Around the world with Perth Film Society

August 22, 2019 by Perthshire Creates

As we optimistically look forward to an Indian Summer, it’s that time of year when we begin to turn our thoughts to what we can plan for those Autumn evenings, and welcome the recent announcement of Perth Film Society’s new programme. Launched in 1999, Perth Film Society invite audiences to enjoy a wide selection of non-mainstream world films that are not shown in larger cinemas. Run by an enthusiastic group of film lovers, and supported by many local businesses, the Society run an Autumn and Spring programme, showing their films at Horsecross Arts Perth Theatre & Concert Hall.

Heather Maycock, one of our Perthshire Creates Content Volunteers has been taking a look at the kind of films they have shown in recent programmes and written this piece to inspire us to join in and enjoy the films shown by Perth Film Society, by taking a trip ‘Around the world with Perth Film Society’, based on previous films shown.

Destinations to look out for the 2019 Autumn season include Poland, Spain, Japan, Beirut, Belgium, and Italy.  The upcoming film programme can be seen on the image below.

Around the world with Perth Film Society

This year I missed out on a holiday abroad, and though there have been some glorious days of sunshine, (and more recently summer rain), this hasn’t quite made up for the buzzy excitement that a new cultural experience can bring. Lucky for me, and for everyone with all of the wanderlust but none of the means, Perth Film Society are back to fill the hole in my heart just as the nights begin to draw back in this September. Perth Film Society has offered all of us some well-earned escapism over the years, both to far flung places and Scottish gems. So, without further ado – welcome to the Perth Film Society travel guide!

Sweden – The Square

Encompassing the Nordic sophistication that has become so fashionable, Sweden offers magnificent cityscapes in spades. Stockholm’s rich cultural offerings shine brightly in Ruben Östlund’s The Square (2017). The Square is set against the diverse backdrop of Stockholm, making the film both breathtakingly beautiful and tongue and cheek as Östlund plays with the avant-garde world of modern art. The Square layers questions of morality and the human condition with sumptuous sets and dark humour as the audience follow Christian, a director at an elite art museum. After losing his mobile phone Christian’s life begins to unravel. You may end up scolding yourself for laughing and gripping the edge of your seat over the course of the film but despite being so multifaceted, you just can’t ignore the feeling that all of this is all oh-so European. If you like to raise an eyebrow at society’s rigorous conventions, appreciate art, as well as jokes at art’s expense, a trip to The Square is for you.

Japan – Sweet Bean

Rooted in Tokyo’s calmer outskirts rather than its bustling bright centre, Sweet Bean will sweep you up in the soft imagery of Japan. Cherry blossoms rocking in the breeze, a deep-rooted respect for the elderly, and taking joy in life’s simple pleasures all make watching Sweet Bean an experience to leave your heart full. Sweet Bean shows the manager of a small pancake stand struggling to stay afloat when an old woman convinces him to hire her after just one taste of her homemade red bean paste. Sweet Bean is as about as soft and as sweet as the pancakes themselves and is a warm invitation into Japanese everyday life with friendly people. Oh, and you don’t even have to take a twelve-hour flight to get here.

Scotland – Nae Parasan

There’s nothing wrong with a staycation especially when you’re learning something new and fascinating about your country. Add a touch of renewed national pride and you’ll be feeling that cultural buzz right where you are. Nae Pasaran is a testament to the Scottish resolve and compassion. Nae Pasaran tells the true story of Rolls Royce factory workers in a Scottish town in 1974 who refuse to carry out repairs on military planes in solidarity against the violent military coup in Chile. Aside from inspiring a fierce sense of pride in our Scottish communities, Nae Pasaran also is a much-needed message about how the actions and constitution of just a few good people can make such a difference. Nae Pasaran sheds light on this part of Scottish history like never before and brings to life the characters involved. Sometimes we all need our faith in humanity somewhat restored and having Nae Pasaran told by those involved themselves adds to the levity of the film. Powerful and hopeful, Nae Pasaran has the potential to bring out the revolutionary in all of us.

France – Aurore (I Got Life!)

What is it about the French that make them so effortlessly cool? And how do they seem to do with without seeming to care one bit what anyone thinks about them? Aurore probably won’t provide any of us with the answer to those questions, but this heart-warming French film just makes you ask them even more. We meet our lead, Aurore, when everything seems to be going a bit downhill, she loses her job, her husband, and to top it all off, she finds out she’s about to become grandmother. Aurore though refuses to fall into the trap that so many films with older female characters fall into. Rather than relegating herself to being ‘past her prime’, Aurore decides it is time to start over. Aurore is a triumph for feel-good films, it keeps its sunny disposition and understates its monumental importance regarding to representation of female characters making the film incredibly life-affirming without any heaviness. The classic French chic captured in so many of the scenes is a bonus, but such a treat. Being unapologetically yourself has never felt so Parisian.

There have been countless other films and destinations at Perth Film Society since its launch in 1999. Promising to provide accessibility to lesser known and foreign films for the Perthshire community, an enthusiastic team has propelled the society’s success. Special screenings to raise money for women’s charities, ME Research UK, Marie Curie, and support Mental Health Week have not only made PFS beloved to many, but also speaks to the selfless nature of their endeavours. Now part of Horsecross since 2006, film screenings take place over the autumn and spring in the Joan Knight Studio in Perth Theatre.

The Perth Film Society Facebook Page is certainly worth a follow to keep up with the society and scope out the upcoming programmes. As the summer passes its peak and we all begin to peer over into the cold darkness of winter, take yourself off to a film or three. All aboard the Perth Film Society express. Destination? Anywhere you want.

Top Image: Everybody Knows, the first film of the Perth Film Society’s 2019 Autumn Programme

‘Around the world with Perth Film Society’ copy kindly provided by Heather Maycock, working as a Perthshire Creates Content Volunteer, one of the various volunteering opportunities available within Culture Perth & Kinross