Fast cars, risky races and daredevil drivers are the significant parts of the legendary Formula One – and thus the defining elements of “Rush”. The film tells the story of rival race drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt, who were relentlessly competing on the race course during the 70ies. Even Lauda’s dreadful accident in 1976, which had him hospitalized with horrible burns, only seems to have reinforced his eagerness to win…
The Slow Food movement stands for the revival of slow, pleasurable and tasteful dining, opposing our ubiquitous fast food culture. The sensuous pleasures of fresh high quality food and its aromas get much praise in the documentary “Slow Food Story” and so does the leisurely preparation of food. Thereby however the film shows the portrayed members of the movement as rather attached to a romantic concept of history and leading a comfortable, leisurely and wealthy life.
In “Runner Runner” a former Wall Street youngster, math wizard and skilful gambler became a Princeton grad student, who has to win his tuition by referring his fellow students to online poker games and by gambling himself. After losing his money to a cheater he can prove that the software has been tampered with and the big boss of the online gambling empire therefore offers him a lucrative job. But easy living in the Caribbean gets complicated, when the FBI starts pressing him to cooperate in building their case against his apparent benefactor – and further deceptions are emerging…
Transporting us to a 19th century Hunsrück village the German film “Home from Home: Chronicle of a Vision” has us immerged deeply into the emotional meaning of the term “home” (“Heimat”). The story is about a young and naïve dreamer who’s daydreaming about faraway countries without any serious effort to ever reach those places. The clash between this Cancer-character and his poverty-ridden Capricornian environment filled with hardship results in a highly emotional family drama…
“Behind the Candelabra” is a lavishly decorated film about famous entertainer Liberace, representing his love for glamour and luxury and his credo “I’m meant to be famous”. This biopic about the gay celebrity, who always had much younger lovers and feared the signs of ageing, focuses entirely on an utterly romantic love story. Director Soderbergh made a picture about a male diva, an amiable and generous, yet also bossy and capricious, self-absorbed man who is constantly dominated by his insatiable need for admiration.
Various directors of well-known documentary films illustrate some of Virgo’s favourite tools in “Freakonomics”: dry numbers and assorted statistics that, some years ago, lead Professor Steven Levitt to astonishing insights, which he then published in a bestselling book. Levitt’s analysis of miscellaneous social phenomena now is available on the screen and the film became not only instructive and informative but also surprisingly entertaining.
Jane Austen’s novels are featuring various Libra-motifs: from the social milieu (nobility and landed gentry), the popular topic of more or less successful matchmaking and a general focus on relations to the beauty and elegance of Austen’s style. Taking its inevitable course, the romantic comedy “Austenland” in its easygoing manner and situated in a kind of Jane-Austen-theme-park appears just like a compliant yet shallow variation of the classics.
“Filth” is a wild and crazy story about a thoroughly corrupt Glasgow policeman, who is addicted to Cocaine, hungry for power, beset with wickedness, schemes and sexual appetites and – as it eventually turns out – suffers from bipolar disorder. Assigned to investigate a brutal crime in order to secure his promotion and consumed by his greed for power, escalating madness and penetrating fears he is progressively getting out of control …
The liberty of declaring truths is a significant Sagittarian motif. And the search for truth behind corruption, financial scandals and US-military actions has been among the goals pursued by WikiLeaks, which was co-founded by the charismatic advocate for investigative journalism Julian Assange. Now the movie “The Fifth Estate” revisits the dramatic story of the controversial internet-platform that was responsible for divulging many scandalous truths a few years ago.
“The Butler” is a conservatively shot film about a conservative character. From the fifties into the eighties Cecil Gaines served numerous presidents as a butler in the White House, thus being close to the centre of power. Although at a very young age he witnessed his father being murdered by a farm owner who previously raped his mother, the dutiful man has little sympathy for the civil rights movement that is eventually joined by his son. Only after quitting his service at the White House he starts identifying with the fight for black emancipation and equal rights.
“Finsterworld” (possible translation: “Darkworld”) is a vitriolic satire, a film that is set in a slightly alien, constantly bright and sunny Germany, revolving around strange incidents, inane coincidences and bizarre inclinations like policemen in bear costumes and making cookies from rubbed off dead skin. Motifs that are usually handled with very much gravity like for example the German past and the problem of coping with it, which is here illustrated by the shocking ending of a school trip to a former concentration camp, become absurdities and the whole movie is full of sarcasm towards the sensitivities of its numerous protagonists.
Set in a vaguely crazy world, where mice look like human beings, doorbells walk around and various other surreal things seem perfectly normal, Michel Gondry’s magically romantic love-story “Mood Indigo” is evolving: The beloved woman falls ill because of a flower growing in her lungs, and the lover, who is an unworldly dreamer, can not pay for the necessary treatment. Even with all the tragedy in it, the story’s imaginative visuals generate a quirky charm…
The Cinemascope is meant to give an overview of current movies and their main themes from an astrosemiotical perspective (i.e.: regarding film as semiotic system and translating it into the astrological semiotic system). A well made movie not only has a story and a certain theme, it also provides a special atmosphere, a certain feeling and it draws us into its very own world. This basic quality that is contrived through characters, plot, setting and many other components also translates into one or more astrological principles. Quite simply: a fast-paced action-flick confronts us with plain Aries energy, a horror-movie evokes Scorpio-like abysmal depths and fears etc. We step out of the theatre and – if the film succeeded in sucking us in – find ourselves dwelling on and engaging in that special energetic quality.