Thursday, 16 November 2017

November 17 2017
German Cinema Melbourne - 17-25 November
Latino Film Festival - 16-29 Nov

The quantity of pre-festival viewing has reached overload proportions and I seem to have consequently missed a couple of other latest releases. There's only so many films a person can fit into a week! Hopefully I'll bring them to you in the coming weeks. Nevertheless, this week's release Lucky is a total winner, while two new festivals promise plenty of delights. 

Director: John Carroll Lynch
Length: 88 min
© Umbrella - philosophical, poignant, beautiful
To steal from the press material,  Lucky is at once "a love letter to the life and career of Harry Dean Stanton, as
well as a meditation on mortality, loneliness, spirituality, and human connection." I couldn't have put it better myself. This is one of those standout pieces of film-making that will possibly make my top films of 2017! It is HDS's last film before he died, so very pertinent and, according to the screenwriter, written with Harry in mind. Lucky is a 90-something taciturn bloke, who chain-smokes, still exercises, and is viewed fondly by the folk of his Arizona town despite his lack of social graces. Lucky's nihilistic, existential approach to life changes a little as some low-key connections with others start to happen. It's hard to verbalise ideas about a film like this; it's best to let it sink in at some subliminal emotional level and speak to your own views on the deeper issues of life, death and nothingness! I adore the simplicity, sparseness, humour and poignancy of this film and Stanton's performance is a winner - a truly fitting finale! 
4.5 - wholeheartedly recommended!

German Cinema Melbourne
17th-25th November
Venue: Backlot Studios

After the demise of the former German Film Festival, and the dire threat of no more German films being showcased, a brave team got together to launch a new German film festival. Peter Krausz, artistic director, has chosen some mighty fine films for us to enjoy. I can highly recommend the two I've already previewed.

Berlin Falling
Director: Ken Duken
Length: 91 min
This taut thriller will get you in from go to woe. Frank, a returned soldier, is in an emotional mess after a stint in Afghanistan. Travelling to Berlin to meet his family, he picks up a hitchhiker, Andreas. The freeloader is not what he seems, and the whole thing turns into a nightmare. With alarming resonance for recent terror attacks in Europe (and Berlin), this is a top notch, edge of your seat film.

Fritz Lang
Director: Gordian Maugg
Length: 104 min 
© German CM: Heino Ferch is a great Lang
This innovative and excellent opening night film centres upon the iconic German filmmaker Fritz Lang, and his filming of the 1930 movie M, partly inspired by a real life serial killer of the time. This is extraordinary film-making, with the whole being shot in monochrome, using a 4:3 ratio, so that clips from Lang's actual films, along with archival footage of the times, can be seamlessly incorporated into the whole. It's a fascinating insight into an era, and a film-maker's inspirations and obsessions. 

All up 11 films will screen, along with events, music, panel discussions, and of course parties! 
For further details visit:

Latino Film Festival
16-29 November Melbourne 
Venue: Palace Como, Palace Westgarth
See website for other states. 

This festival brings you films from all over the Latin American world: Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Argentina. With 26 films, a Mexican fiesta, and special Argentinian night, there is mucho to choose from.  

Desert Bride
Dir: Cecilia Atan & Valeria Pivato
78 mins
© Palace -a warm and unassuming film
Paulina Garcia (who you may have seen in Gloria) plays Theresa, a woman who has worked as a maid for one family for 30 years of her life. While travelling to another post, she mislays her baggage and kindly market vendor  Gringo (Claudio Rissi) offers to drive her on the hunt for it. This gentle film delicately looks at issues of love, change and aging, and somehow its short runtime still allows it to explore its themes in a way that resonates with you long after the film is over.

At the End of the Tunnel
Dir: Rodrigo Grande
120 mins
© Palace -tension plus
This is the sort of heist film I wish there were more of. Joaquin is a grumpy widower, wheelchair bound after an accident that killed his wife and child. When a young boarder and her mute child move in, Joaquin gets a new lease on life, until he discovers, via a bit of eavesdropping and a secret camera, that a gang of crims are in the flat next door, tunneling under the building and plotting a bank robbery. The nail-biting tension rarely lets up for a moment in this exciting, at times, claustrophobic film. 

For further details, film synopses, times and ticketing visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment