We’re barely two weeks into January, and the movie festival season is upon us. The Sundance Film Festival kicks off next and the Berlin Film Festival will get underway shortly after. While it has always been a fest to keep an eye on, this year in particular its bringing some serious heat, with jury president Wong Kar-Wai unspooling his martial arts epic “The Grandmaster” in its international premiere. Even better, the competition lineup has now added some serious contenders.
New films by Bruno Dumont, Steven Soderbergh, Danis Tanovic and newcomer Fredrik Bond will be angling for some prizes in the competition lineup. Let’s take a quick run through them in order: first up is “Camille Claudel, 1915,“ which teams the French filmmaker with Juliette Binoche to tackle the tale of the famed sculptor and schizophrenic. It’s one we had pegged for Cannes, but it looks like we’re getting it sooner. Meanwhile, “Side Effects” has already started screening for critics and it’s competition slot here suggests some big confidence behind the pic.
The filmmaker behind the 2002 Foreign Film Oscar winning “No Man’s Land” hasn’t matched those heights since, but he’ll give it another shot with “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker” which centers on a poor gypsy family. Lastly, the man behind the Shia LaBeouf and Evan Rachel Wood starring thriller will be giving his passport a workout, and one’s more reason for folks in Park City where it will be premiering, to give it some extra attention.
The list of new competition films is below. The Berlin Film Festival runs from February 7th to 17th.
Camille Claudel 1915
By Bruno Dumont (The Life of Jesus, Humanity, Flanders)
With Juliette Binoche, Jean-Luc Vincent
Elle s’en va (On my Way)
By Emmanuelle Bercot (Clément, Backstage, Les infidèles)
With Catherine Deneuve
Epizoda u životu berača željeza (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker)
Bosnia and Herzegovina/France/Slovenia
By Danis Tanovic (No Man’s Land, Hell, Circus Columbia)
With Senada Alimanovic, Nazif Mujic, Sandra Mujic, Semsa Mujic
By Thomas Arslan (Dealer, Vacation, In the Shadows)
With Nina Hoss, Marko Mandic, Uwe Bohm, Lars Rudolph, Peter Kurth, Rosa Enskat, Wolfgang Packhäuser
La Religieuse (The Nun)
By Guillaume Nicloux (The Flying Children, A Private Affair, That Woman)
With Pauline Etienne, Isabelle Huppert, Louise Bourgoin, Martina Gedeck
By Pia Marais (The Unpolished, At Ellen’s Age)
With Rayna Campbell, August Diehl, Rapule Hendricks
The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
By Fredrik Bond – feature debut
With Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger, Rupert Grint, James Buckley
Parde (Closed Curtain)
By Jafar Panahi (The Circle, Offside, This Is Not A Film) and Kambozia Partovi (The Fish, Café Transit)
With Kambozia Partovi, Maryam Moghadam,Jafar Panahi, Hadi Saeedi, Azadh Torabi, Agha Olia, Zeynab Khanum, Boy
By Steven Soderbergh (sex, lies, and videotape; Erin Brockovich, Haywire)
With Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum