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InterCinemaHC_D8_02_14_08 2/5/08 1:09 PM Page 18daythr.com/berlindailythefrom BerlinThursday, February 14, 2008


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DAY8_001_EDIT_news1 2/13/08 8:03 PM Page 18dayfromthr.com/berlindailytheBerlinThursday, February 14, 2008Guerrillas in the midstFilmmakers go native to get local storiesAndreas Rentz/GETTY IMAGES“Heart of Fire”Madonna is flanked by her"Filth and Wisdom" stars EugeneHutz and Holly Weston on Wednesday.‘Filth & Wisdom’The message in pop star Madonna’s firstouting as feature film director, “Filthand Wisdom,” is that all of us can find peaceof mind and happiness if we just get intouch with our inner slut.Ragged, uneven and potholed with somedire dialogue and performances, the film’scockeyed optimism and likable leads conspireto bring a smile by the time it’s done.Barely feature length at 81 minutes, it likelywill appeal to Madonna’s fans for itsechoes of various threads of her own lifestory and the grunge style of “DesperatelySee “WISDOM” on page 14By Charles Mastersand Scott RoxboroughThe Eritrean-set picture“Heart of Fire,” which unspoolsin Competition here today, is aflag-bearer of a new brand of“embedded filmmaking” on displayin Berlin.These films are characterizedBYRAYBENNETTreviewPanoramaSpecialthe bottom lineMadonna’sdirecting debut iserratic but oddlyappealing.By Scott RoxboroughThe director and producers ofa documentary about Tokyo’sYasukuni Shrine have receivedmultiple death threats from rightwinggroups in Japan that want toprevent the movie’s local release.Japan’s Dragon Films hasdecided to move its Tokyooffices and are taking steps toprotect its staff after anonymousdeath threats against the company,its personnel and Li Ying,the Chinese-born director of“Yasukuni.”“The threats began about twoBy Stuart Kempby Western filmmakers workingin often-inaccessible or littleexposedregions, using localactors and working in the locallanguage. The resulting filmsprovide what at first glanceseems like a “local” vision fromplaces where no local directorsare making movies, for the simplereason there is no cinematographicculture or infrastructure.“There is a trend for filmsfrom regions where there isnothing to speak of in terms ofan independent film industry,”said Thomas Hailer, director ofthe Generation sidebar. “Thereare young guys traveling there,finding stories, going home andSee GUERRILLAS on page 15Li takes on Japan’s rightDirector, staff face death threatsDirector Li Yingmonths ago, when we startedpress screenings of the movie inJapan,” the director told TheHollywood Reporter in Berlin,See “YASUKUNI” on page 14U.K. to help RAI open bordersThe Italians are turning to aspecialist British-based sales andco-production house in anattempt to translate Italian successstories into international ones.U.K. based sales and co-productionhouse Visual Factory hassealed a first-look deal with statebackedItalian movie productionhouse RAI Cinema to help getItalian films across borders.Visual Factory chief IgorSee RAI on page 14dialoguewith Francesco RosiSee page 6Karen Nicoletti


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DAY8_003_EDIT_news2 c 2/13/08 7:24 PM Page 3Day 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008newsBerlin daily editionEFM Business OfficesOffice #520Potsdamer Platz 11+49 (0) 30.2589.4908+49 (0) 30.2589.4909JOHN KILCULLENPublisherERIC MIKASenior VP, Publishing DirectorELIZABETH GUIDEREditorE D I T O R I A LDAVID MORGANDeputy EditorSTUART KEMPUK Bureau ChiefSCOTT ROXBOROUGHGermany Bureau ChiefCHARLES MASTERSFrance CorrespondentBORYS KITSenior Film ReporterLIZA FOREMANFilm ReporterKAREN NICOLETTIOnline News EditorPATRICK HIPESCopy Desk ChiefR E V I E W SKIRK HONEYCUTTChief Film CriticRAY BENNETTReviewerMAGGIE LEEReviewerA R T + D E S I G NDEEANN J. HOFFDirector – Art+DesignJACKIE VUONGSenior DesignerA D V E R T I S I N GTOMMASO CAMPIONEInternational Executive DirectorALISON SMITHInternational Sales DirectorLUCA VASILEInternational BusinessDevelopment DirectorDAMJANA FINCIAcccount ManagerIVY LAMAsia Sales & Marketing ManagerANDREW GOLDSTEINAcct. Manager, Independent FilmsNINA PRAGASAMInternational Marketing MangerO P E R A T I O N SGREGG EDWARDSSenior Production ManagerCopyright ©2008 Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Allrights reserved. No part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted,in any form or by any means — electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise —without the prior written permission of the publisher.Printed in Berlin: Druckerei DMP, ZerpenschleuserRing 30, 13439 Berlin, Germany, Tel. 530 08-0 •Fax 530 08-201Archives francaises du filmBy Charles MastersWhere do you go if you wantto watch rare archive films like a1916 document about life on aGerman submarine or JohnFord’s 53-minute Western“Bucking Broadway” from thefollowing year?Until now, the answer wouldhave been a trip to one of thefilm archives that house theseprints, London’s Imperial WarMuseum and the French FilmArchive, respectively.But that is about to changewith the launch in April of aEurope-wide VOD platformbringing together content from37 film archives and cinemathequesacross the continent. Andthe good news for film buffs isthat it’s free.European Film Treasures, asthe site will be known, is thebrainchild of Serge Bromberg,founder of Paris-based historic“Green Porno”“Bucking Broadway”Treasures will abound inVOD archive of archivesNew site to amass historical filmsfilm and restoration specialistLobster Films. The EuropeanUnion’s MEDIA Program haspledged to put up half of theSee ARCHIVE on page 16Good day for ‘Swim’ shortMustata film wins Golden BearBy Scott Roxborough“A Good Day for a Swim,” ashort film by Romaninan directorBogdan Mustata, has wonthe Golden Bear for best short.The film follows three juveniledelinquents who break out ofprison and head for the beach.