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A thousand generations live in you now. See Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in theaters December 20.

James Bond 007 No time to die 2020 Daniel Craig, Rami Malek

Trailers in 2020

Andrew L. Urban

My film festival online film fest by Unifrance

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With films from 10 new film directors [first or second film] represented, MyFilmFestival.com (Jan 14 – 29) enables viewers around the world to view and vote in this inaugural online film festival under the auspices of UniFrance. Andrew L. Urban of www.urbancinefile.com.au (who will represent Australia on the jury of international critics) reports.Screenwriter Christopher Thompson’s assured debut feature, Bus Palladium, is one of the 10 films in competition in the inaugural MyFrenchFilmFestiv...

Preview of the Festival of German Films in Australia

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GERMAN CINEMA - VIBRANT AND VARIED Vibrant and varied, German cinema is riding a wave of popular and critical success - and this festival is a showcase to some of its offerings, ranging from the Opening Night comedy Whisky With Vodka about an actor in crisis, through the Oscar winning and astringent The White Ribbon to the sensuous relationship drama of unlikely love, in Aimée and Jaguar. And then there is young Adolf ....  Andrew L. Urban reports. Aimee and Jaguar ...

French film in Australia, plenty to chew, mon vieux (old chap)

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FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2010 AUSTRALIA – PREVIEW   Festival dates: Sydney: March 2 -21 Melbourne: March 4 – 21 Canberra: March 18 – 31 Brisbane: March 17 – 31 Perth: March 17 – 31 Adelaide: March 18 -31   PLENTY TO CHEW ON, MON VIEUX The French have a reputation and a tradition unmatched in globally successful cinema, except perhaps by Hollywood, and the 21st Alliance Française French Film Festival giv...

Invictus review

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SYNOPSIS: In his first historic term as President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman), faces the tensions and divisions of a post apartheid nation, where whites and blacks are equally suspicious of the other. Mandela, who had survived 27 years in prison (clinging to the spiritual message of William Ernest Henley's poem, Invictus) believes that the South African white man's sport - rugby - can help bring his people closer together, so he makes it his mission, through the captain, ...

Dungog Film Festival wrapped

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3rd Dungog Film Festival May 28 - 31, 2009 ON THE ROAD ... TO STARDOM The 2009 Dungog Film Festival opened with the world premiere of Stone Bros, Richard Frankland's road movie with belly laughs, an attempt to bridge Australia's black / white cultural abyss with comedy. It also signals the Festival's coming of age as a platform to showcase new Australian films, a role that's the mark of a genuinely valuable festival. Andrew L. Urban reports. If you accept that 1...

Dungog Film Festival wrapped

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DUNGOG FILM FESTIVAL 2009 – WRAP3rd Dungog Film Festival May 28 – 31, 2009ON THE ROAD … TO STARDOMThe 2009 Dungog Film Festival opened with the world premiere of Stone Bros, Richard Frankland’s road movie with belly laughs, an attempt to bridge Australia’s black / white cultural abyss with comedy. It also signals the Festival’s coming of age as a platform to showcase new Australian films, a role that’s the mark of a genuinely valuable festival. Andrew L. Urban reports.If you accept...

Sydney Film Festival 2009 preview

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Ken Loach doesn’t usually do ‘funny’ so his new film, Looking for Eric, is newsworthy and no wonder Clare Stewart has chosen it to open this year’s Sydney Film Festival; we need a good laugh that’s not at the expense of our bumbling politicians. And there are three Australian films out of the 12 in the Competition, albeit not comedies, vying for the $60,000 Hunter Hall cash prize, reports Andrew L. Urban. But it also ends on an upper, with Lone Scherfig’s An Education. In between, a ...

Nixon/Frost review Festival Film of the Year Nominee

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SYNOPSIS:For three years after being forced from office, Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) remains silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agrees to a series of interviews -at a price - with David Frost (Michael Sheen) intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a better place in the hearts and minds of Americans. Likewise, Frost's team harbours doubts about their boss' ability to hold his own. But as the cameras roll, a charged battle of wits ...

