Guys, even we might get a tan this summer!

This week’s story is about the long anticipated Open Air Cinema in Bondi. The council finally gave approval to the cosy beach event. It is not going to be a movie only; the events will be accompanied by local musicians. Furthermore, fim festivals will be held at the beach, which promises a colourful program to come.

In my opinion, the event is a great idea, although i find it critical to close down a part of a public beach to make it a commercial event. Bondi beach is not that huge, and with the concept they are having it seems to be a grand event. Also, they have to have the volume quite loudly adjusted so that the movie can be heard from the distance over the ocean’s noise.

Nevertheless, it is going to be a great event, even if only to get us movie geeks outside a theatre into the fresh air!

Oscars out of five for the article:    2

The article is quite a catastrophe because it lacks of a lot of eleents a good piece of writing needs to have. We don’t know WHEN the movies will start, or
WHERE on the beach the screening will be installed. WHY did it so long to get approval from the council, are there concerns about the event?

Another critical part is the focus on the organizer. This would be a good follow-up article on the event itself, but not as an announcement. The picture which is accompanying the notice is inappropriate and not important to anyone who is interested in going to an Open Air cinema.  Furthermore, it would have been nice to not only have the link to the Wentworth Courier’s Facebook page (which is situated above the article and very dominant), but also to the well-organized Facebook page of the Bondi Open Air Cinema. It has over 1000 followers and a lot further information, same with their official homepage.

The page is lacking interactivity and depth to be a good online story. There is an option to comment, but since the approach is not very controvercial or interesting, this function has not been used so far.


Joy is always in the forecast

Trailers are one of my personal favourites when I go to watch a film. I can’t understand the people who arrive 20 minutes late to not have to see the ‘advertisement’. In my opinion, a trailer is a piece of art itself – compressing a two hours movie into two minutes with raising the most possible suspension must be such a hard and fun job!






Today we are looking at an Item from Flavorwire, a cultural news and critique platform. The article is about the expectations a trailer raises in the audience, and how sometimes the trailer promises way more than the movie offers. In this case, an American lady sued a film company for ‘not fulfilling their promise of reaching the artistic heights of the Fast and Furious pictures’.

Are movie trailers dishonest? It happens very often that trailers areproduced in a way to make the film look more exiting, funny or sexy through showcasing the highlights. This of course is for tricking the audience into buying a ticket and often resolves in dissapointement, because the recipient has already seen all the good scenes.

A very interesting trailer approach is for example the one of the movie REC. Especially with horror shock movies it is hard to create a trailer which would keep the suspense. therefore, the makers decided to film us, the audience! Great idea!

Oscars out of five for the article:   5

More a comment piece on the news than a news article itself, this article has a great style and sense of humour. A very positive aspect are the embedded trailers. It puts the topic in amultimedia context and connects the story with the reader.Also positive to mention is the advertisement. With Flavorwire, the ads are not as big and intrusive as with other news sites.

I personally like the questions raised in the ending, because they encourage the comments. This is why I’m just going to pass on the core one…

Do you think movie trailers are dishonest?

The phantom of the cinema

Have any of you heard about cinema opera screenings yet? According to the Sydney Morning Herold, it is the latest best thing!

The article ‘Now showing: lights, camera, chorus line’ in todays online edition is about grand opera or concert premieres, that can be streamed live all over the world. With this technology, people and Sydney can watch a concert in real-time which is happening in the Royal Albert Hall in London. A reasonable raised concern is the aspect of time difference: In this ecample, we would have to give th cinema a visit at 4 am in the morning.

I personally agree on the mentioned view that cinema screenings might in some cases even be superior to the live version, due to the technical opportunities of zooming in or changing the perspective. What do you think about it? Is only ‘live’ the real ‘live’ or is the event industry dead in modern times?

Oscars out of five for the article:   4

The news piece is a very interesting read, but maybe to long for the average visitor of the page. The facts could have been summarized in a shorter way and connected to additional content such as the interviews in a multimedial way through hyperlinks. This interactive aspect in unfortunately completly to be missed with the average SMH post; it always seems like a linear, old-fashioned newspaper article which happened to be online. This online content should be easier to approach than hardcopy news items, but through the massive amount of advertisement even with a news brand with a wll-known reputation like the SMH, the article is a hard read. Contentwise, the article is a treat; unfortunately is massively lacks in digital efforts.

The forerunner of the musical livestream: The muscial movie, in this case The Phantom of the Opera from 2004. Do you remember watching this in the cinema? Share your thoughts!

Films Documenting Life

Film Festivals just have something magical to them. They unite us film fanatics in a place away from our local cinema comfort zone and create a very unique atmosphere amongst the audience. At movie premieres, nobody looks at you somewhat bewildered when you laugh out loud or burst out in tears… emotions and reactions are even encouraged in following discussions!

Luckily, Sydney has a lot to offer when it comes to Film Festivals. The Inner West Courier published some news on The Antenna International Documentary Film Festival today. ‘Diverse and eccentric program’ sounds like we are in for a treat!It is interesting that documentary festivals do not get more publicity. With the success of tabloid television ‘documenting’ everydays life one would think, the public like REAL stories with REAL people. As you can tell by the Twitter count and the little Facebook recommendations, the topic is not the most famous.