“The film raises questionsabout its issues rather than bringresolution to them. It does so ina very precise and unpredictableway,” said the Berlinale Shortsjury in announcing its decision.Indian director SiddharthTwo films, no limitsBy Scott RoxboroughSilent rights:Classic picsto BAC FilmsBy Stuart KempWhisper it softly, but news ofone of the biggest deals to breakduring this year’s EuropeanFilm Market sees a host of silentmovies, including a slew ofBuster Keaton vehicles, wingingtheir way to French distributorBAC Films.The French company securedthe rights to 21 movies from theRohauer Collection’s extensivelibrary of 700 silent and classictitles, which includes Keatonmovies, for $500,000.The titles also cover “Pandoraand the Flying Dutchman,” HarryLangdon and Roach/Sennettsilent comedies and Man Rayavant-garde shorts.The deal was struck by LosSee BAC on page 16Sinha won the Silver Bearfor her coming-of-age story“(Un)ravel.”“Frankie,” from Irish directorDarren Thornton, about a 15-year-old who is about to becomea father, won the Prix UIP, a€2,000 short film award backedby distributor Universal InternationalPictures and the EuropeanFilm Academy.Russian director Olga Popovawon the DAAD short film for“In the Theme,” which focuseson a young couple celebratingtheir first anniversary. •The intriguing double bill of Guy Maddin’s“My Winnipeg” and Isabella Rossellini’s shortseries “Green Porno,” screening in the Berlinale’sForum sidebar, offers a view back to cinema’sorigins and a glimpse of a possible futurefor the medium.Maddin’s documentary features the director’strademark use of silent film techniques— with scenes shot in black and white andwith rear projection and stylized, melodramaticacting.See LIMITS on page 16thr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)3


DAY8_004_EDIT_critics 2/13/08 7:48 PM Page 4Day 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008news“Quiet Chaos”“Cherry Blossoms — Hanami”Veterans show age at BerlinaleThemes of death at forefront in hit-and-miss official selectionBy Kirk HoneycuttA filmgoer who comes to theBerlin International Film Festivaldirectly from Sundance experiencesculture shock. This haslittle to do with the differencesbetween a festival that is the premiereshowcase of Americanindependent talent versus a festivalthat concentrates on internationalfare. The real disparitystems from a generation gap.Sundance overflows withyoung writers and directors whohave embarked on their firstadventures in storytelling. Notsurprisingly, their themes revolvearound coming of age, first love,family crises, sexual identity andproblems at school along withimitations of Hollywood movies.Berlin for the most part programsfilms from seasoned veterans.These older filmmakers havemore wide-ranging interests.They explore historical topics andsocial problems, marital failures,midlife crises and the process ofaging. Their films show a greateracceptance of life’s material limitations,often focus on charactersthat seek spiritual meaning totheir lives and frankly face thestark reality of death.This has never been truer thisyear as several competition filmsdramatized people’s confrontationswith mortality, either asthey find themselves nearing theend of their lives or in theanguished aftermathof a loved one’s death.For me, the two mosttouching films incompetition dealtdirectly with death.In Mexican directorFernando Eimbcke’s“Lake Tahoe,”a son and peripherallyhis family mustprocess grief over theloss of the father. Butthis is not clear untilthe film is nearly an hour old.Eimbcke’s dramatic strategy is towithhold this information toconcentrate on a comic, Jim Jarmusch-flavored,daylong odysseyof a young boy across a smalltown that seems locked in a permanentsiesta as he searches foran auto part for his damaged car.Only after our realization of theanguish that hangs over his headdo we see his calmness and seemingnonchalance in the face offailure at every turn mask muchinner turmoil. His encounterswith an aging mechanic, a youngmother and a martial arts fanaticserve to reconnect him with life,perhaps against his own wishes.In Doris Dörrie’s “CherryBlossoms — Hanami” from Germany,a grieving spouse goes toJapan to seek Zen-like wisdom toreconnect spiritually with his lostwife. In his relationship with ayoung homeless woman — whoalso is working through the loss ofCRITICSNOTEBOOKher mother the yearbefore with Butohdancing — the olderman, blithelyunaware of his ownimpending death,finds inner peace andharmony. Dörrie’sending has astonishingpower that resonateslong after