Tuesday, January 15, 2008

58th Berlinale

I know is too early, but many things are happening in the organization of this very interesting film festival that will take place from February 7 to the 17. Most of the films in competition for the Golden and Silver Bear are already announced and I’m sharing them with you, some with a little plot summary. When the final lineup is announced I’ll post them.

In her most recent film, Kirschblüten - Hanami (Germany), Doris Dörrie (Men; The Fisherman and his Wife) tells the story of Rudi, played by Elmar Wepper, who is seriously ill. When his wife of many years (Hannelore Elsner) unexpectedly dies, the widower begins to see her life and the dreams she had cherished through new eyes. (World premiere)

There Will Be Blood by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Golden Bear 2000) is from the USA. The film adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s novel “Oil” recounts the remarkable story of an unsuccessful silver miner who rises to become a US oil magnate in the early 20th century. Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs Of New York) gives a brilliant performance as the protagonist Daniel Plainview. (International premiere)

Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle, Silver Bear 2001) will this time present Zuo You (In Love We Trust) in the Berlinale Competition. The mother of a child who has cancer wants to save her firstborn and resorts to unusual measures. Liu Weiwei, Zhang Jiayu and Yu Nan play the leading roles. (World premiere)

Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke took part in the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2003. Now he is returning to Berlin with his second feature film: Lake Tahoe. The central character is a sixteen-year-old boy who has to cope with his father’s sudden death. The film features Diego Cataño, Héctor Herrera, Daniela Valentine, Juan Carlos Lara and Yemil Sefani. (World premiere)

Gardens of the Night (Great Britain/USA) by Damian Harris describes the fate of two children who are abducted and held captive for over nine years. Once free, they are forced to take to the streets and fend for themselves. The film stars Gillian Jacobs, Evan Ross, Tom Arnold and John Malkovich. (World premiere)

Oscar-winner Andrzej Wajda, who has participated in the Berlinale Competition three times and received the Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement in 2006, will be presenting his latest work Katyn out of competition. The film examines a topic that was long taboo: the massacre of thousands of Polish war prisoners by the Soviet secret service in 1940. In the main roles are Maja Ostaszewska, Artur Zmijewski and Andrzej Chyra. (International premiere)

In Brazil, Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad) has broken all box-office records. The Berlinale 2008 will screen this political thriller in the Competition. Director José Padilha (Bus 174) explores the terrible influence of the drug mafia on the poorest inhabitants of Brazil, and reveals the daily routines of a brutal and corrupt special unit of the Brazilian military police. The film stars Wagner Moura, Caio Junqueira and André Ramiro. (International premiere)

Feuerherz (Heart of Fire) Germany/Austria (adapted from the bestseller by Senait Mehari)
by Luigi Falorni (The Story of the Weeping Camel)
with Letekidan Micael

Julia France
by Erick Zonca (The Dreamlife of Angels)
with Tilda Swinton, Aidan Gould, Saúl Rubinek

Lady Jane France
By Robert Guédiguian (Le Promeneur du champ de Mars, Berlinale Competition 2005)
with Ariane Ascaride, Gérard Meylan, Frédérique Bonnal

Caos calmo (Quiet Chaos) Italy – International Premiere
by Antonello Grimaldi (Bits and Pieces, Berlinale Panorama 1996)
with Nanni Moretti, Isabella Ferrari, Alessandro Gassman, Valeria Golino

Happy-Go-Lucky UK
by Mike Leigh (Life Is Sweet, Berlinale Panorama 1991)
with Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Eddie Marsan, Samuel Roukin

Restless Israel/Germany/Canada/France/Belgium
by Amos Kollek (Bridget, Berlinale Competition 2002)
with Moshe Ivgy, Ran Danker, Karen Young, Phyllis Sommerville

Elegy USA (based on the novel “The Dying Animal” by Philip Roth)
by Isabel Coixet (My Life Without Me, Berlinale Competition 2002)
with Penélope Cruz, Ben Kingsley, Dennis Hopper

Sparrow Hong Kong, China
by Johnnie To (PTU, Berlinale Forum 2003)
with Simon Yam Tat Wah, Kelly Lin Hsi Lei, Gordon Lam Ka Tung, Lam Suet

Kabei (Kabei – Our Mother) Japan – International Premiere
by Yoji Yamada (The Hidden Blade, Berlinale Competition 2005)
with Sayuri Yoshinaga, Mitsugoro Bando, Tadanobu Asano

To check their site go here. To check the Teddy Award site go here.

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