Monday, Feb. 11, 2008

Day 4 - Berlin Intl. Film Festival

By Jonathan Jackson
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Berlin International Film Festival - Day 4

2/10/2008

Oddly, one of the biggest buzz films of the festival and its biggest seller so far at the European Film Market is not even screening here. "Che," directed by Steven Soderbergh and featuring Benicio del Toro as the iconic revolutionary leader Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, has only a 10 minute rough cut screening in the market. The film is tabbed as a likely opener for the 2008 Cannes Intl. Film Festival, although it is actually two films, that were shot back to back with the same key cast. The likely titles are "Guerrilla" and "The Argentine."

A notably quiet Sunday at the Berlinale, it is interesting to notice that now the disorientation amongst patrons, not to mention the sight of several sleeping audience members, is not because of jet lag, but from too many movies, too many parties and not enough sleep. I am having no problem staying awake, which probably has something to do with the Cappuccino IV I have hooked up to my arm.

Yesterday's movie highlight was from a director I am familiar with, Gotz Speilmann, who directed the 2004 Austrian film "Antares." A thrilling, provocative film distributed in the US by MIFF's friends at Film Movement, "Antares" was strongly considered for MIFF 2005, but ended up not screening. We would be lucky to screen his latest, "Revance." An absorbing and surprising psycological thriller that features exquisite cinematogrpahy, a thrilling, yet measured pace and strong performances.

Also of interest, and building my excitement further for the upcoming exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Gilbert & George, was the revealing documentary portrait of artists Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore, titled "With Gilbert & George." A fascinating and personal examination of the artists, which was filmed over a 20 year period, succeeds because the artists are essentially our tour guide for the film, intimately guiding us through their work, lives and thougths.

http://www.mam.org/exhibitions/exhibition_details.aspx?ID=87

Must go and rest up for the busy week ahead!

Tomorrow should be an exciting day of cinema, with new films from Fatih Akin, Johnnie To, Majid Majidi and Doris Dorrie on my slate.

Oh, the industry is buzzing about the end of the writers strike. However, I will not believe it is true until I get a new episode of 24!

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