thelights come up.In AntonelloGrimaldi’s “QuietChaos,” a father (Nanni Moretti)and his daughter must overcomethe loss of the mother. He impulsivelywaits outside his daughter’sschool for an entire day and thendecides to continue doing so forthe foreseeable future. He soonattracts co-workers and familymember who share with himtheir own pain and use him astheir sounding board. The manstarts to look at the world withfresh eyes and a recovered spirit.In Isabel Coixet’s “Elegy,”based on a Philip Roth novel, anaging New York intellectual(Ben Kingsley) considers thenrejects the thought of sharing hisdeclining years with a muchyounger woman (PenélopeCruz). The film is a real wetnoodle, though, as the point ofview remains steadfastly with theself-absorbed, egotistical professorand fails to give viewers a singlereason why the beautifulwoman would contemplate a lifewith this old windbag.Finnish director PetriKotwica’s “Black Ice” features aman suffering from midlife crisesin the form of an extramaritalfling with — again — a muchyounger woman, only here thefocus is refreshingly on thewomen. The wife secretlybefriends the mistress to take hermeasure, see what her husbandsees in her and, not incidentally,to try out a new life for herself.Asian directors Wang Xiaoshuai(“In Love We Trust”) and HongSangsoo (“Night and Day”),both in their 40s, deal witha midlife crisis as well, seeinghow each affects personal relationships.The theme of family dysfunctionprevailed in the Americancompetition films. Of course,dysfunctional families can befound in all international cinemas.Yet U.S. filmmakers currentlydwell on this theme to theSee CRITICS on page 15inside >>> >>>>Dialogue . . . . . . . . . . . . .6Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Festival Screenings . . .10Market Screenings . . .11Relaxing in Berlin . . . . .13more news at thr.comthr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)4


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DAY8_006_dia_Rosi c 2/13/08 2:23 PM Page 6Day 8Thursday, February 14, 2008When Francesco Rosi was 4, his father took himto see Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid.” Afterward, thefather dressed the boy as Jackie Coogan and snappedhis photo. The elder Rosi entered the sepia image in alocal look-alike contest, it won, and the young Rosisaid he knew from that point that he belonged in showbusiness. More than eight decades later, Rosi satback in the same drawing room he used to producethe majority of his most memorable work, in a twofloorpenthouse apartment near the top of Rome’sSpanish Steps. It is filled with awards, including aSilver Bear from Berlin, where his “Salvatore Giuliano”took home second place in 1962 after the festivaldeclined to screen it because, he told The HollywoodReporter’s Eric J. Lyman, they thought it had the feelof a documentary. When Rosi returns from Berlin thisyear, he will add another award: an Honorary GoldenBear for lifetime achievement.The Hollywood Reporter:Over the course of your careeryou worked with many of thenames that made the Italian filmindustry famous, includingLuchino Visconti, Mario Monicelli,Luciano Emmer andMichelangelo Antonioni. Whichof them made the biggestimpression on you?Francesco Rosi: Oh, it wouldhave to be Visconti. Visconti wasmy mentor: I first worked withhim in 1949, and I learned everythingfrom him. I became thedirector I became because of Visconti.The kind of neo-realismthat he helped popularize alongwith Roberto Rossellini had a bigimpact on me.THR: It seems that Americanfilms, specifically the gangsterfilms of the 1940s and ’50s, alsohad an impact on you. I’mthinking especially of “La Sfida”(The Challenge), which is set inyour hometown of Naples andseems to include elements ofboth Hollywood crime films ofthat era and Italian neo-realism.Rosi: Bravo. Yes, that’s absolutelytrue. I enjoyed those old Americanfilms. I think my generationof directors was the first in Italy toabsorb the influence of Americanfilms, which didn’t screen in Italyduring the years of fascism or duringthe war. By the time the filmsmade it to Italy, older directorslike Visconti already had a maturestyle. But I was younger andmore impressionable.THR: How do you see the Italianfilm industry today?Rosi: I think we’re starting tosee an improvement over the lastseveral years. The Italian filmindustry really went through adead period in the 1980s and1990s, but now we’re starting tosee more quality films produced.There also are more formulaicproductions, and that alwaysmakes it tougher for serious filmsto find distribution channels. Butthey’re being made again, andthey’re finding an audience.THR: What would you say toyoung directors today who complainthat it’s tough to makehigh-quality films in Italy becauseof the shadow cast by you andyour contemporaries?Rosi: No, no, I don’t believethat. We did break new ground.But each generation has its storyto tell. The reality communicatedin a film I made 40 years ago ismuch different than the reality wesee around us today. Young directorsshouldn’t be trying to re-tellthe same stories. They should betelling new stories in new ways.Besides, the great work from previousgenerations should be aninspiration, not something thatlimits. People