The 61st Berlinale will open on February 10th with “True Grit” by the Coen brothers.
The 22 movies in the competition which is directed by Dieter Kosslich, present a good balance of well-known and lesser known names and faces: Wim Wenders will be there with “Pina”, a 3D tribute to the German choreographer Pina Bausch; Ralph Fiennes will be making his directing debut with “Coriolanus” and Miranda Julie will be presenting “The Future”.
More often than not it is the names of the actors that draws attention to the movies: Liam Neeson and Bruno Ganz with “Unknown” by Jaume Collet-Serra, Moritz Bleibtreu with “Mein bester Feind” (My Best Enemy) by Wolfgang Murnberger, Fabrice Lucchini and Carmen Maura with “Les femmes du 6ème étage” (Service Entrance) by Philippe Le Guay, and Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons and Demi Moore, who will be starring in “Margin Call”, JC Chandor’s debut movie.
The latter will be one of the first movies in competition, along with “Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland” (Almanya) by Yasemin Samdereli and “El premio” by Paula Markovitch .
What about the Italians?
They are outside the official competition (although they “skim the surface” with “The Forgiveness Of Blood” by Joshua Marston, co-produced by Fandango), and will be basically represented by just two titles: “˜Qualunquemente’ by Giulio Manfredonia in the Panorama section, and “˜Gianni e le Donne’, by Gianni Di Gregorio, in the Berlinale Special section.
A box office champion in Italian movie theaters, “Qualunquemente” brings to the big screen the character created by Antonio Albanese, “Cetto La Qualunque”: a corrupt, arrogant and ignorant Calabrian entrepreneur-political party hack, who despises women and nature, legality and democracy.
A dark and grotesque portrait of the vices of the Italians of today, the movie is produced by Domenico Procacci’s Fandango in collaboration with Rai Cinema, and distributed by 01 Distribution.
Rai Cinema also presents “Gianni e le donne” “” produced by Angelo Barbagallo – Gianni De Gregorio’s second movie following his successful debut, “Pranzo di Ferragosto”.
An elegant connoisseur of old age, Di Gregorio portrays the erotic turmoil of a sixty-yearold “baby pensioner”.
The Berlinale Special will be paying tribute to a great old Italian film-maker who recently passed away, Mario Monicelli, with a screening of “Il Marchese del grillo”, winner of the Silver Bear in 1982.
This section also includes “The King’s Speech” by Tom Hooper, starring Colin Firth and a movie by Julie Gavras (Costa’s daughter), “Late Bloomers France” (Blame it on Fidel), starring Isabella Rossellini, who is also the president of the international jury.
Going back to the Panorama section, which features the youngest and most independent productions, once again this year the selection provides an excellent overview of our changing world: the interminable Israeli-Palestinian conflict in “Lo Roim Alaich” (Invisibile), the marginalization of young Arabs in French society in “Dernier étage gauche gauche” (Top Floor Left Wing) by Angelo Cianci, stories of Afghan refugees in “Man at Sea” by Constantine Giannaris, and the consequences of colonialism depicted by Spain’s Icàar Bollaàn in “También la lluvia” (Even The Rain), starring Gael Garcàa Bernal.
The Panorama section also features “Life in a Day”, produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, where Kevin MacDonald explores the narrative potential of the social media.
Some of the most innovative movies in terms of narrative style are “Medianeras” by Argentina’s Gustavo Taretto, “OFFBEAT”, Jan Gassmann’s debut movie and three pictures about India: “7 Khoon Maaf ” (7 Sins Forgiven) by Vishal Bhardwaj, “Gandu” (Asshole), the debut from young film-maker Q and “The Bengali Detective” by Phil Cox.
THE MARKET/EFM GROWS WITH THE FESTIVAL
Italy pops up again at Berlin’s Co-Production Market, with “La strada per casa” (The Way Home) by Bruno Oliviero and at the Talent Project Market with “Il Sud è niente” (The South is Nothing) by Fabio Mollo.
In addition to the normal meetings between directors and producers, this year, for the first time, the Co-Production Market will be hosting “Company Matching”: here the meetings will not be about a single project but will focus on helping various companies discover shared interests.
The co-production market is one of the “satellites” of the European Film Market (together with Straight from Sundance, Meet the Docs, Breakfast&Books).
The Berlin market, directed by Beki Probst, will take place from February 10th-18th at the Martin-Gropius-Bau (whilst the Co-production Market is housed in the building opposite, the Berlin House of Representatives) and the Hotel Marriott.
6500 professionals have registered for the market including around 1300 buyers.
There will be more than 1000 screenings, mainly market premieres, held in 33 theaters.
A large part of these movies will also be included in the various festival sections.
In this regard, the words of Wieland Speck, director of Panorama, a section which has grown in parallel to the market and developed over the same number of years, are very significant.
Speck has said: “I will continue to meet and discuss with Becki Probst about every title in the Panorama section; we want to be sure that our movies have the best possible positioning on the market”.
CROSSOVERS/CARLO PETRINI AT CULINARY CINEMA
There will be a little bit of Italy “” as you would expect “” at Culinary Cinema, the festival section dedicated to the relationships between food, cinema and environment (from February 13th “” 18th at the Martin Gropius Bau), with “Le Quattro Volte” by Michelangelo Frammartino and the presentation of a book by Carlo Petrini, the patron of Slow Food, “Terra Madre”, which includes an introduction by Dieter Kosslich.