Berlin Film Festival Winners: David Gordon Green & Paulina Garcia

'Child's Pose' with Luminita Gheorghiu. Berlin Film Festival 2013 Golden Bear winner: Child's Pose The 2013 Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear, handed out earlier this evening, went to Calin Peter Netzer's mix of social critique and family drama Child's Pose / Pozitia copilului. Co-written by Netzer and Razvan Radulescu, the Romanian film portrays a wealthy, domineering woman's efforts to buy freedom for her selfish, pampered […]

Taviani Brothers/CAESAR MUST DIE: Golden Bear Winner

Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's Caesar Must Die Paolo Taviani, 80, and Vittorio Taviani, 82, were the big winners at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival. The Taviani brothers' documentary Cesare deve morire / Caesar Must Die, about a staging of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in Rome's maximum-security prison Rebibbia – with the actual inmates playing the various roles, was the surprise winner of the Golden Bear at […]

Robert Pattinson & Michael Fassbender: Berlin Film Festival Movies + Foreign Language Oscar Semifinalists

Robert Pattinson in Bel Ami: Berlin Film Festival. A week or so ago, we wondered if the Robert Pattinson period drama Bel Ami would be screened at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival. If so, would it be listed as a Word Premiere? The issue revolved around the fact that earlier this month Bel Ami had a few "special" screenings in various Belgian cities. Anyhow, the […]

Salma Hayek Legion of Honor Induction Controversy + Kristen Stewart Cannes Entry?

Salma Hayek: Mexican actress in Legion of Honor controversy. Salma Hayek: Legion of Honor controversy There hasn't been much buzz about Marthe Keller's induction into France's Legion of Honor. Or the induction of actresses Dominique Blanc and Anny Duperey. Hardly a surprise, since the only film people that matter in the U.S. (or English-language) media are those with Hollywood careers. And that takes us to […]

Meryl Streep & Michelle Williams: Honorary Golden Bear & More Critics Awards

Michelle Williams, Luke Kirby, Take This Waltz With four nominations, Michel Hazanavicius' silent comedy-drama The Artist is the top nominee in the international categories of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle's 2011 Awards. (See further below the full list of Vancouver Film Critics nominations.) Starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, The Artist is set at the dawn of the talkie era, as screen icon George Valentin […]

'Bel Ami' Trailer 2012: Robert Pattinson Realizes Sex Is Most Effective Social-Climbing Gear

Bel Ami 2012 poster with Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Christina Ricci. Shot in early 2010 but coming out in 2012, the latest film version of Guy de Maupassant's Bel Ami is also the latest attempt of Twilight Saga performer Robert Pattinson to both extend his range and gain respect as an actor. Previous attempts to date – Remember Me, Water for […]

Mike Leigh vs. Isabelle Adjani: Berlin Film Festival Gets 'Outspoken' President

Mike Leigh to be Berlin Film Festival Jury President. No Mike Leigh film has taken home the Berlinale's Golden Bear, but Happy-Go-Lucky was in contention in 2008, eventually earning star Sally Hawkins that year's Best Actress Silver Bear. More than a decade ago – in 1997 to be exact – Leigh was a jury member at another European film festival, the one in Cannes, where […]

Rock Hudson Was NOT – Regardless of What People Say

Rock Hudson. Gay actor Rock Hudson was not… It's surprising that back in the mid-1980s some people were surprised to learn that Rock Hudson was gay, when the star of Magnificent Obsession, Giant, and the television series McMillan & Wife became the best-known person with AIDS in the world. After all, since I was a little kid I'd heard stories about Hudson's sexual orientation. Looking […]

George Eastman House Max Ophüls Film Noirs & Berlin Competition

George Eastman House movie 'The Reckless Moment': Crime drama with James Mason and Joan Bennett. George Eastman House movies: Max Ophüls dramas 'The Reckless Moment' and 'Caught' Located in Rochester, New York, the George Eastman House has been preserving movies for decades. In addition to its film preservation work, the Eastman House screens both new and old movies at their Dryden Theatre. This week – […]

