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Review: Soul Kitchen, Step Up 3, Killers and a couple more ...

By Cinema, Reviews

Soul Kitchen posterTurkish-German dir­ect­or Fatih Akin has long been an art­house favour­ite around these parts. Head-On (2004) and The Edge of Heaven (2007) were Festival suc­cesses so it was odd to see his new film Soul Kitchen skip this year’s event and go straight to gen­er­al release. On view­ing it’s easy to see why. Akin has gone com­mer­cial and Soul Kitchen is as broad a com­edy as you’ll find out­side the big chains – sadly I have to report that Akin’s film doesn’t sit com­fort­ably in that territory.

Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos) runs a greasy spoon café called the Soul Kitchen in a run­down part of old Hamburg. He’s not much of a cook or a busi­ness­man but his loy­al cus­tom­ers seem to like it. Thrown into a tizzy by a com­bin­a­tion of his girlfriend’s move to China, a very bad back, the tax depart­ment, his dead­beat broth­er (Moritz Bleibtreu) on day release from pris­on and an old school friend with an eye on his real estate, Zinos tries to nav­ig­ate his way through a rap­idly deteri­or­at­ing situ­ation with only a geni­us new chef and some loy­al but eas­ily dis­trac­ted staff.

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Review: Balibo, From Paris with Love, Gone With the Woman and Silent Wedding

By Cinema, Reviews

Balibo posterIn October 1975, the obscure little Portuguese colony of East Timor was giv­en inde­pend­ence after 400 years of European rule. A mixed Melanesian/Polynesian pop­u­la­tion was sit­ting on rich min­er­al and fossil fuel poten­tial and sur­roun­ded on three sides by the region’s power­house, Indonesia (with Australia to the south). After only nine days of inde­pend­ence, Indonesia invaded in one of the most cyn­ic­al and bru­tal land grabs in mod­ern history.

The Indonesian armed forces, know­ing that an inva­sion was a gross breach of inter­na­tion­al law, wore plain clothes and did everything they could to extin­guish evid­ence and wit­nesses. The most cel­eb­rated vic­tims of the atro­city were the Balibo 5, young Australian tele­vi­sion journ­al­ists who were stran­ded in the bor­der town of Balibo as the inva­sion began. Without the bene­fit of modern-day com­mu­nic­a­tions, they simply dis­ap­peared and the Australian gov­ern­ment, who (along with the US) gave tacit approv­al to the entire hor­rible exercise.

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