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Description: This short was released in connection with the 20th anniversary of Warner Brothers' first exhibition of the Vitaphone sound-on-film process on 6 August 1926. The movie highlights Thomas A. Edison and Alexander Graham Bell's efforts that contributed to sound films and acknowledges the work of Lee De Forest. Brief excerpts from the August 1926 exhibition follow. Clips are then shown from a number of Warner Brothers features, four from the 1920s, the remainder from 1946/47.
Description: EXHIBITION ON SCREEN launch its fifth season with Canaletto & the Art of Venice, an immersive adventure into the life and art of Venice’s popular view-painter. No artist better captures the essence and allure of Venice than Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto. The remarkable group of over 200 paintings, drawings and prints on display offer unparalleled insight into the artistry of Canaletto and his contemporaries, and the town he became a master at capturing. The movie also offers the possibility to step inside two official royal residences - Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle – to learn more about the artist, and Joseph Smith, the boy who introduced Canaletto to Britain.
Description: Documentary which says the fascinating and poignant storyline of the closure of Britain's mental asylums. In the post-war period, 150,000 folks were hidden away in 120 of these vast Victorian institutions all across the country. Today, most mental patients, or service players as they are actually called, live out in the community and the asylums have all but disappeared. Through strong testimonies from patients, nurses and doctors, the movie explores this seismic revolution and what it says us about society's changing attitudes to mental disease over the last sixty years.
Description: Meet Nikola Tesla, the genius engineer and tireless inventor whose technology revolutionized the electrical age of the 20th century. Although eclipsed in fame by Edison and Marconi, it was Tesla's vision that paved the method for today's wireless world. His fertile but undisciplined imagination was the source of his genius but also his downfall, as the photo of Tesla as a angry scientist came to overshadow his reputation as a brilliant innovator.
Description: In the late 19th century, as America's teeming towns grew increasingly congested, the time had come to replace the nostalgic horse-drawn trolleys with a faster, cleaner, safer, and more efficient form of transportation. Based in part on Doug Most's acclaimed non-fiction ebook of the same name, The Race Underground says the dramatic storyline of an invention that changed the lives of millions.
Description: Kara Murat is a dark-haired, brave and powerful young raider. He is a fighter who should run into the Byzantine units just by himself and change the course of the war fought in Serbia between Ottoman and Byzantine empires. He patrols the Ottoman borders along with the raiders and catches the attention of The Byzantine. During the battle, Kara Murat proves to be such a brave and fearless man. He would then do his greatest to defend his land, his people, Ottoman Empire and his family. Orhan Celebi, younger brother of Sultan Murat only aims for the throne. However, Sultan Murat leaves the throne to his son and a fresh era starts with Sultan Mehmet: A young, brave and believing man. The ones who think Sultan Mehmet is low take advantage of this and they come up with evil plans.
Description: Nameless Stars recounts the history of Korean students' struggles vs Japanese occupation by focusing on the Gwangju Student Independence Movement of 1929. The son of a freedom fighter, Sang-hun (Hwang Hae-nam) is a member of an anti-Japanese resistance group named "Seongjinhoe," composed of students who share a dedication to the cause of liberation. Their spiritual tutorial is a teacher called Song Un-in. One day, Yeong-ae (Cho Mi-ryeong), whose brother is a detective in the Japanese police force charged with monitoring independence movements, joins their group. Followinga series of sporadic incidents, the students gather one night to resolve on an uprising, but are discovered by the police. Young-ae is wrongfully accused of betraying their plans, but she risks her life in order to let the group members to escape. The morning after, the students of Gwangju rise up vs the Japanese government.
Description: In 1642, amidst the flames of English civil war, Isaac Newton was born. He was the one who would unite Heavens and Earth. A natural philosopher, mathematician, theologian and alchemist, with inexhaustible patience and persistence, Newton was seeking throughout his whole life how God's Design was imprinted in nature. Forged in a difficult childhood, defiant and unbowed, confrontational and loner, an unlimited source of inspiration and creativity, Newton sealed with his work the whole 18th century. The political and social conflicts of the time, Royal Society's establishment, constant changes in political power and the complexities of Newton's personality offer a finished picture of the conditions that led to the emersion of his work.
Description: Historical short showing how Eli Whitney (best known for the invention of the cotton gin) played a significant role in the introduction of mass productions techniques to the USA in the late 18th century.
Description: This one hour documentary examines the life of the famed Sharp Shooter and Wild West performer, Annie Oakley from her birth in mid nineteenth century rural Pennsylvania to her death in 1926. Many myths are overturned and the tool also details a tiny known trial when Annie Oakley had to sue The Hearst Newspaper chain all throughout the country for libel when they reported the activities of someone who was impersonating the famed sharpshooter and besmirching her reputation.
