Star – Saskia Rosendahl
Genre – Action
Run Time – 109 minutes
Certificate – 1
Country – Germany
Awards – 30 Wins & 34 Nominations
Amazon – £5.99 DVD (Blue Ray £11.56)
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So ‘Lore’, based on the awarding wining book ‘The Dark Room’ by Rachael Sieiffert and transferred to the screen by Aussie Director Cate Shortland, who has only done two films so far, the other being the Australian movie Somersault. The Australian connection is relevant as this subtitled German war movie is funded by British and Australian money, somewhat counter intuitively directed by a non German speaking director. The less than one million dollar budget movie swept the boards at the 2013 Australian Oscars but managed only $3.4 million back. It’s better than that. As per usual a female director means a powerful female in the lead and negative male role models all around her. In this case it’s fully justified, a beautiful and powerful coming of age movie.
• Saskia Rosendahl as Lore
• Kai Malina as Thomas
• Nele Trebs as Liesel
• Ursina Lardi as Mutti (the mother)
• Hans-Jochen Wagner as Vati (the father)
• André Frid as Günther
• Mika Seidel as Jürgen
• Eva-Maria Hagen as Omi (the grandmother)
• Nick Holaschke as Peter
• Sven Pippig as Bauer
• Philip Wiegratz as Helmut
World War Two is over and a rather slovenly and defeated German officer (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and his beautiful family are packing quickly in Berlin. Hitler has shot himself in the bunker and the allies have swept into German to take control. The plan is for the family of four kids and a new baby to hide out in their secluded holiday home in the Black Forest until things cool down and for the parents to decide what to do next, maybe give themselves up to face trail or do what Hitler did and blow their brains out and poison the kids. The shame of losing and so facing their crimes is all too much for them.
At the cottage the food is short and their mother (Ursina Lardi) is soon pawning her rings and jewelry with the neighboring farm for provisions. But after three days or so the neighbors’ no longer want to provide provisions for the family and when one of the boy twins steals some eggs from their barn the outlive their welcome and on the move again. But beautiful daughter Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) is literally left holding the baby as mother and father have left to face their fete. Father is a uniformed officer and will no doubt face jail or worse and mother is lost and numb heading back to Berlin for unknown reasons, leaving the five kids to fend for themselves. Lore is now the matriarch of her younger sister Liesel (Nele Trebs), the twin boys and one screaming baby, traipsing across fields towards Hamburg, where Lore tells the younger children their grandmother is waiting to take care of them.
It’s dangerous out there as desperate people try to survive in the idyllic countryside. The collapse the Reich also means the German people have to confront what Germany has been up to, including the death camps and holocaust.Lore is running out of things to pawn and the kids are unkempt and suffering from lice and bugs, no place for a young baby. But help comes from an unexpected quarter, a young Jewish man called Thomas (Kai Malina), drawn to the beautiful blue-eyed and blonde Lore. With his Star of David papers he can keep the Americans at bay but the nearer they get to Hamburg the bigger the risk. Tragedy is just around every corner. But through all this she is still a moody teenager learning about the world.
The Independent newspaper film critic summed this movie up perfectly: ‘The collapse of Nazi Germany, seen not from the slit of a Berlin bunker but through the innocent eyes of a 14-year-old girl is bewitching’. With a child's perspective on war, "Lore" has echoes of "Empire of the Sun" and "Hope and Glory”, two very good movies. It’s a stunning looking film and as beautiful as its super talented lead actress, Saskia Rosendahl, every inch the young Arian goddess. She is the perfection Hitler bred and she will witness the fall off his empire.
Every gentle breeze in the idyllic German countryside can signal calm as it can signal coming peril as the vulnerable young children face the world without adults, other adults ready to exploit them in the power vacuum in a near lawless countryside of foreboding silence. Some sneered at the film that it s was essentially Little Red Riding Hood and it certainly has a lot of fairytale qualities about it but whatever this is, it works.
It always amazes me how well kids can act and they are great here. Even the baby cries on cue. But Saskia Rosendahl is astonishing in the lead, powerfully and uncomfortably sexy at just 14 but as equally innocent. Her incredible eyes express every emotion at once a teenage girl has ever felt. Some of the subject mater is tricky and the sexual scenes between older men too much for some. But this is a young beautiful girl unleashed on a world she knows little about and with no parents around there are no rules, confronting a devastated country along the way and coming to terms with her father's crimes and a nation's guilt. On the nightmare journey she witnesses robbery, death and degradation, experiences hunger, fear and bewilderment and develops a sense of responsibility. Her father was probably involved in the mass murder of Jews and she will have to confront that at the end of her journey. From this film we learn Kate Shortland only makes a movie when she has something to say or a vision in her mind and this is certainly those two things.
Imdb.com – 7.1/10.0 (10,976votes)
Rottentomatos.com – % critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – % critic’s approval
Chicago Tribune –‘Lore, from Australian director Cate Shortland, proceeds like a long-ago fairy tale, dark-hued, grounded in real-life 20th-century horrors’
Film Threat –‘Think "Little Red Riding Hood" meets The Road’
Movie dearest –‘.Unflinching but thoroughly engrossing, the film provides a rarely depicted look at the Holocaust's other innocent victims’.
Chicago Reader –‘Saskia Rosendahl gives an impressively poised performance as the beautiful teenager, whose determination to protect her remaining family coincides with her growing revulsion toward her parents’.
Toronto Times –‘With an eye for images that are both lush and foreboding, Cate Shortland dives confidently into a moral minefield and doesn't care about defusing the situation’.
TV Guide –‘The dream of every director tasked with bringing such a difficult story to life is to have a star who can carry the drama, and in her feature debut, Rosendahl is a revelation’.
