My 4month-blogiversary … featuring my report from “Hofer Filmtage”

Last week I did something I hadn’t for the past 17 years:
I went to a small town in northern Bavaria to see quite a lot of german or international movie premieres (in fact 18 long feature films, 2 one hour features plus 8 shortfilms during the 4 days of my stay) at the 49th international “Hofer Filmtage”. I was a regular attendant there from 1988 to 1997 while I was still working at my brother-in-laws cinemas, but since then I went on a hiatus.

So while I was – in a way – going back in time there, meeting a lot of people from the past, it was actually the day Marty McFly returns “back to the future” … pretty funny coincidence – if you believe in coincidences, that is 😉

Anyway – I’d like to give a quick review of what I’ve seen there – have fun!

Day 1 – october 20:
On the opening eve of the festival traditionally a new german movie is shown. This year it was “One Breath” (Ein Atem) from Christian Zübert. The film just had its international premiere at TIFF (Toronto int. film festival) and I don’t know, how successfull it was there, but over here the reception was not really enthusiastic. It was not the actors fault, but the story of two woman (one from Germany and the other from Greece) that obviously should’ve reflected the economical crisis between the two states, was sadly way over-the-top.

Day 2 – october 21:
Every year there is a retrospective – this year the festival had invited London cult director Christopher Petit, who’s first feature film “Radio On” was shown at Hof back in 1979.
So obviously I had to go and watch this one and also another called “Chinese Boxes” featuring Robbie Coltrane and Gottfried John, shot in Berlin in 1984. The director attended every screening and willingly answered lots of questions from the audience with just that wonderful deadpan understatement attitude only a Brit can pull off. Like: “The film was shot between London and Bristol on Ilford (the negative material) and Guinness.” about “Radio On”. This film is actually more like a really strange black and white video clip for early music from David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Devo, Ian Dury, Lene Lovich and the like also featuring an appearance from Sting (who wasn’t famous when they shot the film):

Later on I saw a wonderful documentary about famous pianist David Helfgott “Hello I’m David!”. I’d seen Scott Hicks film “Shine” which got Geoffrey Rush an Oscar for his performance as David about 20 years ago in Hof, too, so I was looking forward to some information about the real David Helfgott and I was not disappointed! The film shows really fantastic concert appearances as well as his private relationship with his wife Gillian (who actually is an astrologer – and she talked a bit about what was going on in her life, before she met David, that was really interesting for me).

A quite funny movie was “Internet Junkie” the first long feature film from Israeli director Alexander Katzowicz. Shot in Argentina, Mexiko and Israel and (at least at the festival) shown in spanish, english, hebrew with english subtitles. To summon this up without disclosing too much you just might say “Sex, Pugs & Internet” 😉

The last film I watched on that 2nd day was “Vincent n’a pas d’ecailles” (which means: Vincent hasn’t got fish scales). A nice french boy-meets-girl story with a little twist: as the boy in question develops super-powers once he gets wet 😉

Day 3 – october 22:
The day started with two one hour long diploma works from students of two different german film academies which were both pretty good:
“Henry” a sort of “Amadeus” set in a catholic boys music boarding school and “Zweite Hand” (Second Hand) about a twin, that takes the place of her sister who’d died under mysterious circumstances – not her best idea, as it quickly turns out …

Next I indulged in my passion for argentine tango: “Ein letzter Tango” (Our last Tango) tells the tale of the most famous Tango-couple of all times: Maria Nieves and Juan Copes and their love-hate-relationship. Historical filmclips and recent interviews with both of them, as well as their story re-told by young Tango dancers (amongst others, famous Pablo Veron) create a wonderful film – a must see for Tango fans! Here is a link to the trailer:

Another german first feature film from Arne Körner “The Bicycle” also told a difficult love story about a young couple who wants to put their staggering relationship back on track by visiting Paris. A song from the film stuck with me for quite some time:

Because I studied architecture, the name “Eileen Gray” matters to me, but lot of people only associate the famous “adjustable table” to her. That this is a grave mistake, because she did so much more, becomes clear after watching Marco Orsini’s great documentary about this really remarkable woman – designer & architect “Gray Matters”

The late night feature that day was a really funny german crime drama from Maximilian Buck – called “Trash Detective” and announced as “the next best thing to Fargo” 😉 In a small village, Susi, the pretty Miss-Southern-Germany-to-be vanishes. Nobody believes village hobo Uwe, when he says that he saw her dead body and lots of blood in a green car somewhere in the woods while walking home drunk at night. So Uwe is trying to solve the crime by himself … with hilarious and sometimes rather painful consequences for him.

