Category Archives: Movies

Watch this!

We love getting recommendations for events, movies, TV shows and books from our members. Two of these are in the Dec 2020/Jan 2021 issue of the Yarn – repeated below as reminders – and the first one was sent to us by Chris Brasher.

The new live-action movie “Mulan” is directed by New Zealander Niki Caro, who also directed “Whale Rider”. “Mulan” is on Disney+ and it’s very good. Thanks for letting us know, Chris.

Netflix is showing “The Dressmaker”, an excellent Aussie flick based on the book of the same name by Rosalie Ham, directed by Jocelyn Moorehouse, and starring an extraordinary cast including Kate Winslet and Judy Davis. Highly recommended by Jenny Gates.

And CBC Gem is currently screening a program on the show The Nature of Things titled “Wild Australia: After the Fires”. Signs of life and hope emerge from the scorched landscapes of the worst wildlife disaster in modern history. This recommendation comes to us from Brian Hydesmith.

Any suggestions for things to watch or do? Email us at and we’ll share them with members.

Yarn October-November

The Autumn (October-November) 2018 version of The Southern Yarn greets us with the arrival of chilly weather and colourful leaves, and some early snowfalls. Read it all here!

All our back issues are available at the Yarns page, too, of course.

Lots of bits of news for your reading pleasure again this issue. While browsing, the persistent story that kept coming up was the drought that is affecting widespread parts of Australia, as well as New Zealand. Folk have even resorted to rain dances!  While it is a good example of typical Aussie humour in the face of hardship, it could be taken as a bit too light-hearted for such a critical issue. I believe the “performers” are dead serious and desperate to get the attention of the public and the politicians any way they can. For many, it is past the point of rain now providing relief: they need financial and emotional assistance. And in the longer term, some new strategies to mitigate the hardships of future prolonged extreme dry seasons. Obviously great minds have been at work addressing this challenge for some years. A good summary of one such effort is the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) publication: “The science of providing water solutions for Australia” [available online here]. For our part, we catch what spring run-off we can and pump it into barrels for use on the garden. This year there was precious little (yes, Manitoba experienced a drought, too), so plan B was drip-irrigators, sprinklers and buckets. My thanks, on your behalf, to the other contributors to this Yarn: Jenny, Ed, Peter, Judy, Murray, Brian and our advertisers! Enjoy, Charlie.


banishedIn case you’ve missed this one, screening Monday nights on CBC Television is the 7-part miniseries Banished. Filmed in Australia as well as Manchester, England, the British drama is set in the first penal colony founded by the British in New South Wales.

In 1787 Britain banished its unwanted citizens ­ – orphans, petty thieves, prostitutes and highwaymen – to Sydney, Australia. This series follows convicts Elizabeth (MyAnna Buring) and Tommy (Julian Rhind-Tutt), who are breaking the rules by being in a relationship. When their relationship is revealed, it sparks conflict and sets into motion a series of events that puts friendships and ideals in question during a time when survival depends on having the back of those you love.

Also starring are Russell Tovey and Australian David Wenham. The first two episodes have already screened and are available online. The series continues tonight at 9:00 pm and is available online. (Since I don’t have cable, be sure to check showtimes in your area.)

NZ vamp movie comes to Polo Park

movie 2SilverCity Polo Park is screening the brilliantly funny NZ movie “What We Do In The Shadows“. It’s running from today until at least next Thursday March 5 (check the theatre’s website for further dates)‎.

The 1hr 26min comedy horror follows the lives of Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles – being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection, modern society has them struggling with the mundane – paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts. Continue reading

Children’s books, videos and more

It can be hard to find country-specific things for Children when you live far away from your homeland. It can be equally difficult to find people who appreciate them when your kids grow up and no longer need them.

If any members of the DUCW club with small children are interested in accepting items from members with now grown-up kids, please let us know. Some of us are hanging on to special books, clothing, games and videos with a particular connection to Down Under.