Hunger review, Festival Film of the Year Nominee

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SYNOPSIS:Inside Belfast's Maze prison in the early 80s, IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) faces the brutality of the system and clashes with the Catholic priest (Liam Cunningham) as he determines to keep fasting in an effort to trigger change in the classification of IRA prisoners not as criminals but as Prisoners of War. Given better perspective 25 years or so after the events depicted, Hunger is a feast of cinema, albeit harrowing and confronting. Steve McQueen is an unconven...

Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona review

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Occasionally endearingly audacious, Woody Allen's screenplay for Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a further riff on the unique, unpredictable nature of romantic relationships among the human race. His observation of the female characters (and not just the leads) is spot on and is the engine for the dramatic core of the story. And a good story it is: jostled along by their differences, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) take us into the undulating world of female friendship when it...

Asia Pacific Screen Awards Winners

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Breaking with the antiquated rituals of the Oscars, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards produced a presentation that generated interest in the nominated films – many of which have not had much exposure outside their home countries – and put the filmmakers and their work the focus, while also delivering glamour and buzz, reports Andrew L. Urban from the Gold Coast.Double in size whichever you measure it since last year’s inaugural presentation, this year’s APSA event catered for almost 700 gue...

Dungog Film Festival Wrap

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DUNGOG FILM FESTIVAL 2008 MAKING AN IMPACTBorn in 2007, the Dungog Film Festival has grown in one year from a baby fest with a dozen films and 1,400 visitors, into an adolescent of 80 films and an estimated 4,000 visitors, doubling the population of Dungog for the duration (May 29 – June 1). Andrew L. Urban reports on the world’s biggest showcase of Australian filmmaking centred on the country’s oldest cinema, The James.You may hear extravagant claims about this year’s Dungog Film Festiv...

Dungog Film Festival

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With over 80 films – ranging from world premieres of features to the newest shorts and docos – the Dungog Film Festival (May 29 – June 1) has grown in just one year to be possibly the world’s largest single showcase event for Australian production, says Fest director Allanah Zitserman. And a chance for some cool partying …with help from the likes of soul singer Lisa Hunt. Andrew L. Urban reports.The second Dungog fest opens on Thursday night (May 30) with Peter Duncan’s Unfinished Sk...

There will be blood & reviews

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SYNOPSIS:In 1898 - 1902 Texas, prospector Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) scratches the soil and digs deep holes looking to find his fortune in whatever form there is. Sure enough, he finds it - oil; but as he begins to harvest it, an accident kills one of his workers, leaving behind a baby boy. Daniel brings up the orphan HG (Dillon Freasier), as his own, as he buys up ranches where oil may be found - including the Sunday family ranch, where the young Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) is exciting the ...

The Kite Runner - interview with Rebecca Yeldham

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FINDING A LOST KABUL IN OUTBACK CHINAAustralian born producer Rebecca Yeldham has been through some wild filmmaking when shooting The Motorcycle Diaries in deepest Peru, but that now seems tame after “the wild ride” that was the making of The Kite Runner in even deeper Western China, she tells Andrew L. Urban.From the start, the question of where to shoot The Kite Runner loomed over the production. The story would require the wholesale re-creation of several disparate worlds that no longer e...

Atonement : a film that stands out from the pack

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SYNOPSIS:In the English summer of 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan), irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister Cecilia's (Keira Knightley) lover, Robbie (James McAvoy), a servant's son, of a crime he did not commit. The trauma follows them through World War II. Review by Andrew L. Urban:Ian McEwan's Booker-listed novel provides the kind of high value romantic drama as did The English Patient (which won the Booker). This comes...

Control rocks: a film review in B&W

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Manchester lad Ian Curtis (Sam Riley) drags himself up from his desk as a young employment agency officer to become the enigmatic lead singer of newly formed Joy Division in the 70s music scene. In the last few years of his short life, he marries his girlfriend Debbie (Samantha Morton), rises to fame and acclaim as writer and dynamic punk rock singer, fathers a baby girl, falls in love with a Belgian part-time journalist Annik (Alexandra Maria Lara) and struggles with epilepsy - until his tragic...

