Tag Archives: Berlin

Berlinale 2016 Preview

Berlinale 2016
Berlinale 2016

Berlin International Film Festival

11 – 21 February 2016

Berlin, Germany

Berlinale website

Now in it’s 66th year, the Berlinale opens on 11 February 2016 with Hail, Caesar! , the latest offering by Joel and Ethan Coen, starring George Clooney and other Hollywood greats, which sets the tone for a star-studded festival that still promises to offer plenty of discoveries, some true gems and real treasures across the sidebars as well as in the main Competition line-up.

Screening in Competition, we particularly look forward to Midnight Special by Jeff Nichols, director of Mud and Take Shelter. Starring his long-time collaborator Michael Shannon in another leading role, the film centres on a father and son who go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers. Also competing for a Golden Bear are Boris Without Béatrice, from Denis Côté, who presented his eccentric debut Vic + Flo Saw A Bear at the 2013 Berlinale, Bosnian director Danis Tanović’s Death In Sarajevo (aka Looking For Europe), a film based on the play by French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Levy, and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Commune, which centres on a Danish commune in the 1970s.

Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, will play out of competition, alogside Dominik Moll’s News From Planet Mars, his long-awaited follow-up to The Monk. Plus, we look forward to the latest from Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Creepy, which screens in the Berlinale Special strand.

Under the title “Hachimiri Madness – Japanese Indies from the Punk Years”, the Forum is showing a special programme of newly digitised and subtitled Japanese 8-mm films from 1977 to 1990 which breathe the rebellious spirit of that era, very few of them have ever been shown internationally. The series includes Sion Sono’s I am Sion Sono!!, in which the then 22-year-old introduced himself to audiences as a punk poet in nonchalant, self-confident style, and Shinya Tsukamoto’s The Adventure of Denchu-Kozo, a hugely creative, wild cyberpunk drama, while also taking in the largely unknown early works of directors such as Sogo Ishii (today Gakuryu Ishii) and Shinobu Yaguchi, alongside Masashi Yamamoto’s anarchic feature debut Saint Terrorism and Nobuhiro Suwa’s gangster ballad Hanasaseru Gang.

The Berlinale Classics section will open with Fritz Lang’s 1921 silent film classic Der müde Tod (Destiny), presented in a digitally restored version and with new music, which will be performed live by the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin. Also screening in the strand are John Huston’s classic Fat City (1972), The Road Back (1937) directed by James Whale, and Heiner Carow’s East German semi-autobiographical film Die Russen kommen (The Russians are Coming, 1968), which is set in the waning days of World War II and was originally banned before completion by the GDR authorities.

Pamela Jahn

For more information about the programme and how to book tickets visit the Berlinale website.

L’Etrange Festival 2015 Preview

21st Etrange Festival poster by Dom Garcia

L’Etrange Festival

3-13 September 2015

Forum des Images, Paris, France

Etrange Festival website

The outlandish Parisian genre and fantasy festival returns from September 3 to 13 with another line-up bulging with wild, unhinged and lost treasures. The festival opens with Simon Pummel’s schizophrenic sci-fi thriller Brand New-U and closes with Bollywood epic Baahubali: The Beginning, with a full range of sleazy subversiveness and avant-garde strangeness in between, from Marcel L’Herbier’s restored 1924 art deco femme fatale tale L’inhumaine to Rolph de Heer’s grotesque family tale Bad Boy Bubby, not to forget a zombie all-nighter.

Highlights include the latest from three Japanese heavyweights: Takashi Miike’s Yakuza Apocalypse, Hideo Nakata’s Ghost Theater and Sion Sono with two films, Tag and Love and Peace. Also screening are The Blaine Brothers’ original and moving Nina Forever, Steve Oram’s category-defying Aaaaaaaah! and Ulrich Seidl’s exploration of Austrian cellars In the Basement.

We’ll be checking out Alex Van Varmerdam’s absurdist thriller La peau de Bax, Raúl Garcia’s Edgar Allan Poe animation film Extraordinary Tales, Michael Madsen’s speculative alien invasion documentary The Visit, experimental Afghanistan-set sci-fi Ni le ciel ni la terre directed by artist Clément Cogitore, and Jason Bognacki’s slick giallo-influenced tale of possession Another.

This year, the guest curators are Guy Maddin (also included in the main programme with his own The Forbidden Room), whose selection includes Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Teuvo Tulio’s Sensuela and George Kuchar’s The Devil’s Cleavage; Benoit Delepine, co-director of Aaltra and Mammuth, will present Tim Burton’s Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and hopeless Russian road movie The Joy; and Ben Wheatley has chosen Frantisek Vlacil’s sumptuous medieval fable Marketa Lazarova and Michael Mann’s legendary murky Nazi nightmare The Keep.

Documentaries include Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World, B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin (1979-1989), which features Blixa Bargeld and Nekromantik 2’s male lead Mark Reeder, as well as an exploration of the Turkish golden age of low-budget Hollywood remakes, Remake, Remix, Rip-Off, part of a focus on alternative Turkish cinema.

This year’s musical performance is truly exceptional: legendary masked industrial collective The Residents will play a new version of Shadowland as well as presenting a programme of films and documentary Theory of Obscurity: A Movie about The Residents.

As always, the line-up includes a vast and dynamic selection of shorts, ranging from Can Evrenol’s hard-hitting, gut-punching Baskin and Javier Chillon’s inventive, intelligent Die Schneider Krankheit to classics by Jaume Balaguero, Jonathan Caouette and Bill Morrison.

For the full programme and to book tickets plesae visit the Etrange Festival website.