The film festival circuit is a strange one. Some winning films of festivals get great attention once they are released cinematically, but some winners are celebrated one night and then disappear somewhere into the wide world of agents and negotiations. The Favourites Film Festival shows films from around the Globe that have won audience awards. The selection of short and feature films this year includes winners from Mexico, Afghanistan, Senegal, Germany and plenty of other countries. Each film is a unique star in the solar system of film art and luckily you can fly to unknown ones without risking a false start. Certainly a winner is not instantly a winner for everyone, but audience awards are usually a pretty great indication that most people will enjoy the cinematic experience.
Small film festivals tend to be overlooked. It begins with the Hollywood stars who don’t attend that leads to the press that doesn’t care and all of a sudden most of the city dwellers don’t even know it even happened. However small festivals tend to have a great atmosphere, fabulous films and a much sharper focus, so you can more easily decide if it’s for you or not. Small festivals offer the exchange with like-minded people, the artists and usually you leave those with a much better experience than the big ones. Also you’ll get to see films you might never otherwise. Why am I telling you this? Well, the XPOSED International Queer Film Festival is going into it’s 9th edition this year and it is one of those small festivals Berlin has to offer. Unfortunately you probably won’t hear everyone in Berlin talking about it, but now you know and should spread the word and GO WATCH their amazing program at Moviemento in Kreuzberg. More about it after the jump.
I’m working for the Short Film Festival Oberhausen in my fourth year now and think I’ve been rather timid with self-adulation. But now it’s time and I want to point your attention to the short art in the Ruhr Valley. Not without current news of course! Those are the pride and joy of my colleague Jessica Manstetten. Nobody can compete with this lady when it comes to music videos! Each year she scours through the world of clips, seeking, sighting and stacking the top of the pops of the underestimated genre. In a three-day steady stare she and a commission select the best German works for the MuVi Award from submissions and select the MuVi International program from what they loved over the year. The selection for 2014 has been made and you can watch all German Clips online and Vote for the audience award since last week. A trip to the festival at the beginning of May, where the price will be awarded and celebrated with one of the legendary parties at the festival bar, is raffled among the voters…
Although I don’t even own a television, I watch tons of series. Aside from cinema culture and Berlinale the past few months have turned me into a television junkie and I’ve watched multiple series back to back. The third season of Homeland reunited Nicholas Brody and Carrie Mathison on the screen. After the third season of GIRLS I am now officially in love with Adam and last night saw the season and series finale of How I met your Mother, which I will most likely watch in my lunch break at the latest. So what should i watch now? Everything is done, over, out! Do you have recommendations?
And of course if you haven’t watched the above mentioned series: DO IT! Or don’t, because it takes serious chunks of time out of your days….
Another German competition film from this year’s Berlinale makes it to the screen. There was plenty of applause for Feo Aladag’s Inbetween Worlds after the press screening. It didn’t end up winning any bears, but that doesn’t mean anything really…
Stations of the Cross was, as I mentioned in the reviews, one of my Highlights of the Berlinale 2014. „ I feel like I’ve just been run over by a train“ said a journalist in the press conference after the film. And I felt pretty much the same. The religious fanaticism of the protagonist, which director Dietrich Brüggemann leaves much room in the typical formality, develops an enormous power that captured me for quite a while.
When I opened facebok this morning the first two posts were about a new kissing video. Director Tatia Pileva asked 20 people to kiss a stranger in front of her camera and created a nice little composition with the footage. It’s black and white, has somewhat romantic music and begins with the „couples“ meeting fort he first time. It’s cute and got me thinking about great film kisses.
So I decided to drop my plan to review Gravity (which I thought was AMAZING!) and go with a little tale of kissing instead…
The Oscars are a great opportunity to analyse the gender roles in the film business. Nominees in the important gender neutreal categories like Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Film are mainly white men; while the red carpet is dominated by the sparkly robes of the ladies. When Kathryn Bigelow picked up the Best Director Oscar as the very first woman in 2010, 81 men already had one of those super Oscars at home.
So there’s plenty to be done for women in the world of film and the Berlin Feminist Film Week has set out to do just that…
American Hustle is nominated for 10 Oscars. If you have this information it becomes impossible to watch the film without preoccupation. Thus when I went to see it at the packed Press screening at Berlinale my expectations were literally sky high.
Black Coal, Thin Ice
In the past 10 days I was in war in Afghanistan (In between Worlds), in India with a couple of Bavarians (Amma & Appa), robbed a bank (The Dog) and sat in one room with George Clooney (Press Conference). I saw 37 films in the 10 Berlinale days and as you can imagine I’m pretty buggered.
The Internaional Berlin Film Festival was a movie marathon and also demanded high emotional intensity from me. Because with each new film you dive into a new world. And if everything goes well and the audience can really identify with the characters the stories don’t simply happen to them on screen, but also to those watching.
So the film spectacle swollowed me whole and then spit me back out into the real world yesterday. Now I’m trying to comprehend what happened to me, make meaning out of what I saw and survived.