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Archive for March, 2013

THE LAST DAYS (LOS ÚLTIMOS DÍAS) – Fernando Velázquez

March 29, 2013 Leave a comment

lastdaysOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Last Days – “Los Últimos Días” – is a Spanish science fiction-horror-thriller written and directed by David Pastor and Àlex Pastor, which looks at the aftermath of a peculiar epidemic which spreads across the globe, leaving its sufferers to have an irrational fear of open spaces that causes instant death. With the majority of the world population now trapped inside buildings, one young man from Barcelona, Marc (Quim Gutiérrez), tries to find his missing girlfriend, Julia (Marta Etura), without ever going outside – but uncovers something terrifying about the epidemic in the process. Read more…

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HEUTE BIN ICH BLOND – Johan Hoogewijs

March 29, 2013 Leave a comment

heutebinichblondOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Heute Bin Ich Blond is a German comedy-drama directed by Marc Rothemund and starring Lisa Tomaschewski as Sophie, a 21 year-old girl in contemporary Germany who learns she has cancer. Rather than letting her diagnosis rule her life, she instead decides to enjoy her life as though she were not sick; pre-empting chemotherapy, she shaves her head and invests in nine different colored wigs, which help her live out nine different aspects of her personality. Together with her best friend Annabel (Karolina Teska), Sophie goes to parties, flirts, has sex, falls in love with her long-time friend Rob (David Rott), and writes her daily blog, while all the while the possibility of her imminent death looms on the horizon. The film was based on the popular autobiography by Dutch author Sophie van der Stap, “Meisje Met Negen Pruiken”, and received generally favorable reviews when it opened in cinemas in March 2013. Read more…

OSTWIND: ZUSAMMEN SIND WIR FREI – Annette Focks

March 22, 2013 Leave a comment

ostwindOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Ostwind: Zusammen Sind Wir Frei is one of those films which, had it been made in America, would have been made by Disney. It tells the story of a rebellious teenager, Mika, who is sent to stay with her stern grandmother, a former champion show jumper, on the family countryside stud farm, in order to “straighten her out”. There she encounters Ostwind, a temperamental old horse whose lack of discipline and bad temper led to the end of Grandmother’s competition career. Naturally, Mika and Ostwind bond, leading to reconciliations all round. The film is directed by Katja von Garnier, stars Hanna Binke, Marvin Linke, Cornelia Froboess and Tilo Prückner, and has a lovely original score by Annette Focks. Read more…

UNSERE MÜTTER, UNSERE VÄTER – Fabian Römer

March 17, 2013 Leave a comment

unseremutterunserevaterOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter is an ambitious 3-part German mini-series broadcast on the ZDF network in March 2013. The story follows five friends in their 20s, each on different paths through Nazi Germany and World War II: two are Wehrmacht soldiers on the Eastern Front, one is a nurse, one is an aspiring singer, and one is a Jewish tailor. The narrative spans five years in Berlin in the 1940s, beginning when the friends meet up for a last time before embarking on their journeys, enthusiastically vowing to meet up again the following Christmas. The series stars Volker Bruch, Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler, Miriam Stein and Ludwig Trepte, was directed by Philipp Kadelbach, and has an original score by composer Fabian Römer. Read more…

BACZYŃSKI – Bartosz Chajdecki

March 15, 2013 1 comment

baczynskiOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Baczyński is a film about the life of Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, one of Poland’s most celebrated contemporary poets, who wrote powerful, romantic poetry while also acting as a member of a resistance movement against the Nazis during World War II. He was killed by a sniper in Warsaw in August 1944, aged just 23, but remains a popular and influential figure in Polish literature. The film was written and directed by Kordian Piwowarski, stars Mateusz Kosciukiewicz as Baczyński, and features a gorgeous and heartfelt score by Bartosz Chajdecki. Read more…

RUBINROT – Philipp F. Kölmel

March 15, 2013 Leave a comment

rubinrotOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Rubinrot is a children’s fantasy adventure film based on the first book in the “Liebe Geht Durch Alle Zeiten” series of popular German-language novels written by Kerstin Gier. The story follows a young girl, Gwendolyn Shepherd, who discovers that she and all the other members of her family can travel through time, and explores the opportunities and disadvantages such powers bring. The film is directed by Felix Fuchssteiner, stars Maria Ehrich, Jannis Niewöhner and Laura Berlin, and has a score by 40-year-old Philipp F. Kölmel, yet another composer who was completely unknown to me prior to this project. Read more…

NIGHT TRAIN TO LISBON – Annette Focks

March 8, 2013 Leave a comment

nighttraintolisbonOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Night Train to Lisbon is a German drama film directed by Bille August and starring Jeremy Irons. Based on the novel “Nachtzug Nach Lissabon” by Pascal Mercier, and written by Greg Latter and Ulrich Herrmann, the film is about a Swiss professor who saves the life of a woman and then abandons his teaching career and reserved life to embark on a thrilling intellectual adventure, following in the footsteps of a doctor who opposed António de Oliveira Salazar’s right-wing dictatorship in Portugal in the 1950s. The score for Night Train to Lisbon is by Annette Focks, who is finally starting to gain some international prominence, having been working tirelessly on films in the German film industry for many years. Read more…