Friday, 22 January 2010

Berlinale 2010: Selection of Films in Competition Almost Completed

Yesterday, the Berlinale confirmed an additional 18 titles for its Competition section. If anything, so far the selection highlights the fact that the Berlinale has increasingly shifted its focus towards the East, notably eastern Europe, China, India and Iran, and for many film-makers based in those countries, like for instance Zhang Yimou, the Berlinale has been of significant importance for their careers. Part of the reason for this shift of focus surely is due the fact that the Sundance Film-festival has considerably gained in importance since its inception in 1981; and Dieter Kosslick and his team are well aware that with Sundance closing just barely two weeks before the Berlinale opens, the cream of US films will always premier in Park City before there's any chance of them being shown in Berlin. And it's the same this year. Almost all Competition titles are world premières - safe for the US entries, most of which will first be shown at Sundance.

Among the two German additions is the new film by Oskar Roehler, Jew Suess. It is not, as the title suggests, another adaptation of Lion Feuchtwanger's novel from 1925 (The adaptations of Jew Suess include a 1934 English film, starring the then newly emigrated Conrad Veidt in the leading role), but rather a film about the shooting of Veit Harlan's infamous Nazi-propaganda flick, Jew Suess, which was a highly distorted adaptation of Feuchtwangers novel. Starring German top-notch thesps Tobias Moretti, Martina Gedeck and Moritz Bleibtreu, Roehler sets out to examine the birth and making of Harlan's film, which has since become synonymous with Nazi-propaganda and Nazi Germany's persecution of the Jews.

What follows is a list of the added Competition titles:

Caterpillar Japan
By Koji Wakamatsu (Secrets Behind The Wall, Sex Jack, Go Go Second Time Virgin, Ecstasy of the Angels, United Red Army)
With Shinobu Terajima, Shima Ohnishi
World Premiere

En Familie (A Family) Denmark
By Pernille Fischer Christensen (En soap, Silver Bear 2006, Dansen)
With Jesper Christensen, Lene Maria Christensen, Pilou Asbæk , Anne
Louise Hassing
World Premiere

En ganske snill mann (A Somewhat Gentle Man) Norway
By Hans Petter Moland (The Beautiful Country, Aberdeen, Gymnaslærer Pedersen)
With Stellan Skarsgård, Jannike Kruse Jåtog, Jan Gunnar Røise
World Premiere

Eu când vreau sa fluier, fluier (If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle) Romania/Sweden
By Florin Serban – debut film
With George Pistereanu, Ada Condeescu, Clara Voda, Mihai Constantin
World Premiere

Greenberg USA
By Noah Baumbach (Margot at the Wedding, The Squid and the Whale, Mr. Jealousy)
With Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh
World Premiere

Howl USA
By Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman (Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, The Celluloid Closet, Paragraph 175)
With James Franco, Jon Hamm, David Strathairn, Mary-Louise Parker
International Premiere

Jud Süß - Film ohne Gewissen Austria/Germany
By Oskar Roehler (The Elementary Particles, Angst, No Place to Go)
With Tobias Moretti, Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Justus von Dohnanyi, Armin Rohde
World Premiere

Kak ya provel etim letom (How I Ended This Summer) Russian Federation
By Alexei Popogrebsky (Prostye veshchi – Simple Things, Koktebel - Roads to Koktebel)
With Grigory Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis
World Premiere

Mammuth France
By Benoît Delépine, Gustave de Kervern (Aaltra, Louise-Michel)
With Gérard Depardieu, Yolande Moreau, Isabelle Adjani, Miss Ming
World Premiere

Otouto (About Her Brother) Japan – Closing Film
By Yoji Yamada (Kabei, Love and Honor)
With Sayuri Yoshinaga, Tsurube Shofukutei, Yu Aoi, Ryo Kase
International Premiere / Out of Competition

Please Give USA
By Nicole Holofcener (Walking and Talking, Lovely & Amazing, Friends with Money)
With Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Sarah Steele, Ann Guilbert
International Premiere / Out of Competition

Rompecabezas (Puzzle) Argentina/France
By Natalia Smirnoff – debut film
With Maria Onetto, Gabriel Goity, Arturo Goetz, Henny Trailes
World Premiere

San qiang pai an jing qi (A Woman, A Gun And A Noodle Shop) People´s Republic of China
By Zhang Yimou (Hong gao liang – Red Sorghum, Wo de fu qin mu qin – The Road Home, Ying xiong – Hero)
With Sun Honglei, Xiao Shenyang, Yan Ni
International Premiere

Shahada Germany
By Burhan Qurbani – debut film
With Maryam Zaree, Carlo Ljubek, Jeremias Acheampong, Sergej Moya
World Premiere

Submarino Denmark
By Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, Dear Wendy, It’s All About Love)
With Jakob Cedergren, Peter Plaugborg, Patricia Schumann, Gustav Fischer Kjærulff, Morten Rose
World Premiere

The Kids Are All Right USA/France
By Lisa Cholodenko (Dinner Party, High Art, Laurel Canyon, Cavedweller)
With Julianne Moore, Annette Benning, Mark Ruffalo
International Premiere / Out of Competition

The Killer Inside Me USA/Great Britain
By Michael Winterbottom (The Road to Guantanamo, In This World, A Mighty Heart)
With Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson
International Premiere

Tuan Yuan (Apart Together) Volksrepublik China – Opening Film
By Wang Quan’an (Tuya's Marriage, Golden Bear 2007)
With Lisa Lu, Ling Feng, Xu Caigen, Monica Mo, Ma Xiaoqing
World Premiere