Day 4 – october 23:
Among the documentaries that were shown this year was a great number of music films. I’ve already mentioned the two about Helfgott and Tango and on this 4th day I saw three more:
Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” a homage to her rat terrier Lolabelle and a story about love and death accompanied by her somewhat signature “sound-carpet” – dedicated to her late husband Lou Reed.

German Jörg Steineck spent 10 years with various musicians from Coachella Valley to make “Lo Sound Desert” a powerful portrait of Californias alternative punk rock scene.

And american director Amy Berg spent an almost equal amount of time to put together original footage and recent interviews for her intense portrait of Janis Joplin: “Janis: Little Girl Blue”. The “Mercedes Benz” song used in the trailer is actually only used in the trailer – as the film tells Janis’ story from the beginning and this song was recorded only 3 days prior her death on october 4, 1970.

Another remarkable film – dealing with the problem of men abusing women in indian society – was “Angry Indian Godesses” from Pan Nalin. It doesn’t have the power of Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding” but regarding the situation in India, I think it is an important and overdue “Bollywood”-take on these issues.

Because there always is one … here is the one movie I walked out after an hour “8 Seconds” (8 Sekunden – ein Augenblick Unendlichkeit) from Ömer Faruk Sorak. It tries to tell the (true) story of a very imaginative turkish girl growing up in Berlin. I really couldn’t bear the mixture between her surreal dreams and the rest of the plot slowly transforming into a rather trivial german comedy. Nevertheless, here’s the trailer:

Day 5 – october 24:
My last day brought another nice french comedy about a man in a midlife crisis, Bruno Podalydes “Comme un avion” (Like a plane / Nur fliegen ist schöner).

And a hilarious german movie about the strange events occuring at an East Berlin police station a year before the fall of the wall: Bernd Michael Lades’ “Das Geständnis”.
Sadly there’s no trailer available for this one – it was one of my favorites 🙂

The last film I saw was John Crowleys “Brooklyn”. Eilis, a young girl from Ireland emigrates alone to the U.S.A. in the beginning of the 1950s. The film then tells his boy-meets-girl story with some drama and a happy end. Nothing special, but beautifully shot and with a rather taking leading actress (Saoirse Ronan). So, in the end this one was “one for the heart” – works for me 😉

• moving pictures SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

Bingewatching … Doctor Who

When it comes to Doctor Who I’m very much like Sheldon Cooper:
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Source: ShitSheldonCooperSays on tumblr 😉

Despite being a cult series since the 60s in England (and in fact the longest running sci-fi show of all times), the Doctor was really practically unknown in Germany until the early 90s, when I saw my “first Doctor” – which by then already was in fact the 7th: Sylvester McCoy. It was love at first sight 😉 Sylvester still has a special place in my heart and I was very happy to see him again in “The Hobbit” as Radagast. I really just thought about checking his horoscope today: he is a Leo with an Aries Moon (just like my husband), born on august 20, 1943. His ascendant is on my anti-Vertex, Sun opposite Sun, Moon sextile Moon, each’s Moon trining the others Sun, so no further questions, your honor – I really like him 😉
 
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My favorite episode with him was “The Curse of Fenric” … which seemed somehow a bit inspired from Carpenter’s “The Fog” to me: creatures coming out of the sea and some old viking relic … pretty creepy and pretty cool.

Sadly, after him there was only the movie with Paul McGann (which I never saw) and then the Doctor went into a sort of forced hibernation and only came out all shiny and new again about 10 years later. “New Who” launched in England in march 2005. This time the Germans hopped on the train only 3 instead of 30 years later (sigh) but chose a horrible time for broadcasting: sunday afternoon, like this was a mere kids-show (sighsigh). So, probably because of the shitty time it was on German tv they only showed the 1st and 2nd season and then quit again. (AARRGHHH) When they finally chose to catch up and first showed season 5 at the end of 2011 (!) and then finally season 3, 4 and 6 in 2012, I had long gotten all the english DVDs and found a way to watch the latest shows on the BBC iplayer. Meanwhile the Doctor is actually rather popular in Germany too.

