Berlinale Competition Taking Shape; Chereau’s “Son Frere” and Parker’s “David Gale” Among Films Set for 53rd Fest
by Eugene Hernandez
Organizers of the 2003 Berlinale have unveiled the first group of competition entries for the 53rd Berlin International Film Festival (February 6 – 16, 2003). Among the crop are three German world premieres, including Wolfgang Becker’s “Goodbye, Lenin!” described as a “tragicomic farce about people and systems.” The other two German entries in competition are Oskar Roehler’s “Der alte Affe Angst” (Angst), which is described as “five interwoven tales about (the) protagonists fears, existential problems, longings and hopes in the area along the German-Polish border” and Hans-Christian Schmidt’s “Lichter” (Distant Lights), described as the story of “how unscrupulous smugglers exploit desperate refugees.” Additional competition entries will be announced later this month.
Three French films will screen in competition this year, including “Son Frere” the latest film from Patrice Chereau, winner of the 2001 Berlinale Golden Bear. Also in competition from France are Claude Chabrol’s “La Fleur du mal” (The Flower of Evil) and Pascal Bonitzer’s “Petites Coupres.” From Slovenia, the festival will present Damjan Kozole’s “Rezervni Deli” (Spare Parts), while the competition will also include Gabriele Salvatores’ “Lo non ho paura” from Italy and Moussa Sene Absa’s “Madame Brouette” from Senegal. Among the Asian entries are Yoji Yamada’s “Tasogare Seibei” (The Twilight Samurai) and Zhang Yimou’s “Ying Ziong” (Hero) from China.
The Berlinale competition will include the world premiere of Alan Parker’s U.S./British co-production, “The Life of David Gale.” The film, starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet, is the story of “a declared opponent of capital punishment (who) is sentenced to death for murder.”
The five American entries in competition are films that are already in release here in the United States: Spike Jonze’s “Adaptation,” Stephen Daldry’s “The Hours,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Solaris,” George Clooney’s “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” and Spike Lee’s “The 25th Hour.”
As previously announced, the 2003 Berlinale will open with “Chicago” and close with “Gangs of New York,” both are out of competition. [Eugene Hernandez]