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Berlin Film Festival Announces Culinary Cinema, Forum Expanded Schedules

Indiewire By Devin Lee Fuller | Indiewire January 23, 2012 at 6:39PM

The Berlin International Film Festival has announced its selections for its Culinary Cinema and Forum Expanded programs.
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The Berlin International Film Festival has announced its selections for its Culinary Cinema and Forum Expanded programs.
 

"Trust in Taste" is the theme for this year's Culinary Cinema program. Erin Brockovich is scheduled to make an appearance to discuss her environmentalism.

Notable in Forum Expanded is "whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir," a film edited live in real time which shows a man under surveillance in a fictional East European city. The film will be different every showing.

Full press releases included below:

Culinary Cinema 2012: “Trust in Taste”

“Trust in Taste” is the motto of the 6th Culinary Cinema of the 62nd Berlinale that will be held from February 12 to 17, 2012. Fifteen films about food and the environment will be presented in the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Following the screenings, at 7:30 pm, renowned chef Sonja Frühsammer and star chefs Michael Kempf, Christian Lohse, Marco Müller from Berlin as well as Andoni Luis Aduriz from the Basque Country will each serve a meal inspired by the films in the “Gropius Mirror” restaurant, an elegant tent lined with mirrors.

“Food is a matter of trust,” Dieter Kosslick says about this year’s motto. “Consumers shouldn’t just focus on organic tags and finely printed labels, but above all trust their sense of taste. Experienced cooks can taste if food has been industrially mass produced, and if binders, flavour enhancers or other additives have been used. Taste is a matter of experience and that’s what you can also gain at the Berlinale’s Culinary Cinema.”

“Before serving culinary delicacies, we’ll be showing recent cinematic treats in which food and taste are looked at from many different angles,” curator Thomas Struck comments about the programme. Comme un chef (The Chef) by Daniel Cohen, a French comedy, will kick off the series. The film is as light and tasty as the brioches that chef Lagarde (Jean Reno) bakes for his daughter to keep peace in the family as well as rescue French haute cuisine from molecular cooking. Sonja Frühsammer will serve a meal following the film.

This year’s Culinary Cuisine includes a remarkable number of premieres. Over the past five years the programme has established itself.

In Juantxo Sardon’s Mugaritz B.S.O., musician Felipe Ugarte translates delicious and visually pleasing culinary dishes made by Basque star chef Andoni Luis Aduriz from San Sebastián into music. The musician and the cook show how ingredients for a dish and music develop worldwide out of a region’s landscape and tradition. Andoni Luis Aduriz is coming extra to Berlin to prepare a meal for his film.

Entre les Bras(Step Up to the Plate) by Paul Lacoste documents the stirring change of generations at the French three-star restaurant Bras in Laguiole. Father Michel Bras is convinced that getting to the top is easier than staying there. After this documentary, Michael Kempf will have the delicate task of creating a meal inspired by the French cuisine.

In the documentary Last Call at the Oasis by Oscar-winner Jessica Yu, experts and tireless activists, such as the real Erin Brockovich, fight the local and global misuse of water. Filmmakers and experts discuss surprising ways to solve the shortage of water. One proposal involves recycling wastewater. Christian Lohse will cook a meal for the occasion.

In TSAO Jui-Yuan’s fictional film Joyful Reunion, a top vegetarian chef is forced to close his restaurant because he has lost his memory. When he eats a dish from his childhood, his memory comes back and he recognizes his first love again. Named Cook of the Year by Der Feinschmeckermagazine, Marco Müller will prepare a meal that captures this melodrama.

The late screenings at 10 p.m. will focus on social and ecological topics. In Das Rohe und das Gekochte (The Raw and the Cooked) Monika Treut documents the emergent green movement in Taiwan. On a powerful visual journey around the world, Canned Dreams depicts the plight of all the workers who contribute to producing a can of ravioli. Lupe el de la Vaca (Lupe of the Cow) presents several small-scale Mexican farmers who master their harsh lives with humour and music. In the Korean gangster film Hindsight, the boss of a gang falls in love with a fellow student during a course in cooking. In Oma & Bella, Alexa Karolinski portrays how her grandmother and her grandmother’s girlfriend cultivate Jewish traditions in Charlottenburg.

A number of shorts films will supplement the programme: Should The Wife Confess? (Bernardo Camisão), Asparragos (Laura Zuallaert), Lepokoa (Safy Nebbou) and Pokot Ash Yoghurt (Francesco Amato, Stefano Scarafia).

“Youth Food Cinema” will address the importance of traditions in the family at 9:30 a.m. on February 17. The Mexican film Canela (Cinnamon) by Jordi Mariscal tells the story of a girl, her grandmother and their love of cooking. Afterwards, the chef of the Mexican embassy, Armando Hernández, will prepare a Mexican meal with students. As Grandmother Tere says in the film: “Cooking well is not a question of age but of talent.

“TeaTime” will host readings, discussions and tastings in the “Gropius Mirror” tent at 5 p.m. On February 14, Michael Hoffmann will present his new cookbook for the blind and sighted: “Trust in Taste. Following the presentation, guests will be served finger foods based on recipes from the book (in German, admission 10 euros).

