I was about halfway through a new release romantic comedy the other day when I stopped and thought, "I've seen this before." While I was watching this particular movie for the first time, I'd seen the plot – girl meets boy, girl initially dislikes boy, girl ends up falling for boy – and the characters – uptight New York career girl, her sassy, acid tongued best friend and the smooth playboy male lead – a million times before. I had officially become disillusioned with Hollywood cinema.
In my efforts to find some fresh new viewing material, I was led to the Queensland State Library. There, I discovered that the library has its own cinema that screens free movies every Sunday from 2.00pm until 4.00pm. More impressively, the QSL eschews the usual Hollywood standard in favour of independent, international and classic films.
Amongst the scheduled viewing for winter are renowned flicks like The Maltese Falcon (considered the first private eye film) and Don's Party (an Australian movie that exposes the ugliness of male culture and the disappointment of suburban life in the 1960's), international gems like the French La régle du jeu/Rules of the Game (a satire of upper class and lower class life) and curious oddities like The Swimmer (starring Burt Lancaster and set in a disillusioned upper middle class society) and Jesus of Montreal (where an emerging actor draws criticism from the Catholic Church over his reworking of the Passion Play). You won't find a single hackneyed quip or a meet-cute here.
So if you're getting sick of paying the equivalent of your phone bill to see the same movie over and over again, head down to the Queensland State Library and enjoy some quality cinema for free!