Description: The early struggles of the working class are placed under a microscope in Plutocracy III: Class War, the recent chapter in an exceptionally well produced series which explores the origins of America's growing economic divide.
Description: A movie that looks at the genius of JMW Turner in a fresh light. There is more to Turner than his sublime landscapes - he also painted machines, science, technology and industry. Turner's life spans the Industrial Revolution, he witnessed it as it unfolded and he painted it. In the process he created a entire fresh type of art. The programme examines nine key Turner paintings and shows how we could re-think them in the light of the scientific and Industrial Revolution. Contains interviews with historian Simon Schama and artist Tracey Emin.
Description: Fidel Castro, the former President of Cuba and one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century, passed away in November. He famously claimed that "history will absolve me", but will it? This unique movie considers Castro and his legacy.
Description: On April 25, 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick published their groundbreaking discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. But their crucial breakthrough depended on the pioneering work of other biologist, Rosalind Franklin. 50 years later, NOVA investigates the shocking truth behind one of the best scientific discoveries and presents a moving portrait of a brilliant girl in an era of male-dominated science.
Description: Following the death of Josip Broz Tito (1892–1980), one town in every of the six republics and two autonomous regions of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had the honour to be called after the long-serving president. Having been selected due to leftist ideas, proletarian character, industrialisation, urbanisation and modernity, they were often privileged. Actually located across seven countries, not one of these towns is still called after Tito. We learn the stories of these towns from their residents who look back at the period under Tito’s name. Many of these stories are tragic since the majority of towns have been touched by war.
Description: 2009, Slovenia. For 30 years, Alija, the miner, has been one of the many Bosnian immigrant workers. Due to the crisis, miners are losing jobs. Alija is sent to check an abandoned mine. His task is to quickly create sure the mine is empty before management sells the company. But in the mine, Alija finds hidden proof of executions after WWII. He is said to stop digging and report the mine empty. He decides to continue, although he is risking his job. Alija discovers thousands of executed people. He informs the police. He found girls among the dead. Some of them were civilians, missing persons, just like his sister that was lost in the 1995 genocide in Bosnia. Alija is convinced the victims need to be brought out, identified and buried. But there is no interest in doing that. The mine is proclaimed a WWII military grave and walled in. The dead will stay unburied. Alija loses his job and struggles to preserve his dignity.
Description: After giving birth to Bhagwan Shri Kartiyeke, Devi Maa Parvati forms a child-human photo from clay, adopts him, and asks him to guard the house and not allow anyone in while she bathes. The kid refuses to allow anyone in, including Bhagwan Shivji himself, who beheads him. When a tearful Parvatiji pleads, Shivji brings the kid back to life with the head of an elephant, and names him Gajanand, and assures him that no one will create fun of him.
Description: Risking his life, Luke ventures to Rome to visit Paul -- the apostle who's bound in chains and held captive in Nero's darkest and bleakest prison cell. Haunted by the shadows of his past misdeeds, Paul wonders if he's been forgotten as he awaits his grisly execution. Before Paul's death, Luke resolves to write other ebook that features the birth of what will come to be known as the church.
Description: It is 1680 – the time of dreamt snow after the Turkish invasion. In the deserted plains of Bácska a living soul cannot be found in a few-days’ walk. Three former prisoners returning from their Turkish captivity – Long-Legged, Lame and One-Eyed – appear among the crumbling walls of a large abandoned church without a roof. They are looking for their long lost home. How to revive a disappeared civilization? What is the survivors’ private duty? Without a roof, a collapse is inevitable. The Old Boy – a master of ancient knowledge – and his daughter come and with sharing sowing seeds they test to save the community of dispersion. No spiritual leader, no aims. Driven by rapacity, One-Eyed kills the Old Man, rapes his daughter and while looking for the remaining seeds he kills Long-Legged with a sudden anger. At the end of the film, the survivors need to face with dramatic encounters and unique temptations. Their redemption under the leadership of Lame’s young son is the pledge for the future.
