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Audi German Film Festival: The Day of the Cat (2010)

12 Apr

(Wolfgang Panzer, 2010, Germany, in German, Drama, 89 minutes)

The Day of the Cat is an at times amusing political drama that more often than not fails to rise to the occasion. Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire, Downfall) plays the Swiss President, nicknamed The Great Cat, who puts his nine lives to the test both professionally and personally when a crisis in his cabinet and an impending visit from the Spanish royalty meet head on with his ongoing struggle to deal with his son’s terminal condition. Continue reading


Audi German Film Festival Review: Colours in the Dark [Satte Farben vor Schwarz] (2010)

1 Apr











By Michael De Martino

(Sophie Heldman, 2010, Germany, in German, Drama, 85 minutes)

Painfully bland family drama about a father (Bruno Ganz) in his twilight years who, despite the will of his family, chooses not to have surgery for prostate cancer.

There is not a lot to say in reference to the content of the film because hardly anything happens; there is not one memorable moment. Colours in the Dark is lazily directed, the script is pretty standard, and while the acting is acceptable, it is overshadowed by truly hateable characters who seem to have a biter attitude towards everything. The lack of non-diegetic sound in most scenes makes the film feel empty. Essentially, throughout the film characters interact, get disappointed with each other, then leave. This cycle repeats itself constantly.

A lot of the time I found myself on the verge of yelling at the screen in frustration, “something happen!” In a lot of bad films there is a redeeming humorous quality to them, “so-bad-they’re-good” if you will, but not this film.

There is a good chance Colours in the Dark was never intended for audiences of younger generations, but even so, the emptiness of this film will test even the most determined viewer.

If you have problems sleeping by all means watch this film. But if not, stay well away. Life is too short to waste time on films this bland.


Audi German Film Festival Review: Nanga Parbat (2010)

31 Mar

By Michael De Martino

(Joseph Vilsmaier, 2010, Germany, in German, Biography, 104 minutes)

Nanga Parbat tells the true story of two mountaineering brothers, Reinhold and Gunther Messner, who set out to climb Pakistan’s Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain on Earth, as part of the 1970 expedition. Both brothers achieve the superhuman task of reaching the top of Parbat’s south face, though tragically only Reinhold survives the descent.

Although a true and obviously sad story, it is not necessarily one that had to be adapted into film. Together with shallowly written characters and average acting, there is not enough substance for a feature length film, and as we learn of Gunther’s death in the first five minutes, there is room for suspense.

The one revitalising aspect of Naga Parbat is the scenery. If viewed on the big screen it will look amazing, but it is used too much as “filler” with the sole purpose of prolonging the running time of the film and is not quite enough reason on it’s own to go out of your way to see this film.

Nanga Parbat is not a bad film, but at the same time there’s not much to take from it. It is average. It will be neither loved nor hated; it will awkwardly sit there in your memory for a little while until it is inevitably forgotten.