WORLD MOVIES – A MONTH OF THE WORLD
DIVERSE AND WORLD WIDE
Ranging from German comedies (like Late Show) to Greek mating
games (like The Mating Game), the world of movies offers greater
diversity – and often greater value - than much of the
mainstream fare. Guest host for the month, Andrew L. Urban,
previews some of the films he will introduce during September on
the World Movies channel.
Two vastly different German films launch the month; The Comedian
Harmonists (Saturday, Sept 1, 8.30pm) and Late Show (Monday, Sept
3, 8.30pm). The former is set in the 20s and is based on the true
story of a singing group which has to contend with internal
jealousies and tensions before falling foul of the Nazi movement.
By contrast, Late Show is a crackling satire on commercial tv and
highly recommended as a tonic for those Monday night blues.
But this is just the tip of the diversity iceberg: on the second
weekend of September, for example, I introduce Boesman &
Lena, starring Angela Bassett and Danny Glover (Saturday),
Patrice Leconte’s The Girl on the Bridge, starring Vanessa
Paradis and Daniel Auteuil (Sunday), and the Spanish romantic
comedy, Cha Cha Cha (Monday) in which the old love quadrangle
On Sunday 23rd, it’s the television premiere of Japanese
director Akira Ogata’s impressive debut feature, Boys Choir.
Boys Choir had its world premiere at the 2000 Berlin Film
Festival, where it won the Alfred Bauer Award for the director
and was nominated for a Golden Bear.
Set in a remote Catholic school in northern Japan in the early 70s,
the film combines various seemingly unrelated themes – like
coming of age, living for a dream, social revolution …and
friendship – in convincing and satisfactory style. At its
centre are two 15 year old boys, the stuttering Michio and the
golden voiced Yasuo.
"A compelling film and
always complex, always unpredictable"
Yasuo, obsessed with the Vienna Boys Choir, is a strangely tragic
figure, with exotic good looks, in contrast to the more macho
Michio. But it is not homoeroticism that drives the film, but
Yasuo’s obsession. Into their isolated world come fragments
from the world beyond – from a world where social revolution
in the West is starting to impact on Japan. One of the teachers
is an ex-revolutionary, and when confronted by a young extremist
woman on the run, he poses the question that all revolutions have
to ask: is the new world a step away, or is it a lie?
A fraction long perhaps, Boys Choir is nonetheless a compelling
film and always complex, always unpredictable. As is the
energetic score, which has been compared in style to Benjamin
Britten. Another surprise in a film full of them.
On Saturday, September 8 (and again on the 20th), you can catch
The Eliminators, which someone describes as the Swedish take of a
Jerry Bruckheimer film.
To further whet your appetite, here is a selection of films from
the September program:
Temptress Moon (dir Chen Kaige); Gadjo Dilo (dir Tony Gatlif);
Bandit Queen (dir Shekhra Kapur); Men With Guns (dir John Sayles);
Rashomon (dir Akira Kurosawa); Earth (dir Deepa Mehta); Dark
Habits (dir Pedro Almodovar); Mephisto (dir Istvan Szabo);
Chungking Express (dir Kar-Wai Wong), Valmont (dir Milos Forman);
Stalingrad (dir Joseph Vielsmaier); Jean de Florette (dir Claude
Berri); A Short Film About Killing (dir Kryszto Kieslowski). . .
Published August 30, 2001
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If you are a subscriber to Foxtel or Austar and you haven’t subscribed to World Movies, this is your chance for a sneak peek. Throughout September, the World Movies channel is available free – so you can sample the wide world of movies. During the month, Andrew L. Urban presents the evening movies on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights.
At www.worldmovies.net you can consult the tv guide, plus request email reminders of upcoming movies you’d like to catch.
Girl on the Bridge
Girl on the Bridge
Boesman and Lena