Lives torn apart by war
Director: Cate Shortland
Australian director Cate Shortland is best known for her work on the ground-breaking TV series The Secret Life of Us (2001-2003). Her first feature film Somersault swept the 2004 AFI awards, winning 13 of 15 nominations. After her second feature The Silence (2006) Shortland seemed to disappear from the cinema world, until her remarkable turn in the German film Lore, set in the dying days of WWII.
The story is based on Rachel Seiffert's The Dark Room. Lore (Saskia Rosendahl), the adolescent daughter of two Nazis, is left to fend for her four young siblings when her parents are imprisoned. They undertake a perilous journey across Germany and somehow link up with a young Jewish refugee, Thomas (Kai Malina).
In only her second film role Rosendahl gives a stunning performance in a transition to womanhood, on the family's harrowing trek through the chaos at war's end.
This is an eerie and confronting film, strangely beautiful and vividly colourful at times. The acting, script and cinematography are all outstanding, and the musical soundscape by Max Richter is haunting. Lore is a fascinating and brave creation by Cate Shortland.
Lore will be screened at Star Court Theatre, Lismore on Friday Feb 15 at 7.30pm.
Director: Steven Spielberg
While Steven Spielberg is undoubtedly the most successful filmmaker in the world, far too many of his films have plunged into dollops of sentimentality that have ultimately cruelled his best intentions to make a 'great movie'.
His recent creation War Horse was drowned in soppy sentiment, and even his best dramas, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List, have been spoiled by his tendency to emotional overkill. In most cases John Williams has been the accompanying culprit. Williams is a composer who ideally should be banned from both violins and heart-string pianos.
Finally Lincoln is Steven Spielberg's great movie. Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography and brilliantly written by Tony Kushner, Lincoln has an exceptional cast in top form, with Daniel Day-Lewis in the central role. Day-Lewis is one of the world's best actors gracing both stage and screen, and, while he has only taken on four films in the past decade, his rigour in assuming a role is near legendary.
The historical drama covers the last months of the American Civil War and Lincoln's ill-fated presidency, with his determination to pass the 13th amendment to the US constitution before the Confederates surrender. Not to be missed!!
Lincoln is currently screening at Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas, Lismore.