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Subscription channel World Movies is a window to the world of cinema beyond Hollywood, screening mainstream and arthouse films from some of the greatest filmmakers on the international scene – often for the first time in Australia. Here is a little taste of what you can find on the schedule in March 2006, reports Channel Host Andrew L. Urban.

First 3 Tuesdays in March 8.30pm
Godfrey Reggio’s QATSI TRILOGY
Koyaanisqatsi (1983) USA 8.30pm March 7
Powaqqatsi (1988) USA 8.30pm March 14
Naqoyqatsi (2002) USA 8.30pm March 21

A unique viewing experience, Godfrey Reggio’s non-narrative tapestry of images set to Philip Glass’s haunting music is a feast for the senses. The first film of the trilogy, Koyaanisqatsi (life out of balance), offers a kaleidoscopic view of clashing urban and natural landscapes, while the second instalment, Powaqqatsi (life in transformation), explores the impact of northern technological society on more traditional societies in the southern hemisphere. Naqoyqatsi (life as war), the third and final film, is a visually wild exploration of a planet out of control, overtaken by technology.

March 1, 8.30pm

Directed by Edmond Pang
Stars Eric Tsang, Jordan Chan

Hot-shot director Edmond Pang delivers a lively, amusing spoof of Hong Kong gangster movies in Men Suddenly In Black. Played like a “straight-faced cops vs. triads movie,” this tale of philandering husbands trying (unsuccessfully) to misbehave is clever, well-paced, and highly entertaining.

Left alone for fourteen hours as their wives take a trip to Bangkok, three friends, dressed in underworld black, get together for a mission. Led by Tin, Cheung and Chao are joined by Tin’s young nephew, Paul. The foursome set off on a mission to honour their buddy, Ninth Uncle, who has been ‘incarcerated’ for years. It soon becomes clear, however, that the men aren’t gangsters at all, and Ninth Uncle was simply a cheater caught by his wife, and has since been confined to their home, forbidden to take part in any further ‘missions.’ The men’s mission, therefore, is to restore male pride by sleeping with as many women as possible whilst avoiding detection by female ‘authorities.’

March 5, 8.30pm
THE 7TH DAY (2004) Spain

Directed by Carlos Saura
Stars Juan Diego, Victoria Abril

Master Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura brings his full visual powers to the astonishing true story of a family feud that lasted more than thirty years in The 7th Day. What begins as fickle young love spirals to incomprehensible tragedy in this compelling, visually sumptuous tale of unrequited love and revenge.

On a remote pueblo in Northern Spain, teenage Isabel Jimenez narrates the tragic tale. Since the break-up of a courtship between Luciana Fuentes and Isabel’s uncle, Amadeo Jimenez, a feud between the families has been brewing, complicated by land rights. Luciana’s mentally unstable brother, Jeronimo, kills Amadeo in the name of his jilted sister, and is sent to prison for thirty years.

March 12, 8.30pm
COLD LIGHT (2004) Iceland

Directed by Hilmar Oddsson
Stars Ingvar E. Sigurdsson, Ruth Ólafsdóttir
The stark, majestic Icelandic landscape is the perfect backdrop for Cold Light, an exotic, intriguing film that skilfully moves between hard reality and the Icelandic supernatural.

Grimur is a 40 year-old loner who appears to be haunted by a traumatic event from his childhood. Action switches back and forth between modern-day Reykjavik, where Grimur enrols in an art class and becomes involved with his teacher, and the remote fishing village where he grew up, in the shadow of a mountain that is a menacing presence throughout. Young Grimur is plagued by haunting visions, which he commits to paper in his many drawings. Only when he pays a visit to an old laundry woman, who has a reputation around town for being a witch, does he learn to respect his gift. Through the fantastical drawings of his youth, Grimur confronts his demons and finds the courage to embrace a new adult life.

March 19, 8.30pm
THE MIRACLE OF BERN (2003) Germany

Directed by Sönke Wortmann
Stars Louis Klamroth, Peter Lohmeyer
In The Miracle Of Bern, director and ex-footballer Sönke Wortmann has succeeded in setting an emotional and touching family drama against the authentic, exhilarating background of West Germany’s miraculous World Cup soccer victory in 1954. The feel-good, family friendly football flick won the Audience Award at Locarno and was a roaring success at the German box office.

In 1954, eleven year-old Matthias lives with his mother, brother and sister in a West German mining town. To date, there has been no news about their father Richard, captured by the Soviets during WWII. Matthias is engrossed in the world of football: he faithfully follows every home team game and has found a surrogate father in local football star, Helmut Rahn, who has ‘adopted’ Matthias as his mascot. Richard’s surprise return casts a shadow over the contented family.

March 26, 8.30pm

Directed by Erik Skjoldbjaerg
Stars Jørgen Langhelle, Trine Wiggen

From the director of the original Insomnia and Prozac Nation, Erik Skjoldbjaerg, comes a compelling, contemporary adaptation of the classic Ibsen play An Enemy Of The People. The updating of the play – the story of a man torn between loyalty to his family and community and the need to tell the truth – works seamlessly, highlighting the timelessness of Ibsen’s themes.

Tomas Stockman leaves his high flying television job to return to the village he grew up in to work alongside his brother, Peter, producing Norway’s ‘purest bottled water.’ When he discovers the water is contaminated, Tomas wants to tell the truth, but Peter, fearful of the local community’s response, refuses to stop, and instead builds a campaign to discredit Tomas.

Published February 23, 2006


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Miracle of Bern

Men Suddenly in Black

Cold Light

An Enemy of the People

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