didn’t stop writingafter Shakespeare, did they?THR: How often are you ableto get out and watch films?Rosi: I go to the cinema quiteoften; there are some nice cinemasin this area. But it comesand goes. Sometimes I don’twatch a film for a couple ofweeks, and sometimes I’ll watchthree in one weekend. I’m stillfascinated by the cinema. DVDsare convenient, but there’s stillnothing like watching a greatstory made by great actors and agreat director on the big screen.THR: I know you made many ofyour films on a tight budget.What do you think when you seesome of today’s budgets for films?Rosi: Sometimes a small budgetcan be a blessing because it’llmake you consider certain alternativesyou wouldn’t have consideredif you had more moneyto spend. And sometimes thosealternatives will be even moreinteresting than what you originallyhad in mind. But that’s notalways the case. Very often asmall budget means you have tocut corners to save money, andthe end result is a film that lookslike somebody cutting cornersmade it. It’s a shame when thatreduces a film that could havebeen a classic.Nationality: ItalianDate of birth: Nov. 15, 1922vital statsSelected filmography: “La Sfida”(1958), “Salvatore Giuliano” Francesco Rosi(1962), “Le Mani sulla Citta” (1963),“Il Caso Mattei” (1972), “Lucky Luciano” (1973), “Cadaveri Eccellenti”(1976), “Cristo si e Fermato a Eboli” (1979), “Carmen” (1984)Notable awards: Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear,“Salvatore Giuliano” (1962); Venice Film Festival Golden Lion, “LeMani sulla Citta” (1963); Festival de Cannes Palme d’Or, “Il CasoMattei” (1972); BAFTA Award, “Cristo si e Fermato a Eboli” (1983);multiple David di Donatello Awardsthr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)6


DAY8_007_EDIT_revs e 2/13/08 4:52 PM Page 7MORE REVIEWS INSIDE: “Standard Operating Procedure,” page 8 > “Night and Day,” page 8> “Fireflies in the Garden,” page 9THR.com/berlinDay 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008‘LaRabia’It takes courage toplunge into the psychologicaldepths ofsex and violence in“La Rabia,” a darkexploration of humannature at its basest andmost animal-like.The tragedy of violencethat eruptsbetween two familieson Argentina’s remotePampas is succinctlytold in stark imagesand strongly etched,realistic characters thatinclude two children.This is writer-directorAlbertina Carri’s most pulledtogetherfilm so far and a shoo-infor festival exposure. Commercially,however, the atmosphericpiece won’t be an easy or evenpleasant watch for most audiences,who should be soughtmore reviewsFull reviews andcredits availableat THR.com/berlinBYDEBORAHYOUNGPanoramathe bottom lineVery dark,psychologicalhorror in thePampas for pluckyart house auds.among the niche admirersof Lucrecia Martel’s“La Ciénaga.”One caveat for countrieslike England is thegraphic deaths of severalanimals in the film,including the particularlygruesome slaughterof a squealing sowand assorted off-cameradrownings andshootings, not to mentiona hare’s bitter endafter being chased by apack of dogs. Theopening disclaimer thatthe animals “lived and diedreviewas they naturally would” is prettychilling in itself. Still the violenceis never gratuitous, but anintegral part of the film.In a timeless dawn landscapeof sky and pampas, little Nati(Nazarena Duarte) takes off herclothes. She is the mute daughterof Alejandra (Analia Couceyro)and Poldo (Victor Hugo Carrizo),whose farm is near that ofPichon (Javier Lorenzo) and hisson Ladeado (Gonzalo Perez). Ittakes a while for viewers to sortout these five characters and realizethat Alejandra is having a passionate,illicit affair with randyneighbor Pichon, right under theeyes of the children, both ofwhom seem disturbed.Poldo, a gruff but lovingfather, tells Nati a ghost story tomake her stop undressing outdoors;Alejandra warns her tostop drawing “dirty things.”Pichon beats his son sadisticallyand allows Poldo to shoot theboy’s dog, which may have raideda chicken coop.More than plot development,the film moves forward throughan escalation of menace andforeboding violence. Brutal sexscenes between Alejandra andPichon alternate with squealingpigs and the threatening soundof Poldo’s chain saw, Nati’sLA RABIAMatanza Cinehigh-pitched screams and agrowling weasel Ladeado keepssecretly in the woods like a petdemon. A tip of the hat is owedhere to Rufino Basavilbaso’seerie sound design.Giving the film a very distinctivelook are rapid-fire animatedsequences designed byManuel Barenboim to representthe disturbed, bloody fantasiesof little Nati. They arewell-integrated into the film,unlike an ill-conceived blast ofrock music that breaks themood of a night scene in desaturatedcolors, created by thefilm’s fine cinematographer SolLopatin.Film comes with the pedigreeof director-producer PabloTrapero’s Matanza Cine productions.Credits: Producer-director-screenwriter: Albertina Carri; Producer: Pablo Trapero;Executive producer: Martina Gusman; Director of photography: Sol Lopatin; Production andcostume designer: Ana Cambre; Music: Gustavo Senmartin; Sound designer, Rufino Basavilbaso;Animation: Manuel Barenboim; Editor: Alejo Moguillansky. Cast: Analia Couceyro, JavierLorenzo, Victor Hugo Carrizo Nazarena Duart, Gonzalo Perez, Dalma MaradonaNo MPAA rating, running time 83 minutes.thr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)7


