Berlinale 2015: My New Favorite Film

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)…

Out of Nature (D: Ole Giæver/Marte Volt, NOR 2014)

This is my new favorite film! I mean it. Who are we when we are alone? What goes through our head all day long? What weird turns does our mind take? These questions are the subject of this unbelievably refreshing Norwegian film. The film is light hearted and yet cuts right to the core of our lives and our inner self.

Life is hilarious, heartbreaking and a journey and so is this film. I laughed, I cried and I although the main character is a man I felt like he was so much of me. This is why I go to the movies, this is why I love cinema, Out of Nature really was a revelation!

Mot Naturen © Berlinale

I Remember (D: Janna Ji Wonders, D 2015)

This short film was programmed right before In the Spiderwebhouse, which I actually left a few minutes in because I was just too tired and the film seemed too simple to be worth less sleep. I remember it tells the story of two boys in the summer, a friendship, a girl, betrayal, heartache… The images make you feel and smell that summer spirit, but the story and characters were too shallow for my taste. Still a nice short to watch.

I Remember © Markus Förderer

Nasty Baby (D: Sebastian Silva, USA 2014)

Oh what a film! What a plot twist toward the end! What amazing music and energy!

I truly loved it. Set in New York about a gay couple and their best friend trying to have a baby I think it captures the spirit of a certain demographic really well. Artsy 30 somethings in a big city anywhere can probably relate to this very well. I haven’t seen many films that have done it so well without playing out the clichés. The films manages to align viewers with the main character to the extent that while not condoning with his actions one at least understands them.

Nasty Baby © Berlinale

Wanja (D: Caroline Hellsgard, D 2015)

Thank you Wanda for being the film you are, because you not almost pushed me out by the empty images, weird dialog and a protagonist I didn’t care about at all, I would not have watched Victoria and that was, as previously mentioned, a revelation!

So thanks, but no thanks!

Wanja © Kathrin Krottenthaler

Queen of Earth (D: Alex Ross Perry, USA 2015)

Luckily I have better friends than Catherine (amazingly embodied by Elizabeth Moss). Her best friend seems to also be her worst enemy, there’s little compassion in Alex Ross Perrys trip to the woods of these two friends. Shot on Super 16 (but still projected digitally) imagery is stunning, the acting is stellar and the story is compelling.

Queen of Earth © Sean Price Williams

Die Widerständigen “also machen wir das weiter…” (D: Katrin Seybold/Ula Stöckl, D 2015)

I had a slight fascination with Sophie Scholl in my early twenties, so of course I had to see this documentation on the brave men and women who continued the Weiße Roses legacy after the Siblings Scholl and their friend Probst had been beheaded. director Katrin Seybold conducted classical interviews with the witnesses for many years, but never finished the film before her passing. Thus her friend Ula Stöckl composed the film in a very quiet and modest matter to give the entire limelight to those speaking. It’s a talking heads documentation in the classical sense, but no image could replace the look on the peoples faces or live up to the stories they inspire in our minds.

Die Wiederständigen © Berlinale

Berlinale Shorts III (various directors and countries)

I adore Jennifer Reeders work and because of her new film I chose this screening. She tells stories of teenage girls and captures their world of nailpolish and feminism, boys and heartache in a way rarely seen on screen. I must admit I didn’tcare too much for the film screened before Blood Below The Skin (D: Jennifer Reeder, USA 2015), but liked the ones that finished the programme. Maku (D: Yoriko Mizushiri, JAP 2014) is a beautiful Japanese Animation and Sea of Fire (D: R: Joel Pizzini, BRA 2014)  a visually interesting experimental film.

Blood Below the Skin © Christopher Rejano

H. (D: Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia, Argentinien, USA 2015)

After receiving a script grant from the directors duo had to produce their film within months in order to premiere at the Venice Festival this past autumn. It all began with Rania seeing a reborn baby doll and wanting to make a film around this fascinating topic. But H. is about much more than the strange feelings reborn baby doll evoke in their “parents”. It’s also about how love, care and identity work together or against each other. Wrapped in a surreal surrounding of meteors and floating statues the film might want a little much all at once, but it’s enchanting, touching and definitely worth watching!

H. © Gabriel Morales

Tough Love (D: Rosa von Praunheim, D 2015)

I like Rosa von Praunheim’s work. It usually centers around Berlin and often portrays those far from the center of our society. This time he adopted the biography of Andreas Marquard, who was a brutal pimp and successful kickboxer in the 90s. The true story seems unreal and is told by the real life Alexander and his fiancé (he proposed during the premiere at the Berlinale) and is interwoven with black and white re-enactments of the brutal rise and fall of Marquard. Although I have a slight issue with blaming your upbringing for all the wrong you do, but I was stunned by the story and the way von Praunheim chose to depict it.

Härte © Berlinale

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