Thursday 16th March 2017

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Paradise Ballroom

Graeme Edge and Adrian Gurvitz

You gotta save your city
Don’t let it fall
Don’t let it change your life
Cause it’s a pity if you’re lettin’ someone come and steal your wife
And he thinks she’s still pretty
Save your city
Fight for your belief
Don’t let them change your side
Or pay you off with money, honey
I ain’t foolin’, I’m gonna change my city

Two time losers, save yourselves
The fourth time’s gonna give you up, if you let it
I just tell it, tell it on passin’ by
Can you tell me the way to the terrible city, baby, in the sky?
To Paradise Ballroom
Paradise Ballroom

Fallen city from a rock to a pebble
That’s how you smash my frills
Not a bird, there’s nowhere to land, it has to take to the hills
You’ve had your cake and you’d better eat it
Fallen lovers
So sad to see you gamble with your lives
You’ve had your bellies filled with card games and all those fights
It’s about time you choose right

Don’t you know you gotta save your city
Don’t let it fall
Don’t let it change your life
‘Cause it’s a pity if you’re lettin’ someone come and steal your wife
And you think she’s still pretty

Fallen lovers
So sad to see you gamble with your lives
You’ve had your bellies filled with card games and all those fights
It’s about time you choose right
It’s about time you choose right
It’s about time you choose right
To save your city, yeah
Paradise Ballroom, where are you today?
The tension of my evenings
I thought they were great
So pray for the people
I still get off for free
At the Paradise Ballroom, my friends and me

Paradise Ballroom

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Attraction

Attraction is a Russian science-fiction drama film directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk. The plot tells about an alien spaceship that crash-lands in Moscow district Chertanovo. The Russian government immediately introduced martial law, as the locals grow increasingly angry at the unwelcome guest.

According to Bondarchuk, the movie is a social allegory. The script writers stated that it was inspired by 2013 Biryulyovo riots.

The project became the fourth Russian film transferred to the IMAX 3D format. The premiere of the film in Russia was on January 26, 2017. Attraction became a box office hit, grossing more than 1 billion rubles, and was generally well received in Russian media.
Mankind has for so long dreamed of a contact with extraterrestrial civilizations, and a dialogue with the inhabitants of other planets has finally come true. An unidentified flying object crashes right in the middle of Moscow. Having put its weight down on a densely populated city block, it leads to the loss of many lives. The military encircle the area where the object crashed in an effort to contain the situation but somehow things just go wrong.

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Hekon is a representative of an alien race, biologically identical to human but more developed technologically, arrives to the Earth incognito for research purposes. His spaceship was damaged by a meteor shower. Russian Airforce mistook the spaceship for a meteor and damaged the ship causing its emergency landing. The ship landing resulted in the destruction of several buildings.

The Russian government decided not to enter into a contact with the ship and let it fix itself on its own. The landing area was evacuated, fenced and guarded, but the city of Moscow continued its normal life for the most part.

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The storyline revolves around colonel Valentin Lebedev, who is in charge of the military operation, his daughter Yulia, who develops a romantic relationship with the alien, and her dumped boy-friend, who is the main antagonist. The fabula of the movie is vocalized by Yulia at the end: The truth is that one alien from far away trusted us more than we trust ourselves.

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Joyeux Noël

Joyeux Noël is a 2005 film about the World War I Christmas truce of December 1914, depicted through the eyes of French, British and German soldiers. It was written and directed by Christian Carion. It was screened out of competition at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

The film, which included one of the last appearances of Ian Richardson before his death, was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards. It is a fictionalized account of an actual event that took place in December 1914 when Wilhelm, German Crown Prince, sent the lead singer of the Berlin Imperial Opera company on a solo visit to the front line. Singing by the tenor, Walter Kirchhoff, to the 120th and 124th Württemberg regiments led French soldiers in their trenches to stand up and applaud.

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Director Christian Carion has mentioned in the beginning of January 2015 that he is considering making a sequel centered on the lives of Lieutenants Horstmayer and Audebert.

