If you know less after a film than you did before, that’s actually a huge compliment. Because art is meant to startle you, to plant questions in your head and trigger new thoughts. That’s why it’s great, fun and important. Blue Jasmine managed to do precisely this to me. The latest Woody Allen film made me think about things I hadn’t thought about in a long time and reigned the conversation after…
When I went to the Berlin Porn Film Festival for the first time a couple of years ago I was nervous. Of course I pretended to be super cool and calm, but when I walked into the Moviemento I did have a bit of a weird feeling and wasn’t sure what to expect.
It didn’t help that everyone in the cinema seemed to know each other and the bar was dark and red, but I fought my way to a seat and actually really enjoyed the documentary I saw. It was a film by Rosa von Praunheim, and until today I have not made it to a public porn film screening but who knows, this might be the week that changes…
I’ve been a fan of Michael Winterbottom since he made the scandalous 9 Songs. He announced it was the first film of a new genre in which a mixture of Art House films and hard core porn merge to form Art Core. I adored the film and his comments about the depiction of sexuality and was excited to see what he would do next. Unfortunately Winterbottom went back to shooting fairly standard films instead of proceeding his just developed genre. His latest work The Look of Love is now hitting German screens…
To be entirely honest, I haven’t really watched many films over the last few weeks. Summer is finally here and I feel more like hanging out with friends and have a beer outside than to look at a screen for two hours. This feeling of „filmlessness“ is pretty new and somewhat odd, but after I had enough of the beer last week, Friday night was perfect for an easy watching night and so I spent the evening with Sandra Bullock und Melissa McCarthy watching The Heat.
It was way too hot to go to the movies and I was too addicted to New Girl (not advisable when apartment hunting – simply nobody can keep up with those roommates) to watch exciting DVDs. So all I can offer is a little Trailer Party with beautiful, exciting and hopefully good films and some namedropping: Pedro Almodovar, Ryan Gosling, Antonio Banderas, Nicolas Winding Refn, Kristin Scott Thomas...
Drinking alcohol is normal, socially accepted or even expected. But when it becomes excessive the evaluation quickly shifts to embarrassing, dangerous and frowned upon. But how much is too much? And when is it time to pull the emergency break on drinking? Last year’s Sundance Film Festival showcased a film that deals not only with these questions, but also takes a look at the desperation that arises when a young woman tries to fight against her dangerous addiction. Smashed is a heartfelt, honest and partially painful film, certainly worth watching, which finally found it’s way onto the German silver screen last week.
Read more after the jump….
Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum and Steven Soderbergh! What a mass of star names for just one film. Certainly the story about pharmaceutical drugs, their use and misuse, their advantages and dangers wouldn’t have needed big names to succeed. It’s well written and structured and probably would have been a hit with no-name actors as well. However, the famous faces didn’t do any damage. Each of the actors seems to have dropped their ego for the duration of the shoot. They all click together, deliver great performances and make Side Effects a pretty great piece of modern cinema that premiered at the Berlinale in Feburary.
Films aren’t what they used to be. But not just the medium itself has changed (gaining sound and colour), but so have the story lines. Films in the 50s used to be influenced by a patriarchal world view. Men were the heroes – regardless of genre – and opinion leaders and the ladies tried to win their attention and affection with their beauty, wit or charm. Today women are emancipated, voice their own opinions and male characters are frequently just as „soft“ as females. Generally all characters are developed in more depth today than they were at the beginning of movies or even still in the middle of the last century.
This development goes hand in hand with changes in our social environment of course. It is thus even more surprising if a 2013 production feels like it’s just been catapulted onto the screen from a 50s production studio. Now one could think I’m enraged about this, but I am not at all. I am more so surprised, amused and almost a little impressed.
Who directed When Harry met Sally, The Black Swan and Grease? Rob Reiner, Darren Aronofsky and Randal Kleiser are the masters behind these big successes, whose names are probably unfamiliar to most people. We tend to only remember the names of those actors whose faces are irreversibly tied to the memories of the images. The directors, who often develop the story, are responsible for the entire staging of the film, direct the play of the actors and often oversee the editing, are regularly overlooked.
It’s even more impressive that the entire world knows Alfred Hitchcock. The Master of Suspense (the tension building from the audiences advantage in knowledge over the characters, i.E. that a bomb is ticking underneath the table of the unknowing dinner guests) is known around the globe, his films are loved and highly respected as masterpieces of the art of film. Much has been written about The Birds, Rear Window or Psycho, Truffaut’s interview-book Alfred Hitchcock: A Definitive Study is a classic for all film students and a discovery tour through his work and now there is finally a Biopic about the workaholic.
For five days the silver screens of this town have been running non-stop: the Berlin Film Festival is in full throttle. As a native from Cologne I had to first sing praise to my hometown at Karneval before I could go to the movies. Therefore I’ve only seen 6 films so far, not a bad cut for two days. With a programme of more than 400 films that still means I can’t report much, I will save that for next week.
But here are a few tips for the hot films of the festival, that are already much talked about and in the run for the Golden Bears.
They are all still running, so off to the ticket booths and into the cinema!