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Diane Keaton Movie: Hampstead

12 Sep

Peter and I saw today this Diane Keaton movie about Hampstead. Peter had first to go to the Private Wollongong Hospital for an appointment with his podiatrist who is fitting him some insoles. These insoles might help him with his walking. The podiatrist spent with Peter a bit over an hour. It was already 11,45 when we left the hospital. This left us less than half an hour to make it to the GALA in Warrawong to see the movie. But we were lucky. We still made it on time. This movie was well worth seeing. I am glad we did make it.

 

http://villagecinemas.com.au/movies/hampstead

 

 

“Starring Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson, Hampstead is a heartwarming romantic comedy set around the beautiful Hampstead Heath in London, a quiet piece of countryside in a vast metropolis. Living in a lovely old apartment on the edge of the Heath, American widow Emily Walters (Keaton) feels like she is drifting aimlessly through life. Then she meets Donald (Gleeson), who has lived harmoniously on the Heath for 17 years in a ramshackle hut. When property developers attempt to destroy his home, Emily steps up to defend Donald in the escalating battle and soon finds that, despite his gruff exterior, there is something special about this gentle and unconventional man.”

Human Flow review – Ai Weiwei’s urgent look at the scale of the refugee crisis

2 Sep

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/aug/31/human-flow-review-ai-weiwei-refugee-crisis

Gorgeous shots in Greece, Calais and elsewhere, many filmed from drones, create a visual tone poem that proves both epic and highly human

“The international co-productions of the mid-20th century often boasted myriad shooting locations in far-flung places. Who would have guessed the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei would pick up where moguls such as Sam Spiegel left off.

Ai’s new film, Human Flow, while certainly epic in scope, is not exactly meant as entertainment. This is an urgent, deep soak in the current refugee crisis. There has been no dearth of documentaries about this topic, but this one comes closest to understanding the totality of the issue. . . . .”

I copied the above from The Guardian

 

My father, a stranger from North Korea

30 Aug

 

http://www.dw.com/en/my-father-a-stranger-from-north-korea/a-18542325

“Loved, Engaged, Lost” – A documentary that tells the love story between women from former East Germany and North Korean men sent to the former Communist nation for studying. A relationship with painful consequences.

Film Verliebt Verlobt Verloren Die Familie

The eyes of the protagonists in Sung-Hyung Cho’s “Loved, Engaged, Lost” reveal that their roots do not lie in the former German Democratic Republic, at least not entirely. They grew up with their mothers in the ex-Communist nation, but their fathers come from North Korea.

The men were sent to East Germany by the North Korean government during the 1950s – some of them during the Korean War – to attend university and later use their knowledge to re-build their war-torn nation.

During their stay, however, some of the men entered relationships with East German women. But the children born out of these relations did not see their fathers for long, as the men were ordered to return to their homeland in the 1960s, resulting in a break-up of the families.

A documentary film made by Sung-Hyung Cho, which premiered in Germany on June 25, tells the stories of these families and takes a look at their lives. Although there is no precise figure on the number of families affected, the director is aware of 18 such cases. In a DW interview, Sung-Hyung Cho talks about the idea behind the film and her experiences in making it.

Film Verliebt Verlobt Verloren Sung-Hyung ChoSung-Hyung: ‘It wasn’t easy at first to win over the support of the protagonists’

DW: What was the idea behind the film?

Sung-Hyung Cho: The story of Renate Hong was very popular in South Korea. In 2006, her story became the talk of the town after a South Korean historian – who had conducted some research in Jena about the relationship between North Korea and East Germany – met Renate Hong by chance.

She narrated her story, and he propagated it on the Internet. The response was overwhelming. The Koreans were blown away by the sad but beautiful love story.

Most Koreans, myself included, know the story. Moreover, I was greatly interested in knowing and better understanding former East Germany. I also wanted to know more about North Korea, even if only indirectly.

How did you manage to find the films’ protagonists?

DW RECOMMENDS

North Korea says it has been hit by its worst drought in a century, resulting in extensive damage to agriculture. DW speaks to German food aid agency Welthungerhilfe about the situation on the ground. (17.06.2015)

It wasn’t easy at first to win over the support of the protagonists, especially given that this is both a painful subject and an unsolved issue for most of them. It was especially hard for them to reminisce about their past relationships.

As a result, many didn’t want to be reminded of it, let lone talk about it. In addition, they were cautious and distrustful of the media.

However, the fact that I’ve been regularly attending the meetings of these German-Korean families helped me in terms of slowly earning their trust. A couple of years later, they probably asked themselves when this Korean woman would finally shoot the film about them.

Do you know of stories in which children got to meet their fathers and their love for each other stood the test of time?

The Hong family eventually managed to track down the father. Renate and her sons ultimately traveled to North Korea for what turned out to be a very emotional, touching but also peculiar reunion following so many years of separation.

In your view, how do these children, who are now grown-ups, feel about their North Korean fathers?

