Another Trailer of Bridge of Spies

It’s been three years since a Steven Spielberg film last graced the silver screen, and, dagnabbit, our long wait is nearly over. The legendary filmmaker is reuniting with Tom Hanks for the Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies. The political films of Spielberg, in my ever-so humble opinion, are a mixed bag — Lincoln was well-acted but felt too procedural and Munich‘s tension was sometimes undercut by some heavy-handed choices — but I’m still amped up for the Cold War paranoia that Bridge of Spies is teasing, and we have two new clips from the film that focus on Hanks’ character James Donovan and the moral quandary of having to defend an accused Soviet spy in open court. There’s also an ace in the hole for Bridge of Spies, and that’s the fact that the screenplay is co-written by Joel and Ethan Coen, alongside Matt Charman. Think about that for a second — the Coen Brothers and Spielberg working together on the same movie. It almost sounds too good to be true.

Co-starring with Hanks in Bridge of Spies is Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch, and Alan Alda. The film opens in theaters on October 16th. Be looking over your shoulder when you enter the theater because you don’t know who’s watching you watch Bridge of Spies.

American Justice

Free a Traitor

The official synopsis for Bridge of Spies:

In the 1950s during the early stages of the Cold War, tensions are rife between the U.S. and USSR, so when the FBI arrests Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), a Soviet agent living in New York, the fear and paranoia only escalate. Charged with sending coded messages back to Russia, Abel is questioned by the FBI but refuses to cooperate, declining their offer to turn on his country, and is detained in federal prison pending trial.

The government, in need of an independent attorney to take on Abel’s defense, approaches James Donovan (Tom Hanks), an insurance lawyer from Brooklyn. But Donovan, a former prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials and highly regarded within the legal community for his profound skills as a negotiator, has little experience with allegations of this magnitude and isn’t eager to get involved. Advocating such a deeply unpopular defense would make him a public figure and could subject his family to scrutiny, disdain and even, potentially, danger.

Uta’s Diary, towards the End of May 2015

IMG_0129 (1)

This picture we took when this cafe had just been opened. This was a few years ago. It took the place of a book shop. Not many book shops in our area have survived. Over the years we have been to this cafe a few times. We like their coffee. We also like their hot chocolate.

The other day we had lunch in this cafe before we went to a close by cinema to see THE WOMAN IN GOLD. This movie did grab me emotionally.

This movie did not get a very high rating. I would have rated it much higher. I did not find it boring at all. On the contrary. And I found all the actors very good.

Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.

Director: Simon Curtis
Writers: Alexi Kaye Campbell, E. Randol Schoenberg (life story), 1 more credit »
Stars: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl

Maria Altmann was born on February 18, 1916 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary as Maria Viktoria Bloch-Bauer. She was an actress and writer, known for The Rape of Europa (2006), Woman in Gold (2015) and Adele’s Wish (2008). She was married to Friedrich Altmann. She died on February 7, 2011 in Cheviot Hills, California, USA.
Waged a seven-year legal battle against the Austrian government to recover five works by Gustav Klimt, commissioned by her uncle, which were seized by the Nazis when Austria was annexed in 1938, including two done of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer. She sold “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” (1907) to Ronald Lauder in 2006 for a then-record $135 million. The four other works brought $192.7 million at an auction later that year.
Played by Helen Mirren in Woman in Gold (2015).
After she moved to Los Angeles, her brother-in-law Bernhard Altmann sent her a cashmere sweater, not yet available in the United States, with a note: “See what you can do with this”. She sold the sweater to Kerr’s Department Store in Beverly Hills. The resulting demand for cashmere enabled her to start her own clothing business. Among her clients was Caroline Brown Tracy, mother of Spencer Tracy. Bernhard Altmann was forced to sign over his Vienna textile plant to the Nazis in 1938 in exchange for the release of his brother. Having immigrated to the United States in 1941, he added cashmere wool fiber to his New York City-based yarn trading company in 1947. He then re-launched his Vienna factory and opened a factory in Texas, undercutting Scottish manufacturers, which had the cashmere wool market cornered at that time.


Three years ago, in 2012, we took this winter picture of Lake Illawarra. Well, from next Monday on, the first of June, our winter season has started. But if you ask me, we’ve been in the midst of winter already for the last few weeks. The nights are dreadfully cold, and during the day it does not get very warm either.

Before I got up out of my warm bed this morning, I was planning in me head what I would cook today. I knew I still had half a cabbage and some carrots and sweet potatoes in the fridge. Also onions, ginger and eggs. Peter had one Kranski left and there was some nice sweet Muscato wine in the fridge. Later on I managed to make a lovely meal out of all this. It would have made a nice picture, especially topped with some fresh parsley!

