Classic Film Vote

Each year we like to screen at least one classic film in amongst our regular feast of world and independent cinema. This year we thought we’d leave it to our members to decide what we’ll screen though. So, we gathered a few requests from members and the committee and whittled them down to a shortlist of 5 titles we know are available in the appropriate format and in shiny new prints.

During the next few LFS screenings, we will have a paper system, similar to our usual film feedback forms, allowing members to vote for their preferred title from this shortlist and will announce the winner in good time before the 20th March, when the film will be shown. Email voting will be allowed too, for those who can’t make any of the next few screenings. Send your choice and membership number to

To better inform your choice, below are the titles on the shortlist and a little more information about them, as well as trailers:

Midnight Cowboy

Dir: John Schlesinger
Year: 1969
Country: USA

After a year of uncertainty in which he almost decided to leave film behind, Dustin Hoffman (against industry advice) took the role of seedy conman ‘Ratso’ Rizzo in this Oscar-winning film from British director John Schlesinger. Equally remarkable is Jon Voight as would-be Texan gigolo Joe Buck, who arrives in New York believing that women will be falling at his feet but finds himself squatting with his unlikely new friend.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Dir: Stephan Elliott
Year: 1994
Country: Australia/UK/Germany

Starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ follows three drag queens as they travel across the Australian outback from Sydney to a gig in Alice Springs, in a silver bus nicknamed Priscilla. This hugely entertaining and popular film was one of the most significant trans-themed films of the 1990s.

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Dir: Stanley Kubrick
Year: 1964
Country: UK/USA

Stanley Kubrick originally intended a straight adaptation of Peter George’s novel Red Alert, a chilling thriller about a paranoid American general initiating a nuclear bombing mission over the USSR. But he saw the absurdity behind the retaliatory strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and decided to film it as a comedy.

In an acting tour de force, Sellers plays the British officer attempting to apprehend the psychotic general (Sterling Hayden), the US President trying to smooth things over with his Soviet opposite number, and the eccentric Dr Strangelove, a German émigré scientist with an autonomous Nazi arm and wild ideas about the post-apocalyptic world.

The Piano

Dir: Jane Campion
Year: 1992
Country: Australia/France

Drama set in 19th century New Zealand. A mute Scottish woman and her nine-year-old daughter are set ashore on a beach in a remote location. Her husband to be, in a marriage arranged by her father, refuses to transport her prized piano to his home. It is retrieved by an illiterate neighbour who strikes a bargain with the woman for its return.

This beautiful three-time Oscar-winning drama stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill and a young Anna Paquin. It also features an elegant soundtrack by Michael Nyman.

Cleo from 5 to 7

Dir: Agnes Varda
Year: 1962
Country: France/Italy

This enduring classic of French cinema from the grandmother of the new wave, Agnes Varda (director of the recently screened ‘Faces Places’), stars Corinne Marchand as the eponymous heroine, a singer who whiles away a couple of hours in the cafés, shops and streets of Paris awaiting the results of medical tests. Featuring a memorable score by Oscar-nominated composer Michel Legrand, the film paints a beguiling and stylish portrait of the French capital at the height of the sixties.

Clip from the film (I couldn’t find a subtitled trailer)