8:00 PM, 14th May, 2011
Catfish (order Siluriformes) are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat’s whiskers, catfish range in size and behaviour from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores (species that eat dead material on the bottom), and even to a tiny parasitic species commonly called the candiru, Vandellia cirrhosa. There are armour-plated types and also naked types, neither having scales. Catfish are of considerable commercial importance; many of the larger species are farmed or fished for food. Many of the smaller species, particularly the genus Corydoras, are important in the aquarium hobby.
The Internet also has recipes for Crunchy Catfish Dipped in Mustard with a crushed pretzel crunchy coating, Catfish Fingers with Spicy Dipping Sauce (Catfish strips fried with cornmeal and served with a tasty tangy sauce), Fettuccine with Catfish (Catfish with a white wine creamy sauce served over pasta), and Catfish Nuggets with Champagne Mustard Sauce (Catfish crispy fried with herbs and served with a Champagne Mustard dipping sauce).
All this is to say that I have been urged by the creators of the film Catfish to tell you as little as possible about the film. So all I’m going to tell you is what I knew about it before I saw it – it’s a documentary, and it has something to do with Facebook. Oh, and it’s good. (My target of 250 words is achieved).
9:39 PM, 14th May, 2011
Cell 211 is a white-knuckle action thriller from Spain. The film follows the desperate attempts of rookie prison guard Juan Olivier (Ammann) to pose as a prisoner during a bloodthirsty riot in order to save his own bacon. Led by the charismatic Malamadre – that’s Spanish for Bad Mother (played by a full force crazy Luis Tosar) – the riots quickly turn ugly and become a national political sensation. As much as he’d like to keep a low profile, Juan inevitably ends up on Malamadre’s radar and tries to fights to maintain the cover while right under Malamadre’s nose.
Despite taking home nearly every second award at Spain’s annual Goya awards (that’s their equivalent to the Oscars), Cell 211 controversially failed to become Spain’s choice of entry for the 2011 Oscars (losing out to another vehicle for Spanish mainstay Luis Tosar). The bittersweet tradeoff that followed was a big fat paycheque for an American remake – so be sure to catch this gripping thriller before the yanks ruin it.