'The Kids Are All Right,' 'The Mouth of the Wolf': Berlin Gay Movie Awards

Annette Bening and 'wife' Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right (top); Pietro Marcello's The Mouth of the Wolf (upper middle); James Franco's The Feast of Stephen (lower middle); Gaea Gaddy in Jake Yuzna's Open (bottom) Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, a family comedy co-written by Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, and starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, claimed the Teddy Award for […]

Roman Polanski & 'Honey': Berlin Film Festival Winners

Roman Polanski, in the news since his arrest in Switzerland last September and currently fighting extradition to the United States, received the Silver Bear for Best Director for the political thriller The Ghost Writer. In The Ghost Writer, Ewan McGregor has the title role, becoming involved with a former British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan, above, based on Tony Blair), who has more than a few […]

Psychotic Murderers, Anti-Semitism & Censorship: Berlin Film Festival

Lene Maria Christensen, Johan Philip Asbæk in A Family (Zentropa / Rolf Konow) (middle, upper); Moritz Bleibtreu, Tobias Moretti in Jud Süss – Film Without a Conscience (Petro Domenigg / Concorde Film) (middle, lower) Also of note at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival are Michael Winterbottom's violent crime drama The Killer Inside Me, starring Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson, which caused a furor […]

Swedish Oscar Winners + Meryl Streep Beats Herself at Golden Globes

At a meeting held Monday, the 2009 Guldbagge (Golden Beetle) jury comprised of Katinka Faragó, Nils Petter Sundgren, Pia Johansson, Jannike Åhlund, Johan Renck, Mikael Marcimain and Guldbagge jury chairman Eva Swartz Grimaldi (not voting) picked Niels Arden Oplev's box office smash The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as the best Swedish picture of the year. Adapted by Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg (from Stieg […]

Roman Polanski & Martin Scorsese Thrillers: Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear Entries

The Ghost Writer with Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor. In Roman Polanski's mystery thriller The Ghost Writer, which will be competing for the 2010 Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear, former James Bond Pierce Brosnan (Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day) plays a former British Prime Minister who – shades of Iraq War hawk Tony Blair – may have something to hide in his less than […]

Berlin Film Festival: Play it Again …! Series

As per The Hollywood Reporter, the Berlin International Film Festival will mark its 60th anniversary with the retrospective “Play it Again …!,” featuring 40 films compiled by British film critic David Thomson from previous Berlin festivals. Among them are Curzio Malaparte's The Forbidden Christ, Alf Sjoberg's Miss Julie, starring Anita Björk; Akira Kurosawa's To Live, Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter, Zhang Yimou's […]

Bobby Sands & Sexually Abused Women in Peru: Difficult Themes Top Ireland & Berlin

Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands in Hunger. With six wins, Steve McQueen's Hunger was the big winner at the 2009 Irish Academy Awards. The story of Irish republican prisoner Bobby Sands' last days, Hunger won trophies for best film, best actor (Michael Fassbender, as Sands), best supporting actor (Liam Cunningham), original score (David Holmes), production design, and sound. Curiously, director Steve McQueen was passed over in […]

Opus Dei Controversy + Michelle Pfeiffer: Spanish Academy Awards + Berlin Film Festival

Camino with Carmen Elias: Controversial Opus Dei drama. Goya Award winners Written and directed by Javier Fesser, the controversial drama Camino – described by Screen Daily's Lee Marshall as a “kind of three-way collision between The Magdalene Sisters, Amelie and The Song of Bernadette” – was the big winner at the 2009 Goya Awards, bagging a total of six trophies: best film, director, original screenplay, […]

Christian Bale Rant + Isabelle Adjani & When Cultures Collide in Classroom

I've had friends in the mountains of Papua New Guinea and in some impenetrable spot in the Amazon jungle e-mail me about Christian Bale's expletive-filled blowup on the Terminator Salvation set last July. (That was around the time the actor was arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister in London.) For those who have spent the day somewhere in Orion, let me briefly explain […]

