Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 5 and 6 - 2013 Berlinale

Today is Juliette Binoche day at Berlinale, so who could resist talking about what has been happening and will happen today at the fest? Not me.

These are the films that were screened yesterday and today.


Layla Fourie by Pia Marais
A German, South African, French and Dutch production that surely will be hard-to watch as "almost casually" develops into a political thriller which takes audience to paranoia, fear and mistrust of a society that is still profoundly affected by racial conflict. A single mother story.

Poziţia Copilului (Child's Pose) by Călin Peter Netzer
No need to say how much I like Romanian cinema and story in this film seems to be interesting as does something not often seen in this cinema, a portrait of the upper-class. But what calls my attention is the quasi-documentary style as not surprisingly we will see the moral malaise of Romania's bourgeoisie plus societal institutions such as the police and the judiciary. The story of a mother consumed bye self-love in her struggle to save her lost son and her own, long since riven family.

Camille Claudel 1915 by Bruno Dumont
Camille Claudel story has been told before by classic 1987 Bruno Nuytten in a film starring Isabelle Adjani and Gérard Depardieu, but basically film is Camille's bio that centers in her relationship with Auguste Rodin. Now Dumont tells us about Camille time in a South of France psychiatric clinic and his inspiration came from the correspondence between her and her famous brother. Surely not easy to watch as imagine will be very intense, but also imagine that Juliette Binoche performance will be outstanding. Real psychiatric non-actors patients in film. Must be seen for me. Not surprisingly first comments are leaning to the non-positive, as most Dumont films first reactions have been.  Update: at least one reliable critic rated film A- , now I breath more peacefully.

Pardé (Closed Curtain) by Jafar Panahi and Kamboziya Partov
From stills know film will be visually outstanding and story surely is interesting. The main problem with this kind of films is availability beyond the festival circuit, but let's hope this one breaks the mold into wider distribution.

Side Effects by Steven Soderbergh
Soderbergh has continually said that he will leave cinema, so maybe this is his last film or at least, one of the last he is going to make, which is what really moves me to see film. But in this so-called psychological thriller he investigates the machinations of pharmaceutical companies and well, could be interesting.

Out of Competition

Before Midnight by Richard Linklater
Already lost the count of the many installments this story has, but the latest (think is the third) brings us back to another "talkie" with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy characters philosophizing, arguing and flirting. Have seen previous films and surely will see this one, but I'm in no rush.

Berlinale Special

Tokyo Kazoku (Tokyo Family) by Yôji Yamada
Most interesting find as "in this film director Yoji Yamada bows down before his teacher and role model. Yamada was assistant director on Yazujirō Ozu’s Tōkyō monogatari". Yamada remakes Ozu's masterpiece but takes it to present day Japan. Must be seen for me as can't resist the idea of watching Ozu's story translated into today, when Japan society is so different.


Many, many films but of course the first must be seen movie for me is Concussion by Stacie Passon, but French Mes séances de lutte (Love Battles) by Jacques Doillon seems could be "an atonishing pas de deux of erotically charged, dynamic encounters and repulsions...", worth giving a try.

Many movies but the ones that call my attention when reading synopsis appear to be too-disturbing for me. So, imagine what they could be as you know I'm very open minded.


Story surely is interesting as is about the point of view of the two young daughters of Sandinista activists and what happened in the Nicaraguan border in the eighties; a Costa Rica/Venezuela production by Laura Astorga Carrera, Princesas Rojas (Red Princesses).

That's for today, many more movies in fest but not really grab my attention.


As we know Isabella Rossellini and Rosa von Paraunheim were awarded the Berlinale Camera this year but yesterday a surprise announcement and ceremony also gave the award to Richard Linklater just before the premiere of his film Before Midnight.

But the best news from yesterday is that Arta Dobroshi received EFP's Shooting Star award which I find is extremely well deserved as she has been a remarkable actress since 2008 Dardenne Brothers' Le Silence de Lorna (Lorna's Silence). Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy gave her the award.


Isabelle Huppert

Juliette Binoche

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