Since “New Who” celebrated his 10th this year and I was bingewatching season 8 (and the first ep of season 9) in the last two days (nights), with the new 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi (and enjoyed it very much), I thought it might be time for my personal “best of” episodes from this last 10 years.

Because I really wasn’t following sunday afternoon’s tv schedule back in 2008, I just saw coincidentally that there was a new Doctor AND that this 9th Doctor was Christopher Eccleston – I only had seen him in “Shallow Grave” before, but from that I was convinced that he would make a fantastic Doctor. Loved the brilliant trailer I found on the web (and his northern accent) but of course it was only possible to watch the dubbed version on tv in Germany (sighsighsigh).


 
My favorite episode with him is the two-parter “The empty child” & “The Doctor Dances” in which he encouters a strange gasmask wearing kid & the hilarious Cpt. Jack Harkness (who later got his own show “Torchwood”) while in London during WW2 – written by Steven Moffat (“Coupling”, “Sherlock”).

At lot of fans were complaining about David Tennant who followed as 10th Doctor after Eccleston (who only did one season) … but in the end almost all were pining after him 😉 He did 3 full seasons and 4 additional “special” episodes. I particularly like “Tooth and Claw” from season 2 (Queen Victoria & Werewolves). And then there was season 3: this whole season was gold. “Martha” was fantastic as the new companion and my favorites from season 3 are the first episode “Smith and Jones” … where Martha has the best reply ever to the Doctor’s iconic “I’m the Doctor” introduction: instead of “Doctor who?”, she just smiles and says “Yeah, me too if I ever pass my exams.”


 
and then “Daleks in Manhattan” where they created a whole Vaudeville act with this wonderful song:


 
And of course “Blink” … again written by Steven Moffat and the reason why I’m not comfortable anymore when I see statues somewhere 😉


 
It’s also in season 3 that the Doctor’s arch enemy the “Master” shows up again (first in the form of Derek Jacobi and then he regenerates into John Simms who turned out to be a very convincing, brilliant minded and total lunatic Master).

Season 4 started with a new companion who had already made a guest appearance in a previous christmas special: Catherine Tate as “Donna”. I only recently got a little pop keychain from a little “Adipose” which are the cutest Who-monsters ever and the secret stars of her very funny first episode “Partner’s in Crime” … don’t trust diet pills which are advertised like “The fat just walks away” – well because it really does 😉


 
Steven Moffat wrote again one of the creepiest and best episodes “Silence in the library”


 
And both actors also made an appearance in a really hysterical Red-Nose-Day sketch:


 
Next, the 11th Doctor: Matt Smith – with a fetish for fez and bowtie. Again, a lot of fans were not so happy with him in the beginning, but despite being the youngest actor ever to play the Doctor, he really nailed it. I could see a lot of the 7th Doctor’s wit and crazy edginess in him and the first episode in which his next companion Amy is introduced was as hilarious as creepy – a classic “Who”. Though “fishfingers with custard” didn’t made my favorite food list 😉


 
Neil Gaiman wrote a wonderful episode in which the Doctor encounters his Tardis in human form “The Doctor’s Wife”:


 
In episode 6 of season 7 – the creepiest christmas episode ever: “The Snowmen” with a pretty evil Richard E. Grant the Doctor’s next companion “the impossible girl” Clara Oswald takes over.


 
I was lucky, that the Doctor-fever had reached Germany in time for the shows 50th anniversary, so I could watch the (undubbed) live broadcast of that special episode in a big local cinema in November 2013.