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Watching this film with the best expectations of not being disappointed is usually the priority of watching any Malaysian movie. Related can be told to another Malaysian films like Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam and Seri Dewi Malam. But the outcome of Puteri Gunung Ledang (PGL) is extremely good, if not beyond the expectations that is for a Malaysian Film.M. Nasir has finally set the record straight, and the bar for testing Hang Tuah. I can no longer see anyone else enjoy the coveted role of a Malay character than he can. His portrayal of the righteous character is played so well that most folks that have watched him almost believed that he is Hang Tuah.Tiara Jaquelina played the role of Gusti Putri quite well. Her portrayal of a Majapahit Hindu royalty although not really as nice as Nasir's portrayal of Hang Tuah is still notable. Some critics would call her a stick on screen but is that what royalties do? Look at the portrayal Queen Elizabeth I, or Lady Jane Seymour of England. They are as much as a stick as Gusti Putri was. Nothing more can be told about her.Christine Hakim was in my own private view played the most prominent hero in the life of Gusti Putri although her appearance in the film was only for the first 15 mins of the movie. She made Gustri Putri sound more Malaysian than Indonesian which in turn strengthens her character. Unfortunately her hero was ended early which was most unfortunate.Skipping the another characters and side-winding to the aspects of direction of the film I search that it is very well orchestrated by Teong Hin Saw. He made PGL so pretty directed that you should not trust it is made by a Malaysian. He was, no, is the excellent choice for the helm of PGL.For the terrible part of the movie. Results for PGL is almost overwhelming that you can see that most of the results can be seen as, well, fake. Except for the war stage (SPOILER WARNING!!!) of Gusti Adipati & Hang Tuah, all another results for the film is, OK.What is most striking about the film is the usage of variable camera angles that is almost not used or very badly used in another Malaysian movies. The usage of the classic Malay language and Java scripts is a nice plus since it it drives the movie-goers to listen carefully to the spoken word. It is simply awe inspiring.Overall, PGL is worthy of an international release. This should be the landmark and a beginning for more and better Malaysian films IF and ONLY IF the Malaysian directors and producers are willing to experiment, research and spend lots of cash like our Hollywood counterparts do.
This handsomely mounted period epic set during the 16th century Malaccan empire is Malaysia's most expensive movie at US$5M. The princess of Majapahit, Retno Dumillah, exiles herself to the Malaccan peak of Mount Ophir to entreat the company of her lover, the Malaccan fighter Hang Tuah. This is in launch defiance of her brother, Gusti Adipati, the ruler of Majapahit, who had intended to marry her to a prince of the rival Demak empire. Adipati then decides to forge an alliance with the Malaccan sultanate instead by offering his sister as bride to the reigning Sultan, Mahmud. Hang Tuah's allegiance to duty is legendary. He slew his greatest friend, Hang Jebat, many years prior on the Sultan Mansor's orders. However, the Sultan Mahmud, a preening and decadent ruler, is a pale shadow of the glorious lineage of Malaccan royalty. Could Hang Tuah banish forever his love in favor of a vainglorious tyrant?Production values are perfect in general. Picture overall has a glossy, polished sheen. Some inexperience in photography is evident an intruding palm frond at the edges of the frame, actors half slash off at the sides, shot suddenly partially blocked by the back of an actor in front of the camera (!). The period milieu and mise-en-scene are gorgeous, the palace rituals and traditional malay / javanese speech appear authentic. Great background research there. The melody is perfect with a great mix of western strings and Malay traditional instruments like the sruling during the love scenes and rebana in the palace scenes. The acting is uniformly above par across the board, especially M. Nasir as the legendary warrior, Hang Tuah. Malaysian actors are some of the finest in this region and Nasir carries a screen presence that conveys the nobility of this most popular of perwira melayu. It is also great to see Rahim Razali, a household screen personality, in an amiable performance as the Tok Bendahara. Tiara Jacquelina as the titular princess is adequately winsome. The script, however, does not let her to present why she was such a sought after woman. Sofia Jane appears more assured as the Sultan's wife. Adlin Ramlee's alternately cocky, languid and foppish portrayal of Sultan Mahmud takes some getting used to, but in retrospect, it seems about right. Both the princess and the sultan receive a possibility to shine with a neat verbal confrontation near the end. The standout is Christine Hakim who, quite frankly, is a class act. Alex Komang is a washout in a poorly written role as the Majapahit prince, consisting exclusively of sneers and scowls.The storyline overall should do with a lot more dramatic urgency. Many sequences look thrown in to appease the multiplex crowd, inserted without attention to the overall arc of the story. An earlier sequence of Hang Tuah taking on a posse of 'lanun darat' is very well done. However, there is a gratuitous action sequence which comes in so far off leftfield, involving some silly 70s- style kungfu fighting, that threatens to derail the whole film. This is