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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday June 15, 2020 

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Urban Cinefile’s editor Andrew L. Urban presents The Word, hosting the Sunday night movie premieres at 8.30 pm on subscription channel World Movies (on Foxtel, Optus, Austar). He also talks about other movie highlights in the World Movies line-up. Sunday night tv premieres in August:

Sunday, August 4, 2002, 8.30pm
Taxi (1998) France
Directed by: Gerard Pirčs 
Starring: Samy Naceri 
Frederic Diefenthal 
Screenplay: Luc Besson
Cinematographer: Jean-Pierre Sauvaire
Producer: Luc Besson, Laurent Pétin, Michčle Pétin

Written and produced by Luc Besson, (director of such hits as The Fifth Element and Nikita), Taxi is a stylish film that was so popular when first released in France that it led to two follow-up films Taxi 2 and Taxi 3. 

Daniel (Samy Naceri) is a speed obsessed taxi driver who dreams of Formula One racing. The former pizza delivery boy is soon caught speeding whilst cruising the streets of Marseilles in his ‘hotted-up’ taxi, by the clueless but likeable cop, Émilien (Frederic Diefenthal). Daniel, eager to retain his licence, strikes up a deal with Émilien to clear his driving record. But in return for this he must become personal chauffeur to the hapless Émilien, who has failed his driver’s licence on numerous occasions. A comical ride follows as taxi driver and cop team up. The film is bound to appeal to those who appreciate well-choreographed high-speed chases combined with comic sketches. 

Sunday, August 11, 2002, 8.30pm
Ring 0: Birthday (Ringu 0: Baasudei) (2000) Japan
Directed by: Norio Tsuruta 
Starring: Yukie Nakama 
Seiichi Tanabe 
Screenplay: Hiroshi Takahashi 
Cinematographer: Junichiro Hayashi 
Producer: Shinji Ogawa, Masao Nagai 

From Japan comes the dramatic and chilling horror film Ring 0: Birthday, prequel to the immensely popular Ring series: Ring, Ring: The Spiral, and Ring 2 (with upcoming theatrical release in Australia). The series draws on the unnerving urban legend of a video emanating evil by causing death to all who view it. 

As the source of the lethal videotape, Sadako (Yukie Nakama) is both alluring and terrifying. To overcome the fear of her own evil powers, she joins a drama group in Tokyo and receives psychotherapy from Dr Kuno. When strange deaths begin to occur amongst members of the drama group Sadako is suspected by everyone except her boyfriend Hiroshi Tomoya (Seiichi Tanabe). Reporter, Miyaji Akiko, attempts to photograph the mysterious Sadako at the drama group, seemingly bringing on a supernatural visitation. After tracking down Sadako’s therapist, Miyaji tells him about her fiancé’s death years earlier at a parapsychology demonstration by Sadako’s late mother Shizuko. All journalists present later died. In Ring 0: Birthday, director Norio Tsuruta develops the figure of Sadako, an elusive woman possibly possessed by a demon.

Sunday, August 18, 2002, 8.30pm
A Children’s Game (Un Jeu D’Enfants) (2001) France
Directed by: Laurent Tuel 
Starring: Karin Viard 
Charles Berling 
Screenplay: Laurent Tuel, Constance Verluca
Cinematographer: Denis Rouden 
Producer: Olivier Delbosc, Richard Malbequi (I), Marc Missonnier

A Children’s Game is a disturbing psychological thriller that depicts the life of an ordinary family - a world suddenly gripped by anguish as ominous and inexplicable events begin to occur. Karin Viard and Charles Berling both give excellent performances as the petrified couple whose household descends into a nightmare of madness and terror. 

A Children’s Game portrays the lives of a married couple Marianne, Jacques and their two children, Julien and Aude; a typical, middle class family living in a large Parisian flat. Their lives are irrecoverably changed after a visit from an elderly brother and sister, who are former residents of the family’s flat. Marianne and Jacques must face the horrifying possibility that the source of the evil permeating their lives may be coming from their own seemingly innocent children, as Julien and Aude play sinister games. When Jacques’ inner torment increases towards insanity, Marianne must face the terror alone. Her frightening reality is captured with clever camera work and skilful sound design. 

Sunday, August 25, 2002, 8.30pm
Abandoned (Torzók) (2001) Hungary
Directed by: Árpád Sopsits 
Starring: Tamás Mészáros
Szabolcs Csizmadia 
Screenplay: Árpád Sopsits 
Cinematographer: Péter Szatmári
Producer: Ferenc Kardos (I), Laszlo Kantor (III)

Abandoned is a gritty and moving reminiscence of childhood, told predominantly through the eyes of nine-year-old Aron (Tamas Meszaros). Set against a background of cold-war Hungary, the film powerfully establishes the harsh reality of life in an austere orphanage. This is a beautifully acted film, based on the director’s own life experience.

After his parents’ divorce Aron’s father abandons him at an inhumane orphanage. Life is bleak and Aron is bitterly unhappy. He overcomes his initial victimisation and befriends a group of similarly miserable boys. He survives the regimentation, overly strict discipline and sadism, through his friendships with a pretty matron and a former astronomer. These glimpses of kindness give Aron and a group of other boys, the strength to forge a path to escape. The boys’ efforts are a testament to the power of the human spirit to survive injustice. Amidst all the cruelty, abuse and tragedy, a vague sense of hope endures through Aron’s faint vision of a better life.

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Ring O Birthday

A Children's Game


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