The story centers mainly upon six characters: Gordon (a Lieutenant of the Royal Scots Fusiliers); Audebert (a French Lieutenant in the 26th Infantry and reluctant son of a general); Horstmayer (a Jewish German Lieutenant of the 93rd Infantry); Palmer (a Scottish priest working as a stretcher-bearer); and German tenor Nikolaus Sprink and his Danish fiancée, mezzo-soprano, Anna Sørensen (two famous opera stars).

The film begins with scenes of schoolboys reciting patriotic speeches that both praise their countries and condemn their enemies. In Scotland, two young brothers, Jonathan and William, join up to fight, followed by their priest, Father Palmer, who becomes a chaplain. In Germany, Sprink is interrupted during a performance by a German officer announcing a reserve call up. Audebert looks at a photograph of his pregnant wife, whom he has had to leave behind (in the occupied part of France, just in front of his trench), and prepares to exit into the trenches for an assault. However the assault fails with the French taking many casualties while William loses his life.

In Germany, Anna gets permission to perform for the soldiers and Sprink is allowed to accompany her. They spend a night together and then perform. Afterward, Sprink expresses bitterness at the comfort of the generals at their headquarters, and resolves to go back to the front to sing for the troops. Sprink is initially against Anna’s decision to go with him, but he agrees shortly afterward.

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The unofficial truce begins when the Scots begin to sing festive songs and songs from home, accompanied by bagpipes. Sprink and Sørensen arrive in the German front-line and Sprink sings for his comrades. As Sprink sings “Silent Night” he is accompanied by a piper in the Scottish front-line. Sprink responds to the piper and exits his trench with a small Christmas tree singing “Adeste Fideles”. Following Sprink’s lead the French, German, and Scottish officers meet in no-man’s-land and agree on a cease-fire for the evening. The various soldiers meet and wish each other “Joyeux Noël”, “Frohe Weihnachten”, and “Merry Christmas”. They exchange chocolate, champagne, and photographs of loved ones. Horstmayer gives Audebert back his wallet, with a photograph of his wife inside, lost in the attack a few days prior, and they connect over pre-war memories. Palmer and the Scots celebrate a brief Mass for the soldiers (in Latin as was the practice in the Catholic Church at that time) and the soldiers retire deeply moved. However, Jonathan remains totally unmoved by the events around him, choosing to grieve for his brother.

Father Palmer is being sent back to his own parish and his Battalion disbanded as a mark of shame. Despite emphasising the humanity and goodwill of the truce, he is rebuked by the bishop, who then preaches an anti-German sermon to new recruits, in which he describes the Germans as inhumane and commands the recruits to kill every one of them. Father Palmer overhears the preaching, and removes his cross as he leaves.

Back in the trenches, the Scots are ordered by a furious major (who is angered by the truce) to shoot a German soldier who is entering no-man’s-land and crossing towards French lines. The soldiers deliberately miss in response but the German soldier is hit by a bitter Jonathan. Audebert, hearing the familiar alarm clock ringing outside, rushes out and discovers that the soldier is a disguised Ponchel, his batman. With his dying words, Ponchel reveals he gained help from the German soldiers, visited his mother, and had coffee with her. He also informs Audebert that he has a young son named Henri.

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Audebert’s punishment is being sent to Verdun, and he receives a dressing down from his father, a general. In a culminating rant, young Audebert upbraids his father, expressing no remorse at the fraternization at the front, and also his disgust for the civilians or superiors who talk of sacrifice but know nothing of the struggle in the trenches. He also informs the general about his new grandson Henri. Moved by this revelation, the general then recommends they “both try and survive this war for him”.

Horstmayer and his troops, who are confined in a train, are informed by the Crown Prince that they are to be shipped to the Eastern Front, without permission to see their families as they pass through Germany. He then stomps on Jörg’s harmonica, and says that Horstmayer does not deserve his Iron Cross. As the train departs, the Germans start humming a Scottish carol they learned from the Scots, L’Hymne des Fraternisés’/ I’m Dreaming Of Home.

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