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These five directors couldn’t be more different, and at first glance they don’t have anything in common. And yet, if you take a look at their biographies, you will notice that one name connects them all: Rosa von Praunheim – probably Germany’s most uninhibited, confrontational and honest director. To commemorate his seventieth birthday, these ‘Rosakinder’ (‘pink children’) as they call themselves have created this cinematic tribute. As they talk about their own careers and how they came to work in film, Rosa von Praunheim’s influence upon key phases of their lives and creative output becomes apparent.
Each of these directors has created their own, personal film about their relationship with Rosa. The resulting work is a vibrant genre mix in a documentary setting out of which their mentor begins to emerge as a father figure – with all his creativity, urge to be innovative, defiance, violence, provocation, insecurity and love. The kind of father with whom you sometimes argue so much you could punch him; but also the kind you call when all you want to do is be alone and not talk to anyone. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]

Cloud Atlas

Based on David Mitchell’s novel about six intersecting stories each set in a different time and place.

Three (Drei)

Tom Tykwer has carved out one of the most agile careers in European cinema. From the delirious shock of his breakout film “Run Lola Run” to the arthouse chills of “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” to the gloss of his transnational thriller “The International,” Tykwer has brought polish and new ideas to every film. With Three he makes another leap, back to the raw adventure of his early films and forward into something entirely new.

It begins at the beach, where Hanna and Simon engage in a scene of comically absurd miscommunication. He returns from the sea wanting to tell his partner about having just nearly drowned. She is so absorbed in her book that its fiction obscures his reality altogether. She either doesn’t hear him of doesn’t care to; it’s the middle of a beautiful relationship.

Pushing the story forward in a playful, intellectual style, Tykwer explores what happens to this educated, middle-aged Berlin couple as their disconnection grows. At a scholarly lecture, Hanna finds herself daydreaming about sex acts in Jeff Koons artworks, so it’s no surprise that when she meets Adam, she falls into a fast and furtive affair.

Simon also meets Adam. The two of them swim together at a spectacular indoor-outdoor pool in the city. Soon they too drift into a mutual attraction which also culminates in secret sex. Now these three Berliners find themselves in a literal love triangle, each one keeping it hidden from the others. But when Hanna discovers she is pregnant, the secrets can’t hold.

Tykwer seems at his most free here, leading his story in surprising directions that match the no-limits lives of his characters. At the same time, he allows himself moments of pure play with the form of the film, using all the visual and sonic sophistication he has developed in two decades of making films. It’s a delight to watch such smart eyes look at modern desire. [Synopsis courtesy of Cameron Bailey/Toronto International Film Festival]

A Hologram for the King

Cultures collide when an American businessman (Tom Hanks) is sent to Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime. Baffled by local customs and stymied by an opaque bureaucracy, he eventually finds his footing with the help of a wise-cracking taxi driver (Alexander Black) and a beautiful Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury).