30 January 2016


A couple of weeks ago when we went to the movies, I saw a trailer of this gripping film so we went to see it yesterday. Spotlight is based on a true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local catholic Archdiocese, shaking the Catholic Church to its core.

The Plot
In 2001 The Boston Globe newspaper hires a new editor, Marty Baron (Lieve Schreiber). Meeting with Walter "Robby" Robinson (Michael Keaton), Baron discovers that Robby heads the "Spotlight" team, a small group of journalists whose articles are investigative in nature. When Baron reads about in the paper about the pedophile priest John Geoghan, and a lawyer who says that Cardinal Law, (the archbishop of Boston) knew that Geoghan was sexually abusing children and did nothing to stop him, Baron urges the Spotlight Team to investigate the story.

They soon discover that it was not just about this one priest, who was moved around several times by the Catholic hierarchy, children abuse was endemic by Roman Catholic priests in Boston. The Spotlight Team discovered that about 90 priests had been involved in child abuse in Boston, over a number of years.

Spotlight was shown 72nd Venice International Film Festival. It has a stellar cast in Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes, Michael Keaton as Robby Robinson, Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer. The film was written by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy and directed by Tom McCarthy.

This film can be well described as Gripping, Compelling, Remarkable. It is by far the best film I've seen so far, this year. Here is the trailer -

26 January 2016

Australia Day 2016

Our neighbour Rob called in this morning asking us if we'd like to join them on a visit to South Bank where there was a food festival in honour of Australia day advertised in the Courier Mail. Well, we had nothing better planned, so we agreed. We never miss a chance to go out for lunch. Rob and Kathy picked us up around 11am and we drove to the Hyperdome at Loganholme, where the 555 express bus starts for Brisbane City,via South Bank. From the bus station we walked down to the river, where an area was fenced in with a handful of food tents. There wasn't much action yet, so we walked over the Goodwill Foot Bridge over the river to the QUT campus.

There were just a handful of people waiting at the food tents
As with every Australia Day Celebration, there was quite a large Police contingent everywhere including officers on horses at the southern end of the Goodwill Bridge.

Mounted Police at the Goodwill Bridge
The City Hopper ferries people from one side of the river to the other.

The sky looked ominous and we were not sure if we were getting a soaking. But we carried on over the bridge.

Dark sky over the city
A City Cat passed below us
The Goodwill Foot Bridge leads under the Captain Cook Bridge, the main arterial road into Brisbane.

Captain Cook Bridge above us
I had to change the memory card in my camera, so I took the opportunity to try the new card on a pair of feet.

Typical Australia day attire, Thongs (Flip-flops in UK)
Again there was a police present on the northern side of the bridge, cops on bikes. 
Are they looking for new recruits? Sorry, lady, too old.
The sky was getting darker, so we trundled back over the bridge looking for a place to eat.

Mangroves on the bank of the Brisbane River.
Back at the other end, time for a pose with the horses
By now the crowd was getting bigger. We checked the food tents but nothing took our fancy.

In the end, we decided to walk down to the Plough-Inn, where we found a table on the upstairs terrace for a nice lunch.

Then we walked back to the bus station where a 555 bus was just arriving to take us back to Loganholme to pick up the car for home. A nice day out for the Romans and the Bohlens.


09 January 2016


We were told about this film as it was shot entirely in Switzerland. So we went to see it. It is a very unusual movie directed by Paolo Sorrentino who won an Oscar for "La Grande Bellezza".


Youth is about a couple of elderly gentlemen, Fred, a composer played by Michael Caine (80) and Mick, a director and screen writer, played by Harvey Keitel (74) who, while on holiday in a luxury Swiss Hotel, reflect on their lives. Also along the ride is Rachel Weisz (44), wife of Bond star Daniel Craig, who plays the composer's daughter (Caine) and 60s sex symbol Jane Fonda (78) who plays the movie director's ex-wife (Keitel).

Composer Fred (Michael Caine)
Fred is visited by his daughter and personal assistant Lena, who is fraught by an imminent divorce. Mick is co-writing a new movie with several passionate youngsters, a film he considers his testament to cinema, and which he hopes to make together with the actress he helped make famous. But the passing time makes each decision harder to stand.

Mick (Keitel) and Ex-wife (Fonda)
Some people might find this movie a little weird, but I did enjoy it very much. The Swiss alps make the perfect backdrop for this emotionally packed scenario. It's easy to see why Sorrentino is an Oscar winning director.

Check out the Trailer: