This Oscar-nominated documentary about kids competing in a spelling bee "borrows its title from a Hitchcock thriller, and it's as suspenseful as anything Hitchcock ever did," said David Stratton at the time of its release in 2002. It follows 8 teens and pre-teens as they work their way toward the finals of the Scripps Howard national spelling bee championship in Washington D.C. The competitors not only work hard to get to the finals but face tremendous pressure as the original group of over 250 competitors is whittled down and the words they must spell get ever more difficult. A must-see.
Daniel Brühl (Good Bye Lenin!) and August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds) star as Paul and Günther, two young men who want to live and love with no compromises in 1920s Germany. When they go to Günther's parents' summer house for the week-end, along with Günther's sister Hilde and Hans, who is loved by both siblings, they spend four days of partying, alcohol, music and sex, which will reach a tragic conclusion. Initially released as Love in Thoughts, Blind won the Golden Swan at the Copenhagen International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the EFAs.
Adapted from Klaus Mann's novel, The Volcano is set in 1937 Berlin, where the Nazis are quickly gaining power. Two sisters flee to Switzerland with their mother. Marion opts for an émigré life in Paris, where she helps spread anti-facist propaganda. Tilly has left behind the love of her life and is devastated by life in exile, eventually allowing it to destroy her.
Viktor is a professional hit man who plans every job meticulously. One day, his emotions get the better of him and he spares the life of a beautiful blonde, Nina. The shady bosses who hire him have become distrustful and want him eliminated. Things are made more complicated by the police profiler who is closing in and Nina's sudden affections. An efficient German action movie.
Musophobes beware! In this Katastrophenfilm, Dabrock, a special operations helicopter pilot has been assigned as a punishment to take care of the Frankfurt's growing rat problem. An unusual number of rats have been spotted in the city, but when it is discovered that the rats are carrying and spreading a virus fatal to humans for which no vaccine exists, Dabrock quickly realises that Frankfurt is facing a crisis which could wipe out most of its population.
Isabelle, an ex-nun, tries her hand at writing erotic novels while awaiting a mission from God. In a coffee shop she meets Thomas, an amnesiac with no memory of his former life as a pornographer who pushed his young wife Sofia into the industry. Isabelle helps Thomas piece together his past, while Sofia goes on the run in the mistaken belief that she killed him. A slight change of pace for cult '90s indie director Hal Hartley (Trust, Simple Men).
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a 1964 science fiction film that regularly appears on lists of the worst films ever made and in the "bottom 100" list on the IMDB. Directed by Nicholas Webster, it includes an 8-year-old Pia Zadora playing the role of one of the Martian children and also marks the first documented appearance of Mrs. Claus in a motion picture.
Young and in love Kate is abducted by a cult of blood drinking, self-proclaimed ‘supermen’ who inform her of her ancient lineage of descent to vampire Elizabeth Bathory. The ancient evil of vampirism is now a modern industry, backed by big money. The Brotherhood’s human farm is a living nightmare where science goes mad. Can Kate escape the thirst?
Turkey Shoot is set in a dystopian future, where the world is ruled by a strict totalitarian regime. ‘Social deviants’ are sent to a concentration camp known as ‘The Establishment’ for re-education and behaviour modification. Here, hunting is the national sport and people are the prey. Brian Trenchard-Smith's pearl of the Ozploitation genre recently inspired a remake starring Dominic Purcell.
Richard Franklin's cult 1978 horror movie follows main character Patrick, who is deep in a coma in hospital after murdering his mother and her lover three years ago. When pretty Nurse Jacquard, who has just separated from her husband, begins work at the hospital, she senses that Patrick is communicating with her, and he seems to be using his psychic powers to manipulate events in her life, with chilling effect.
The Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Gibbie Gibson discovers a WWII-era plane wreck in the mountains of New Zealand. When the town hears of his finding, Gibson, his daughter and his lodger Barney Whitaker find trouble from a group of crooks who are determined to locate the 50 million dollars they believe to be in the wreck. Initially set in Queensland, the script was rewritten to take place in New Zealand, due to a conflict with Australia's Actors Equity.
Sixteen-year-old Mull is trapped in the role of housewife and mum when she should be in school. Her mother is dying and so she takes up the reigns of managing her family which includes a born-again, alcoholic father (Bill Hunter), an older brother with a tendency for sex, drugs and rock 'n roll, and two younger siblings. It's quite a handful for a girl who is still trying to tread a precarious path between being a child and becoming an adult. Mull received six nominations at the 1988 Australian Film Institute Awards.
A prank caller pretends to be a police officer and convinces Sandra (Anna Dowd), the manager of a fast-food restaurant, that one of her employee (Dreama Walker), committed a crime, and gets her to carry out intrusive and unlawful procedures on her. Based on true events (the Mount Washington McDonald's scam), Compliance makes for disturbing viewing.
A chronicle of the production of Herbie Hancock's 2005 album Possibilities, in which the jazz icon collaborates with a variety of musicians (Christina Aguilera, Sting, Brian Eno, Annie Lennox, Angélique Kidjo, John Mayer etc.). It also gives an insight into Hancock's life, with archival footage including rare shots of the Miles Davis Quintet.
Shanghai Triad is set in the criminal underworld of 1930s Shanghai, and unfolds through the eyes of Shuisheng, a 14-year-old boy in the provinces. He goes to the city to work as the servant of the mistress of a powerful triad boss, who controls the opium and prostitution trades. An exquisite tale of love and lust, bravery and betrayal, and innocence lost, directed by Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers) and starring Li Gong (2046).
A compelling documentary recounting the true story of one of the most bizarre romances of the 20th century between New York City attorney Burt Pugach and his 10-years younger girlfriend Linda Riss, who was blinded and permanently scarred when Pugach hired thugs to throw lye in her face. Strangely, 14 years in prison for Pugach does not end their love.
Occupy Unmasked takes a critical look at the Occupy movement, depicting its more sinister, violent aspects, and suggesting its purpose of destroying the American government. The film also discusses allegations of rape, drug use, and property destruction at the Occupy camps. Features the late Andrew Breitbart, a controversial American conservative commentator.
* SBS doesn't charge access fees for its SBS On Demand service. ISP and data charges may apply for individual users.