Berlinale Preview

By Brendan Power . February 2, 2015



It’s that time of year again folks, starting this Thursday February 5th, the eyes and ears of millions of film obsessed fans and industry insiders, will once again fall on Berlin for the next two weeks, as the razzle-dazzle and glamour of the movie business rolls into town for the 65th of the Berlinale International Film Festival.

According to the festival’s director Dieter Kosslick,  this year’s general theme will be on indigenous cinema, as well as a special focus on film highlighting issues affecting women.  This is evidenced by the fact that for only the second time in the festival’s long history, a female director’s film, Nobody Wants the Night, directed by  Spain’s Isabelle Coixet, will hold the much vaunted opening night slot.

Knight of Cups

Notable entries into the festival this year include the latest effort from highly respected German director Werner Herzog with Queen of the Desert, starring Nicole Kidman and James Franco,  and Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups, featuring Christain Bale and Natalie Portman (pictured above).  Fans of Lord of the Rings will also be pleased to see Ian McKellan (Gandalf) take the lead role in Mr.Holmes, a new take on the Sherlock Holmes saga directed by Bill Condon, while perhaps one of the more interesting entrants is Taxi, a quasi-portrait of modern day Tehran by Iranian new wave director, Jafar Panahi.


The main prize, the coveted  Golden Bear, will be awarded to one of the 19 competition entrants and will be decided by an international jury panel, led by acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler), as well as other notable members such as she of Amélie fame – Audrey Tatou,  German actor Daniel Brühle  (Goodbye Lenin, Inglorious Basterds) and the creator of hit TV show Mad Men, Matthew Weiner.  Overall the festival will feature 441 films from 72 different countries, all open for public viewing. Tickets go sale today so click here to find out how to get your tickets now.  For a full list of the films featuring in the main competition see below, although there are many other interesting sections, such as Panorama, Berlinale Short, Generation, Forum which are well worth going to see.

Romania / Bulgaria / Czech Republic
By Radu Jude (Everybody in Our Family)
With Teodor Corban, Mihai Comanoiu, Cuzin Toma, Alexandru Dabija
World premiere

El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button) – documentary
France / Chile / Spain
By Patricio Guzmán (Nostalgia for the Light)
World premiere

El Club (The Club)
By Pablo Larraín (Tony Manero, No)
With Roberto Farias, Antonia Zegers, Alfredo Castro, Alejandro Goic, Alejandro Sieveking, Jaime Vadell, Marcelo Alonso
World premiere

Elser (13 Minutes)
By Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall)
With Christian Friedel, Katharina Schüttler, Burghart Klaußner, Johann von Bülow, Felix Eitner
World premiere – Out of competition

Every Thing Will Be Fine
Germany / Canada / France / Sweden / Norway
By Wim Wenders (PINA, Wings of Desire, The American Friend)
With James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rachel McAdams, Marie-Josée Croze
World premiere – Out of competition

Ten no chasuke (Chasuke’s Journey)
By Sabu (Kanikosen, Dead Run)
With Ken’ichi Matsuyama, Ito Ohno, Ren Ohsugi, Yusuke Iseya, Hiromasa Taguchi, Tina Tamashiro, Susumu Terajima
World premiere

Vergine giurata (Sworn Virgin)
Italy / Switzerland / Germany / Albania / Kosovo
By Laura Bispuri – Feature debut
With Alba Rohrwacher, Lars Eidinger, Flonja Kodheli, Luan Jaha, Emily Ferratello
World premiere

45 Years by Andrew Haigh
United Kingdom

Als wir träumten (As We Were Dreaming) by Andreas Dresen
Germany / France

Body by Malgorzata Szumowska

Cha và con và (Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories) by Di Phan Dang
Vietnam / France / Germany / Netherlands

Cinderella by Kenneth Branagh
USA – Out of competition

Eisenstein in Guanajuato by Peter Greenaway
Netherlands / Mexico / Belgium / Finland

Ixcanul (Ixcanul Volcano) by Jayro Bustamante
Guatemala / France – Feature debut

Journal d’une femme de chambre (Diary of a Chambermaid) by Benoit Jacquot
France / Belgium

Knight of Cups by Terrence Malick

Mr. Holmes by Bill Condon
United Kingdom – Out of competition

Nobody Wants the Night by Isabel Coixet – Opening film
Spain / France / Bulgaria

Pod electricheskimi oblakami (Under Electric Clouds) by Alexey German
Russian Federation / Ukraine / Poland

Queen of the Desert by Werner Herzog

Taxi by Jafar Panahi

Victoria by Sebastian Schipper

Yi bu zhi yao (Gone with the Bullets) by Wen Jiang
People’s Republic of China / USA / Hong Kong, China


Photo credit: Melinda Sue Gordon © Dogwood Pictures


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