 
*Tadaa* the Doctor regenerated again and Clara is clearly not happy with this new one in the beginning. The ways in which the grumpy 12th Doctor is making fun of pretty Clara are hilarious. “Her face is so wide, she needs three mirrors!” But the new episodes are also pretty creepy again – I especially liked “Listen”


 
And it is just fabulous that they finally did something that sort of happened before in a spoof for Red-Nose-Day in which Rowan Atkinson appears as the Doctor who in the end turns into Joanna “AbFab” Lumley and “rides into the sunset” with the Master 😉


 
But in season 8 it is revealed, that the mysterious “Missy” is in fact the Master regenerated in female form – and she gives the Doctor a really warm greeting (with tongues):


 
So I’m eagerly awaiting saturday and the next episode “The Witch’s Familiar” right now 🙂

• moving pictures SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

Berlin … Remembrance of Things Past

When I saw Olen Steinhauer’s tweet with a pic from a Berlin café a couple of days ago, something in me snapped.

It’s been about 15 years now, since I’ve last visited “the capital” but there were times in the 30 years before, when I was there almost every month. As much as I love my “gingerbread” hometown of Nuremberg, in my heart “Ich bin ein Berliner”. So this blog today will be a little walk on “Memory Lane” and contain some memorable films and music related to Berlin …

transitstrecke
Passing this iconic tower meant that you had only about one more hour to drive before reaching Berlin. My most memorable adventure on the “Transitstrecke” was, when the old car we were driving, broke with burning motor, while we were stuck in a traffic jam, still on the eastern side. A truck driver rushed to our aid with an extinguisher, but then we were stranded. This was in the 80s, so no cell-phones and wandering around on eastern territory was out of the question, if you wanted to stay alive and not be mistaken for a fugitive. But it seemed that all in all it was our lucky day, because after a while a diplomat’s car stopped and towed us across the border at Drewitz *phew*. This was the smoothest crossing ever 😉

For those not so familiar with Berlin’s situation back then, some historical information. West Berlin really was an island in the German Democratic Republic (= the soviet zone). You could fly there, drive there by car straight on the “Transitstrecke” or go by train. You got stamps in your passport when entering (and leaving) the GDR and you could only stop at assignated points, because you weren’t to contact locals while transiting. The trains would stop for hours in the middle of the night, at a non-public station near the border and then they were thoroughly searched inside and outside (with dogs) to prevent East Germans from fleeing.


David Bowie’s very emotional trip on “Memory Lane” through Berlin with lots of old footage.

I’ve travelled really a lot of times between Nuremberg and Berlin – and my passport was full to the brim with those ridiculous stamps:

passport-stamps

So, my father is from Berlin and also my mother’s father. As a kid I went there regularly to visit my grandparents in West Berlin and delighted in driving around in the yellow double-deck busses. When I got older, I read the biography of “Christiane F.” a young heroin addict who had to prostitute herself. That made me see “Bahnhof Zoo” in a slightly different light …

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These are my Berlin grandparents and my great-grandmother (the kid is one of my uncles) in the mid 50s, roughly 5 years before the wall was built. Now everyone would guess, that they gathered proudly around their “Volkswagen” to have that pic taken. LOL … very wrong! This is the so called Berlin humour: they actually never had a car, but I’ve inherited my granddad’s grin 😉

My mother’s sister (my godaunt) moved to Berlin in the beginning of the 80s and when we visited her in Berlin-Kreuzberg for a week in 1984 I really fell consciously in love with the city. When I got 16, I was allowed to visit my aunt together with my best friend(s) and we spent some interesting rather “nocturnal” weeks – as Berlin had no “closing time” like the rest of Germany. I particularly liked the “Bhagwan” disco “FarOut” on Kurfürstendamm next to “Schaubühne” – unlike other discos I knew, this one was not dark, sticky and labyrinth-ish, but just one really big room with a high ceiling, warm lighting and bars in every corner and they played great music too 😉


This is still my (inofficial) hymn to Berlin – from early 80s new german wave band “Ideal”. When this – their first – record came out, my father listened to it literally non-stop during a full 14-day-family-holiday in Bavaria – you’d think, we’d freaked, but I still love every song 😉

Other unforgettable experiences included driving through Berlin in the early morning hours, with someone we just met and who turned out to be a) obviously pretty wasted because he was b) ignoring EVERY red light he came by while going at c) about 70 km/h … yeah well … when you’re 17 it’s really all a bit YOLO 😉

