I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. It was a wet one here in Brisbane and I’m guessing that cinema ticket sales would have been up as a result.

For those who didn’t get a chance to catch my special ABC radio show last Thursday, you can download it by clicking here. It wasn’t a bad offering this year… with the exception of Dragonball Evolution.


Facebook & Twitter


Thanks to everyone who signed up to my Facebook and Twitter sites. I’ve got over 100 members combined to date. Remember to spread the word amongst your friends. Within Facebook, there’s an option which allows you to recommend the site to friends. Thanks again!


German Film Festival


The 2009 German Film Festival kicks off next Wednesday (Apr 22) with a screening of The Baader Meinhof Complex. I haven’t had a chance to see this film yet but it’s had great reviews… including an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film.


The Festival runs for a week (Apr 22 to Apr 28) and more than 20 German films will be screened. It all takes place at the Palace Centro Cinemas at New Farm.


Tickets for most films are $15 per person (or $13.50 for Palace Movie Club members). The opening night screening is the main exception - $35 per person and this includes an after party. If you’re really keen, you can pick up a 5 film pass for $67.50.


You can find out more by visiting the special website at http://www.goethe.de/Ins/au/lp/prj/ff08/enindex.htm.


To help wet your appetite, here’s some info a few of the films that have tweaked my interest. I’ve included an extract of the plot overview as per the Festival website.


Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (Wed, Apr 22 at 7pm)

This sweeping drama chronicles the fear and terror campaign waged by extreme leftist group the Baader Meinhof Gang (a.k.a. Red Army Faction) in West Germany in the ‘70s. Meticulously researched and powerfully directed, this real-life thriller is a compelling history lesson built around chilling portraits of Andreas Baader (Moritz Bleibtreu), Ulrike Meinhof (Martina Gedeck) and Baader’s hardline girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin (Johanna Wokalek). Reportedly the most expensive German film ever made, it’s a not-to-be-missed festival highlight.


Palermo Shooting (Thu, Apr 23 at 8:45pm)

Director Wim Wenders spins a psychological thriller around Finn (Campino), a successful fashion photographer whose globe-trotting life suddenly spins out of control. Haunted by nightmares involving his dead mother and a mysterious cloaked figure (Dennis Hopper), Finn leaves Düsseldorf for Palermo, where he undertakes a redemptive photo shoot with real-life actress Milla Jovovich. Set to a soundtrack by regular Wenders collaborators including Nick Cave and Lou Reed, “Palermo Shooting” is an intriguing puzzle-box about life, death and the captured image.


Happy New Year (Fri, Apr 24 at 9:00pm)

In Christoph Schaub’s panoramic drama we meet a large cross-section of Zurich inhabitants on New Year’s Eve. Our tour guide is Kaspar (Nils Althaus) a taxi driver with a chequered romantic past whose passenger, Gloria (Denise Virieux), has been abandoned by her husband. As Kaspar’s cab passes through the chilly night, Schaub’s camera detours into the lives of police officers working the late shift, a retired couple, a babysitter problem and a lost dog searching for its owners. As the strands are drawn together, an illuminating picture emerges of that one night in the year where the urge to celebrate is locked in battle with the need to reflect and re-evaluate.


Trade (Sun, Apr 26 at 3:15pm)

Trade is a road thriller set in the sordid world of sex-trafficking. In Mexico, 17-year-old Jorge (Cesar Ramos) witnesses his 13-year-old sister Adriana (Paulina Gaitan) being kidnapped by a highly-organized criminal gang. Pursuing her captors into the US, Jorge forms an uneasy alliance with Ray Sheridan (Kevin Kline), a Texas Ranger attempting to find his missing daughter. With Adriana about to be auctioned on an Internet site, Jorge and Ray face a desperate race against the clock to save her.


Summer Storm (Sun, Apr 26 at 9:00pm)

Summer Storm charts an eventful summer in the lives of teenage best friends Tobi (starring Festivalguest Robert Stadlober) and Achim (Kostja Ullmann). As cox and oarsman, they have helped their rowing team win several cups and are now looking forward to a big regatta in the countryside. But this trip is different. Achim has become close to Sandra (Miriam Morgenstern), forcing Tobi to realize that his feelings for Achim run deeper than he’s willing to admit to himself. Poignant and gently humorous, Summer Storm captures the confusion and courage of a young man on the cusp of adulthood.


I’ll hopefully see you there.


Cannes Film Festival


The Cannes Film Festival, regarded as the most prestigious film festival going around, kicks off on May 13. For those that don’t know, Cannes is a coastal city in southern France. Every year, it plays host to this festival and with it comes a wave of celebrities and media attention.


The new Disney Pixar film, Up, will open the Festival and become the first animated film to do so. The full program will be released next week but rumoured to be making their premiere include films from Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar, Steven Soderbergh, Lars Von Trier, Ang Lee, Michael Moore, Michael Haneke, Jane Campion, Todd Solondz, Neil Jordan, Jim Jarmusch and Woody Allen. I’m sure some of these are just “rumours” but even if only half of these flicks are ready, it should be a cracker of a festival.


See you next week.