Just like anywhere else, this depends on the child. What they all have in common is a longing to get to meet their respective fathers or at least learn something about their lives. They are very curious, asking themselves who the man is, what he has achieved and whether he is even alive. But tracking these men down is often extremely difficult.

How do the women mostly remember their former partners?

In different ways. Some decided at some point to distance themselves emotionally and go about their lives as if their partner had died. Others, however, tried to keep the memory alive and to simply come to terms with the situation. And then there are others who decided to actively track them down.

Film Verliebt Verlobt Verloren Das WiedersehenThe story of Renate Hong was very popular in South Korea

To which extent does the children’s Korean background play a role in their daily lives?

Those are their roots. And even though some of these parents remain unknown to them, these roots remain and simply do not disappear. It sometimes plays a bigger role and sometimes a lesser one. But the father’s influence is always reflected in the children’s physical appearance.

Have you yourself tried to track down and contact one of the fathers?

This was mainly done by the children. There are even German-Korean associations to assist in this regard.

Is there a single story that has touched you in a special way?

Each story is extremely touching in its own way, so I can’t just pick one. The story of the Hong family was the first one I ever heard, but then came so many others and each one of them was moving and touching.

Born in South Korea, Sung Hyung Cho is a Germany-based editor and director, known for Full Metal Village (2006), Endstation der Sehnsüchte (2009) and 11 Freundinnen (2013).

Going non-traditional

15 Jul

This is about the movie “My Happy Family”.

NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS 2017 – NANA EKVTIMISHVILI, SIMON GROSS: MY HAPPY FAMILY/CHEMI BEDNIERI OJAKNI (2017)

Peter and I watch quite regularly ‘Der Tag’, that is a program on the Deutsche Welle (DW). Today film director Simon Groß was interviewed on that program. Simon pointed out that he made the above movie together with his wife and that to have a close working relationship with your wife may cause some problems.

In the  movie,. the middle aged school-teacher,  who  lives with her husband in an extended very large family, decides she has to move out and live on her own because ‘she cannot breathe”.

This movie is set in Georgia, ” where the language has a special lilt, and where any festive gathering means people will sing, in a rich, resonant chorus. . . .”

Here is a bit more of what it says in one of the reviews to the movie:

“Manana and Soso live with her family, which she’s sick of (and we can see why). They consist of her querulous and bossy mother (Berta Khapava), her brother, her grandfather, her husband, son Lasha (Giorgi Tabidze) and daughter Nino (Tsisia Qumsashvili) and daughter’s husband, augmented on occasion by aunts, uncles and other relatives, as needed. The big squabbles concern Manana’s decision to move into a cheap apartment on her own, leaving her husband and all the rest, but the squabbles themselves show us why Manana would want to take this liberating step. It’s not that she can’t get along with her husband. She can’t breathe.

Her departure is against the wishes of everyone over 25. But it’s a foregone conclusion we’re aware of from the first scene, when she views a sunny if shabby flat in an unfashionable but quiet neighborhood. The price is right, and the decision is made. The objections confirm its validity. But will Manana stay with this decision? Will the tomatoes she plants on the balcony bear fruit? Stay tuned – though the film ends with a question mark, as it should. The conflicts here depicted between traditional and nuclear families, couples and independence, aren’t easily resolved. . . . .”

http://www.chrisknipp.com/writing/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3592

I am intrigued by the questions that come up because of the movie’s ending. Who knows the answers to all these questions:

Is it better to live in a traditional or in a nuclear family?

Is it better if couples live together or is there some benefit to a couple’s relationship if they each have their own place?

What makes for happy families?

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0344144/

 

 

Screenshot 2017-07-15 12.40.13

http://www.simongross.de/

 

Uta’s May 2017 Diary

30 May

 

 

DSCN2852

A view from Peter’s hospital window

 

“The Dry” by Jane Harper. I was able to get this novel from the library and started reading it last week on Wednesday when Peter had his treatment day in Wollongong Hospital. Last weekend I finished reading this book in between sleeping a lot. I needed a lot of extra rest for I had a tummy upset. Still, it was good that I could use the resting time to finish reading “The Dry”. I was really interested to find out how this crime novel would end. It is a first novel by Australian author Jane Harper. The novel is set in a small country town in outback very dry and hot Victoria. A family is being murdered during the hot summer month of February. Who is the murderer? I thought there were very interesting clues and characters in this novel. After a while I just could not put it down anymore.

My tummy ache had already started early in the morning last Saturday. But this was the day when we had planned lunch with our friends at the club’s Treasure Court Restaurant. I actually managed to eat my vegetables with ginger/shallot sauce and boiled rice.

DSCN2856

These vegetable were very crisp and fresh. I think this sort of meal was just the right thing for me to eat on that day.

Yesterday, Monday, I felt much better. But to be on the safe side, I stayed home all day. Today was different. Peter and I left early in the morning to go to Warrawong to see a movie in the GALA CINEMA. Our choice to see was

VICEROY’S HOUSE, a movie about the partition of India in 1947.

