‘Shutter Island’ to premiere at Berlin fest

Posted by · 1:26 pm · December 15th, 2009

Doesn’t it feel like an eternity ago that we were talking about the possibilities for “Shutter Island” in this year’s Oscar race? I’m still sulking, frankly. Still, compensation for the delay arrives in the shape of some European festival prestige: Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Gothic thriller will play out of competition at the […]

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Werner Herzog named president of 2010 Berlin jury

Posted by · 7:35 am · November 19th, 2009

After premiering two films at September’s Venice fest, perhaps the most surprising thing about Werner Herzog heading the jury at February’s Berlin Film Festival is that he won’t be inflicting another film upon the competition. I kid, I kid. Herzog, the first German jury president since Roland Emmerich in 2005, is inarguably deserving of the […]

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EDINBURGH: ‘London River,’ ‘Spread’

Posted by · 11:06 am · June 23rd, 2009

The past day has presented me with two films that made their first appearances at high-profile festivals early in the year: Scottish auteur David Mackenzie’s first U.S. effort “Spread” — a “look ma, I can act” venture of sorts for Ashton Kutcher — played at Sundance in January, while Rachid Bouchareb’s “London River” was a […]

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Tribeca awards ‘About Elly,’ Hinds, Kazan

Posted by · 1:46 am · May 1st, 2009

The Tribeca festival has a hit-and-miss record when it comes to picking winners that go on to great things. However, they certainly proved prescient last year, when they handed their top prize to “Let the Right One In,” so it’s worth taking a moment to mention this year’s choices. Of course, their Best Narrative Feature […]

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Berlin jury avoids the mainstream

Posted by · 4:51 am · February 16th, 2009

Perhaps it’s an indication of an unusually low-key festival, or perhaps (more likely) I’ve been too distracted by the steamrolling Oscar season, but either way, I’m a little disturbed that the Berlin Film Festival wrapped up this weekend and I am barely familiar with most of the prizewinning films. I had heard some positive things […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: BAFTAs, Berlin, pre-Oscar jitters

Posted by · 2:37 am · February 14th, 2009

Aside from two major precursors, it’s been a slow week for news — which leads to a lot of prediction second-guessing. • “Slumdog” swept at the BAFTAs, which also put new wind in Mickey Rourke’s sails. We live-blogged it here. • The “Slumdog” streak inevitably continued at the WGA Awards, where “Milk” picked up some […]

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A promising start for ‘Chéri’

Posted by · 6:18 am · February 11th, 2009

If it isn’t quite the unanimous chorus of approval one might have hoped for, there’s still enough praise for Stephen Frears’ latest film “Chéri,” which premiered in Berlin last night, to mark it as a potential 2009 contender in several areas — among them, Best Actress for Michelle Pfeiffer’s much-anticipated return to dramatic roles. (Thanks, […]

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Defending the Berlin outcasts

Posted by · 1:29 am · February 10th, 2009

Several days into the Berlin Festival, it remains a rather quiet affair from the outside. A couple of starry titles have been thrown to the wolves, while we’re still awaiting news of a breakout film or performance along the lines of “Happy-Go-Lucky” last year. However, tonight’s screening will bring the first word on Stephen Frears’ […]

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‘Mammoth,’ ‘Rage’ land with a thud at Berlin

Posted by · 6:42 am · February 9th, 2009

Oh dear. Colour me very disappointed indeed. “Mammoth,” Lukas Moodysson’s would-be entry into the mainstream, had me so hopeful — not least because it features Gael Garcia Barnal and Michelle Williams, arguably the two most exciting actors of their generation. But judging from a hostile crowd reception and cool-to-icy reviews, it appears the film isn’t […]

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Berlin fest gets under way

Posted by · 6:25 am · February 6th, 2009

As far as press coverage goes, the Berlin Film Festival tends to get a bit drowned in the flurry of Oscar season, so you could be forgiven for failing to notice that it actually kicked off last night, with the world premiere of Tom Tykwer’s corporate thriller “The International.” Sadly, as I suspected, the film […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Globe surprises, best shots, BAFTA nods

Posted by · 6:00 pm · January 16th, 2009

Sorry the Weekly Wrap feature has been M.I.A. these past few weeks — between the holidays and various disasters, they got a bit forgotten. Anyway, it’s back this week, and what a busy week it was: • In a new annual institution at IC, Kris reviewed the top 10 shots of the year here … […]

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Frears’ ‘Chéri’ to premiere at Berlin

Posted by · 4:07 am · January 16th, 2009

New works from Costa-Gavras, Bertrand Tavernier and Andrzej Wajda are among the 14 titles that have just been added to the Competition programme at next month’s Berlinale, meaning 25 of the 26 slots have been confirmed. The most high-profile inclusion, however, is Stephen Frears’ period romance “Chéri,” which was at one point mooted as a […]

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‘The International’ to kick off Berlin

Posted by · 4:41 pm · November 28th, 2008

Screen International reports that Tom Tykwer’s latest, “The International,” has been named the opening film of next year’s Berlin Film Festival. The thriller, starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts (now there’s a good pairing), will have its word premiere at the fest, screening out of competition on February 5. The trailer’s been out for some […]

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Foreign film race begins… get ready to groan

Posted by · 5:08 pm · August 21st, 2008

Variety carries details of the first official entry that I’ve heard of in the Best Foreign Language Film derby – Denmark has put forward “Worlds Apart,” from director Niels Arden Oplev. The country has a pretty good track record in this category, having won back-to-back in the 80’s with “Babette’s Feast” and “Pelle the Conqueror,” […]

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In Berlin

Posted by · 3:41 pm · June 7th, 2008

Sorry for the down time on my part. It’s been go, go, go since I landed in Berlin Friday. It’s back to London tomorrow morning, so I should be back on track. But to toss out a few random thoughts: 1) Clinton’s “I’m finally getting out of the way” speech contained all the right words, […]

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