Instead of the wine Peter preferred to have some water with some apple cider vinegar in it. The ginger pieces I cooked together with the the orange vegetables in some vegie broth. I took them out, cut them into very small pieces and added them to my meal on the plate since Peter does not care to have ginger pieces in his meal. But he had nicely fried Kranski sausages. And we had a fried egg each.

I found this meal very satisfactory. I rounded it off with an espresso coffee. Peter did not want any coffee, but he did the dishes. I had my coffee while I was wiping some of the dishes and putting them away. Peter is going to have some afternoon coffee and cake later on, while I am looking forward to have a pot of tea to warm me up in the afternoon.

Well, today seems to be a day, when it shows that Peter and I have sometimes different likes and dislikes. But I think this all right. As the French say: Chacun a son gout!

Song for the Unification of Europe – Julie’s Version

Peter and I watched today: Three Colors blue. If you listen to some of the music of the youtube videos you’ll get some idea what this movie is about. Two more movies are to follow. I love to listen to this music. And I loved the way this movie was made. Juliette Binoche is excellent as Julie.

From Wikipedia:

Three Colors: Blue (1993)
“Trois couleurs: Bleu” (original title)

1 Corinthians 13 is the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It isauthored by Paul of Tarsus and Sosthenes in Ephesus.[1][2] This chapter covers the subject of “love”. In the original Greek, the word ἀγάπη agape is used throughout. This is translated into English as “charity” in the King James version; but the word love is preferred by most other translations, both earlier and more recent.

Soundtrack of the film Three Colors: Blue composed by Zbigniew Preisner features a solo soprano singing the epistole in Greek (in a piece titled “Song for the Unification of Europe”).


The first part of Kieslowski’s trilogy on France’s national motto: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. ‘Blue’ is the story of Julie who loses her husband, an acclaimed composer and her young daughter in a car accident. The film’s theme of liberty is manifested in Julie’s attempt to start life anew, free of personal commitments, belongings, grief or love. She intends to numb herself by withdrawing from the world and living completely independently, anonymously and in solitude in the Parisian metropolis. Despite her intentions, people from her former and present life intrude with their own needs. However, the reality created by the people who need and care about her, a surprising discovery and the music around which the film revolves heal Julie and draws her back to the land of the living. Written by Anonymous

Plot Keywords: liberty | love | grief | composer | car accident
Genres: Drama | Music | Mystery | Romance

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

  1.  Peter and I saw this movie on SBS on Good Friday. We very much liked the music and the beautiful Italian scenery.  Here I copy some of the reviews I found in Google.
    Brother Sun, Sister Moon
    Brother sun sister moon.jpg

    Theatrical release poster
    Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
    Written by Suso Cecchi d’Amico
    Kenneth Ross
    Starring Graham Faulkner
    Judi Bowker
    Music by Riz Ortolani
    Donovan (songs)
    Cinematography Ennio Guarnieri
    Edited by Reginald Mills
    Distributed by Paramount Pictures (USA),Cinema International Corporation (non-U.S.A.)
    Release dates
    • 2 December 1972
    Running time
    135 /122 min.
    Country Italy / United Kingdom
    Language English
    Box office $1,200,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[1]
    A medieval Italian wastrel (Graham Faulkner) becomes Francis of Assisi, founder of an order under Pope Innocent III (Alec Guinness).

By Brian E. Erland

. . . . .  What we do have in ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon’ is a film of overpowering innocence and spiritual purity. It’s a story of one man’s vision of the “Life of Christ” and his commitment to living that vision to its fullest. Coupled with some of the most amazing scenic footage of the Italian countryside you’ll ever see Zefirelli has given us not only a moving spiritual document but a visual feast not soon to be forgotten.

Praise should also be given to a young cast, most of whom I’ve never seen in anything else. Graham Faulkner “is” Saint Francis as far as I’m concerned. Leigh Lawson was superb as his best friend Bernardo, as was Judi Bowker as the lovely Clare.

By Daniel Y. Graybeal

. . . .  I was pleased to see effective focus of the camera upon the facial expressions of the characters. For example, the eyes of Alec Guinness’s Pope Innocent III clearly show me his great warmth and concern for young Francis as he asks the Holy See for his advice. Francis’s eyes likewise convey his deep humility and sincerity. Pietro, ripping his bread from his jaws as he eats, reveals his fury raging uncontrollably. The filming also glorifies the fabulous scenery of Italy. . . .