the sort of action sequence where a warrior slashes his dagger in the air and ten fireballs erupt around him from the ground. Although this was meant as a 'battle of the mind', the overall result is laughably cheesy. Worse, the entire sequence is arbitrarily inserted at a most inappropriate part of the narrative there is no buildup and aftermath. Likewise, CGI superimposition of the 'seven requests of the princess', floating across the screen like a ticker tape, is ungainly. Elsewhere, instead of hero driven scenes, we receive actors who pose and pose while mouthing purple prose. Many problems are unfocused as a result. Why and how did Hang Tuah and Dumillah fall in love? There are great scenes of the couple riding horseback, doing an intricate courtship dance, at a lake. They look pretty, like postcards of two folks in love, but the scenes lack current resonance. At one point, Hang Tuah shows the princess his large Keris; she stares in awe at it. Unfortunately, no hero driven dialog. The crucial stage where Hang Tuah meets his beloved atop Mount Ophir begins off nicely: like a breathless teenager hopelessly late for a date, he blurts: 'Dah tunggu lama ke?' ('Been waiting long?'). However, this is proceeded by unlimited swooping, panning and swirling of the camera around the actors including editing that I trust violate the 180 degree rule. All that 'technique' is frankly distracting. What's wrong with action-reaction, medium two shots and close-ups anyway? There are more than few shots where the emphasis was more on a sunset or a waterfall than the characters themselves. Anyway, the lovers go at it with dialog cribbed from a Harlequin romance. Whither the inner conflict of the noble fighter between love and duty? We do receive a solitary soliloquy of sorts: Hang Tuah talking to his reflection in a puddle of water like a refugee from an Ingmar Bergman film, and that's it. Why the nice animosity between Hang Tuah and the Java prince? The movie offers absolutely no exposition there.Being a prestige film, direction is serious and high minded. However, this is largely betrayed by a dearth of psychological depth and dramatic weight. A certain lack of joie-de-vivre permeates the film, making one want that the late nice P. Ramlee should lend his charismatic presence to the entire proceedings.The movie ends poetically with Hang Tuah rushing up Mount Ophir in a sequence of solemn and hushed silence, in a moment of cathartic realization and sadness. The broad strokes for a grand tragedy are all there, but the interlocking narrative is unfocused. It's like hearing bits and pieces of a symphony from a distance. It's a shame: the cash saved from that silly bit of aerial kungfu fighting should have gone towards extra scenes between the two main characters the final sequence should have had much more impact.
For the first time in my life, I really have to admit that Puteri Gunung Ledang is so far the first Malaysian film that includes all the right ingredients for a nice and watchable movie. Truthfully, I have never liked any Malaysian-made films before PGL, thinking that either the filmmakers here never now bother for quality for the sake of cash or perhaps, obviously, that they don't know the proper principles of film-making after all. When I decided to watch PGL a several weeks ago, I kept asking myself if this cash was worth the ticket price. Fortunately, it was. Thanks to Teong Hin Saw's brilliant direction, PGL gives a refreshingly fresh perspective to the casual viewers and also fanatics of Globe History.Basically, it is a love storyline between Hang Tuah, the legendary Malay Fighter of Malacca and the Javanese princess Gusti Putri (the game character) whose relationship arouses the tensions between two worlds: the Sultanate of Malacca and the Majapahit Empire. The plot may be a bit straightforward but its production values makes a major leap over the previous Malaysian outings; you can safely assume that PGL is definitely a work of a pro. Nice cinematography (forget about the Cameron Highlands issue), exhilarating camera moves and editing, decent fighting sequences and quality SFX prove it all. Casting, on the another side, is a mixed bag: some perform extremely well, expressing their strong gestures convincingly while the rest are surprisingly wooden, leaving lots of rooms for improvement.It's real that PGL is not without flaws: the most obvious is the pacing of the whole film and as a result, it is not a well balanced movie. The lack of any action sequence in the middle act makes the film seem a bit draggy, filled with long (twisted for some viewers) conversations, tight focus upon the two lovers and another unnecessary slow-moving sequences. Unlike any international epic films you have seen, PGL is rated 'G', suitable for the entire family, which basically means that it includes no forms of profanity or suggestive elements that may otherwise prove sensitive to some viewers. This only cheapens the maturity of this movie: for me, the entire movie, despite perfect production values, feels mild and unsatisfying as if I ate a half-baked cake. PGL should have been a nice contender in any movie festival if a) it were a bit more sensual (ala Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), b) more violent (ala Peter Jackson's The King of the Rings trilogy), c) more thought-provoking and visually more disturbing (ala Ron Howard's A Pretty Mind). Despite these inevitable drawbacks, the Malaysian movie industry seems to be taking the right path and this is just the beginning. For now, PGL feels like a nice movie. Not phenomenal, though.
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