Wow! We have had a long, fantastic fortnight of films, films, and yes more films.
That’s right. From the 6th of February to the 16th February, 2014, Berlin has been packed solid with members of the film industry.
It makes me proud that Berlin is competing with the likes of other film festivals in Cannes and Sundance. Alright, not in the same category, but still, a festival to be proud of and with more than four hundred films, ten sections and almost half a million cinema visits, the Berlinale is not only an independent film festival with a difference but also the world’s largest film festival that people can actually visit.
Yes, that means YOU!
All the top guys like Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, John Hurt, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Ken Loach, Patricia Arquette, Michelle Yeoh, Cillian Murphy, Jennifer Connolly, Forest Whitaker, Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese, were all here and then it all went crazy when the stars of “The Monuments Men” such as: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville (of Downton Abbey fame), and Cate Blanchett came to town.
I mean, it really did go insane.
The actors were professional and charming but everybody else just lost it with star-lust, over-whelmingness, or the fact that film premier tickets could not be found for love or money. If you didn’t know somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody, way up there, chances were, you wouldn’t get a look in!
Well, “The Music Producer” is a bit of a geek as far as the Berlin International Film Festival is concerned. Oh My God! My husband watched thirty films! Thirty films in ten days! Craaaaaaazy!!! If you would like to read his insight of the film festival then check out this link in German, but if you can’t read German, feel free to take a look at the art cinema photos instead.
As for me, being that I’m actually a sane person, I only took in five movies watched over just a mere three days. I would have liked to have seen more but someone has got to keep the home hearth burning.
Having said that “The Tall Young Gentleman” had a Boy Scout “Lock-In weekend” so I used that opportunity to go to town. I watched:
- Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast – This film was hilarious. It was a comedy about the Taiwanese tradition of catering to the public and cooking. Honestly, it made me salivate with hunger as they had close-ups of exotic dishes, chopped, sliced, mixed and cooked to perfection. It also focused on lollipop girls, a pair of under-world scammers, old culinary masters, Taiwanese villages and towns, and a bunch of internet geeks. Oh, and a Taiwanese version of Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies” performed by a 50-something mother and cook! I would love to watch it again 🙂
- She’s Lost Control – This film was a complex, stylistic directorial debut of an American director and script writer, who also calls Berlin her home. This movie was about a sexual surrogate who taught troubled men how to be intimate and how the line between professional and private intimacy became blurred and uncertain. After the film, we were lucky enough to have the directors, producers, and main actress on stage so that we could ask questions. Of which there were many, as this film inspired discussion and debate and will be at a cinema near you. In Berlin.
- Pădurea e ca muntele, vezi? | The Forest is Like the Mountains – I really liked this film. It was a Romanian movie directed by two young German/Belgian artists. It was about a Roma village and centered around the Lingurar family where the villagers lived off the land. It was really interesting seeing how they ate, slept and lived. It was very endearing I must say and I think there was rather a lot of interest in the traditional ways of the Roma people. The film also touched the topic of how difficult things were and are in a modern age, bearing in mind the many controversial European politics of thoughts of how to slow down the free movement of Roma people within the European Union. The film was documentary style in which we saw horses and carts, the harvesting of potatoes and ordinary family life and struggles. Again, I was lucky enough to be at the premiere of this film in which the main actors and the directors were present. I even got to be able to stand-up and ask the actors a question. In public!
- Top Girl oder la déformation professionnelle – I picked this movie ‘cos it was made in Berlin but I wasn’t really impressed and I didn’t like it. I don’t really know what I was expecting but people were either walking out, tittering, talking over the voice screen, or coughing awkwardly. Halfway through the film, I fell asleep! It was part II of the “Woman and Work” trilogy and showed the everyday life of Mascha, a frustrated actress who also worked as a high-class escort. Once again, the director and main actors came on stage and Q & A’s took place. The movie was provocative but was successful in getting a debate going I guess, as at one point, some of the viewers got into a quarrel with one of the main actors!
- Highway – This movie is a film made in India. I liked it very much. It was shocking, compelling and emotional. The movie is about the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur who is kidnapped in Delhi, a few days before her wedding! This film really touched my presence and had me gasping and grabbing the hand of “The Music Producer” a few times. I was a little worried as this is not your typical song and dance movie but was rather cruel in moments and even though I love the Indian sub-continent, recent media speculation has not been positive as this road movie also reflects on the issue of rape in Indian society. This movie by all accounts is a modern Bollywood film with fantastic visuals of India’s wide and varied landscapes from Rajasthan to the Himalayan mountains, and a film about finding who you truely are. If you ever get the chance to see it, I suggest you do so. There were no directors or actors this time but I did manage to bump into an ex-teacher of mine who is another expat in Berlin (albeit American!) and also an up and coming artist and whom I haven’t seen for at least 10 years. He recognised me purely by my sharp British tone of voice!
And there you have it. The end of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival – The Berlinale, 2014. I hope you get to watch some of the movies too.
For more information contact: The Berlinale.
This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my absolute own.
Going to a Film Festival is an awesome experience. Which festival have you been to of late? Which of these category of films would you watch?
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