Yesterday the 65. Berlin Film Festival started at the Potsdamer Platz and this year there will be a strong focus on independent women and diversity and tolerance. And for the first time, TV-Series will be a big important part of the festival. The jury this year is a very unique mixture of producers, directors and actors from all parts of the world and I am pretty sure, that all these different influences will cause hot discussions.
The president is Darren Aronofsky, the US-American director of „The Wrestler“ and „Black Swan“. His supporters are:
Daniel Brühl, the German-Spanish actor, known for „Goodbye Lenin“, but also seen in international productions. Audrey Tautou, the french actress, who became famous with „Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain“ and „Coco“. Bong Joon-ho, the south-Korean director and writer, who astounded the film-world with „Snowpiercer.“ Martha De Laurentiis, the US-American producer of the highclass series „Hannibal“. Claudia Llosa, a director and writer from Peru, she won the first Golden Bear for Peru in 2009 with „La teta asustada“. Matthew Weiner, the author who invented „Mad Men“.
Darren Aranofsky said, that they want the movies to touch them and that they don’t care about the origin. It’s all about the story telling. Daniel Brühl will manage being a part of the jury with „not drinking so much.“ For Audrey Tautou, it’s not a big deal to judge these movies, because they won’t criticize that much. And she’s not able to stop smoking, but she was able to quit reading movie critics.
And so the Berlinale started with Isabel Coixets „Nobody wants the night“, the second woman who ever opened the Berlinale with a movie. The story is inspired by the true story Josephine Peary, the wife of Robert E. Peary, an explorer who wants to find the North Pole in 1908 and she follows him on her own, ignoring all the fear and doubts of the Inuit because of the upcoming polar night. At the base camp a young Inuit-girl, Alaka, waits with her and more and more the snobby and bourgeois woman needs to forget her western arrogance, because the times are getting rougher ans Alaka hides a little secret. Juliette Binoche plays Josephine Peary very intense, there’s always a thin line between insanity and passion and braveness. Rinko Kikuchi, mostly known for „Babel“ as Alaka is a contrast, she’s the one who deals with the elements and takes care for this strange woman, because „that’s what the world’s about“. The pictures of the movie a mixed between intimate play and landscape shots of the snowy Arktis. The line between kitsch and real oppression is very thin, sometimes Coixet wants to awake emotions with a hammer and I know, that a lot people say, that the storyline, the relationship between Josephine and Alaka, is „too female“, but Juliette Binoche explained, that it’s more about the western arrogance againts the nature and the elements.
Isabel Coixet said, that she’s sick of discussing about genders and that she maybe can work so much because she got a dick. She was really annoyed by that theme, because she wants women to earn more money and she wants them in higher positions, but that’s nothing, that concerns her,because she always wanted to make movies, she doesn’t think about anything else and she’s just very stubborn and made choices in her life for her job. And being asked, what it feels like, to be the second woman ever, who opened the Berlinale, she simply answered „I just don’t want to be the last one!“
When Juliette Binoche was asked, how cold it must have been and that we all trembled with her, she confessed, that it was actually very hot in the studio… in june… with all the furs. It was a very intense work, because of the low budget and they all were very focused and she was fascinated, that we all need a very dark night to become more human again.
So, if you ask me: just watch it and try to ignore the sometimes kitschy and theatralic parts. What those girls did is impressive and the pictures are so beautiful.
The second movie I watched was „Flotel Europa“. It’s a documentary about a containership, that was a asylum for thousands of Yoguslawian refugees in the early 1990s. The kids on it made a lot of videos for their families who stayed in the war and now the director Vladimir Tomic made a documentary about this time, his family, friends and first love and the first loss of friends. It’s a coming of age story in an unreal world and all those old VHS are very charming.
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