Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 7 and 8 - 2013 Berlinale

As the festival reaches the final days with only 2 more films to be screened in competition tomorrow and the award ceremony on Saturday, Sebastián Lelio's Gloria seems to still be critics/viewers favorite, so much buzz the film has gotten that "provoked a mini-stampede among buyers". Great news for Chilean cinema; now we have to see if movie is also Jury favorite or not.

Buzz for best actor/actress seems is going to Camille Claudel 1915, meaning that Juliette Binoche is a frontrunner but is not until tomorrow that Catherine Deneuve's Elle s'en va will premiere; still if we recall festival trends, films in fest last day usually are not the ones that could win awards. Also remember that fests can surprise all with newcomers so believe that Paulina Garcia, lead in Gloria, also has good chances to win Best Actress.

These are the films screened yesterday and today.

Epizoda u životu berača željeza (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker) by Danis Tanović
Perhaps the most interesting fact film has is that the non-professional cast are re-enacting an episode of their own lives but film story seems not like one I could enjoy.

Prince Avalanche by David Gordong Green
Alright, I'm curious about this film but will not rush to see it as American remakes usually are very different to the original no matter if telling the same story. There are some exceptions, so let's hope this is one of them.

Uroki Garmonii (Harmony Lessons) by Emir Baigazin
Story seems will be hard-to-watch due to violence but Baigazin's debut feature film stills suggest that will have breathtaking visuals and compositions with a style that makes me recall great Russian films. Will give film a try. Photo shows great use of light. First reactions to film seem to be highly positive, great.

Out of Competition

Night Train to Lisbon by Bille August
Because of director and cast (Jeremy Irons, Mélanie Laurent, Tom Courtenay, Bruno Ganz, Lena Olin, Charlotte Rampling) film is must be seen for me; still story seems could be very interesting. There are more positive than negative first impressions from viewers.

Dark Blood by George Sluizer
More curious to see River Phoenix in the big screen than to enjoy film, but surely is must be seen for me.


Today is the 1st Heiner-Carow Award ceremony presented to a German film screening within the Panorama program.

Also today, the award ceremony for the Honorary Golden Bear that this year goes to French documentary filmmaker and producer Claude Lanzmann.

Tomorrow we will start to learn winners of collateral awards as for example, at 6:pm local time Europa Cinemas and FIPRESCI awards will have a common award ceremony.

Special Teddy Award will be awarded to the South-African project "Steps for the Future", which in an outstanding way stands up for HIV awareness. Award will be presented tomorrow at the section Awards ceremony where we also learn this year Teddy Award winners.

Berlin's European Film Market has been very busy, but most interesting is today's news that A Thousand Times Goodnight directed by Erik Poppe has been sold to many countries. Film is based on his own experiences as a war photographer in the 1980s and amazingly the photographer is played by none other than Juliette Binoche!

Tomorrow there will be a joint meeting of women's film festivals led by The International Women's Film Festival Dortmund/Cologne and the Athena Film Festival entitled "You Cannot Be Serious" to discuss the status of women directors and to create a worldwide push towards having a more equal playing field. To learn more check info at IWFFN site.

If you wonder how cinema has changed lately the following stats will give you a brief picture. In 2013 the number of films screening in the Digital Cinema Package (DCP) format at the Berlinale exceeds 50% for the first time. Only around 8% of the films are still shown in the classic 35mm format. For me main implications are when films reach any country local theaters as not many movie houses have digital projectors, high-performance server systems and fast data lines.

In the NOT serious note, there are many parties today but none has the most funniest name as "Fuck Valentine's Day" targeted for singles, of course, invites them to "let's just get drunk and naked okay? Right on. Free dirty cupcakes, edible underwear encouraged and sappy sentiments strictly Verboten". Lol.


Mélanie Laurent

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