films

In a move that surprised many ― and symbolises Israel's growing isolation and global opposition to its crimes ― former Australian foreign minister Bob Carr has publicly declared his opposition to Israeli policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

Carr's change in position was announced in a November 8 Australian opinion piece titled “Why I am now a friend of Palestine rather than Israel”.

Charlie's Country
Directed by Rolf de Heer
Starring David Gulpilil
In cinemas now

From the opening moments of Charlie’s Country you know that you are witnessing a different kind of cinematic experience.

Co-written by its star David Gulpilil and its director Rolf de Heer, and produced by Aboriginal actor Peter Djigirr, Charlie’s Country presents an Aboriginal cinematic vernacular.

Les Miserables
Now playing in Melbourne
www.lesmis.com.au

Les Miserables tells two stories: one of personal love, the other of revolutionary passion. It is no surprise that most Western adaptations of Victor Hugo's novel have, when deciding what to cut and what to leave in, favoured the clasped hands of romance over the clenched fist of insurrection.

The story we all know -- the one that is left after adaptation pares away everything else -- is that of Jean Valjean, the ex-convict who redeems himself through acts of charity.

The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler
Ben Urwand
Belknap, 2013
327 pages, $39.95 (hb)

Throughout the 1930s, movie-goers all over the world got to see the German Nazi’s cut of every Hollywood film. Any movie touching on Germany contained no mention of Nazism or Jews.

Both these silences, as Harvard University’s Ben Urwand unearths in The Collaboration, were the result of a remarkable agreement allowing the Nazis to dictate Hollywood movie content in return for Hollywood studios keeping their access to the lucrative German market.

The premiere of new film Radical Wollongong was held in Wollongong, NSW, on May 18. About 230 people attend the event at the Gala cinema. Film writer and co-producer John Rainford introduced the film and Aboriginal leader Mark Bloxsome gave a welcome to country.

Radical Wollongong
Written by John Rainford
Directed by John Reynolds and Paul Benedek
Produced by Green Left TV
www.radicalwollongong.com

Radical Wollongong, the first documentary produced by Green left TV, met with significant enthusiasm at its premier screening at the Gala Cinema in the Illawarra on May 18.

With standing room only, in one of the region's few remaining theatres, we were shown a treat of a film on the history of Wollongong ― in particular, its most radical and interesting manifestations of class, politics and working life.

Noah
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Starring Russell Crowe & Jennifer Connolly
In cinemas now

The self-avowed atheist Darren Aronofsky, who directed the recently released Hollywood epic Noah, called it the “least biblical biblical film ever”.

Christian critics, such as National Religious Broadcaster president Jerry Johnson, were quick to agree. Johnson accused the film of having an “extreme environmentalist agenda” and supporting the theory of evolution.

“It's no secret that many of the actors at the Oscars were wearing borrowed clothes and jewellery after being feted by designers keen for a priceless plug,” the Sydney Morning Herald said on March 5. “But not many would have been lent a suit because they couldn't afford one.”

A farmer from Wyoming, who featured in the documentary Gasland, is touring Australia to warn locals about the health and environmental consequences of fracking for coal seam gas (CSG).

John Fenton will speak about his experience of living with polluted ground water, polluted air and other effects of the gas industry.

Fenton’s first meeting will be on February 22 in Sydney and will include 10 meetings in areas most affected by CSG mining, including regional NSW, Brisbane, Wollongong and Melbourne.

The Wolf of Wall Street
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler
Showing at selected cinemas

“There is no nobility in poverty. I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor and I chose rich every time. At least as a rich man, when I have to face my problems, I show up in the back of a limo wearing a $2000 suit and a $40,000 gold plated watch! ... I want you to deal with your problems by becoming rich! Be aggressive, be ferocious, be telephone fucking terrorists!”

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