 

In the review by

  • Paul Byrnes

    it is said towards the end:

” . . .  This last bit is where Chadha may have taken liberties. She relies on a book by former Indian diplomat Narendra Singh Sarila, a junior member of Mountbatten’s staff. Sarila contends that Churchill decided two years earlier that partition was necessary to ensure that a newly created Pakistan would become a strong bulwark against the USSR, thus protecting the Middle East oilfields. . . . ”

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/viceroys-house-review-entertaining-but-misleading-20170517-gw6og6.html

I wonder now, whether film director Chadha has taken liberties or not.

 

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four

12 Mar

The following is a copy of one of my blogs from October 2014. You can find the blog with the above title here:

https://auntyuta.com/2014/10/11/george-orwells-nineteen-eighty-four/

I still did not finish reading the whole novel on ‘kindle’. Today I thought about it that we once watched a film version of the book. I wanted to see, whether wikipedia said something about the movie. I did find quite a bit about different movie versions. I also found the following entry about the book in wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nations_of_Nineteen_Eighty-Four#Airstrip_One

Here is a bit of what it says on the above page of wikipedia:

Ambiguity
Almost all of the information about the world beyond London is given to the reader through government or Party sources, which by the very premise of the novel are unreliable. Specifically, in one episode Julia brings up the idea that the war is fictional and that the rocket bombs falling from time to time on London are fired by the government of Oceania itself, in order to maintain the war atmosphere among the population (better known as a false flag operation). The protagonists have no means of proving or disproving this theory. However, during preparations for Hate Week, rocket bombs fell at an increasing rate, hitting places such as playgrounds and crowded theatres, causing mass casualties and increased hysteria and hatred for the party’s enemies. War is also a convenient pretext for maintaining a huge military–industrial complex in which the state is committed to developing and acquiring large and expensive weapons systems which almost immediately become obsolete and require replacement.
Because of this ambiguity, it is entirely possible that the geopolitical situation described in Goldstein’s book is entirely fictitious; perhaps The Party controls the whole world, or perhaps its power is limited to just Great Britain as a lone and desperate rogue nation using fanaticism and hatred of the outside world to compensate for political impotence. It’s also possible that a genuine resistance movement exists, or that Oceania is indeed under attack by outside forces.”

I say all this sounds pretty ambiguous. But what I remember about the novel and the film and what I’ve re-read this far this is the sort of picture I do get from this novel. All in all some pretty scary ideas about an imagined world. Sometimes these things do sound a little bit too true for comfort!

With the following link you can find a piece about what our Orwellian destiny might b e written in the AIM Network by By Ad astra:

https://theaimn.com/twenty-twenty-four-orwellian-destiny/

Twenty Twenty-Four – our Orwellian destiny?

 

The End Is My Beginning

14 Feb

http://cineuropa.org/nw.aspx?t=newsdetail&l=en&did=200173

Terzani recounts his life in

The End Is My Beginning

by Vittoria Scarpa

25/03/2011

A man on his deathbed recounts his life and experiences to his son in what should be a film teeming with flashbacks, seeing as how the man is Tiziano Terzani and the theatre of his adventures are Vietnam and its devastating war, Mao’s China, Ghandi’s India and the Himalayas.

Instead, The End Is My Beginning [+], an adaptation of the bestseller by the great Italian writer and journalist, directed by Jo Baier, is a long dialogue between father and son, noteworthy performances from the leads (Bruno Ganz and Elio Germano), a theatrical film shot in one setting: Terzani’s real house in Tuscany, where he spent his last days among the pristine countryside and mountains, talking to his son Folco about life, disease and death.

Adapted for the big screen by Folco Terzani and the film’s German producer, Ulrich Limmer, the memories of the unforgettable Asian correspondent for Der Spiegel and Corriere della Sera, who passed away in 2004, are presented directly and simply: “We wondered whether or not to use flashbacks,” said Limmer, “but then decided to show something increasingly more rare: one man speaking, and another listening”.

The choice was a decidedly courageous one, and it paid off thanks to the intensity of the cast, the quality of the dialogue, and viewers’ awareness that they are watching an authentic and in some way illuminating adventure. “More than a film, it’s a unique experience,” said Germano, who to portray Folco spent two months at the Terzani’s house “in contact with the stars, mountains and wind, and collecting chestnuts”.

The challenge pays off also thanks to the total lack of melodrama. Everything is measured, restrained, like Germano’s emotions. Though his gazes and silences, the actor expresses the undeniable conflict of a son towards a larger-than-life father, as well as his curiosity and the desire to understand his parent.

Produced by Collina Film Production and B.A. Production in collaboration with Beta Film and RAI Cinema, The End Is My Beginning is released in Italy on April I by Fandango on 60 screens, after having garnered 230,000 admissions in Germany.

(Translated from Italian)

See also