Manly Open Air Cinema are screening four films in four days in the grounds of the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) at St Patrick’s Estate on North Head, from 19 – 22 October.
The open-air movie marathon – featuring two contemporary features bookended between two classics – begins on Thursday 19 October with The Great Gatsby, followed by Barbie on Friday, Top Gun: Maverick on Saturday, and ends with Pretty Woman on Sunday 22 October.
The gates open at 6pm, with films starting as the sun sets, finishing around 10.30pm.
Participants are provided with headphones and beanbags for quality sound and comfortable seating.
Vendors will retail food and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) while live music will be played by a band, adding to the ambience.
Over 18s only. Arrive early, seating is first come, first seated, no pre-allocated placing. (See booking details below.)
Four films in four days
The Great Gatsby is the 2013 film adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1925 ‘Jazz Age’ novel of class envy, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and Australian Joel Edgerton.
Fun fact #1: The ICMS campus was used for exterior shots of Jay Gatsby’s mansion in the film. Viewers will appreciate seeing the movie version of the castle-like, Heritage-listed former St Patrick’s seminary, while the real-life version is behind the screen! [Note: the palm trees adjacent to the building were digitally removed in post-production of the film to better resemble its Long Island, New York setting.]
Fun fact #2: Australian director-screenwriter Baz Luhrmann, the distinguished auteur known for Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge and Elvis, was educated at St Paul’s College in Manly (directly opposite ICMS on Darley Rd), as well as Narrabeen Sports High School.
Barbie, the 2023 comedy-fantasy starring Margot Robbie (another Australian!) as the glamorous, ubiquitous Mattel children’s doll, and Ryan Gosling as the somewhat gormless Ken, is a clever satire that pokes fun at social stereotypes.
The characters inhabit a matriarchal Barbieland populated by a variety of Barbies and Kens, the Barbies holding prestigious jobs while the Kens lounge around on the beach. Then they go out into the real world…
The film has the distinction of being the highest-grossing film by a solo female director, Greta Gerwig.
Fun fact #1: the 1987 international hit song Barbie Girl by Scandinavian pop band Aqua did not feature in the film as expected, which was attributed to long-running legal stoushes between Mattel toy makers and MCA Records, the song’s American publisher.
[Mattel are fiercely protective of their 1/6 scale, 1959-launched, plastic doll, with her multiple accessories. It wasn’t until the second Toy Story in the four-film animated franchise that they licensed her as a support character.]
A reworked version of the Barbie Girl song called Barbie World, which samples the original and co-credits Aqua, was used instead.
Top Gun: Maverick is the long-awaited sequel (36 years!) to the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun starring Tom Cruise. Cruise, who continues to defy ageing in both the real world and his celluloid/digital film characters, reprises his role as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, and Val Kilmer returns as ‘Iceman’.
The first film was inspired by an article in California magazine about the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program – known as ‘Top Gun’ – that teaches air combat manoeuvring to selected naval aviators. They then return to their units and instruct other pilots in the techniques they’ve learned.
Fun fact: If trainee pilots at the Top Gun fighter pilot institute in Nevada mention the Top Gun film during flight training they incur an immediate $5 fine, as it is deemed unprofessional!
Pretty Woman is a 1990 romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere and centres on a wealthy corporate raider hiring a woman from an escort agency to accompany him during a week of business and social functions.
Although the film is R-rated, for a time after its release it was the fourth highest-grossing film of all time, behind E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively).
Currently, Top Gun: Maverick and Barbie are listed in 12th and 14th place, while Pretty Woman is no longer in the top 50.
Fun Fact: The film’s title Pretty Woman was inspired by the 1964 song Oh, Pretty Woman, written by the late crooner Roy Orbison and his song-writing partner Bill Dees about Roy’s wife, Claudette.
During a creative session, Claudette announced to the duo that she was about to travel to Nashville. When Roy asked if she needed any money for the trip, Bill reportedly said, “a pretty woman never needs any money.”
Inspiration struck and 40 minutes later they’d written the song, which was released as a single in August 1964 and topped the music charts in UK and the USA, eventually selling over seven million copies.
Manly Open Air Cinema bookings: https://manlyopenaircinema.com.au/
International College of Management, 151 Darley Rd, Manly