DAY8_007_EDIT_revs c 2/13/08 2:59 PM Page 8Day 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008reviews‘SOP’Errol Morris looksat the abuse andtorture of prisoners byU.S. soldiers in theAbu Ghraib prison inBaghdad with a peculiarfixation in “StandardOperating Procedure.”The scandal, ofcourse, came to lightin 2004 through photographstaken by theArmy members whoserved as prison wardens.In his documentary,Morris focuses with near-pornographicobsession on how thosephotos were taken, by whomand for what purpose. The widercontext of the war on terrorism,the Bush administration’s complicityin prisoner abuse, themoral and legal implications andthe damage the scandal did toU.S. prestige worldwide is noteven mentioned.Such subject matter was nevergoing to find a wide audience,especially theatrically. But thisSony Pictures Classics releasefaces another challenge: A muchmore encompassing film, RoryKennedy’s “Ghosts of AbuGhraib,” made a year earlier forHBO, covered the identical territory— even to the point ofduplicating some interviews —and that film did explore the contextof the scandal.CompetitionAHongSangsoofilm with noonscreen sex? A maleprotagonist who can’tget any? This is indeeda novelty for the HenryMiller of Koreancinema, whose charactersfornicate moreoften than martinisare shaken, not stirredin Bond movies. Tothe audience, this ishardly an aphrodisiac.Set almost entirely inParis, “Night and Day”is the auteur’s first filmmade abroad. Since Hong hasbeen compared to Rohmer forthe umpteenth time, what wouldhe make of Paris cinematically?It’s a bit like Hou Hsiao-hsien’sapproach with “Flight of the RedBalloon” — impersonal andreviewBYKIRKHONEYCUTTthe bottom lineErrol Morris’docu aboutthe Abu Ghraibprison scandalis too narrowlyfocused.‘Night and Day’BYMAGGIELEECompetitionMorris draws on threesources for his film: Thephotos themselves ofIraqi detainees beingphysically abused, sexuallyhumiliated and in oneinstance the body of aprisoner evidently torturedto death; interviewswith the soldiers whotook the photos orappeared in them; and recreatedscenes with actorsportraying events surroundingthe infamousphotographic sessions.Where in Kennedy’sdocu the soldiers wonderedreviewthe bottom lineTale ofexile’s frustrationand self-absorptionnot absorbingenough.therefore notterribly engaging.A flippantdescription of Rohmerin “Night Moves”seems apt for Hong’sart-related film: “It waskind of like watchingpaint dry.”Hong has never botheredto court the mainstream,so commercialmarket returns are hardlyrelevant. Regardless ofcritics’ assertions of achange in style, Hong’score group of intellectualadmirers will still findpleasure in his cerebralfilm language, nuanceddialogue and droll observationsof a Korean abroad.Sungnam (Kim Youngho), apainter, spends two months inexile in Paris to let a legal crisisblow over. He experiences thedouble frustration of separationin amazement how they ever gotinvolved in such appalling behavior,Morris’ questions put themon the defensive. They point fingers,the women blame the men,the photographers insist theyonly wanted to document theabuse, and everyone keeps sayingthey never really hurt anyone. Intruth, daily shelling of the prisonby insurgents and constantthreats of violence by prisonersdid create an extremelyunhealthy psychological statewhere illegal orders were obeyedpromptly.Morris’ interviews rarely riseabove the level of sergeants. Hedid get on camera Janis Karpinski,who as commander of themilitary prison brigade in Iraqwas a central figure of the scandal,and she doesn’t mincewords. But the film never followsup on her allegations. Shementions that the military intelligenceinterrogators answeredto a Gen. Miller, but the filmnever explains that this is MajorGen. Geoffrey Miller, formerlyhead of prison operations atGuanatanamo Bay, who wasordered by U.S. Defense SecretaryDonald Rumsfeld to bringhis methods to Abu Ghraib.Instead, Morris keeps returningagain and again to thosephotos and in one instance avideo and the time frames inwhich they were taken. It seemslike Morris — no pun intended— misses the bigger picture.The film does make a solidpoint that in at least oneinstance an Iraqi who was willingto cooperate and give informationshut up forever followinghis humiliation. A soldierrelates that one detainee in thispurgatory was a mere taxi drivercaught up in a sweep of adultmales by the U.S. military.The interviews are the mostimpressive element of the film.Despite the pain and shatteredlives, these soldiers are willing toface the camera — and themselves— to try to make senseout of completely senselessactions that never advanced theAmerican cause in Iraq. This isthe real value of “SOP.”STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURESony Pictures ClassicsParticipant Prods.Credits: Screenwriter-director: Errol Morris; Producers: Julie Ahlberg, Errol Morris;Directors of photography: Robert Chappell, Robert Richardson; Music: Danny Elfman;Editor: Andy Grieve.MPAA rating R, running time 121 minutes.from his wife and not gettingany flings there. He bumps intoan old flame, Minsun (Kim Youjin),and casually dates her. Buthe gets cold feet when her husbandis mentioned. In a wryscene, he reads a fire and brimstonesermon to deter heradvances. He befriends art studentHyunjo but falls for herflatmate and fellow artistYujeong (Park Eunhye).They sit in countless cafes reenactinga fruitless flirtation tothe score of Beethoven’s 7thSymphony, symbolized by anoyster meal that is forever postponed.They make two trips toDeauville, and here is whereHong seems most in his element,in a sister town to thecharmless provincial seasidedives where sexual mischief takesplace in his works.The first kiss happens 90 minutesinto the film, and it’s 20more minutes of mental dodgeballbefore an inferred sex sceneoccurs. The twist-within-a-twistat the end is esoteric to say theleast, revealing that Hong is evenmore of a tease than his heroine.This new chasteness might leavefeminists who have complainedabout his projections of malefantasy without an ax to grind.But in a Hong film, nothing iswhat is seems.NIGHT AND DAY (BAM GUA NAT)Bom Film Prods.Credits: Screenwriter-director: Hong Sangsoo; Producer: Oh Jungwan; Executive producer:Michel Cho; Director of photography: Kim Hoonkwang; Music: Jeong Yongji; Co-producers:Kang Dongku, Ellen Kim; Editor: Hahm Sungwon. Cast: Kim Sungnam: Kim Youngho; LeeYujeong: Park Eunhye; Han Sungin: Hwang Sujung; Jang Minsun: Kim Youjin.No MPAA rating, running time 144 minutes.thr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)8


DAY8_007_EDIT_revs c 2/13/08 2:59 PM Page 9Day 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008reviews‘Fireflies in the Garden’Dysfunctional familiesin dramaticliterature date back to“Oedipus Rex,” so ifyou’re going to takethat route, you’d betterhave somethingnew to say.In his film “Firefliesin the Garden,” DennisLee comes up empty.Kids, parents, siblings,an aunt and anestranged wife all bickerand yell, but thenoise cancels itself out.The movie is one longargument, tiresome and repetitive,that produces more heatthan light. The wonder is that thefirst-time writer-director roundedup a cast that includes WillemDafoe, Emily Watson, Carrie-Anne Moss and Julia Roberts.The script reportedly knockedaround Hollywood for a longtime before Senator Entertainmentdecided to finance it sinceno one saw a market for Lee’sOut ofCompetitionreviewBYKIRKHONEYCUTTthe bottom lineA superficialand clichéd lookat a bickeringfamily.story. That’s still goingto be a problem. Anythingstarring Robertsstands a chance, butboxoffice in urban adultvenues should be modest.The film will probablyplay better as homeentertainment.A family gathering ina small university town,presumably in the Midwest,takes a tragic turnwhen a car accidentinjures family head andprofessor Charles Taylor(Dafoe) and kills hiswife, Lisa (Roberts). Animositybetween Charles and his novelistson Michael (Ryan Reynolds),who lives in New York, runsdeep, so his mother’s death onlyexacerbates their hostility.Most of the family travailsstem from the basic fact thatCharles is a self-absorbed, domineering,abusive jerk. Michaelhas every reason to dislike him.Indeed, in his just-finished manuscript,he takes his revenge.His mother’s sister Jane (Watson)disapproves of Michael’s literarycharacter assassination butis more absorbed in calming herson, who blames himself for hisaunt’s death. To add to the nonmerriment,Michael’s estrangedand formerly alcoholic wife, Kelly(Moss), shows up for thefuneral.Flashbacks to Michael’s childhood(Cayden Boyd touchinglyplays him as a boy) fill you in onthe abuse he suffered and howno one, not even his mother,could stop Charles from tormentinghis son. Lee’s storypurports to be semi-autobiographical,but these petty familyquarrels don’t play on thescreen. Abuse can be terrible tosuffer firsthand, but here it takeson a certain banality. The causeof Charles’ fury at the world isnever articulated, nor is it clearwhy his wife tolerates so muchcruelty from her husband.Michael does make a startlingdiscovery in going through hismom’s things, which adds amelodramatic note that is neverthoroughly convincing. A resolution,or at least a truce, isreached at the end that also lacksconviction. It arrives too easily,and you suspect that if Michaeldidn’t live in New York the trucewould be a short-lived.FIREFLIES IN THE GARDENSenator Entertainment in association with Kulture MachineCredits: Screenwriter-director: Dennis Lee; Producers: Marco Weber, Vanessa Coifman,Sukee Chew; Executive producers: Jere Hausfater, Milton Liu; Director of photography: DannyModer; Production designer: Robert Pearson; Costume designer: Kelle Kutsugeras; Editors:Dede Allen, Robert Brakey. Cast: Lisa Taylor: Julia Roberts; Michael Taylor: Ryan Reynolds;Charles Taylor: Willem Dafoe; Jane Lawrence: Emily Watson; Kelly: Carrie-Anne Moss; Ryne:Shannon Lucio; Addison: Ioan Gruffudd.No MPAA rating, running time 98 minutes.thr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)9


