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indieWIRE@Berlin: Rounding Up the Fest

indieWIRE@Berlin: Rounding Up the Fest

As the 2010 Berlinale is on its last legs, it’s time to take a look back at the festival that was. With festival dispatches from Shane Danielsen and updates from editors Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks, we give to you, indieWIRE’s take on the 2010 Berlin Film Festival:

FEATURES

Reflecting a Revolution: 10 Mexican Filmmakers Examine Their Homeland
“We have a lot of problems in Mexico,” a well-known Mexican filmmaker said somberly, frustrated and shaking his head earlier this week during a party at the Berlinale. At the Mexican Embassy shortly after the first screening of “Revolución,” he said, “I have a hole in my heart” after seeing the ten short films that comprise “Revolución” on the big screen for the first time.

In “The Illusionist,” Chomet’s Hat Tip to Tati
Riding on a train from Paris to Cannes, Sylvain Chomet read Jacques Tati’s “The Illusionist.” The Oscar nominated animator and filmmaker immediately wanted to adapt Tati’s story into a film. Talking about the new movie earlier this week at the Berlinale, he noted, “It wasn’t what you’d call a script, it was more like a little novel.”

Scorsese and von Trier Deny Collaboration
While Martin Scorsese and Lars von Trier met briefly here at the Berlin International Film Festival, the two filmmakers are not collaborating, a rep for Scorsese told indieWIRE today.

Baumbach’s “Greenberg”: Lost Souls Connect in Los Angeles
Opposites attract in Noah Baumbach’s “Greenberg,” the fifth feature film from Noah Baumbach (“Margot at the Wedding,” “The Squid and the Whale,” “Mr. Jealousy,” “Kicking and Screaming”). Brooklyn native Baumbach wrote the story with his wife Jennifer Jason Leigh and they set it in Los Angeles where they now live. But, it was inspired, in part, by Baumbach’s yearning for home.

China’s Zhang Yimou Salutes Coens in Latest, “A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop”
Set amidst a sumptuous desert landscape in China’s Jiayu Pass, Zhang’s latest is inspired by the Coens’ first film.

Banksy Speaks in Berlin
An apparent press conference by “Exit Through the Gift Shop” director, and mysterious street artist, Banksy was canceled in Berlin today. A subject of the film, which debuted last month at the Sundance Film Festival, Banksy remains an incognito artist.

Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” Thrills Berlinale
The premiere tonight packed in crowds around the fest’s showcase venue, the Berlinale Palast. Despite continued snowy, bone-chilling weather here, the crowd gawked and caught glimpses of the celebrities on a giant video screen in front of the theater.

Polanski’s “Ghost” Unveiled at Berlin Fest
Embattled director Roman Polanski may still be holed up hundreds of miles away under house arrest at his chalet in Switzerland, but he loomed large Friday as the first full day of the Berlin International Film Festival kicked into full gear.

With Chinese Opener, Berlin Comes “Together” for 60th Fest
“If you think about Berlin, this city was ripped apart, so people here understand,” said Chinese director Wang Quan’an today as the 60th Berlinale got underway.

Berlinale Diary: 20 Films to Look Forward to at the Twenty Ten Berlin Fest
Arty films, issue oriented and politically charged cinema, not to mention a healthy dose of queer themed movies, comprise the three highest profile Berlinale sections: the Competition, Panorama and Forum.

DISPATCHES

Critics Notebook: At the Berlinale, B-sides, Not Singles
I have never meet Herr Kosslick, but having now witnessed nine years of his programming, I feel I know him a little. And I therefore feel confident in saying that I have never seen a festival director with less idea of what constitutes a Competition selection. This year’s choices are once again mostly small and inconsequential, films like Rafi Pitt’s flawed, frustrating “The Hunter” and Semih Kaplanoglu’s ponderous “Honey”. They lack the necessary sense of weight or significance. They’re B-sides, not singles.

Berlinale Critics Notebook: Searching For Meaning In a “Two Star” Festival
Five days into the 60th Berlinale, and the mood might have most charitably been described as neutral. There were some good films, though not a lot. But then, there weren’t many outright stinkers, either.