Also when you’re 17 and in Berlin, sleep is clearly overrated … so once we went on a daytrip (trip as in TRIP … as this was still more surreal as just driving on the “Transitstrecke” and not only because we had a hangover!) to East Berlin. We crossed the border at Friedrichstraße and had to walk over a mirrored floor there – so if we had skirts on they could have checked, if we were smuggling whatever under them … please?!. Then we each had to change 50 german Mark (about 25 Euro now) in (ahem, worthless) GDR cash. We’d set up a date with east German relatives of my friend, who met us outside. They had a full sightseeing schedule prepared: visiting the Brandenburg Gate to finally see the Quadriga’s horses heads and not only their butts like from the western side, walked “Unter den Linden” past the Berlin Dome to “Palast der Republik” and then they invited us for lunch at the restaurant on top of the East Berlin TV tower. When we entered we were seated (although almost no seats were taken) and were told that we had one hour to order and eat. This would be the time that the restaurant (who was slowly spinning) would take to make a full turn, so you could watch over the roofs of Berlin in every direction. Yeah well, almost every … because when you were able to look in the direction of the western part of the city, the hour was almost up and exactly THEN your meal arrived. I realised that our “seating” hadn’t been random, but calculated – you really had to watch your plate, eat up and then leave during that last quarter hour – no looks at the “fiends in the West” allowed. In review, this was the most ridiculous experience I’ve had in my whole life so far.

When they walked us back, they motioned us to follow them behind the pillars of “Neue Wache” and gave us german Mark in exchange for the east cash we’d been forced to change earlier (wherever they’ve got the west cash, as this was obviously forbidden!). They were a bit panic-ish and constantly looking over their shoulders (but telling us not to). You really felt like in some sort of bad spy-movie…


“The lives of others” won an Oscar and is really worth seeing – it shows exactly why my friend’s relatives felt uneasy in their own country – just everyone could be an informant and working for the “Stasi” (state security, well more to secure that everyone was staying WITHIN this state).


This is an excerpt from Billy Wilder’s hilarious movie “One Two Three” shot in Berlin in 1961 just before the wall was built. The film was a total flop when it came out, because after the wall was built, obviously no one found it funny anymore. But it really is and you can see (as well as in Wilder’s “A foreign Affair’ with Marlene Dietrich) a lot of Berlin and how much was still destroyed and in ruins.

After the fall of the wall in 1989 I was mainly in Berlin for business reasons (setting up software-systems and training staff at arthouse-cinemas and indie-distributors) or to attend the Berlinale filmfestival. Northern parts of Germany are really not famous for their food, but Berlin was an exception: apart from “Currywurst” and the first “Döner Kebap” who was invented in 1972 not in Turkey, but in Berlin (in a small snackbar between “Zoo station” and famous cinema “Zoopalast”), you could get pretty amazing Falafel, all sorts of really good asian food and my favorite restaurant always was “Cafe Einstein” in Kurfürstenstraße – I’m sure that they still serve the best “Wiener Schnitzel” outside of Vienna.

So finally a last movie-tip:


“Lola rennt” (Run Lola Run) one of the first movies – and also a pretty amazing one – from a re-united “new” Berlin.

• moving pictures • play it again Sam BLAME IT ON THE MUSE SIGHT SOUND & TASTE THINGS FROM DINGS

Still Moonstruck … Love Crime

This is the first song Siouxsie Sioux made in 8 years (together with Brian Reitzell).
It’s for the final episode “The Wrath of the Lamb” in the 3rd season of NBC’s “Hannibal”.

Something like the opening credits from a Bond movie in reverse, as it was on during the final scene.

It sounds totally crazy but I actually felt a sort of wild joy and relief during that final fight scene. Call me creepy. But it all made sense to me in the end. This was a furious ménage à trois, salvation, deliverance and somehow a “becoming” for all three of them.

For me a perfect ending to the t. And I don’t want a season 4 anymore now. This was a good as it gets.

I hope the song is out soon.


 
Love Crime

Oh, the skies, tumbling from your eyes
So sublime, the chase to end all time
Seasons call and fall, from grace and uniform
Anatomical and metaphysical

Oh, the dye
A blood red setting sun
Rushing through my veins
Burning up my skin

I will survive, live and thrive
Win this deadly game
Love crime
Love crime
I will survive, live and thrive
I will survive, I will survive
I will

• moving pictures • play it again Sam SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

post-moonstruck … *spoilers* now that the Dragon spread his wings one last time … what is Richard Armitage becoming?