Michael Clayton a serious festival circuit film releases worldwide

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Michael Clayton the film by Tony Gilroy starring, and supported by Georges Clooney and Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack...had a very successful festival circuit run starting in Cannes, Toronto, Venice, Deauville, Namur...At the behest of the firm's co-founder Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack), Michael Clayton (George Clooney), a former prosecutor from a family of cops, takes care of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen's dirtiest work; he cleans up clients' messes. But a divorce, his gambling and a faile...

Hairspray by Marc Shaiman

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HAIRSPRAY SYNOPSIS:Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion - dancing. Her dream is to appear on The Corny Collins Show, Baltimore's most popular teen dance party in 1962, sponsored by a hairspray company. Her plus-size figure has always set her apart, of which she is reminded by her loving but overly protective and oversized mother, Edna (John Travolta). After wowing Corny Collins (James Marsden) at her high school dance, Tracy wins...

Die Hard 4.0 review

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SYNOPSIS:On the 4th July weekend, the entire computer-controlled US infrastructure starts closing down in what appears top be a major hacker attack. Security Chief Bowman (Cliff Curtis) orders a crackdown on hackers, but most of them are already dead. NYPD Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis), who is in the neighbourhood of one hacker, Matt Farrell (Justin Long), while having another dispute with his daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). McClane is asked as a favour to bring Farrell in. The ...

Spiderman 3 big expectations, mixed reviews, record BO

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SPIDER-MAN 3 SYNOPSIS:Just as Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) finds the balance between his love for Mary Jane Watson (Kirstin Dunst) and his responsibilities as heroic Spider-Man, fate steps in and delivers Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), with exceptional superpowers - and a link to the murder of his uncle Ben. But before Peter can track down the murderer, a mysterious black substance turns his suit black - and begins to draw out the dark side of Peter's persona. The blackness also affects a rival ...

300: Spectacular, vibrant and unique,

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In the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, King Leonidas (Gerard Butler),with his trusted lieutenant Dilios (David Wenham) and 300 Spartans, fought to the death against Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive Persian army. But the Spartan Senate was not behind Leonidas; his wife Queen Gorgo (Lena Heady) tried to summon support, even humiliating herself with the treacherous Senator Theron (Dominic West) but to no avail. It was up to the battle-hardened 300, facing insurmountable odds, to sacrifice ...

300: Spectacular, vibrant and unique a hit in every territory

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SYNOPSIS:In the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, King Leonidas (Gerard Butler),with his trusted lieutenant Dilios (David Wenham) and 300 Spartans, fought to the death against Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive Persian army. But the Spartan Senate was not behind Leonidas; his wife Queen Gorgo (Lena Heady) tried to summon support, even humiliating herself with the treacherous Senator Theron (Dominic West) but to no avail. It was up to the battle-hardened 300, facing insurmountable odds, to s...

The Lives of others review

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SYNOPSIS:In 1984 the German Democratic Republic (GDR) maintains power via the ubiquitous surveillance operated by the Stasi, the State Secret Police, and their vast network of informers. Their goal is to know everything about the lives of its citizens. Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Muhe) is assigned by his boss Grubitz (Ulrich Tuker) to set up surveillance of famous playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch), who lives with celebrity actress Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck). Dreyman is one o...

The Nativity Story: film review

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SYNOPSIS:Even as King Herod (Ciaran Hinds) is fretting over the prophecy that a new King, a Messiah, will arrive in Judea, the just-betrothed teenage daughter of a Nazareth family, Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) is visited by the angel Gabriel (Alexander Siddig) and told she will bear a child and it will be the son of God, to be called Jesus. Gabriel has also visited Zechariah (Simon Townsend) and given him the news that his wife Elizabeth (Shoreh Aghdashloo) - though past childbearing age - will a...
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