DAY8_010_festSG d 2/13/08 2:19 PM Page 10festival festival festival festival festivalDay 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008 (E) = English; (D) = German; Competition films in blue“DriftingFlowers”“Son of a Lion”>>> today9.00 Fighter, Denmark, 90 mins,Generation 14plus, BabylonBerlin; Short Films Kplus 1,Generation Kplus, CinemaxX 39.30 Lady Jane, France, 104mins, Competition, Urania(E); Flower in the Pocket,Malaysia, 97 mins, GenerationKplus, Zoo Palast (E)10.00 A Tale of Two Mozzies,Denmark, 75 mins, GenerationKplus, Cubix 8 (E); Correction,Greece, 83 mins, Forum, Cine-Star 8 (E)10.30 Filth and Wisdom, U.K.,81 mins, Panorama Special, CinemaxX711.30 Beautiful Bitch, Germany,103 mins, German Cinema,CinemaxX 1 (E); Ben X, Belgium-Netherlands,90 mins, Generation14plus, Babylon Berlin (E)12.00 Chop Shop, U.S., 84 mins,Generation Kplus, Zoo Palast(D); Wild Combination: A Portraitof Arthur Russell, U.S., 70mins, Panorama Dokumente,CineStar 7; Kabei — Our Mother,Japan, 132 mins, Competition,Urania (E)12.30 The Muzzled Horse ofan Engineer in Search ofMechanical Saddles, Philippines,80 mins, Forum, Arsenal 1(E); Divizionz, Uganda-SouthAfrica, 91 mins, Forum, Cubix 7(E); The Path, Costa Rica-France, 91 mins, CineStar 8 (E);United Red Army, Japan, 190mins, Forum, Delphi Filmpalast13.00 La mort en ce jardin,France-Mexico, 104 mins, Retrospective,CinemaxX 8 (E);Jesus Loves You, Germany, 80mins, German PerspektiveDeutsches, Colosseum 1 (E); LaRabia, Argentina, 83 mins,Panorama Special, CinemaxX7 (E)13.30 Counterparts, Germany,96 mins, German Cinema, Cine-MaxX 1 (E)13.45 Sonetaula, Italy-France-Belgium, 157 mins, PanoramaSpecial, International (E)14.00 Generation Mix, GenerationKplus, CinemaxX 614.30 32 A, Ireland-Germany, 89mins, Generation 14plus, BabylonBerlin (D); Boy A, U.K., 100mins, Panorama, Cubix 9;Bananaz, U.K., 92 mins, PanoramaDokumente, CineStar 714.45 Motherland, Italy, 120mins, Forum, Cubix 7 (E)15.00 Seaview, Ireland, 82 mins,Forum,Arsenal 1 (E); Nazarin,Mexico, 94 mins, Retrospective,Zeughauskino; Kabei — OurMother, Japan, 132 mins,Competition, Urania (D);Sweet Food City, China, 91mins, Forum, CineStar 8 (E); Jederfur sich und Gott gegenalle, Germany, 109 mins, Rebellionof the Filmmakers, filmkunst66; Calanda, France, 21 mins,Calanda: 40 anos despues,Spanish, 29 mins, Retrospective,CinemaxX 815.30 Sharon, Germany, 90mins, Panorama Dokumente,Colosseum 1 (E); Buddha CollapsedOut of Shame, Iran-France, 81 mins, GenerationKplus, Cubix 8 (E); Hey Hey It’sEsther Blueburger, Australia,103 mins, Generation Kplus, ZooPalast 1 (D); Sooner or Later,Germany, 91 mins, German Cinema,CinemaxX 1 (E)16.00 Kung Fu Kid, Japan, 98mins, Generation Kplus, CinemaxX3 (E); Locations & SpeculationsShort Film Program,Forum Expanded Shorts II,Arsenal216.30 Paruthiveeran, India, 139mins, Forum, Delphi Filmpalast(E); Heart of Fire, Germany, 92mins, Competition, BerlinalePalast (D)17.00 Darling! The Pieter-DirkUys Story, Australia, 54 mins,The Glow of White Women,South Africa, 78 mins, PanoramaDokumente, CineStar 7;Abismos de pasion, Mexico,91 mins, Retrospective,Zeughauskino (E); Ciao bella,Sweden, 86 mins, Generation14plus, Babylon Berlin (E); SleepDealer, U.S.-Mexico, 90 mins,Panorama Special, International(E); Otto; or, Up With DeadPeople, Germany-Canada, 94mins, Panorama, Cubix 917.30 Higurashi, Japan, 103mins, Forum, CineStar 8 (E); RR,U.S., 111 mins, Forum,Arsenal 1;City of Men, Brazil, 106 mins,Generation 14plus, Colosseum 1(E); El gran calavera, Mexico,92 mins, Retrospective, CinemaxX8 (E); Suddenly, Last Winter,Italy, 80 mins, PanoramaDokumente, Cubix 7 (E); Trade— Welcome to America, Germany,119 mins, German Cinema,CinemaxX 1 (E)17.45 No Bikini, Canada, 9mins, Panorama Supporting Film,Drifting Flowers, Taiwan, 97mins, Panorama, CineStar 318.00 The Chicken, the Fishand the King Crab, Spain, 86mins, Berlinale Special, Cubix 8(E); The Green Berets, U.S., 141mins,War at Home, FilmpalastBerlin18.30 Quiet Chaos, Italy, 105mins, Competition, Urania(E); Berlinale Shorts IV, BerlinaleShorts, CinemaxX 619.00 Inside You, Germany, 23mins, Lea, Germany, 45 mins,Star-Crossed, Germany-Switzerland,Perspektive DeutschesKino, CinemaxX; Before the Fall,Spain, 93 mins, Panorama Special,Zoo Palast 1 (E)See FESTIVAL on page 12thr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)10


DAY8_013_EDIT_tips c 2/13/08 2:28 PM Page 13berlin spasberlin spas berlin spasDay 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008 Last in a seriesBadeschiffDesperately looking for sun?Forget about it. You’re in Berlinnow, and if you see any sun here, it’sprobably a misunderstanding. Butthere are ways to compensate. Youcan push your system into overdrivewith indoor sports or surrender instyle in a luxurious spa … or even atropical beach.Feeling pent-up? Tense? Frustrated? Letyourself go in a go-kart. On the 1,000-footlongindoor race track at KARTLAND, you canrace alone or with others, as fast as you canget the thing to go. Cost is €19 for 16 minutes;groups get a discount. Mirau Strasse 62/80in Reinickendorf; Tel.: 03043566841; hours:Mon.-Thu. 3 -11 p.m., Fri. 2 p.m.-midnight,Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.The stylish fitness studio ARS VITALIS offerssuch classes as pilates or yoga open to guests,as well as a large spa with sauna, pool,whirlpool and massage studio. Special offer forBerlin International Film Festival guests:A day pass costs only €21 if you bring youraccreditation. Haup Strasse 19 in Schöneberg;Tel.: 0307883563; hours: daily 8 a.m.