I just finished watching the Hannibal season 3 finale. And it’s funny, but I don’t wish for a season 4 anymore, I’m ok. Honestly. Not because it was bad, but because they’ve finished it beautifully. I don’t need to know more. Sometimes the best stories should continue in your head – this is one of them.

It’s a bit like in Goldman’s “Princess Bride” where they are riding into the sunset, while he is about to die for sure. It doesn’t matter. Siouxsie’s song, Will & Hannibal’s final understanding, the Dragon ‘flown away’ on bloody wings, Bedelia waiting – that’s as good as it gets.

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(my screengrabs)

The more pressing question for me is now, what Richard Armitage’s ‘becoming’ will be like. Of course they’ve wrapped Hannibal almost half a year ago, but the real impact of this piece of work will hit now, when viewers are condemning or celebrating the final result.

In december 2014, before I knew that he would take on that particular role, I wrote in a letter to him:

letter-from-dec2

When the announcement of his participation as Dolarhyde in Hannibal was made, I was genuinely happy about it. This finally looked like a coming-to-terms with a darker side than he’d experienced before. But because a large part of the fandom showed quite some lack of understanding for his take on this gory and disturbing role, I felt compelled to write something of an astrological explanation. It was published by Servetus (thanks again) on her ‘me + richard armitage‘ blog on february 9 in 2015 and contained this part:

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(The overdue review, containing his corrected birthtime is to be found here -> Why Richard Armitage IS Francis Dolarhyde … and you should love him anyway.)

So, as he obviously felt compelled to have his teeth fixed after “North & South” and also another prominent part of his physique about 2 years ago – I’ll quote a well-wisher on this “to look a bit more conventionally handsome” – I wonder if he feels compelled to continue “improving” his looks after playing a disfigured serial killer, whom an army of fans still kept swooning about? I hope not.

Despite promoting “Moonstruck” yesterday, I ended up by rewatching “The Artist”. Jean Dujardin won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, the actor’s prize at Cannes and whatnot for his role. He is certainly charming but in no way “conventionally handsome” – his teeth are crooked far worse than Armitage’s ever were and the nose is also on the larger side. And – as it’s a silent movie – the only two words he gets to say in “The Artist” at the very end, are uttered with the most off-putting french accent “Wiz pleasure.”

dujardin-the-artist

So, Richard, here’s some serious advice from this crazy stargazing-girl: you are currently experiencing very prominent/life-altering transit aspects. Pluto, “the transformer”, is squaring your natal Chiron (a lot about his role in your career/life is to be found here and here) while Uranus, “the enlightener”, is also moving closer to Chiron again (you felt his full impact during the whole run of the Crucible last year).

At the same time, transiting Saturn is moving through your fourth house (of family / private life) challenging your “big dreams” in this part and equally challenging your Sun in your first house (of beginnings / our personality / our “heart”) – all of this together is asking you to face your fears. Fears of being not handsome or successfull enough and the like. And also to overcome them and accept yourself as “perfect as you are now”. As Hannibal put it “The particular body you currently occupy is trivial.” – what you can achieve with your mind, is important.

I want to see you in more such intense roles, I want to see films or plays directed by you, I want to see Thorin’s secret diary published – whatever – surprise me, your fans and yourself by your becoming!

• moving pictures • RAw musings BLAME IT ON THE MUSE SIGHT SOUND & TASTE STARGAZING

Moonstruck … part 3: a full moon, PMS & musings about my favorite full moon film

After two chocolate bars and a pizza (I’m not talking slices here) I’ve decided to occupy myself behind my desk to distract me from heading to the fridge again …
Men who claim to be “moody” have literally no idea what female hormons can do to your mind combined with a full moon … No. Idea. At. All. … Moody Shmoody.

I’m not only emptying my fridge today, but I’m also in the mood for a romantic film tonight … so dying Dolarhyde is postponed until tomorrow. Right, what’s it going to be then?

