Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008

Day 5 - Berlin Intl. Film Festival

By Jonathan Jackson
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Berlin International Film Festival - Day 5

2/11/2008

In a banner day for the festival, featuring premieres of new work from several well known international filmmakers, the best film I saw was one that premiered elsewhere, Cannes in '07. German director Fatih Akin's "The Edge of Heaven" is an incredibly moving, personal work that showcases a filmmaker just entering his prime.

While Majid Majidi's "The Song of Sparrows" featured several poetic, and surprisingly funny sequences and Dorris Dorrie's emotional "Cherry Blossoms" made me want to run out of the theatre and call me parents to tell them that I love them (incidentally, Film Movement's, and more importantly, Sheboygan, WI native Meghan Wurtz is raving about the film over my shoulder right now), Fatih Akin's latest ruled my day.

The intricate story follows six individuals in modern Europe, a mixture of Germans and Turks, who are each on their own road of reconcilliation and redemption. After past MIFF favorites: "Head-On," "Crossing the Brdige" & "In July," Fatih Akin displays a sophisticated and measured approach that showcases his maturtiy as a filmmaker and cements his status as an international filmmaker to watch for years to come.

Please check back tomorrow, as new films from Hong Sangsoo (MIFF '07 film "Woman on the Beach"), Errol Morris ("Gates of Heaven") and Mike Leigh ("Vera Drake") are on my docket for what should be an exciting day.

On a travel side note, I think I drank one too many cappuccino's yesterday. I ended up waking up wide-eyed at 4:15am. Although, if you have insomnia, there is no better place to watch late night tv than in Germany, where you can find so pretty random stuff. Including: A channel dedicated to travelling on train tracks, the one with a live static shot of the penguin zoo exhibit without commentary, a Family Ties marathon dubbed in German, and one would be remiss not to mention the naked game show host channel!

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