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What’s on in the Playhouse Cinema this June

Jess Ellicott

Cinema returns to the Playhouse this June with a show-stopping selection of classic and contemporary films. Immerse yourself in 50 years of standout Australian cinema with our Sunburnt Screens program, hosted by passionate cinephile Alexei Toliopoulos and featuring special guests. Plus, enjoy crowd-pleasing favourites like Studio Ghibli charmer My Neighbor Totoro, certified classic Babe or the Sydney-set The Fall Guy.

Sunburnt Screens: An Australian Cinema Odyssey

The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992) + Director Q&A

Perhaps best known for her Cannes Competition-selected My Brilliant Career or her 1994 adaptation of Little Women starring Winona Ryder, director Gillian Armstrong is a legend of Australian cinema, with a rich filmography ripe for discovery. We are honoured to present her 1992 film The Last Days of Chez Nous and welcome her for a Q&A after the film. Written by acclaimed novelist Helen Garner (Monkey Grip, Joe Cinque’s Consolation) and starring Lisa Harrow, Miranda Otto and Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire), it’s a visually resplendent drama about a family facing big changes. 

Book tickets to The Last Days of Chez Nous

Birdeater (2023) + Director Introduction

One of the buzziest Australian debuts of recent times, local directors Jack Clark and Jim Weir’s Birdeater is a psychological thriller set at a buck’s party gone absolutely feral. Irene is invited to her fiancé Louie’s bachelor party on a remote outback property. As the beer flows and lies are unravelled, the festivities spiral into deliciously nightmarish territory. One of the few Australian films selected for SXSW 2024, we are delighted to have the filmmakers present to introduce this must-see new release. 

Book tickets to Birdeater

The Man from Hong Kong (1975)

Trust us, you’ve never seen a Sydney-set kung fu extravaganza quite like this. Directed by Australian genre film master Brian Trenchard-Smith (BMX Bandits, Dead End Drive-In), The Man from Hong Kong is an underseen cult gem starring Australia’s own James Bond (George Lazenby) alongside martial arts star Jimmy Wang Yu. Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu) is flown in from Hong Kong to Sydney to help bust a nefarious local drug syndicate. Hang-gliders, car chases and explosive Sydney Harbour set pieces ensue!

Book tickets to The Man from Hong Kong

Two Hands (1999)

Notable as the breakout film for two of Australia’s most loved stars, Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne, Gregor Jordan’s Two Hands comes to the Playhouse for a special 25th anniversary screening. Ledger steals the screen as young go-getter Jimmy, who gets in way over his head when he fumbles a job from mob boss Pando (a memorable Bryan Brown), all the while falling head over heels for the bright-eyed Alex (Rose Byrne). The streets of Sydney also play a starring role, with familiar scenes of Bondi Beach, Chinatown and Kings Cross providing the stage for this crime classic that withstands the test of time.  The ‘90s alt-rock needle drops don’t hurt, either. 

Book tickets to Two Hands

The Empty Beach (1985)

Beach noir is an underappreciated, but undeniably cool genre, and The Empty Beach is one of this country’s most underseen and fascinating examples. We’re proud to present a world premiere of the new 4K restoration of this Sydney-set stunner, starring a terrific Bryan Brown as down-on-his-luck private investigator Cliff Hardy and adapted from the 1983 novel by "the Godfather of contemporary Australian crime writing", Peter Corris. Come for the hard-boiled crime drama, stay for the spectacular seaside set pieces. 

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Ten Canoes (2006)

Showing in a brand new 4K restoration direct from its Sydney Film Festival premiere, Ten Canoes is a masterpiece of contemporary Australian cinema. The first Australian feature filmed entirely in Indigenous languages, directors Rolf de Heer and Peter Djiggir made Ten Canoes in close collaboration with Yolngu creatives and actors. Set in Arnhem Land prior to Western influence and narrated by David Gulpilil, the film’s unique, transcendent blend of documentary and mythmaking is best savoured in an immersive cinema setting.

Book tickets to Ten Canoes

More films screening in June

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Standing proud among the most beloved works of Studio Ghibli master Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro has lost none of its charm in the 35 years since its initial release. Sisters Satsuki and Mei move to the country with their dad to be closer to their ailing mother. There, they find a magical world of creatures on their doorstep, including the enigmatic (and absurdly cute) Totoro. Routinely ranked highly among the all-time greatest animated films, it’s a treasure for both returning and new viewers. 

Book tickets to My Neighbour Totoro

The Fall Guy (2024)

We love a Sydney-set blockbuster, especially one that unfolds on our famous front steps. Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt (making peace post-Barbenheimer) star in this fun-filled, self-reflexive tribute to the world of action cinema and the people who make it. Stuntman Colt Seavers (Gosling) is called upon for help when the star of a mega-budget studio film – being directed by his ex, Jody Moreno (Blunt) – has gone missing. 

Book tickets to The Fall Guy

Babe (1995)

The little pig that became one of Australia’s biggest-ever box office sensations makes its way onto the Playhouse screen for a family-friendly Sunday matinee. Co-written by film royalty George Miller and nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture, Babe stars James Cromwell and Magda Szubanski alongside a talented voice cast in an endearing tale of a piglet who narrowly escapes his fate as Christmas dinner and takes up a decidedly different role on the farm. 

Book tickets to Babe

WINHANGANHA (2023)

Celebrated Wiradjuri artist Jazz Money’s WINHANGANHA returns to our screen for an encore session this June. A poetic and political collage of archival materials sourced from the National Film and Sound Archive, the film delves into the history of works made by and about First Nations people. It’s both a reckoning of the horrors, as well as a celebration of the joy and beauty held within this archive. An artistic triumph, it deserves to be seen and discussed widely. 

Book tickets to WINHANGANHA


Explore more and book tickets now through our cinema page.