Uta’s October Diary continued

Over the weekend Peter and I talked and talked about two different movies that we saw a few days ago. The first movie was DAS WEISSE BAND (The White Ribbon). This one we watched online. The other movie was BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP. Both movies were very thought provoking. After we saw BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP on Saturday morning at the GALA Cinema in Warrawong we had lunch – (not just desert!) – in this Cafe which used to be a book shop previously.


DAS WEISSE BAND is set in a village in northern Germany before World War One. To me the way religion was regarded in this village looked very much like fundamentalism. Normal village life suffered because of this. Built up frustrations among adults as well as children resulted in evil deeds. Significantly nobody wanted the culprits to be found. Really strange behaviour! The Authority of the baron, the doctor, the pastor was accepted as a God given by the farmers and village workers. Nobody ever questioned the authority of these people.

The village teacher and the 17 year old nanny of the baron’s children were from the city, meaning they were outsiders and being treated as such. The midwife, who acted as housekeeper to the widowed doctor, suffered terrible abuse from him. The baroness was an altogether different person. She spent most of her time living in great style in Italy with her two children and a lot of servants, having a great time there. Once she returned to the baron’s manor with all her servants. This is when she employed the 17 year old nanny. However the baroness did not stay for very long. She asked the baron for a divorce for she had met someone in Italy and wanted to go back to Italy.

The pastor made his two eldest pubescent children wear a white band to remind them that they had to stay pure. The boy’s hands were tied to the bed at night so he would not be able to touch himself! All the poor families in the village (including the pastor) had too many children and were constantly in fear they would not be able to feed that many children.

Then World War One started.

See more here:

Before I go to sleep: “This psychological thriller is based on the worldwide best-selling novel about a woman who wakes up every day remembering nothing – the result of a traumatic accident in her past – until one day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her…”

As I said we watched this movie in the GALA Cinema. So many things in the plot we did not quite understand at first. I read up a bit now about it, also about the plot in the novel. In the movie the woman, Christine, speaks every day onto a camera as opposed to keeping a journal as in the novel. Christine is played by Nicole Kidman . Mark Strong plays Dr. Nash. Colin Firth plays Ben Lucas, the husband of Christine. Anne-Marie Duff plays Claire, a good friend of Christine’s. Can Christine trust her? She admits to having had a brief affair with Ben and that she then stayed away from Ben and his son for she did not want to upset her friend Christine.

Christine decides to trust Claire. She also wants to trust, Ben, her husband. Then it becomes doubtful that she can trust him. There were some scenes when Christine had reason not to completely trust Dr Nash. In the end she is very confused and does not know whom to trust.

Presumably, Christine was for a number of years in hospital after her traumatic accident. When the movie starts, she was at home with her husband Ben, but maybe only for about the last four months or so. Living with Christine becomes quite frustrating for Ben for every morning Christine has forgotten everything that went on the day before. After sleeping she does not know that Ben is her husband.

Dr. Nash gets in touch with her. He rings her every morning telling her where she has hidden her camera. Christine meets Dr. Nash but is not allowed to tell her husband about it. It is a suspense drama all right.

And how the story ends is really mind boggling. There are a lot of contradictory things that Ben tells Christine. What sort of accident has she actually been in and what or who caused it? I ask the question, why has this horrific “accident” not been conclusively investigated? Who is telling the truth? If Christine’s son is alive (according to Claire), why is she being told by her husband that he is dead?

Both movies had to do with human relationships and they raise for me the question why act people in a certain way? I tend to contemplate about what influences play a part in their lives? The photography, directing and acting in both movies was outstanding.

From Wikipedia a Review: Once You Are Born, You Can No Longer Hide

Review: Once You Are Born, You Can No Longer Hide

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The world saved by children

by Camillo De Marco

24/11/2005 – “‘Once you are born you can no longer hide’ really is an African surname… And it is the real name of an illegal immigrant…”

Review: Once You Are Born, You Can No Longer Hide

“Once you are born you can no longer hide”, as is also said in the film, really is an African surname. There, people often use concepts as surnames. And it is the real name of an illegal immigrant that I met and interviewed.” (Marco Tullio Giordana)
A sailboat rapidly ploughs through the water in the dark of night, a boy on the stern sways and falls overboard. He flounders, resists and is then swallowed up by the depths of the sea. Helped by unknown arms he re-emerges, symbolically reborn from that amniotic fluid.

