Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A film about a secret policeman in the former East Germany has taken top prize at the European Film Awards in Warsaw. The Lives of Others - or Das Leben Der Anderen - beat Spanish production Volver by Pedro Almodovar, although this still came top in five categories. The Lives of Others is a drama about how East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, destroyed the lives of ordinary people. Ulrich Muehe won the best actor trophy for his portrayal of a policeman who becomes engrossed in a playwright and his girlfriend, both of whom he is spying on. The Less Secret Life of Others – Watchers Be Aware German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has said that Western audiences (those from West Berlin, he means, but it's all the more true for those of us points farther West) tend to regard his debut feature, The Lives of Others, as a thriller, while East Berliners experience it as a kind of therapy. Desperate Bureaucrats: The Lives of Others is the best surveillance movie since The Conversation. ; My greatest cinematic weakness is the movie conversation. A great action scene or shocker can pull me in like anyone else, but it's the words that mesmerize. A good movie conversation tugs at those appealing strings of voyeurism. You watch the intimacy of words, but they, and the scene, are not directed at you. It's amazing how much can really be done with words. With the right dialogue, you don't need a gimmick for the audience. You can vicariously have fun with another's conversation, or you can watch a story play out within the span of hello to goodbye.Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck: Among The Lives of Others

Mixing Arts with Business and Politics The Year of Magical Thinking on Bondi
It has been a busy year in the fortune-hunting business. Strong equity markets combined with rising real estate values and commodity prices pushed up fortunes from Mumbai to Madrid. In My Imrich Image

My mates at Forbes pinned down 946 billionaires, including 178 newcomers and 17 people who climbed back into the ranks after being absent for a year or more. Two-thirds of last year's billionaires are richer. Only 17% are poorer, including 32 who fell below the billion-dollar mark. The billionaires' combined net worth climbed by $900 billion to $3.5 trillion. That equates to $3.6 billion apiece.
Eligible Billionaires I Love Imrich Keychain Ach Laugh and the ironic world laughs with you …

The World's Richest Billionaires - Forbes ; [Publishers try to stave off Google, Amazon with book search; Off The Beaten Path Is Right on Track Cold River distribution ]
• · Mike Wilkins’ Insurance empire group Promina was criticised by the corporate regulator yesterday for disclosure shortcomings during its recent merger negotiations with Suncorp-Metway. Promina cops a $100,000 fine for tardy disclosure ; If we are to understand tax evasion and avoidance, then we need to understand why ordinary people as well as the wealthy continue in this societally unacceptable manner. Tax evasion is an illegal act and we therefore believe that the inclination of an individual to evade taxes is strengthened the more widespread tax evasion is in the population. Tax evasion - it’s acceptable (and how to fix it) Increased transparency in all limited liability companies
• · ANOTHER politician bites the dust after yet another scandal. It makes the front page but does anyone really care? Our politicians are so woeful, we're surprised only when they do something right. HECKLER: Self-serving politicians are dunces in the clever country ; Arts and Novels Made Good Junk
• · · The report of the film tax offset review and the Government’s broader film review Report on review of film tax support measures released ; Wishful Review of Cold River
• · · · Morgan Mellish has a timely piece in the Fin Review today (redeems the Fin for a day; Mellish by the way was the man who put the boot into Rodney Adler). ... Alert and Alarmed: The infrastructure plot thickens ; Though Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley's solicitation of sex with underage boys working as Congressional pages is making front-page news, it is, regrettably, not unprecedented. Most Congressional sex scandals have involved adults, but four have included minors - at least two of whom were Congressional pages. I've taken a look at the historical record of such Congressional indiscretions, and in this column, I'll ask what, if anything, we can we learn from them - particularly, from those relating to Congressional pages? The Foley Follies: What Can Be Learned From The History of Congressional Sex Scandals, And How Can the Page Program Be Reformed?
• · · · · Moody teens: the excuse is chemistry
THEY answer back, throw tantrums and argue the point, but teenagers may now have an excuse for their moody behaviour. A hormone produced by the body to calm itself down during periods of stress seems to act in the opposite way in teenagers, making them more anxious, according to research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Moody Imrichs ; A Cup of Creativi-tea: Inspire Me! ; Creative Clusters
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