Only a few hours after I watched my last Berlinale film I already miss my daily festival routine: getting up ridiculously early, going for a long walk with “Paul”- the dog (which made me get up even earlier), fighting for tickets, going to the first film, then workshop, then another film, running home to make sure Paul- the dog is alright, running back to the cinema, more tickets, more workshops, Berlinale events everywhere and all at the same time (!!!)- too many parties- so I decide to watch more films instead, coming home late at night/ early in the morning, sleeping five hours, waking up again- without setting an alarm- the excitement of starting another Berlinale day is enough!
And today…? Grey sky, no films, no tickets to fight for- the only thing that´s the same is Paul- the dog is still waking me up at the same time- thinking we are always going for a walk at 5am now.
My head is filled with dream and nightmare like images from the countless films I watched that just seem like one long never ending film to me now.
The first film I have seen this year was “Je suis Annemarie” (by Véronique Aubouy) and it was interesting. I can imagine that not everyone will love it, but it was different and that is my main goal at the festival- watching films that I wouldn´t get to see normally. There is always something I like about a film: the music, the way it´s edited, the colours, the actors, the theme, twists- oh I love twists! That makes me think of “Nasty Baby” (by Sebastián Silva), which had a good twist at the end! And it was great to see a film that casting director Katja Blichfeld had casted. I met Katja a few days before at the web series workshop of the Berlinale Talents section. After I had discovered my passion for web series last year, I just had to go to that workshop. And it was completely worth it! Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, the creators of “High Maintenance” gave a good insight of the making of their web series about a marijuana messenger in New York City.
There were a few good workshops at Berlinale Talent Section this year. One of my highlights was Susan Korda´s “Kill Your Darlings”. With a lot of passion and humour Susan shared some secrets of the editing room and the editor’s tricks to make a film work despite flaws that may have occurred during production.
Monday was special, because finally I got to watch an Icelandic film at Berlinale and not just any Icelandic film! It was the world premiere of “Virgin Mountain” (by Dagur Kari). A small story about a large man, who makes a big step into his new life. I really cared about the main character “Fúsi” from the very first minute of the film until the end and I have to admit that he brought tears to my eyes more than once. Recognising a few Icelandic words and phrases added to my excitement. ( I say “recognising”, not “understanding” phrases on purpose- try to learn Icelandic and you will know what I mean)
Like every year some films surprised me more than I thought they would. I watched “Exotica, Erotica” (by Evangelia Kranioti) and “H” (by Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia) on the same day in the same cinema and both times I walked out of the cinema thinking “Wow, I just watched a great and very unique film!”. That´s one thing I love about Berlinale: it´s not always the films that are on top of your list that leave an impression, but sometimes the ones that don´t even sell so many tickets.
Obviously I also watched the winning film “Taxi” (by Jafar Panahi) and I´m glad that someone won the golden bear who deserves it and most importantly who has a good sense of humour. I also want to mention “The Forbidden Room”, which was a real film experience, although I´m not sure if I could last through those intense 130 minutes again. My last Berlinale film- the Brian Wilson biopic “Love & Mercy” ( by Bill Pohlad)- was fantastic and just made me even more sad that I have to wait a whole year until it´s that time of the year again.
Until then let´s make films, go to the cinema as often as we can and share our experiences! Next week I will shoot my first short film this year called “Silent Night”, that I have written during the long Berlin winter. I will keep you updated…