Urban Cinefile
"To be honest, I have no interest in the finished product at all. I am obsessive about it up until the minute I've delivered it "  -director Anthony Minghella
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



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 gets wrangled.

"convincing and satisfactory"

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

Email this article

Comedian Harmonists

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.

Late Show

Girl on the Bridge

Girl on the Bridge

Never Knew

The Eliminators

Boesman and Lena

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020