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WORLD MOVIES HIGHLIGHTS - SEPTEMBER 2006

The Sunday night movies throughout September are a selection of European, Asian and Russian action thrillers, in a salute to Hollywood style filmmaking on World Movies, while other highlights include two movies about women dealing with drama in their lives.

September 1, 8.30pm
A COMMON THREAD (2004) France (in French, Armenian)
Directed by: Éléonore Faucher
Starring: Ariane Ascaride, Lola Naymark
Set in the picturesque French countryside A Common Thread is a touching, thought-provoking drama about an unlikely bond that forms between two women. When 17 year old Claire (Lola Naymark) falls pregnant to a man she doesn’t love, she decides she will give the baby up for adoption. Keeping it a secret from her family and the rest of the town she seeks employment with Madame Melikian (Ariane Ascaride), an embroiderer who is nursing her grief over the accidental death of her son. Despite the minimal dialogue, an unspoken, mutually supportive bond develops. Sensitive, moving and affecting, this is a multi award-winning success from first-time director Éléonore Faucher.

Sunday salute to Hollywood:
September 3, 8.30pm
ANTHONY ZIMMER (2005) France
Directed by: Jérôme Salle
Staring: Yvan Attal, Sophie Marceau
Writer/director Jerome Salle’s debut feature Anthony Zimmer is a polished French thriller set in the luxurious South of France starring Yvan Attal and Sophie Marceau. Police chief Akerman is on the hunt for international money-launderer Anthony Zimmer, the only setback is no one knows what he looks like. After an extensive face reconstruction Zimmer is unrecognisable and the only mode of catching him is to entice him with some bait, the stunning and chic Chiara Manzoni (Marceau); his only known weakness. Intelligent decoys, romantic rendezvous, close encounters and intriguing plot twists ensure an entertaining and thrilling ride.

September 4, 8.30pm
KISSED BY WINTER (2005) Norway (in Norwegian, Swedish, English)

Directed by: Sara Johnsen
Starring: Kristoffer Joner, Annika Hallin
A striking and powerful feature debut by Sara Johnsen, Kissed By Winter is the raw and agonising tale of one woman’s attempt to come to terms with her feelings of grief and guilt after the sudden death of her son. Stockholm-based doctor Victoria (Annika Hallin) feels partly to blame for her son’s death, having mistaken the signs of lethargy for laziness, and not Leukaemia. Escaping to a remote, snowbound village, Victoria’s life is again changed when she has to certify the cause of death of a Muslim teenager from a nearby refugee centre. The film weaves together the lives of these disparate people, all suffering from grief and isolation. Annika Hallin won the Best Actress Award in Norway last year for her performance, and Johnsen won the Best Debut award.

Sunday salute to Hollywood:
September 10, 8.30pm
COUNTDOWN (2004) Russia (in Russian, English)

Directed by: Evgeny Lavrentiev
Starring: Alexey Makarov, Louise Lombard
Conflict between Moscow and Chechnya is the backdrop for this action thriller, in which Chechnyans and Middle Eastern terrorists team up to cause maximum devastation. When a group of Chechen terrorists storm a circus and hold hundreds of people hostage, including the daughter of rogue ex-KGB, Major Smolin, it is just the first in a string of sinister events aimed to wreak havoc. After freeing his daughter from the clutches of Chechen terrorists, Major Smolin’s next mission is to crumble the terrorist ring intent on causing world-wide destruction. Insistent on constant media coverage, the Chechen separatists head to Rome where they plan to explode a dirty bomb to disrupt a world summit and destroy the eternal city. Russian actor Alexey Makarov teams with English born Louise Lombard in an impressive Russian answer to Die Hard – based on a real Russian secret service operative.

Sunday salute to Hollywood:
September 17, 8.30pm
A WORLD WITHOUT THIEVES (2004) Hong Kong/China (in Mandarin)

Directed by: Xiaogang Feng
Starring: Andy Lau, Rene Liu
A World Without Thieves stars Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau and Rene Liu. Professional con-artist couple Wang Bo (Lau) and Wang Li (Liu) spend their days pulling off elaborate scams. The two head towards the Tibetan border to their next ‘job’ at a Buddhist temple, where Wang Li suddenly announces she wants to quit the swindling and become a better person for the sake of their unborn child. Coming to a crossroads in their relationship leads to an encounter with a carpenter from a monastery on his way home which in turn causes a life changing situation. As well as entertaining, the film is interesting for its melancholy undercurrents and its multi-layered screenplay.

Sunday salute to Hollywood:
September 24, 8.30pm
BROTHERHOOD (2004) South Korea
Directed by: Je-gyu Kang
Starring: Dong-keon Jang, Bin Won
In the vein of Saving Private Ryan, Brotherhood is South Korea’s top-grossing film to date about the relationship of two brothers in the face of the Korean War of 1950. More than a simple war drama, the film explores how the fighting at the front affects the bond between the two young men, told in flashback. It’s a big budget, action filled movie, bringing the savage war into bitter focus, and the differences between the brothers into sharp relief. Graphic war scenes are technically outstanding and confronting, and both Don-keong Jang and Bin Won as the brothers are excellent in Je-kyu Kang’s sobering, melancholy drama.

Published August 31, 2006
 

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A Common Thread


Anthony Zimmer



Brotherhood


Countdown


A World Without Thieves







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