Anybody who knows anyone who is full on religious knows how boring they can be. It’s not because they believe in God so much but they want you to, and if you question them when pushed, then they let you know how wrong you are with bizarre nonsensical logic arguments. A friend of mine at the cricket was recently converted by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and forever handing out those leaflets now. All of these religions say there is only one true God. But so do the other lot and the other lot and the other lot. Terry, my mate, was a Catholic before and seems to have forgotten about that particular God. Terry believes the dinosaurs roamed the Earth with humans, at least for a little while.
Paradise: Faith is the second film in highly rated Austrian director Ulrich Seidi trilogy, exploring those invisible creatures called overweight middle aged women and their place in the sexual world, often accepting the humiliation of being passed it. The first film was Paradise: Love, about promiscuous middle aged Austrian women looking for young black men fun in Kenya, which I have seen at the cinema and the final film, is Paradise Hope, which I will see. I also saw his film Import/Export, about the Eastern European sex trade. They are all tough viewing though but I will try anything if it gets a good rating and asks questions on life and reason for being here.
Fifty something devoutly religious Anna Maria (Maria Hofstätter) is a radiology nurse by day and spends her spare time traipsing around her non-descript Austrian superb of soulless high-rises and gloomy underpasses trying to convert the strays and bring God into their lives. Not surprisingly she has few takers, some slamming the door on her, some taking the piss, others simply beyond spiritual help.
At home she punishes herself in front of the cross in her bedroom for having carnal or ungodly thoughts. She does this by lashing her naked flesh with a whip like instrument until the skin is red raw. But every day she heads out rain or shine to spread the word, witnessing dogging, drunken single moms and general spiritual decay. But things are about to change when her crippled husband Nabil (Nabil Saleh) returns from convalescence, losing the power of his legs in a car crash, his life of booze and living the fast lane finally catching up on him. Anna sees this as Gods calling and the injuries inflicted on him meant to be, a chance to earn Jesus love by caring for her husband. And Anna loves Jesus love. She will be tested though as Nabil is Muslim and he doesn’t like crosses.
It’s yet more grim stuff from the Austrian director and what art film is all about, getting to grips with the issues, nuance and people and situations that don’t make for uplifting or dramatic movies. We all know that God-fearing old lady that doest have a TV and up the church doing odd jobs all the time and this black comic betrayal of her as cruel as it is realistic and somewhat humorous. We had a neighbor across the road who was that lady, living on her own with no telly and doing church stuff all the time. She didn’t preach to anyone on the street and kept herself to herself but the poor girl went mad, seeing demons in her house and running around screaming every night. Some caring God aye?
The Austrian director is again tackling the awkward issue of older women’s quest for sex and love and how invisible they become over 50-years of age. Why the director chooses this niche subject is beyond me and maybe fellow Austrian Sigmund Freud could have helped him out on that one.
I think a manic belief in God in your older years can discard all of those confidence issues over sexual politics and your place in the world and so you don’t have to worry about them anymore, Jesus your number one guy now. Yes our heroine does get a little naughty with her wooden cross to get closer to Jesus for dramatic license and a scene that will no doubt offend real Christians but the film does entertain on the subject of the scatty spinster we have all seen on the block, known as the cat lady here.
This is film not for everyone and pretty hard work. In fact it’s not for anyone as it barely made any money. A lot of its impact is in its bleak urban visual look although some scenes felt forced (I have never seen an orgy on any public park near me) and unrealistic. But as a piece of filmmaking it’s interesting and darkly funny and I managed to get through it, that type of film. It’s very well acted and the Muslim V Christian thing handled well. There is no music so an extra oppressive layer there and although no real narrative. But it’s engaging and interesting enough to get something from it although not one you need to rush out and watch on DVD.
TNT is a great channel for oldies, black and white and colour. I just really have major complaint. When I flick through with my remote control and see a film I might like to watch in the menu I like press the 'i' button and get some information. Sometimes, when I am watching a film I might press the 'i' button to see what year the film was made or the name of the starring actor. Try that when you are watching a film on TNT and you won't get any answers. I know that information on other film channels is quite basic but you do generally get to find out the date the film was made and the star's name. That is really the only complaint I have, otherwise I find it is watched probably more than any of the other film channels we have.
TNT is a free 24 hour movie channel that is part of Ted Turner's CNN empire. It has some serious money backing it and therefore the quality of the channel is very good, albeit the choice of movies revolves around older '40s - '70s films. They frequently show some real blockbusters from the past, Wizard of Oz,Gone with the Wind, Ben Hur etc all in widescreen format. It's not got the latest action to compete with the Sky channels but if you like older, quality films you will love TNT.
I don` get the movie channels I watch this I like the old movies and this channel is dedicated to showing them ranging from the ganster movies White heat to the melodramas. Available as TMC on sky digital 24hrs a day It is giving sky cinema a serious headache just check uot the latest ratings. I am ver impressed with this channel they don`t seem to repeat the films they show to often and for this reason this channel does extremly well. I would recommend you watch if you are a film buff and like me cannot aford to pay for sky movies.
I watched this quite a bit in the days when I was too poor (or was it too mean?) to subscribe to the Sky Movies package. Started by the famous Ted Turner (he of CNN fame), it largely constitutes the entire film library of M G M in its glory days. Most of its output is pretty unmemorable 30s and 40s films (remember, there was almost no TV in those days), but it regularly rescreens such gems as Ben-Hur, Casablanca and Doctor Zhivago - usually in the original widescreen (letter-box) format (though even with my 28" TV, I sometimes feel I need binnoculars!.