I’ll be honest and admit that, to me, Glühwein and snow are way overrated. Winter as a whole I could do without, tbh. But there’s one reason I don’t skip Berlin for all of its winter months and that’s Berlinale. For ten glorious days, at any time of day, we have our pick of dozens of different films. Most are from corners of the world I’ve not yet explored (the first Bhutanese film noir, anyone?), though there’s also Perspektive, an entire program of homegrown German titles (with English subtitles, of course, like all non-English films in the festival). Yet it’s not a simple escapist matter of buying popcorn and bingeing; you might be able to avoid your phone’s increasingly deplorable Trump notifications, but you won’t be able to avoid what the last German Oscar winner (fingers crossed for Toni Erdmann in 2017!) so elegantly called: the lives of others.
The weather is behaving awfully spring-like and we’re still getting used to it being 2016, so it’s easy to forget the Berlinale is already almost upon us. Now we know that many of you are intimidated by the sheer size of the film festival, let alone how to get tickets without queuing at the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden for unendurably bright hours on end. As usual, we’re here to help, providing a quick and dirty guide to how to get Berlinale tickets.
We’ve been lucky this winter, really. The weather hasn’t been crazy cold for crazy long, and we’re even getting some sunshine sometimes. It’s been such an easy start to the year that it’s almost a surprise that the Berlinale is already almost upon us. Now we know that many of you are intimidated by the sheer size of the festival, let alone how to get tickets without standing in the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden for unendurably bright hours on end. We’re here to help, providing a quick and dirty guide to how to get the most out of this year’s Berlinale.
Phew! Now, that the overall excitement of the Berlinale has settled and there is finally some time, I want to take a personal and selective look back at some of the islands in the festival stream. Here are the first three filmmakers (of four films) that impressed me endlessly and –what a coincidence- all three are female first-time directors who made great and unusual art and hopefully have a long and exciting career ahead of them.
In a past life, I wrote log lines. What that means is that I used to read movie scripts and then distill them into one or two-line synopses. “After a young librarian finds a mysterious scroll, she embarks on an arduous quest that will reunite her with both her long-lost father and her missing poodle.” Things like that. It’s instilled in me a great admiration for the movie pitch and a great, if ambivalent, reader of film festival programs.