirmed can be found on the
34th Wellington Film Festival link here.

More information on the Wellington Film Society, including screening scedules, subscription information & membership forms can be found here.

(lifted from the WFS monthly emailed newsletter)