Joe Dallesandro: Honorary Teddy Award at Berlin Festival

Joe Dallesandro, Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey's muse in films such as Flesh (1968), Trash (1970), and Heat (1972), and whose crotch adorned the Rolling Stones' album “Sticky Fingers,” will be the recipient of the 2009 honorary Teddy Award, given to those who have contributed to gay/lesbian/etc. cinema, at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival, which runs Feb. 5–15. Two films featuring Dallesandro, who's now 60 […]

Maurice Jarre Gets Honorary Golden Bear + Mary Pickford Oscar Sale Blocked

Maurice Jarre to be handed an Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement at next year's Berlin Film Festival. One of the greatest film composers of the 20th century, Maurice Jarre is best known for his Oscar-winning collaborations with David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and A Passage to India – in addition to Lean's Ryan's Daughter. Maurice Jarre to be handed Berlin Film Festival […]

'After Winter Comes Spring': Movie Series Celebrating the Fall of the Berlin Wall + Star-Studded Sundance

A Short Film About Killing with Miroslaw Baka. One of the films to be shown in the series “After Winter Comes Spring: Films Presaging the Fall of the Wall” is an extended segment from Krzysztof Kieslowski's Decalogue / Dekalog film series – originally made for Polish television: A Short Film About Killing, tackling the Bible's Fifth Commandment, which for Catholics goes something like, Thou Shalt […]

'Death to Film Critics!' + Clive Owen-Naomi Watts Thriller Opening Berlin

Joseph Julian Soria in 'Tru Loved' Roger Ebert Laments the 'Death' of Film Critics “A newspaper film critic is like a canary in a coal mine. When one croaks, get the hell out,” writes Roger Ebert in the November 2008 essay “Death to film critics! Hail to the CelebCult!” in the Chicago Sun-Times. “The lengthening toll of former film critics acts as a poster child […]

'The Elite Squad': Berlin Film Festival Controversial Winner

The second Brazilian production to win the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear, José Padilha's Tropa de Elite / The Elite Squad, a violent tale about Rio's special police unit's fight against slum-based druglords, was a controversial choice for the 2008 festival's top award. Unlike the previous Brazilian winning entry, the considerably cozier Central Station back in 1998, The Elite Squad was greeted with strong reservations […]

Francesco Rosi Retrospective

This year's Berlin Film Festival will present the Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement to the unabashedly political Italian filmmaker Francesco Rosi, 85, on Feb. 14, 2008. Rosi's work includes Salvatore Giuliano (above), which earned him the best director Silver Bear in 1962; Cannes Palme d'Or winner The Mattei Affair (1972); and the Oscar nominated Three Brothers (1981). In conjunction with the homage, the Berlin Festival […]

Martin Scorsese Rolling Stones Movie 'Shine a Light' Opens Berlin Film Festival

Martin Scorsese and The Rolling Stones (Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger and Ron Wood). Martin Scorsese The Rolling Stones movie 'Shine a Light' opens Berlin Film Festival Martin Scorsese's The Rolling Stones concert movie Shine a Light, featuring Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, and Ron Wood, opened the 2008 Berlin Film Festival this evening, Feb. 7. “Raunchy and affectionate,” writes Lee Marshall in […]

Berlin Film Festival Awards: Climate Change Movie Wins Golden Bear

Yu Nan in Tuya's Marriage “When I started making films, my teacher said film should show people's dreams. This film made my dreams come true,” remarked Chinese director Wang Quan'an upon accepting the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear for his rural drama Tuya's Marriage, a portrait of the social and environmental costs of China's unbridled economic growth. In Tuya's Marriage, a woman (Yu Nan) living […]

Berlin 2007: Asta Nielsen is Hamlet

Asta Nielsen in Hamlet Sure, the 2007 Berlinale, which has kicked off this evening, will offer a number of good – hopefully, even a few great – new films. But for my money, the most interesting section this year is the Retrospective covering the roles of women in silent films of the 1910s and 1920s. I've mentioned the Retrospective in a previous post, but I […]