One of my favorite films, and in fact the most suitable for a full moon, is Norman Jewison’s “Moonstruck” from 1987. Jewison was already 61 when he directed it, he is famous for very different films: Doris Day comedies like “The Thrill of it All” and “Send me no Flowers”, dramas like “In the Heat of the Night” with Sidney Poitier (rewarded with 5 Oscars) and the original “The Thomas Crown Affair” with Steve McQueen – all from the 60s.

When the film came out in Germany, there was already some buzz about it – so, despite not being overly fond of Nicolas Cage and rather amused about the choice of Cher as the female lead, I went to the cinema with my SO on a lovely full moon evening (no shit) in the spring of 1988.

moonstruck

I was bewitched. It was funny. It was dramatic. The actors were so so good. (Cher, who was 40 at the time – while Cage was 23! – indeed won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her performance!)
The music! Show me another film that manages to combine old italian pop songs like “…when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie – that’s amore…” so effortless with something like Puccini’s love-duet from “La Bohème”!

The lovestory! As “Pretty Woman” came out only three years later, “Moonstruck” qualifies as a sort of pre-“Pretty Woman” for grown-ups. When I look at it from an astrological view point, it is in fact the ultimate Chiron love story. Two people who have been wounded in the past, who share a “to hell with love” attitude, one trying to live without it, the other still licking his wounds, meet and immediately “recognize” each other’s sore spots, putting their fingers exactly where it hurts the most. As they are both hot-headed Italians the result is quite explosive 😉

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That’s how Nicolas Cage looked like 27 years ago – not so bad, eh?

Ronny Cammareri: You ruined my life.
Loretta Castorini: That’s impossible! It was ruined when I got here! *You* ruined *my* life!

Loretta’s (Cher) mother Rose is played by the wonderful Olympia Dukakis (who also won a Golden Globe, an Oscar and a BAFTA). She is equally struggling with her marriage in a side-plot and gains some great insight into a man’s brain from her daughter’s fiancé Johnny:

Rose: Why do men chase women?
Johnny: Well, there’s a Bible story… God… God took a rib from Adam and made Eve. Now maybe men chase women to get the rib back. When God took the rib, he left a big hole there, where there used to be something. And the women have that. Now maybe, just maybe, a man isn’t complete as a man without a woman.
Rose: [frustrated] But why would a man need more than one woman?
Johnny: I don’t know. Maybe because he fears death.
[Rose looks up, eyes wide, suspicions confirmed]
Rose: That’s it! That’s the reason!
Johnny: I don’t know…
Rose: No! That’s it! Thank you! Thank you for answering my question!

So, I’ll be heading out tonight like the grandfather … walking his dogs on the streets of New York City and howling at the moon with them “Piano … non tirare … ho detto di non tirare … guarda la bella luna!” (Slowly … stop pulling … I told you to stop pulling … behold the beautiful moon!)

• moving pictures SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

Just “Hanni” from the Block … documentary about Mads Mikkelsen from 2011 (arte)

Searching for “Hannibal” previews I happened upon this great documentary with Mads, that french-german tv network “arte” did in 2011. It’s almost an hour long – the camera team follows Mads and his older brother around the quarter in Kopenhagen where they grew up, he talks about his childhood (in a working-class family, without any contact to art, except radio plays), how strange it was to meet the Queen at the Bond premiere and that he still feels like “Jenny from the Block”.

I never saw his first movie “Pusher” which he did, while he was still at filmschool and many of his other earlier or Danish films – so it was interesting to see some clips here, he really is a very good and versatile actor … and those ballet moves in the studio weren’t bad either for an “old man” 😉

I always thought he might still be a last degree Scorpio (yeah well, the things “Hannibal” does to your perception 😉 ), but seeing this I’m rather convinced that he was born after 01:30pm, and in fact maybe at 02:30pm, which would give him a Sagittarius Sun and an Aries Ascendant. He seems to be quite fiery at heart, despite his Scorpio Moon 😉

Hej Mads, if you ever happen across this, I’d really like to know! 😉

So don’t be put off, because the whole documentary has a german voiceover (it really sounds rather pleasant – as far as german can sound pleasant to anglophile ears 😉 ) you can hear quite a lot of what is spoken in english or danish anyway, and someone did an english translation – the link is provided under each of the four parts on youtube.

• moving pictures SIGHT SOUND & TASTE STARGAZING