Film School Rejects –‘ Shortland may not leave us with certainty, but in the context of so bloody a conflict fueled by intransigence and misguided idealism, the hope and the beauty of Lore is only strengthened by its embrace of youthful uncertainty’.
The Independent –‘. The collapse of Nazi Germany, seen not from a Berlin bunker but through the eyes of a 14-year-old girl’
That's the thing about youth today, there is massive segregation when it comes to friendship groups and the music that they listen to, so what is best for these music channels to show so that they don't lose out on audiance ratings due to alienating one certain type of viewer? Well show everything seems to be the idea done by most channels, including well known ones such as MTV and The Box. B4 runs along the same lines as both those channels, but does 357 (an easy diagonal to press in for us Sky Digital customers) have the same recipe for success?
B4's premise is simple, it is to show music before any other channel, and we all know that one of the key things about being cool when you're younger is knowing the new music before anyone else. The problem I see with this is that most music on the channel comes over from America anyway, and now with the internet and more precisely YouTube, it is easier for people to access this new music and the accompanying videos on the internet before any music channel can even possibly get the rights to it. So chances are you may put on B4 and it won't really be showing a new music video that you can't watch on any other channel, it will probably be playing a song that you heard months ago on iTunes or something like that.
And that's the changing music world for you. I remember when I first got Sky and came home one day to watch my brothers watching music, this was the first I had ever heard of music videos (I was very young at the time) and it's true that music channels do become addictive, probably due to the fact that you don't have to pay any real attention - and we are a lazy society. Not to mention the first music video I ever saw being Britney Spears running around dressed up as a school girl, that's enough to get anyone addicted to music channels for life! One problem with music channels is that they don't really have television listings, and you never know what you're going to get with them, as they do now and again try and put on something special. B4 are no different, and right now if you put on B4 as I speak you can watch 'B4 Hits'. It's not a real programme, there's no host, it's just a name to click up on the screen before you press back up to watch the video. Following 'B4 Hits' will be 'Double Up', which I can only presume means they shall be showing two videos in a row by the same artist as many other music channels do and have very similar names for their programme.
Whilst there are channels out there that specialise in just one type of music, such as KISS and Kerrang, B4 is one of those that will play literally every song out there. And that annoys me. That brings about the whole channel hopping thing, and the difficulty to actually find a song that you like. It also means that B4 isn't really a channel you can leave on and listen to a long time, because you mind end up getting Eminem followed by My Chemical Romance, followed by Take That. I think the big question is though, how does B4 fare on the field that it boasts itself for - the before anyone else music videos.
Every Friday B4 have a programme on the hour every hour for about 20 minutes, where they show the 'freshest videos around', although they don't always show every video they have new in this 20 minute slot and they mess around with the order so you don't know what you're going to get. On some occassions they do show you the video for the first time on TV, although if you flick around later in the day chances are you will find it somewhere else as well. On other occassions they will show you a video that you probably saw on another channel about a week back. Now that's no good!
From dance to rap to rock, B4 does really show pretty much everything, and it's just a shame that the channel can't get those videos before everyone else and really decide what time of music it wants to dedicate it to - except the popular stuff in general. Does B4 get tired of the old videos before anyone else? Well yes, they probably do get rid of the old videos from their playlists before most channels, but I'm putting a bet on that when another hugely popular song like Umbrella comes along they won't be getting rid of it from the playlist in a hurry because the channel runs off people phoning in and requesting videos through three digit codes, and no music channel could decide to turn their back on that sort of money. At least this channel gives you an option of something to flick to when a channel you prefer is on commercials, just hopefully both channels won't take their adverts at the same time when you do this, or even worse you might have to watch an advert for a tedious B4 competition that you really don't care about.
B4U (Bollywood For You) is probably the most well-known Bollywood channel broadcasting in the UK. The channel broadcasts Bollywood movies (both old and new) as well as music shows and gossipy TV programmes by the truckload. It?s rather loud and colourful and, dare I say it, a bit tacky (in a good way!). A subscription is probably essential if you are a Bollywood fan as you get the opportunity to see plenty of award shows and interviews with your favourite stars. B4U music is included in the price and I actually prefer it to B4U movies. It?s great to see all the new music videos, although I usually end up shelling out money on lots of CDs after watching B4U. When I subscribed to B4U Sony Asia was included in the price, but don?t think this offer is applicable at the moment. I pay about £160.00 a year for my subscription, but you can also pay monthly. I think the the subscription is reasonably priced as they do show lots of new films. In my opinion there are only two things about B4U which annoy the hell out of me. The first is the VJs. I don?t know where they find these people who regularly make an utter fool of themselves on my TV screen. The men all seem to think they are great comedians and just sit there laughing at their own lame jokes. The women aren?t much better and seem to have spent more time worrying about their lip gloss than what they are going to say. B4U recently held a talent competition to find some new presenters and I sincerely hope the winners will raise the collective IQ at B4U headquarters. The other thing which really, REALLY annoys me is the fact that movies are shown without English subtitles. I find this very frustrating as a non-Asian viewer (my attempts to learn Hindi confirmed my GCSE German teacher?s opinion that I am the most inept language student ever). I know I am not the only person annoyed by B4U?s oversight. My Bollywood-obsessed friends include other non-Asians, Asians who don?t speak Hindi and Asians
whose terrible Hindi leaves their parents shaking their heads in despair. B4U has no excuse as many of the films they show were originally released with English subtitles. If you want to find out more about B4U you can visit ww.b4utv.com (you can also read the latest gossip and downloads wallpapers etc.) I have also found the staff at B4U very helpful when I have had need to ?phone them.