A Passion for classic cinema

By Ella Gibson

It’s not often that someone is so passionate about a genre of film that they start a public film club specifically for it, but John Poulianakis is more enthusiastic than most.

Operating from the Multicultural Hub in Elizabeth St, the group screens films on Sundays from 2.30pm to around 5.30pm amid the hustle and bustle of the Queen Victoria Markets. Part-time radio show host and film noir fan, Mr Poulianakis created the group 15 years ago and is its driving force.

“It’s important to have a safe environment, and [the Hub] is ideally located,” he said. “It’s welcoming and very diverse … this place is for everyone.”

While other genres get an occasional look-in, the majority of the films the club shows are film noir classics from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Almost all of them come from John’s own – very extensive – collection.

“The point is just to cherish the films,” he said. “They are just begging to be watched.”

Like most film or book clubs, it’s only a small handful of people who turn up each week, but the passion for the genre has created a like-minded, micro-community within the CBD. With free entry, and free tea and coffee, Mr Poulianakis ensures that those who turn up each week are truly in it for the enjoyment of the films.

“It really is a voluntary exercise,” he said.

Due to the rarity of the titles, it’s often a struggle to find them. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t deter John, who searches CBD stores and eBay. His personal recommendation is The DVD Collection on Elizabeth St.

To help fully engage with the films, the group participates in a discussion prior to the films being screened.

The group starts back on February 14, with a line-up of films such as Sorry, Wrong Number, The Collector, Love Me or Leave Me, Private Hell 36 and L’uomo Senza Passato.

For any inquiries about the group, you can contact John on 0459 398 358.

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