Workers of the world, be entertained!

Monday 13 February, 2012

TeaserPicThis year's Berlinale Retrospective "The Red Dream Factory" rediscovers the legendary German-Russian Mezhrabpom-Film (1922-1936). It tells of incredible film successes, ideological misunderstandings and astonishing blindness. By Oksana Bulgakova
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The mild bunch

Monday 18 February, 2008

Only one truly original auteur filmmaker made it into this year's Berlinale Competition. With "Night and Day" Korean director Hong Sangsoo proved himself to be one of the great free-thinking talents of contemporary cinema. This aside, emaciated wishy-washy realism prevailed. By Ekkehard Knörer
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Berlinale box

Thursday 14 February, 2008

With the Berlin film festival well underway we pick out some of the highlights. Jose Padilha's "Tropa de Elite" might have all the components of an Egoshooter film but it's far off. Hongkong star Johnnie To's "Sparrow" is a bringer of unadulterated joy. Isabel Coixet's "Elegy" stars a couple of aging Roth rabbits. And P.T. Anderson's "There Will Be Blood" should be enjoyed on an empty stomach.
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Bordering on miraculous

Friday 8 February, 2008

A frighteningly intense Daniel Day Lewis, musical accompaniment from Martin Scorsese, Madonna and Patti Smith, home-made filmic fumblings from a music video genius, a mere smidgen of German material and plenty of Far Eastern promise. After the Berlinale Film Festival hit rock bottom last year, it seems a sharp upwards turn is on the cards for 2008.
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All eyes on the December children

Wednesday 5 December, 2007

Romania might have only 35 cinemas but it is having a profound effect on the world of film. Christian Mungiu's "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days" won the Palme d'Or at Cannes earlier this year and the European Film Prize in Berlin on Saturday. By Jan Schulz-Ojala
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Floundering Dutch man

Monday 15 October, 2007

A theme running through this year's Netherlands Film Festival is that of men running after deliverance, preferably in the form of young women. There's plenty of tongue in cheek but no changing the facts: the new man, like the old, needs a muse. By Jann Ruyters
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Good solid cinephilia

Thursday 24 May, 2007

Why did no one think of it before? A film festival showing only the best films around. Cannes director Thierry Fremaux has done just that - much to the approval of Daniel Kothenschulte, who singles out the new films by Fatih Akin and Quentin Tarantino as his favourites.
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Giving mediocrity a chance

Monday 19 February, 2007

In its sixth year under Dieter Kosslick, the Berlinale has flung itself into the breach for boredom, lack of inspiration and conventionality. There were a handful of creditable, daring, self-assured films. Only these will be mentioned here. By Ekkehard Knörer. All the bears at a glance here.
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Breathless 8: a Berlinale diary

Friday 16 February, 2007

In Jacques Rivette's Competition film "Don't Touch the Axe", Jeanne Balibar and Guillaume Depardieu besiege themselves in an exquisitely wrought and rapier sharp love battle. And in the claustrophobic "Brand Upon the Brain", Guy Maddin serves up a huge portion of brain nectar.
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Breathless 7: a Berlinale diary

Thursday 15 Feburary, 2007

Zhang Lu's "Desert Dream" follows life in a yurt in the wide, empty expanses of the Mongolian steppes, punctuated only by North Korean folk songs. In "Celebration" Olivier Meyrou visits the spectral fashion house of Yves Saint Laurent. And Jack Snyder's "300", the film of Frank Miller's comic, is not the world's worst film, but it's damn close.
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Breathless 6: a Berlinale diary

Wednesday 14 February, 2007

Christian Petzold's ghostly "Yella" is marked by ruptures, and corner-of-the-mouth minimalism. "The Lark House" by the Taviani brothers shows the Turkish genocide of the Armenians with some beatifully composed torture scenes. Frederick Wiseman's "State Legislature" documents the nuts and bolts of American politics. And Hal Hartley's "Fay Grim" has a plot driven to the height of absurdity.
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Breathless 5: a Berlinale diary

Tuesday 13 February, 2007

With "The Witnesses," Andre Techine consolidates his reputation as a master of mitigation. In conservative Clint's "Letter's from Iwo Jima", there is much militarily senseless, politically objectionable, but highly heroic dying for the fatherland. And Angela Schanelec's "Afternoon" shows the unbearable weight of being.
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Breathless 4: a Berlinale diary

Monday 12 February, 2007

In Stefan Ruzowitzky's "The Counterfeiters", concentration camp victims are set to work making fake money for the Nazis. Robert de Niro's "The Good Shepherd" shows a block of ice created by the Cold War. Park Chan-wook's "I'm a Cyborg, but that's OK" inquires with refreshing naivity into the meaning of life. And Rudolphe Marconi shows Karl Largerfeld and his laissez-faire attitude towards status, privilege and luck.
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Breathless 3: a Berlinale diary

Saturday 10 February, 2007

Pascal Ferran's "Lady Chatterley" has kept cheap thrills and overbearing symbolism at an arm's length. It is self-assured, unpretentious and observant. "This Filthy World" by Jeff Garlin reveals filmmaker John Waters as an exquisitely funny stand-up comedian. And in Hong Sangsoo's "Woman on the Beach," true faces emerge from behind the booze.
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Breathless 2: a Berlinale diary

Friday 9 February, 2007

The Berlinale opened with Olivier Dahan's film "La vie en Rose", a confrontational Piaf portrait replete with smeared make-up, champagne and morphine, flunkies and fans, misery and deity. Altogether much more exciting than the "The Good German" by Steven Soderbergh which fell flat on its faux forties face.
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