Berlinale Critics Notebook: The undeniable ‘find’ of the festival, so far?
Certainly the opening night film was intriguing. After a misguided attempt at cool in 2008, with Scorsese’s Rolling Stones concert flick ‘Shine A Light’, and a nod to hometown politics the following year, with Tom Tykwer’s by-the-numbers thriller ‘The International’, Dieter Kosslick seemed to have decided, for the anniversary, to please no one but himself.

BERLINDAILYS

BERLINdaily | In Berlin, Frustration as Dreary Fest Winds Down
As it winds down, “the 60th Berlin Film Festival has been feeling the cold,” reports Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent. “The thick layers of ice made the streets around the Potsdamer Platz, the festival’s main venue, treacherous in the extreme. A chill was felt in other ways, too. In spite of the presence of Martin Scorsese’s ‘Shutter Island’ out of competition and of Roman Polanski’s ‘The Ghost,’ this has been a very low-wattage festival.”

BERLINdaily | Czech Communist Drama and Hybrid Western Vie for Attention at Panorama
Appearing as part of Berlinale’s Panorama Special lineup, Czech director Jan Hrebejk’s “Kawasaki’s Rose” received its international premiere following its successful release last December in the Czech Republic.

BERLINdaily | Baumbach Strikes Back with “Greenberg”
“Noah Baumbach seems intent on laying his own distinctive claim to a territory already overcrowded with developers, that of adults swamped in disabling neuroses, bad behavior and self-absorption. You can add Jewish angst as well in the case of ‘Greenberg,’” writes The Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt in his review of “The Squid and the Whale” director’s latest film, which recently premiered in competition at the Berlinale.

BERLINdaily | Scorsese Rumors Dashed, Leo at Cinema for Peace, Khan and the Mexican Revolution
This would have been an interesting combination: Variety and The Guardian reported that Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro and Lars Von Trier were hooking up to do a remake of the 1976 classic “Taxi Driver.”

BERLINdaily | “Tuan Yuan”; Anticipating Polanski’s Latest; “Metropolis” 2.0
The 60th Berlinale kicked off Thursday with Chinese director Wang Quan’an “Tuan Yuan” (Apart Together), which explores the divide between mainland China and Taiwan.

NEWS

“Honey” Wins in Berlin; Polanski Best Director
The 2010 Berlinale wrapped tonight with the presentation of the awards in Berlin and Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu’s “Bal” (Honey), a Turkish-German production, won the Golden Bear for best picture at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.

“Kids Are All Right” Wins Berlin’s Teddy Award
Lisa Cholodenko’s “The Kids are All Right” took the best feature film prize at Berlin International Film Festival’s Teddy Awards, handed out the best queer works featured in all sections of the festival.

IFC Picks Up “Puzzle”
IFC Films has announced that it has acquired North American rights to the Berlin competition title “Puzzle,” the debut feature from Argentine director Natalia Smirnoff.

Berlinale’s Generation 14plus Awards Reach Out to Youth
A young jury of seven awarded an international roster of films Crystal Bears at the Generation 14plus awards ceremony on February 19, part of this year’s Berlinale.

“Vid Bank” Takes Berlin’s Golden Bear For Short Films
At the 60th Annual Berlin International Film Festival this morning, the International Short Film Jury awarded the Golden Bear and the Jury-Prize Silver Bear, the DAAD Short Film Award and the nomination for the European Film Academy Short Film 2010.

Berlinale Talent Campus Ends, Names Score Winner
Filmmakers like Claire Denis, James Bond production designer Sir Ken Adam, cinematographer Christian Berger (The White Ribbon), Stephen Frears, Jasmila Žbanić (Competition film “On the Path”) and Yoji Yamada (Berlinale closing night film “About her Brother”) all mentored a new class of filmmakers from Mexico, Africa, and Eastern Europe in the 2010 Berlinale Talent Campus.

Panahi Denied Permission to Attend Berlinale
Jafar Panahi, one of Iran’s most important directors and honorary guest of this year’s Berlinale, has been denied permission to leave Iran.

At Fortissimo, Winterbottom’s Latest to Star Firth, Sturgess
A new political thriller from Michael Winterbottom, set in British ruled Palestine at the end of World War II, will star Colin Firth, Jim Sturgess and Matthew Macfadyen. The project, “The Promised Land” (produced by Revolution Films’ Andrew Eaton), is being sold worldwide by Fortissimo Films at the European Film Market that is running alongside the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany.

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