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European Films In Australia

  • February 17th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

hands-off-mississippi.jpgAustralians in Sydney and Brisbane are being treated to a season of best European films this month – the travelling “Windows on Europe Film Festival 2009”.

The festival is being presented as a promotional gesture by the European Union representation in Australia, with the Dendy cinemas chain – 14 February through to 1 March.

The films:

Any way the wind blows ( Belgium ) 2003

122 minutes – drama/comedy

On a sweltering Friday afternoon in Antwerp, eight people dream of a different life. There’s music and wind, police and paranoia, hints and allegations. There’s an ancient virus, a wandering frisbee, a dead horse, and, drifting through town, an enigmatic phenomenon called Windman who feels the pain of everybody else but can’t seem to help himself. All this culminates when, despite having little in common, these eight people end up at the same party that evening.

Suden Arvoitus (Mystery of the Wolf) (Finland) 2006

95 minutes – adventure/family drama

A thought-provoking family drama exploring the themes of family and belonging, Suden Arvoitus follows 12 year-old Salla who rescues a pair of wolf cubs from poachers. To protect the animals, she must learn to trust those around her including her long-lost mother.

Hände weg von Mississippi (Hands off Mississippi ) (Germany) 2007

98 minutes – comedy/drama/romance

A delightful children’s film about Emma, a young girl from the city sent to spend time with her grandmother in the country and a horse called Mississippi. She meets a greedy landowner in Albert and our courageous heroine Emma undertakes to foil Albert’s plans, and save Mississippi and the local shopkeepers from the clutches of this unscrupulous businessman. This story sparkles with warmth and lightness and develops into a broad comedy where all is not what it appears.

L Heure Zero (Towards Zero) ( France ) 2007

97 minutes – suspense/drama/comedy

An Agatha Christie adaptation with an explosive mix or murder, twists, and turns. Towards Zero is structured so that the murder takes place at the end, rather than the beginning with the events, character studies and conversations spiralling “towards zero” the inevitable, preordained moment of murder. The tale begins when a handsome playboy tennis star invites his wife and ex-wife for a summer holiday in a villa presided over by his rich old aunt and her personal secretary. Two others with a penchant for money and fast cars also join the party. When the aunt is found dead in her bed, Inspector Bataille is left to determine what happened.

Tajnosti (Little Girl Blue) (Czech Republic) 2007

93 minutes – drama

Produced by Oscar winning director Jan Svarák is this moving story of a day that changes the life of 45-year old Juliet. She has it all, a prospering handsome husband, a healthy and clever daughter of seventeen, an undemanding job, a devoted young lover and now a new, big, modern house where the whole family just moved. She is also two months pregnant and realises it is time to decide what she is going to do about it, especially since she hasn’t slept with her husband for several months, doesn’t really love her lover and fears losing the rest of the fragile connection she has with her teenage daughter. The simple task of finding, buying and bringing home a second hand instrument becomes a vessel that carries her through the waterfall of major changes that she must undertake in order to regain control of her life.

Logodnicii din America (American Fiancées) (Romania) 2007

80 minutes – drama

This is a tale of love, friendship and betrayal. A story about seven people who, after 18 years are reuniting to spend a seemingly quiet weekend together to relive old times. However, one woman’s husband is the other woman’s former fiancée and 18 years hides secrets, and secrets hide betrayals, and betrayals hide wounds and over the span of just a few hours, everything unravels.

Mistério da Estrada de Sintra(The Mystery of Sintra) ( Portugal ) 2007

104 minutes – adventure

It is the summer of 1870 and two writers have created and published a mystery serial that turns out to be closer to reality than they thought possible. This movie has it all, a deadly duel, threats, love and intrigue! The Mystery of Sintra challenges all the conventions in sharp contrast to the customs of romantic Portuguese society in the 19 th century.

Sztuczki (Tricks) ( Poland ) 2007

95 minutes – drama

Told from a six-year old’s perspective, Sztuczki is the story of Stefek and his older sister Elka who believe that challenging fate can bring them what they most desire. Elka teaches Stefek how to “bribe” fate with small sacrifices setting in motion a chain of events which he hopes will bring him his ultimate goal – to get closer to the father who abandoned his mother. Tricks and coincidences eventually bring the father to the mother’s doorstep but things go wrong. In despair, Stefek tries his good luck with the most risky of his tricks.

Fehér Tenyér (White Palms) ( Hungary ) 2006

100 minutes – drama/sport

Scarred by his abusive training as a youth in Communist Hungary, gymnastics coach Dongo struggles to prepare an overconfident athlete for the Calgary Olympics. In the course of guiding his student through a gruelling physical regimen, Dongo fears he may be inflicting some of the horrors he endured as a child, and fights to reconcile his past with his present.

Diep (Deep) (The Netherlands ) 2005

90 minutes – drama

Set in Holland in the late 1970s and amid a fiercely contested divorce between her parents, 14-year old Heleen is left on her own to make the awkward and occasionally painful transformation from child to adult. Unsure of how to negotiate this unfamiliar new landscape, and touchingly unfamiliar with the lines dividing love, sexuality and friendship, Heleen simply plunges in, with devastating consequences.

Malas Temporadas (Hard Times) (Spain) 2005

115 minutes – drama

Set in Madrid, Malas Temporadas is the story of Mikel, Ana and Carlos, people whose lives become intertwined while searching for their place in the world. When the troubled son of an NGO worker decides to drop out of school and announces that he is not leaving his room, his concerned mother asks one of her clients, a Cuban exile, for help in setting the boy straight. Carlos makes his living selling cigars and artwork on the black market but when he learns of Ana’s dilemma, he calls on recently released convict Mikel to teach the boy how to play chess. As the lessons get underway, each of these characters learns that in order to truly move on with their lives they much first break free of the bonds that prevent them from being who they really are.

Klimt (Austria) 2006

97 minutes – drama

Starring John Malkovich, Klimt is a biopic of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt and unfolds in the artist’s troubled mind as he lies dying of syphilis in a Viennese hospital in 1918. The subject is erotic love and death and much of the film turns upon Klimt’s relationship with an exotic dancer, Lea de Castro to whom he’s introduced by the film pioneer Georges Melies at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.

Instalacija ljubezni (Installation of Love) (Slovenia) 2007

97 minutes – comedy, drama,romance

Installation of Love is a bizarre and crazy satire filmed as a film within a film! Mojca is forty-five and desperate for love and passion, becomes the object of her ex lover’s video movie. Her hunt for love becomes a wild journey for everyone involved in the film, including the crew who are shooting it.

Reference:

Dendy Cinemas, www.dendy.com.au, (17.2.09).

European Commission Delegation in Australia, www.delaus.ec.europa.eu, (17.2.09).

Image:

Still from “Hands Off Mississippi”

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