The festival will happen until Sunday in the Chauvel cinema in Paddington, a very scenic movie theatre with a great feel to it. By the line-up, which can be checked on the official homepage, it looks like a lot of Sydney’s creative people found their way into it! Common guys, let us leave our little wolrd and broaden our fictional horizon with some life stories! You know where to find me…

Oscars out of five for the article:   3

It is questionable if the article find it’s right spot in the ‘Business’ section, but the additional information on the event such as links to costs and bookings are convenient. some embedded trailers to the movies discussed would have been nice, so the viewer would get a feeling about what to expect of the documentaries. All in all definitely some credit for picking up the topic anyway, cause there was not a lot of press reporting on the festival in the first place unfortunately.

Innovative Screens Bring Movies To The Bus Station

How do you spot a true movie lover? Well, cinema visits of passionate movie addicts are often spontaneously, and therefore the true cinema geek needs to have a cinema app on his smart phone!

But with our fast changing world, this might be in the past soon! The Australian published an article about touch-screens at bus stations or in shopping centers with included cinema guide apps! this technology would enable us to check latest news on screenings or new releases from the street, even if we are not in possession of an expensive phone.

Let’s take this a bit further than the Australian! Most shopping centers have a cinema included, and therefore the screens could be even of further use for us movie fans.

  • When leaving a new release, the audience could vote for the movie through a platform like Rotten Tomatoes connected to the device
  • The display could provide a barcode for the movie which could be scanned from smartphones in the audience. Connected to Social Networks like Facebook, people could use the tabloids to ‘Check In’ and tell their friends about their experience.
  • Also, the devices could help to cut back the lines in cinemas! Sometimes, it takes up to twenty minutes to cue for the ticket office. With an app not only offering trailers and session informations like screening times but also the option to buy and print tickets, the new machines could be a true improvement for the movie industry!

Definitely a very innovative and playful approach to our generation functioning through applications – even places like the UNSW campus have their own program! It stays debatable if this new technology will work though – who of us would actually give their private passwords to a bus station?!

Oscars out of five for the article:   5

The Australian did a great background research on the topic and the information seems highly credible and newsworthy. An embedded video, related articles (which actually relate!) and an option for commenting fits the topic of the story: Innovative and appropriate use of modern technology.

The Ritz – Screen and Stage of Epic Stories

It feels like stepping into a time machine when entering the Ritz cinema in Randwick, only a stone throw away from UNSW. The old art-deco building built in 1937 looks like a movie set on its own with the heavy velvet carpets and the old-fashioned seating gallery. Indeed, the cinema has not only screened some of the milestones in cinematic history, the place itself is a place where great things happened throughout time.

‘This building is one of the last contemporary witnesses remaining here in Randwick. For nearly 75 years now, it has been a cinema all the years through’ recalls Egidio Rodriguez, the general manager of the Ritz today, with audible pride in his voice. ‘We were able to survive the pressure from big chains over the years, but it wasn’t always easy’, he remembers. ‘In the 80s, the establishment was meant to be demolished to use the space for new buildings. It would have been such a waste! My predecessors fought against it with a massive campaign, it was very impressive.” Luckily, the city council acted upon the outcry and intervened. Randwick’s media officer Aleksandra Power did some research: ‘The public got very involved when the demolition plans were announced. The city council felt obliged to save the historic site for our residents and imposed a Permanent Conservation Order in 1993. It can be said, that the rescue of our Ritz is due to Randwick’s public alone.’ The public had a famous combatant: former resident Mel Gibson declared his sympathy for the campaign saving the cinema which gave it the necessary media attention and the final rescue from the wrecking ball.

This sounds like the rough times have passed for the picturesque jewel on the ‘Spot’. But on a second glance, there are some inconsistencies which make you stop and think. It seems the historic scenery and the pastel yellow walls are not enough – the Ritz tries to keep up with the big ones and entered a maybe even bigger fight than in 1980. ‘Some years ago, we added multiple showing rooms to the original single principal room. We installed Dolby Sound systems in the six cinemas, including one 833-seat cinema featuring Dolby Digital EX and a flat screen catering over two levels. With all those changes, we provide the best mix of historic and modern cinema’, Egidio Rodrigues tries to advertise. An honorable concept, but unfortunately not more than that. Trying so hard to please all his costumers, the new concept of the Ritz seems a bit directionless. In the 1930s, the architect surprisingly enough seemed to have forgotten about building the cinema 3D compatible. The visual angle is a bit distorted for that reason and something just doesn’t feel right about Transformers jumping out of the screen into the honorable hall. Screening only modern chick flicks and action movies, the roots of the historic place can only be guessed.
Another raised eyebrow is due when noticing the drink specials in the cinema bar, which is probably there to attract students like us. But who wants to get drunk before going to the movies? The whole concept is a bit like their web presence… the Ritz wants everything, and ends up being nothing really. After surviving demolition threads, it would be a horrible waste to lose the Ritz to the test of modernity. Our tip for the Ritz: Stick to what you know and go back to screening tasteful classics – those kinds of movies that belong in a great setting like the Ritz!