Love Story

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New Zealand director Florian Habicht’s romantic comedy about the construction of a fictional love story merges snippets of narrative with actual interviews with everyday New Yorkers to create an original film in which the boundaries of art and life overlap.

Love Story begins in New York when Florian meets a mysterious woman holding a piece of cake at a train station. Cutting to vox-pop interviews, Habicht asks complete strangers on the streets of New York what this could mean. With a resounding ‘cake means seduction’ coming from the people, Habicht relocates the woman (Masha Yakovenko, a Russian actress) and casts her opposite him in a unique take on the romantic comedy genre. The pair begins to act out a love story film, with the twist that each scene in the story is suggested by everyday people interviewed by Florian on the streets and cafes of New York.

‘The sweetest romance since Before Sunrise’ – Lauren Wissot, Filmmaker Magazine
‘It’s hard not to fall in love with the energy and humour on display.’ – Twitch
‘...an absurdist rom-com, a flawless comic subversion; I’m not sure what Love Story is. Possibly genius.’ – Critic
‘The Punk version of Amélie’ – RIDM Montreal International Documentary Festival

Shot on the streets of New York, Love Story begins when Habicht finds a subject for his filmic experiment: the beautiful Masha, spotted at a subway station, carrying a slice of cake. Seeking advice from New Yorkers – strangers – on how to create his on-screen love story with Masha, he takes the notion of interactive storytelling to its logical end, crowdsourcing his plot on the streets. Romance blossoms artificially, and organically, between the director, actor, New York and New Yorkers.

Summer Coda

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Having grown up with her mother in Nevada, Heidi (Rachael Taylor) hasn’t spoken to her father since she was seven. She returns to Australia as a young woman seeking closure, and her melancholic violin score catches the attention of handsome orange picker Michael (Alex Dimitriades), who offers her a ride. Both are initially guarded, but an unexpected connection soon blossoms at Michael’s orange grove. Co-starring Susie Porter, Jacki Weaver, Nathan Phillips, Angus Sampson and Cassandra Magrath, Richard Gray’s romantic drama is an Australian film with a unique setting – the stunning orange groves of sun-baked Mildura against the majestic Murray River backdrop.

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La Rafle (The Round Up)

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In picturesque Montmartre in 1942, three children wearing a yellow star play in the streets, oblivious to the darkness spreading over Nazi-occupied France. Their parents do not seem too concerned either, somehow putting their trust in the Vichy Government. But beyond this view, much is going on. Hitler has demanded that the French government round up its Jews and put them on trains for the extermination camps in the east. Directed by Rose Bosch and stars Jean Reno, Mélanie Laurent and Gad Elmaleh. 

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Soul Kitchen

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In Hamburg, Zinos has a restaurant serving poor-man's fare; he gets by, but his girlfriend has taken a job in Shanghai, he's hurt his back and can't cook, his feckless brother can be on daily parole from jail only if Zinos employs him (though his brother doesn't want to work), a school acquaintance wants to buy the restaurant property, and the tax authority and health inspector are on his case. Zinos hires a temperamental chef and loses all his customers, signs a power of attorney giving his brother full authority at the restaurant, and buys a ticket to Shanghai.

Amos Oz: The Nature of Dreams

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Based on his autobiographical book A Tale of Love and Darkness, this documentary tells the story of Israeli author Amos Oz, the society in which he lives and the connections between them. It follows the biographical, literary, political and philosophical aspects of Oz's personality.

The film presents the Israeli narrative as reflected through his literary gaze and exposes his love- hate relationship with Europe which had rejected his family.

A Pain in the Ass

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Writer: Francis Veber
Starring: Ralf Milan, François Pignon
Music: Jean-Michel Bernard
Director: Francis Veber

Two adjoining hotel rooms. In one, there's a killer called Ralph Milan. In the other, a suicidal man called François Pignon. Pignon has met with disappointment in love. Milan has to meet a man he's going to kill. Between the two rooms: a communicating door. And when it opens, Ralph, the perfectly oiled killing machine, sees the enormous grain of sand that François Pignon is coming straight at him. Pignon, who wholeheartedly deserves, without any argument, the title of World Champion Pain in the Ass.

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Of Time And The City

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Terence Davies (1945- ), filmmaker and writer, takes us, sometimes obliquely, to his childhood and youth in Liverpool. He's born Catholic and poor; later he rejects religion. He discovers homo-eroticism, and it's tinged with Catholic guilt. Enjoying pop music gives way to a teenage love of Mahler and Wagner. Using archival footage, we take a ferry to a day on the beach. Postwar prosperity brings some positive change, but its concrete architecture is dispiriting. Contemporary colors and sights of children playing may balance out the presence of unemployment and persistent poverty. Davies' narration is a mix of his own reflections and the poems and prose of others.

A Journey of Dmitry Shostakovich

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Voices: George Watts, Helga Landauer
Script: Oksana Dvornichenko, Helga Landauer
Producers: Darya Zhuk, Oksana Dvornichenko
Directed by: Oksana Dvornichenko, Helga Landauer

Shostakovich, the greatest composer of the 20th century, remains one of its biggest mysteries. The nine chapters of the film are framed by nine days of the last round-trip journey of the composer's life: a trip on a Soviet ocean liner to the United States. The film is narrated primarily in words of Shostakovich's letters and diaries, which sharply contrast with the propaganda movies shown on board the ship, as the twentieth century itself weaves myth and reality. Never-before-seen archival fragments of the composer's life - newsreel footage, photographs, letters, and personal memoirs - provide a unique perspective on issues of the artist versus the state, and truth versus survival. In contrasting official truth with personal truth, the film offers insight into the mystery of how Shostakovich was able to penetrate, through his music, the ironclad curtain and deeply affect Western audiences.

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