BERLIN: ‘Sleeping Sickness,’ ‘The Future,’ ‘The Guard’

Posted by · 5:11 pm · February 16th, 2011

Sorry there was no Berlinale dispatch yesterday. It was my birthday, and after “celebrating” it with a triple-bill of variously despairing Competition entries — finishing with “The Turin Horse,” Béla Tarr’s impressive 146-minute ode to blizzards, boiled potatoes and dying — more traditional festivities were in order, beginning with several stiff drinks. There’s nothing like […]

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Filed in: Daily · Reviews

Off to the Berlinale

Posted by · 7:50 pm · February 10th, 2011

In a couple of hours, I’m jumping on a crack-of-dawn flight to one of the coolest cities on earth for a week at the Berlin International Film Festival — or, to use the name that rolls more luxuriously off the tongue, the Berlinale. I probably should have mentioned this earlier and posted some sort of […]

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LIFE WITHOUT OSCAR: 2005 and 2006

Posted by · 3:11 pm · January 5th, 2011

Catch up with the idea behind this series here. We all remember Jack Nicholson’s raised eyebrows as he said the word, “Crash” at the end of the 2005 ceremony. What has to be, objectively, one of the biggest surprises of the last twenty years in the Best Picture category is, subjectively, one of the worst […]

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Filed in: Life Without Oscar

First Berlinale selections revealed, ‘True Grit’ to open fest

Posted by · 3:43 am · December 15th, 2010

Of all the festivals I attended this year, Berlin was perhaps the one with the most covert significance. At the time, it seemed critics were foraging for scraps amid a dismal competition lineup and a confusingly scattered selection of sidebars — and yet so many of the films I caught there (and some that I […]

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Marrying art and film at Venice

Posted by · 8:05 am · August 5th, 2009

One of the most unique virtues of the Venice Film Festival is that it every two years, it runs alongside the Venice Biennale — the world’s foremost contemporary art showcase, spanning almost 6 months and housing exhibitions from over 90 international artists. The overlap between the film festival and the Biennale can therefore bridge the […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 directorial debuts of the decade

Posted by · 8:51 am · June 23rd, 2009

To me, “great cinema” means something I haven’t seen before or something I have seen before presented in a new way. With 110 years of motion pictures behind us, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to meet those standards, especially since filmmakers find it a lot easier to give in to preconceived notions of story structure, character […]

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Filed in: The Lists