Saturday, February 13, 2010

Berlin Film Festival 2010: The Competition

The 60th Berlin Film Festival has started, and I'm visiting Berlin just for a couple of days for meetings, no films. Berlin is snow-bound but not cold. Winter Berlin at its best. Several entries of the competition are being shown as D-Cinema, including Howl and Shutter Island.

Bal (Honey, Semih Kaplanoglu, TR 2010), Enigmatic bee disease hits Anatolia.
Kyatapira (Caterpillar, Koji Wakamatsu, JP 2010). In WWII an officer comes home without arms and legs.
Der Räuber (The Robber, Benjamin Heisenberg, DE 2010). Double life of a marathon man as a bank robber.
En ganske snill man (A Somewhat Gentle Man, Hans Petter Moland, DK 2010). A convict (Stellan Skarsgård) returns to everyday life after 12 years in prison in a black comedy.
En familie (A Family, Pernille Fischer Christensen, DK 2010). The story of what we in Finland call uusioperhe (what is the English word? a family reinvented, reconstructed, reassembled... ?) with the current and present spouses and children from various relationships together.
Eu cand vreau sa fluier, fluier (If I Want To Whistle, Whistle, Florin Serban, RO 2010). A boy in a prison for young offenders falls in love and kidnaps a girl visitor only five days before his release.
OUT OF COMPETITION: Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, US/GB 2010). The elusive graffiti artist makes a semi-documentary about a man who tries to break his wall of secrecy.
Greenberg (Noah Baumbach, US 2010). An independent comedy with Ben Stiller about a 40-year-old's search for his place in life.
Howl (Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, US 2010). The story of the obscenity trial of Howl with James Franco as Allen Ginsberg.
Jud Süss - Film ohne Gewissen (Jew Süss - Rise and Fall, Oskar Roehler, DE/AT 2010). How Goebbels pressured Ferdinand Marian, whose wife was Jewish, to star in an antisemitic hate film.
Kak ja provel etim letom (How I Ended This Summer, Aleksei Popograbski, RU 2010). Two men in an Arctic station in the summer.
Mammuth (Benoît Delépine, FR 2010). Tragicomedy about an ageing man (Gérard Depardieu) whose documents needed for his pension are missing. He mounts his Mammuth motorbike in search of his past.
My Name is Khan (Karan Johar, IN 2010). Unusual Indian musical about Muslims in western societies, starring Shah Rukh Khan.
Na putu (On the Path, Jasmila Zbanic, BA 2010). The story of an air stewardess and an air traffic controller at the Sarajevo airport.
CLOSING FILM, OUT OF COMPETITION: Otouto (About Her Brother, Yoji Yamada, JP 2010). Yamada's return to the present, a family drama about siblings.
Please Give (Nicole Holofcener, US 2010). A successful Manhattan couple expects the elderly lady neighbour to die soon so they can buy her apartment, but things are complicated by friendship.
Rompecabezas (Puzzle, Natalia Smirnoff, AR 2010). The mother's puzzle passion shakes the life of the whole family.
San qiang pa an jing qi (A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop, Zhang Yimou, CN 2010). A Chinese remake of Blood Simple.
Shahada (Burhan Qurbani, DE 2010). The story of three young Muslims in Germany, a Turkish policeman, a gay man from Nigeria, and a Westernized daughter of Turkish heritage.
Shekarchi (The Hunter, Rafi Pitts, IR 2010). The revenge of the outlaw whose wife and daughter have been killed by the police in a demonstration.
OUT OF COMPETITION: Shutter Island (Suljettu saari, Martin Scorsese, US 2010). Two policemen (Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo) try to solve the riddle of a supernatural disappearance on a closed prison island for the mentally ill.
Submarino (Thomas Vinterberg, DK 2010). The reunion of two brothers. One is an alcoholic bodybuilder who has served time in prison. The other is a single father fighting a heroin addiction.
The Ghost Writer (Haamukirjoittaja, Roman Polanski, FR/DE/GB 2010). A political thriller based on the novel by Robert Harris. The ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) finds out of the ex-prime minister of Britain (Pierce Brosnan) a secret which puts his life in danger.
The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Chodolenko, US 2010). A female couple (Annette Bening, Julianne Moore) has two children. There is a twist to their life as the children demand to meet their biological father (Mark Ruffalo).
The Killer Inside Me (Michael Winterbottom, US 2010). Based on the Jim Thompson novel about a cop who is a sadistic serial killer. Starring Casey Affleck.
OPENING FILM: Tuan yuan (Apart Together, Wang Quan'an, CN 2010). After 50 years a group of Chinamen that had moved to Taiwan get the permission to revisit the Chinese mainland.

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