Les Adieux à la reine” by Benoît Jacquot, the adaptation of a costume novel, will be opening the 62nd Berlinale on February 9th.
The film, in competition, is about the early days of the French Revolution seen through the eyes of the servants at Versailles.
“Many of the movies in competition are about departures or radical changes, presenting stories or history from a different perspective” says the Festival’s director Dieter Kosslick.
Italy will be competing for the Golden Bear with the Taviani Brothers’ “Cesare deve morire” (Caesar must die).
It will be competing against “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” by Billy Bob Thornton, Brillante Mendoza’s “Captive” and Tsui Hark’s “Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate”.
Out of competition is “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” by Stephen Daldry, which has received two Oscar nominations (best picture and best supporting actor for Max von Sydow), “Jin líng Shí San Chai” (The Flowers Of War) by Zhang Yimou and “Shadow Dancer”, the latest work by James Marsh, the director of the astonishing “Man on Wire”. Completing the program will be a special screening of Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire”, starring Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Antonio Banderas.
Particularly interesting will be the Berlinale Special where Italy will be making a brief appearance with Alba Rohrwacher, the star of “Glück” (Bliss) by Doris Dörrie.
This section will also feature Angelina Jolie’s directing debut, “In The Land Of Blood And Honey”, Werner Herzog’s TV documentary series about the death penalty, “Death Row”, Alex de La Iglesia’s “La Chispa de la Vida”, Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald who, after last year’s “Life in a Day” returns to the Berlinale with “Marley”, and the documentary produced by Javier Bardem, “Hijos de las nubes. La última colonia” by Alvaro Longoria, which is part of this Berlinale’s special focus on the “Arab Spring”.
Apart from being present in the various Festival sections, Arabic cinema will also feature strongly inside the market and, together with the Middle Eastern question, will be one of the main themes of the Panorama- Dokument section.
This section opens with “Revolutionary” by Sean McAllister about a Yemeni tourist guide and his involvement in his country’s “political spring”.
The other two themes of Panorama-Dockument are “Queer Memory”, and the G8 and Anti-Globalization: here Italy is the protagonist with “Diaz” by Daniele Vicari, starring Elio Germano, Alessandro Roja and Claudio Santamaria, and “The Summit” by Franco Fracassi and Massimo Lauria, which explores the backdrop of lies surrounding the death of Carlo Giuliani and the State brutality that took place in the demonstrations preceding the ones in Genoa (from Brokdorf to Naples, Gothenburg and Seattle).
Generational conflicts and the ambivalence of progress are the main themes of the Forum, whilst as usual Forum Expanded (37 works by artists, directors, musicians and theorists from 20 different countries) will try to define the role of contemporary cinema, looking at the relevance of the radical ideas of the past in the present day.
Here Italy will be represented by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s unfinished novel, “Petrolio”, which has been chosen by Rosalind Nashashibi as the starting point for “Carlo’s Vision” (a co-production between Italy and the United Kingdom).
“Say Goodbye to the Story” is the “leitmotiv” of the shorts section, inspired by the title of the work (in competition) by Christoph Schlingensief.
We should also mention “Logoro” by Peruvian director Claudia Llosa, who won the Berlinale 2009 with “La Teta Asustada” and “The End”, by Charlotte Rampling.
An Italian short movie (“Pokot Ash Yogurt” by Francesco Amato and Stefano Scarafia) will be presented as part of the “Culinary Cinema” section whose motto for this year is “Trust in Taste”.
The retrospective, “The Red Dream Factory. Mezhrabpom-Film and Prometheus 1921 – 1936”, is dedicated to the rediscovery of the legendary Russian-German film studio, an international experimental joint venture that made movie history at the time with 600 productions.
From this year, the Retrospective, directed by Rainer Rother (who is also the artistic director of Deutsche Kinemathek that organizes this section), will be launching a new partnership with MoMA in New York, marking the tradition of collaboration and dialogue between the two institutions (just last summer, MoMa hosted an exhibition curated by Dieter Kosslich, “Carte Blanche: Dieter Kosslick, the Culinary Cineaste”).
Meryl Streep will be honored at the Biennale (where she will receive a Golden Bear), whilst the International Jury, headed by Mike Leigh, will feature Anton Corbijn, Asghar Farhadi, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jake Gyllenhaal, François Ozon, Boualem Sansal and .