Interviews from The Casting Couch available as podcasts

15 September 2009

After a short absence The Casting Couch podcasts are up and running again so if you haven’t done so already you can subscribe to the podcasts by either clicking the link at the bottom of The Casting Couch program page or by going direct to the podcast hosting page. MP3s of the shows can also be played from these pages.

Podcast feed URL: http://www.cpod.org.au/feed.php?id=147

Some of the featured interviews from the show are also saved as separate audio files, which I’ve listed below:

Interview with Blessed director Ana Kokkinos from 5 September 2009
http://www.cpod.org.au/download.php?id=1998

Interview with Balibo writer/director Robert Connolly from 15 August 2009
http://www.cpod.org.au/download.php?id=1796

Interview with The 10 Conditions of Love director Jeff Daniels from 18 July 2009
http://www.cpod.org.au/download.php?id=1621

Interview with My Year Without Sex writer/director Sarah Watt from 23 May 2009
http://www.cpod.org.au/download.php?id=1525

Interview with Samson and Delilah writer/director Warwick Thornton and producer Kath Shelper. Recorded 10 March 2009 and broadcast 2 May 2009
http://www.cpod.org.au/download.php?id=1660

Interview with Mary and Max writer/director Adam Elliot and producer Melanie Coombs from 4 March 2009
http://www.cpod.org.au/download.php?id=1615

You can find more information about The Casting Couch and what is coming up each week on the On Air and Podcasts page.

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MIFF 2009 reviews – Bronson (2009), The 10 Conditions of Love (2009), Krabat (2008)

25 July 2009

Reviews of film screening during the 2009 Melbourne International Film Festival.

Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009) ✭✭✭✭
The 10 Conditions of Love (Jeff Daniels, 2009) ✭✭✭✭
Krabat (Marco Kreuzpaintner, 2008) ✭✭✭✩

Bronson

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Charles Bronson (Tom Hardy)

The British press once described Charles “Charlie” Bronson as the “most violent prisoner in Britain.” He has spent most of his life in prison and for most of that time he has been in solitary confinement. Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn likes grim subject matter but audiences expecting the gritty social realism of his Pusher trilogy are going to be very surprised by Bronson, which is a macabre blend of horror and comedy, biographical information and complete fabrication, realism and Brechtian techniques. Bronson is presented as a showman whose acts of violence are his greatest source of self-expression and throughout the film Bronson appears on a stage addressing an unseen audience as if he is taking part in a bizarre one person pantomime. Bronson’s criminality and delusions of grandeur make Bronson comparable to Chopper but the satirical avant garde nature of Bronson also makes it very close in tone to A Clockwork Orange. Considering that Bronson’s sole response to everything he encounters is to simply commit violence, Refn and actor Tom Hardy, who plays Bronson, have done a remarkable job of making such a compelling, entertaining and disturbing film.

The 10 Conditions of Love

Rebiya Kadeer is a successful businesswoman, political activist and human rights advocate. She campaigns for the rights of the Uyghur people who live in Xinjiang, a supposedly autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China. Known as East Turkistan by the Uyghur people, Xinjiang was annexed by China in 1949, similarly to how China later also annexed Tibet. As a Uyghur person herself, Kadeer has long campaigned about the ethnic, political, religious and economic persecution that her people have suffered. The documentary The 10 Conditions of Love tells Rebiya’s story and she is an extraordinary woman who has made some incredible personal sacrifices to bring the plight of the Uyghur people to the attention of the rest of the world. The 10 Conditions of Love is an eye-opening and moving tribute to her work, which is far from over. It’s a film that needs to be seen and if the recent demands by the Chinese government for it not to be shown at the Melbourne International Film Festival have generated more publicity for the film than it would have attracted otherwise, then this is a good thing.

Interview with The 10 Conditions of Love director Jeff Daniels from The Casting Couch 18 July 2009
http://www.cpod.org.au/download.php?id=1621

Krabat

The German fantasy Krabat is an 18th century tale of magic and morality in the vein of classic Brothers Grimm stories. Based on the 1971 German novel The Satanic Mill, which was based on tales dating back to the 17th century, Krabat is about a 14-year-old boy who joins a secret brotherhood of apprentices training in Black Magic. The boy, Krabat (played by David Kross from The Reader), is initially pleased to have apparently found his place in the world but soon discovers that his training comes with a terrible price. Krabat is a refreshingly highbrow fantasy film that doesn’t contain any extraneous exposition and explanation, uses its special effect sequences sparingly and is incredibly serious. The protagonists of the film may be predominantly teenage boys and young men but this is a film aimed at an adult audience. Nevertheless, there is something a little overtly cold and detached about Krabat that prevents you from becoming fully immersed in its dark and mysterious story.

© Thomas Caldwell, 2009

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