This is the most beautiful and important scene of Once You Are Born, You Can No Longer Hide [+] (o.t. Quando sei nato non puoi più nasconderti), the sequence around which the film’s theme revolves: entrusting to a child’s eyes the task of being astonished by the world, just as we are astonished by cinema. In order to recount the moral growth of his young protagonist, Marco Tullio Giordana chooses as a pretext the phenomenon that is marking our era: the migration of thousands of people towards our coasts in search of the promised land. Reception and rejection, solidarity and diffidence, tolerance and racism, hospitality and contempt, consumption and marginalization, rich citizens of the world and new barbarians. Us and them. It is simply the Italian version of a global problem. A problem that is no longer novel, which has already produced a massive amount of news footage and film images that have filled our collective imagination to the brim with rhetoric that we must avoid. This is precisely the reason why, during Cannes – where the film, inspired by the eponymous sociological text by Maria Pace Ottieri, was screened in competition – French and US critics were not very gentle with Giordana. They accused him of opting for a documentary-like rather than cinematic approach, of not being very courageous in his choices, of falling into the trap of pedantry, of not keeping his promises, of stooping to clichés. And if this criticism might even seem appropriate – the film is discontinuous and awkward at times – Giordana’s directing and the screenplay were not aiming to illustrate clichés but to render their predictability evident.

What remains at the heart of the film – splendidly shot by Roberto Forza – is the young Sandro Lombardi, played by Matteo Gadola, an actor gifted with an intense gravity. Sandro could be a descendant of the Carati family from Best of Youth. In him, we discover the ethical traits of the characters of the Giordana’s 2003 film – the same desire to take action, without giving in to prejudices and stereotypes. Sandro is a 13 year-old from the affluent part of the city of Brescia, who falls into the sea during a trip and, as in Kipling’s “Captains Courageous”, is saved by illegal immigrants aboard a battered boat headed towards Italy. Sandro befriends Radu and Alina, two young immigrants his age and, upon returning home, he cannot go back to his previous sweet life.

The boy’s perspective is lost, replaced by the more “conventional” and political point of view of scriptwriters Stefano Rulli and Sandro Petraglia, on the people of northern Italy, the schizophrenia of an unwitting racism, and an energy that is dulled by fear. The Brescia of the film is the most multi-ethnic of Italian cities, and was the first to confront its immigration problem and recognize that foreign labour was an indispensable resource. A Brescia that is simultaneously generous, obtuse, industrious, narrow-minded, sensitive, vulgar, united. However, in Once You Are Born You Can No Longer Hide, there is none of the overwhelming sense of guilt that permeates Michael Haneke’s Hidden [+]. Here, there is only Sandro, who learns an entirely new “language,” different from the one he is familiar with. Who comes to see people in what was previously just a presence. Who understands that friendship is a luxury and that integration and coexistence are only two beautiful sounding words. And who discovers the right not to hide, once we are born.

(Translated from Italian)


We saw this movie yesterday, on Monday. It is adapted from an award winning novel with the same titel. Here is what can be found in google:

”  . . . .   an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire country and the world.

A sweeping romantic drama, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN takes the sisters and their lovers on a journey through the war which is powerful, intensely emotional and, as the response of readers around the world has shown, it is a story which can touch everyone’s heart.”

It is a very dramatic love story. Expressions of joy seem to come very naturally to the Nigerian people. The movie starts in the 1960s. Soon the whole country suffers from the outbreak of civil war. The war scenes are absolutely shocking. I cannot help it, I have to ask myself, why, why, why do people fight like this?

But the movie was not just about war. It was about human relationships and the life of people in Nigeria which ordinarily I think we really do not know much about. I was very moved by the way the scenes were shot and the great performances of the actors.

I love Judi Dench


Judi Dench in the above movie is superb!
Peter and I saw the movie yesterday. We thoroughly enjoyed it. There were an enormous amount of laughs in it. They showed how elderly people can still have great entertainment value.
The story depicts British pensioners who want to move to the above hotel in India for their retirement. Hilarious to watch what happens to them in India. Makes me think that there are really endless possibilities where one could go to for retirement. Apart from Judi Dench there were a great number of other brilliant actors in it, British and Indian. I liked the Indian actors very much too. And to see how people live in Jaipur, that’s quite amazing!

Here’s a link to the movie:

Judi Dench talked to one of our reporters on Thursday. Does she feel she’s old? No, she says, ‘I’m not old!’ I just love her.

Today we had a lovely sunny day again, rather autumnly already with a bit of wind and not getting very warm. I finally got around to taking some more pictures around the house to show the immense growth which is taking place in every corner of our property. When we moved here in 1994 hardly anything grew here yet. Now look at it!

This is how much lemon balm grows within an instant

This sort of vegetation can be seen from the bedroom at the back.

The last two pictures I took from the outside looking into the living-room. (Peter looks at some photo-books.)