Solos by Antonio da Silva
It’s been 10 years since Michael Stütz and Bartholomew Sammut, the directors of the Xposed International Queer Film Festival sat in the basement of SchwuZ wondering if anyone would show up to their film festival. Featuring a selectionof passionate, captivating, crazy and undeniably weird queer short films, Xposed has since evolved to giving audiences an indepth look into queer culture and identity. Queer is a term that has progressed with our society into what I’d describe as a positive, unassuming representation of non-binary identity, and for the past 10 years, Xposed has been teaching us all to stand our ground. From May 21st-24th at Kino Moviemento, you can get a taste of the festival’s glory, shame, distaste, trash and beauty, all made with a love for queer cinema, for Berlin and for the ever-expanding storytelling possibilites of within the world of film. This year, they’re introducing the Queer Short Film Fund, which aims to help get Berlin based queer film projects into production. These films, just like those in the festival program, should aim to challenge and question normative perspectives and silmultaeously broaden their vision to topics beyond traditional LGBTQIA+ representation in the mainstream niche market. Click on to see some program highlights as well as this year’s festival teaser.
photo: Ilse Ruppert
One of the treasures of this year’s Berlinale was the documentary B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin that captured the wild and crazy years of West-Berlin in the 80s before the wall came down. I know that we commonly always think that it was the East part of Germany that was behind the wall in the case of Berlin it was actually the West part that was walled-in like a prison. It must have been a strange feeling to be surrounded by the Soviet-led East Germany and I am not surprised that this led to a lot of chaos, craziness and rebellions of the youth culture. The 80s are known for its punk and rave eras and you can still feel the influences of that in fashion and music nowadays. It’s funny when the older generations comment the 80s by saying: Oh, you remember the 80s? Than apparently you haven’t been there… I was still so young back than and too far away from Berlin deep inside East Germany that I didn’t catch anything of it. But thanks to the film B-Movie by Jörg A.Hoppe, Klaus Maeck and Heiko Lange I have a chance to relive it through a lot of footage from the time, a lot of it previously unreleased.
The film follows British musician, actor and author Mark Reeder as he moves to Berlin to discover the creative underground scene of the strange city. The film is like a collage of images from the nightlife, the street riots, the art and music scene – there is definitely a lot of sex, drugs and rock’n roll involved. We encounter a young Nick Cave as he dips into the city, we meet Westbam before the Loveparade and many more legendary characters that started their careers in this period of political instability. It was a world that was undergoing drastic changes which made everything more extreme and I think this is what made the 80s so significant in the history of Berlin. Watch the trailer after the jump and I think you will understand what I am talking about…
When is someone truly German? In “Past Present Tense,” filmmaker Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo creates a discourse on racism that provokes us to examine the question of German identity and its relationship to racism of the past and present. Through the years of social and political transitions, Germany’s identity has been shaped into the contemporary society we know. This film encourages the audience to analyze their perception of class, race and privilege on a national scale, though I couldn’t help but notice how prevalent the issue was in Berlin alone. Through the intimate stories told from the perspectives of Germans of minority descent, I found both solace and frustration in hearing about their experiences and opinions, much of which often go unheard and unseen in Berlin, as topics like racial discrimination may be too fragile for conversation when our society has been working to repress the past. So are we still infatuated with past ideals? Click on to examine the question of racism in contemporary Berlin and see some of the film highlights.
Verena von Stackelberg is a brave woman with a burning passion for film. Opening her very own cinema was her idea for a while and when she stumbled across the perfect venue on Weserstrasse, she jumped at the opportunity. Her crowd funding campaign to finance her magical paradise for all lovers of film is now running. We spoke to her about her vision, the cinema scene and her favourite film of all times…
The Butter Lamp by Hu Wei
It’s Oscar season again, and as the eagerly anticipated and globally televised event airs on February 22nd 2015, Mobile Kino will be giving Berliners three special screenings of the short films in competition. The Oscars have narrowed down hundreds of internationally submitted short films to just 10, and Mobile Kino, together with ShortsHD will be holding an event at Urban Spree for you to experience them projected onto a big screen. The shorts program is divided into two categories: Live Action and Animation. The 5 live cction shorts will be screened on Saturday, February 21st 2015 at 21h with an encore the next day at 18h, and the 5 animated films will be screened on Sunday, February 22nd 2015 at 16h. There is going to be yet another encore of the Live Action films on April 2, 2015 at Il Kino at Nansenstr. 22. Click on to see the trailers of these innovative stories.
It’s been quite a while since we published a nice short film on a Sunday like we used to do. Even if there is no real big connection to Berlin I had to show you this hyper-romantic short film called Fawns by Greek director Thanasis Tsimpinis. Actually I could not care less about the hot naked protagonist (I know, nobody believes me, but I tried at least) but I am much more into the gentle voice and the sensible story behind the short film. I think you have to watch it to get the goose bumps I feel right now just to think about the story of this stunning black-and-white film reminding us of how sometimes in order to protect the ones we love, we have to let them go. To enjoy the video follow the fawn.
photos: Skylar Kang
Somehow this year’s Berlinale seems to be celebrated with much more enthusiasm, glamour and invasiveness then the years before. Even our little blog managed to publish already much more articles about this particular event then ever before.
Why is it so you might ask? Is it maybe all because of James Franco pushing the limits in time, space and physics being omnipresent all around the city. Just yesterday a friend asked me if I think we might get expelled out of town just because we have not met James Franco yet (and I am not 100% sure). Or might it be that my theater friends are right and the movie people are all impostors who managed somehow to give the business a pure dose of glamour injection not only causing botoxed faces but also total oblivion to the sponsors of the festival?
Anyway one thing that stays somehow reassuringly unchanged is the distressing bad design of the Berlinale bags. Trying to explain this obscure urban myth repeating itself in its painful atrocity every year I collected some thoughts after the jump.
Yesterday’s halftime report was filled with the films I saw from the competition. Today – as promised – I will speak about all those I saw from the Sections Panorama, Forum, Perspective and Shorts. I haven’t managed to squeeze in Generation, Retrospective or Gala Screenings yet, but hey one has to set priorities, however much it hurts to miss all that other great stuff.
Two of my very very favorites are in this selection! Continue reading to find out which is film really blew me away and is currently my new favorite film ever (told you I’m emotional these days)…
It’s Berlinale halftime. Not that I actually know what day it is – festivals just blur into one very long period of uncountable days – but my calendar tells me that half of the joyous and exhausting time is already over.
I’m ill and have been schlepping myself around Potsdamer Platz more than I’ve been thrillingly jumping there, which results in me seeing less films than I originally planned.
Still I’ve seen 16 films in the past 5 days, so I will split this halftime review into two parts: Competition films (today) and everything else (tomorrow). This way it’s just not as overwhelming for both me to write and you to read.
With this as a backdrop continue reading what I’ve seen so far and which films you should and shouldn’t miss…
As part of the Berlinale 300 promising directors, actors, authors and other film professionals have been invited to partake in this year’s Berlinale Talents Summit. This year they will learn, work and discuss everything on the topic “2015: A Space Discovery”. In addition to their private program the Berlinale Talents also offers panel discussions, conversations or lectures by renown film professionals such as Darren Aronofski (this year’s Berlinale jury president), Wim Wenders or The Yes Man. Luckily those are open to the public and even luckier, we have tickets to a few of the events for you to win.
Find out which panels we are inviting you to after the click…