Four teenage girls wearing black and white outfits and walking through the rain while lightning lights up the sky

Cult Classics at the NFSA

Cult Classics at the NFSA with Venus Mantrap

Arc Cinema presents a series of Friday night filmic feasts hosted by Venus Mantrap, local drag artist and culture warrior.   

Cult Classics at the NFSA plumbs the archives to showcase cinema with bite, edgy movies and fan favourites – films that unnerve, push buttons, ask questions and just look good on the big screen!   

If you're a sucker for nostalgia or curious about forgotten gems, join Venus as we venture into the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond – with special guests, surprise performances, trivia and best-dressed contests. Gather your tribe of rowdy rebels and misfits and join Venus for Cult Classics! 

Venus Mantrap

Venus Mantrap is an androgynous construct whose roots are firmly planted in the world of drag. Exploring aspects of cabaret, performance-art and comedy during live shows, Mantrap has produced The Bowie Ball and starred in the one-person-shows Life, Love and Lip Syncing and Valley of the Molls. Venus is regularly found at Smith's Alternative as the MC of Cabaret Voltaire and has been a featured artist at Glitterbox, LGBTIQ+ Elders Dance Club, Drag Cabaret and Finucane and Smith's touring show Dancehall. Follow them on Instagram at @the_venus_mantrap.  


2024 Program

Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction looking intently at someone off camera


Fatal Attraction (1987)

Friday 23 February, 8pm

Ditch the cliches this Valentine’s Day season and revisit the film responsible for the term ‘bunny boiler’: Fatal Attraction, starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close.

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A woman wearing black holds her hand to her chest while looking upwards. Behind her is a red-tinted montage of women performing modern dance


Suspiria (2018) 

Friday 22 March, 8pm

Luca Guadagnino reimagines Dario Argento’s surrealist nightmare set inside a world-renowned dance company in 1970s Berlin.

Book tickets


Four teenage girls wearing black and white outfits and walking through the rain while lightning lights up the sky


The Craft (1996) 

Friday 19 April, 8pm

Revel in the magic of The Craft, as a group of outcast Catholic schoolgirls navigate the pitfalls of adolescence while grappling with their newfound powers as witches. Put on your pentagram chokers and warm up your cauldrons! 

Book tickets


A wide-eyed woman covers her mouth in horror


Rosemary's Baby (1968) – 35mm 

Friday 31 May, 8pm

Rosemary’s Baby is a psychological thriller that dabbles in the demonic. Journey into a witchy and quintessentially '60s nightmare: occult cinema at its very best.

Book tickets


A smiling woman rests her head on the shoulder of a man wearing sunglasses and holding up a sawn-off shotgun


Natural Born Killers (1994) – 35mm

Friday 28 June, 8pm

Natural Born Killers is a '90s road trip like no other, with a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, soundtrack produced by Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), and directed by the prolific and multi-award-winning Oliver Stone.

Book tickets


A man wears tight black clothing accessorised with dark lipstick and eye shadow


The Crow (1994)

Friday 26 July, 8pm

The first big-budget film from Australian director Alex Proyas, The Crow is a Gothic favourite underscored by a blistering soundtrack (The Cure, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine).

Book tickets


A man with a heavily scarred face and wearing a hat holds up a hand wearing a glove with sharp blades extending from his fingers


A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – 40th anniversary

Friday 30 August, 8pm

Blurring the boundaries between what’s real and imagined, Wes Craven’s slasher masterpiece is without a doubt the OG teen-horror film that, 40 years later, still manages to unnerve, shock, gross-out and thrill its audiences.

Book tickets


A woman and a man talk intimately while the man is lying down and they are bathed in a blue light


The Fly (1986)

Friday 27 September, 8pm

A stylish and slick production, The Fly is David Cronenberg at his best. This film simultaneously seduces and repulses thanks to the chemistry and carefully drawn characters played by Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis.

Book tickets


A man whispers in a woman's ear in a bedroom. She is wearing a nightie and has her eyes closed, while he is bare-chested


Eyes Wide Shut (1999) – 35mm

Friday 25 October, 8pm

Slip on your mask and join Venus Mantrap for the best Halloween screening in town, starring Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise.

Book tickets


Three men in brown overalls come out of a lift. One is carrying equipment and wearing goggles and they are all wearing backpacks. They have badges featuring a ghost in a red circle with a diagonal line going from left to right


Ghostbusters (1984) – 40th anniversary

Friday 22 November, 8pm

Ghostbusters blurred genres before it was popular, delivering a string of quotable one-liners that have become part of the pop-culture lexicon. Forty years later, it remains a staple with diehard fans and emerging generations alike.

Book tickets


A man wearing dark glasses holds up a gun with an impassive expression. There is a red dot of light reflected in one lens of his glasses


The Terminator (1984) – 40th anniversary

Friday 13 December, 8pm

Written and directed by James Cameron, the original Terminator boasts slick design and robust action sequences with an unstoppable and pitch-perfect Arnold Schwarzenegger villain.

Book tickets