Berlin Film Festival: Nazi & Cold War Flops + Sex Worker Marianne Faithfull & Jacques Rivette Returns

The Good Shepherd with Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie. The 2007 Berlin Film Festival's Official Competition and Out of Competition line-up is filled with English-language fare, chiefly from the U.S and the U.K. One of the movies in question is Robert De Niro's critical disappointment and box office dud The Good Shepherd, toplining Hollywood stars Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie. Regarding its inclusion on the Golden Bear's […]

Berlin Film Festival: Women in Silent Films

The Retrospective sidebar of the 2007 Berlin Film Festival will feature thirty silent films, divided into four sections, depicting women's roles in the 1910s and 1920s. The "Working Girls" section will be populated by secretaries and salesgirls, among them Norma Talmadge in John Emerson's comedy The Social Secretary (1916) and Clara Bow in Clarence Badger's it-less It (1927). "Flaming Youth" will include unconventional gals such […]

Mother-Daughter Bosnian War Drama & Guantanamo Documentary: Berlin Film Festival Winners

There weren't many surprises at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival awards. One of this year's favorites, Jasmila Zbanic's Grbavica, the story of a 12-year-old girl (Luna Mijovic, above, hugging Mirjana Karanovic) who discovers that she is the end result of a Bosnian war crime – namely, rape – was awarded the Golden Bear for best film. Also on the political side, Michael Winterbottom and Mat […]

British Academy: Corruption & Racism + Doomed Gay Love & Jane Austen Top Nominations

The Constant Gardener with Ralph Fiennes. All but ignored in the U.S. this awards season, two-time Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes (as Best Supporting Actor for Schindler's List, 1993; as Best Actor for The English Patient, 1996) is a Best Actor contender for the British Academy Awards for his performance as a Kenya-based British diplomat investigating the brutal murder of his activist wife (Best Actress nominee Rachel Weisz). […]

Argentina Brunetti: 'It's a Wonderful Life' Actress Dies + Charlotte Rampling Heading Berlin Film Festival Jury

The Midnight Story with Argentina Brunetti, Tony Curtis, Marisa Pavan, and Gilbert Roland. Joseph Pevney directed this 1957 crime drama about a San Francisco traffic cop (Tony Curtis) attempting to solve the murder of a priest. During the course of her film career, Argentina Brunetti was seen – almost invariably in minor roles/bit parts – in nearly 70 features. 'It's a Wonderful Life' actress Argentina […]

Berlin Film Festival: South African 'Carmen' Wins Golden Bear + Anti-Nazi Fighters & Explicit Sex

Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear 2005 goes to Carmen in Khayelitsha. The 2005 Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear has been awarded to the Xhosa-language South African production Carmen in Khayelitsha. Directed by Mark Dornford-May and starring Pauline Malefane (right, with the Golden Bear atop her head), Carmen in Khayelitsha is a modernized version of Georges Bizet's opera set in a South African slum. Headed by […]

Harrison Ford Iraq War Movie & Russian 'Battleship' in Berlin + Michael Moore Is New Chupacabra?

Harrison Ford in Hollywood Homicide, with Josh Hartnett. The Battle of Falluja next in line for the veteran actor? One of the leads in one of the most successful movie franchises ever – Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), The Return of the Jedi (1983) – and a Best Actor Oscar nominee (Witness, 1985) who became a major box office draw from the […]

'Man to Man': Defense of Human-Ape Link in Berlin + Ingmar Bergman & Vivien Leigh DVDs

Man to Man: Defense of the human-ape link set in 1870s Africa will open the 2005 Berlin Film Festival. Régis Wargnier (Indochine) directed this tale about how scientists get things wrong – were pygmies the missing human-ape link? – when they let cultural prejudices get in the way of scientific data. The English Patient actress Kristin Scott Thomas and Shakespeare in Love actor Joseph Fiennes […]