On Feb. 15, there will be a discussion entitled “The Real Erin Brockovich” with the environmental activist Erin Brockovich. She will talk about her latest experiences in the battle for a clean environment (in English, participation upon registration only: at kulinarisches.kino@berlinale.de)

25 million people have seen Steven Soderbergh’s film Erin Brockovich starring Julia Roberts.

Advance ticket sales for Culinary Cinema begin at 10 a.m. on February 6, 2012 at the central ticket counters in the Arkaden am Potsdamer Platz, Kino International and the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, as well as online at www.berlinale.de and theatre ticket offices linked with the Eventim network.

The programme is sponsored by WMF, the official partner of Culinary Cinema, and highly professional supplier of modern cook- and tableware.

7th Forum Expanded

In addition to the exhibitions at the Kunstsaele Berlin (Critique and Clinic) at Gutschow-Haus and the various events to be held at HAU, Forum Expanded will also be presenting ten film programmes at the Arsenal and Delphi cinemas. The programme is open for a wide range of different lengths and formats, with the works presented trying out individual forms of expression in experimental fashion in order to create new, critical perspectives on the world. Perhaps the most radical of these attempts is whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir by Eve Sussman/Rufus Corporation, a film edited live in real time which shows a man under surveillance in a fictional East European city. Put together newly and differently at each showing, we will be presenting the film daily at Arsenal 2.

Many of the other works explore the ways in which they have been pre-fashioned by figures and ghosts from the past. These include role models such as William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, whose cut up method is taken up by Lebanese filmmaker Geith Al-Amine, or Luc Moullet, whose uncompleted project about two thieves (mother and daughter) in pursuit of a 35mm Aaton camera is updated in the form of French filmmaker Isabelle Prim’s La Rouge et la Noire. Pier Paolo Pasolini’s unfinished novel “Petrolio”was also chosen by Rosalind Nashashibi as the starting point for her film Carlo's Vision (United Kingdom/Italy). Eva Heldmann’s r I v e r r e d is an homage to Cocteau’s Orpheus, while The Last Days of British Honduras by Catherine Sullivan and Farhad Sharmini (United Kingdom/USA) is an adaptation of Ronald Tavel’s play of the same name. This cinematic adventure of the absurd will be brought to the stage at HAU 1.

Such deliberate affiliations are not the only links to leave their mark, with the bonds to the parental home also coming up repeatedly. In Vater, Mutter, was soll ich heute filmen?(Father, Mother, What Should I Film Today?), Isabell Spengler (Germany) attempts to realise her parents’ cinematic fantasies, while Canadian video artist Steve Reinke’s series of short films returns again and again to his family roots in bitingly ironic fashion in their exploration of queer and Canadian identity. 

Grappling with family history is also at the centre of the video works from the Arab world: Ahmad Gossein (Lebanon/United Arab Emirates) gives his film the title My father is still a communist, intimate secrets to be published, in which a mother writes audio letters to her absent husband. In As they say, Hicham Ayouch (Morocco/United Arab Emirates) tells the brutal story of a father-son conflict, which is settled by physical means. Paul Geday (Egypt/The Netherlands) bids farewell to his parents’ piano in the midst of the Egyptian Revolution in Bye Bye.

There are many ways of using cinema aesthetics in order to discover cinema afresh from within itself. Chris Kennedy (Canada), Guillaume Cailleau and Ben Russell (Germany), Joshua Bonnetta (Canada) and Nicolas Rey (France) place the purported end of celluloid within an artistic and political context. 

Yet digitalisation is not the only thing to affect the cinema landscape, as powerful political forces such as censorship and economics also have a regulatory influence on cinema. Mohammadreza Farzad’s Blames and Flames explores the Iranian revolution from the perspective of cinema, while Azin Feizabadi (Germany/USA/Iran) stages a court hearing as a performance in which the accused is a filmmaker.

Forum Expanded sets itself the task of taking apart cinema, putting it back together or even rediscovering it from anew. Although this often occurs in playful fashion, it inevitably involves discussion, which once again provides the impetus for the five international panel discussions in this year’s programme:

Cairo: The City, the Images, the Archives with Khalid Abdalla, Hala Galal, Maha Maamoun and Sarah Rifky, chaired by Marcel Schwierin

Programming the Archive with Entuziazm, Vinzenz Hediger, Angela Melitopoulos, Constanze Ruhm, Christoph Terhechte and various participants of the “Living Archive” project, chaired by Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

Working the Crisis with Minze Tummescheit, Duncan Campbell and Anjalika Sagar, chaired by Stephan Geene

Written by: The Artist with Deimantas Narkevičius, chaired by Jan Verwoert

Psychosphere and Capitalism with Kodwo Eshun, Angela Melitopoulos and Iram Ghufran, chaired by Anselm Franke.

The foyer of the Arsenal cinema will be turning green for the second time courtesy of Prinzessinnengärten, who will also be running the Filmhaus bar. As every year, the b_books collective will also be on hand with books, magazines and DVDs.

Forum Expanded is curated by Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (head curator), Anselm Franke, Nanna Heidenreich, Bettina Steinbrügge and Ulrich Ziemons (assistent curator).

This article is related to: Berlin International Film Festival