-11 p.m.;www.ars-vitalis.deEver swum in a pool that was swimming? Trythe BATHING SHIP (Badeschiff), a barge floatingin the Spree River and converted into a heated,covered pool. Also with saunas and chill-outrooms with music, cocktails and a great view ofthe city. Tickets from €8. Arena Berlin, EichenStrasse 4; Tel.: 0305332030; hours: daily at noon(Sun. 10 a.m.) until around midnight;www.badeschiff.deThe futuristic thermal bath LIQUIDROM IMTEMPODROM is famous for its warm salt-waterpool with underwater music and light show —very, very relaxing. Two hours cost €17.50.Möckern Strasse 10 in Tiergarten; hours: daily10 a.m.-midnight (weekends until 1 a.m.)If there’s anything you can call “typical” aboutBerlin, it’s the real Turkish steam bath. At theSULTAN HAMAM you can order Orient-style fullbody-peelingwith silk gloves, organic soap massages,cosmetics and an Oriental café. Threehourticket begins at €16. Bülow Strasse 57,Schöneberg; hours: daily noon-11 p.m. (Mon. formen only, Tue.-Sat. for women only, Sun. mixed)www.sultan-hamam.deTake a trip right into the Arabian Nights at theTAJIK TEA PARLOR (Tadschikische Teestube).Take off your shoes, sit down on cushions amongcarved sandalwood columns and order tea fromthe Black Sea — or any of the other exotic teason offer. Am Festungsgraben 1 in Mitte;hours: weekdays 5 p.m.-midnight,weekdends 3 p.m.-midnightThe best way to get to the tropics from Berlinis to take a train to the small town of Brand,where a huge former zeppelin hanger has beenconverted into TROPICAL ISLANDS. Sand wasshipped in for beaches, a jungle was planted,waterfalls were built, saunas and jacuzzisinstalled and just about everything else wasturned into a pool. You can even camp out on thebeach — or take a balloon ride through the halland watch the goings-on from 180 feet above.Tickets from €25 (unlimited stay). Open 24 hoursdaily; directions: take the regional train RE 2 fromBerlin-Alexanderplatz to Brand (they leave everyhour and take about 50 minutes). From there, a shuttletakes you to Tropical Islands. www.tropicalislands.deLast but not least, here’s a good MOBILEMASSEUR. 30 minutes for €30.Tel: 01773868654Astrid UleArs Vitalisthr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)13


DAY8_001_EDIT_news1 2/13/08 8:03 PM Page 14Day 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008news‘Wisdom’Continued from page 1—Seeking Susan.” To many, however,it will remain an oddity.Focusing on three mismatchedLondon flatmates whoaccept dire jobs while waiting fortheir dreams to come true, thefilm is a curious mix of TV sitcom,madcap raunchiness androwdy gypsy music.The male of the trio, a heavilyaccented Ukrainian would-bepop singer named A.K. (EugeneHutz), sets the mood by speakingdirectly to the camera andespousing the general themethat the path to enlightenment isvia the gutter.A.K. spends a lot of time in thebathtub, dressed or not, water ornot, drinking brandy, smokingand pondering life’s vicissitudes.He earns ready money by gettinginto costumes and beatingup paying customers who gettheir jollies that way. He alsoruns errands for a blind poet(Richard E. Grant) who lives‘Yasukuni’Continued from page 1—where “Yasukuni” is screeningin the Berlin International FilmFestival’s Forum sidebar. “Thethreats have gotten worse andworse as we have gotten closerto the Japanese theatrical releaseof the film in April.”Li spent 10 years researchingand shooting his docu, whichlooks at the controversy surroundingthe shrine, which honorsJapan’s war dead, including ahandful of war criminals. Formany, the site is a symbol ofJapan’s militaristic past and a rallyingpoint for the far right.“Yasukuni” was a hot seller atthe Pusan International FilmFestival in October and receivedrave reviews when it screened atSundance last month.Li said the Japanese embassyin Berlin has expressed its concernfollowing the threats.Ulrich Gregor, founder and formerdirector of the BerlinaleForum, provided some moralsupport Wednesday, meetingwith Li and telling the directorto “not be afraid, just go aheadand do it (release the film).”Gregor compared Li’s positionto that of German directorsin the 1960s who turned theircameras on the dark history ofthe Nazi period.downstairs.A.K. has a crush on flatmateHolly (Holly Weston), a beautifulballerina who, being flatbroke, resorts to stripping andpole-dancing at a local club,while equally lovely Juliette(Vicky McClure) is putting intime at a drugstore while dreamingof going to Africa to help thestarving children there.There are scenes involvingA.K.’s clientele, Holly’s fellowstrippers and Juliette’s lustfulpharmacist boss, and occasionallythe two young women join inA.K.’s paid-for role-playing.Some sequences are jarring intheir sudden shifts of tone, and afew simply fall flat. The furtherdown the cast, the less Madonna,who co-scripted, demonstratesa firm grip as director.“Wisdom” is unexpectedlysentimental, too, but the threeleads are sufficiently engagingthat while chaotic and more thana bit silly, the film in the end conjuresup a surprising amount ofgoodwill.•“It isn’t easy, but you have toconfront the past and examinethe past to know who you are,”Gregor said. “It is never too late.”“I think Japan could learn a lotfrom how Germany has dealtwith its war past,” Li said. “InJapan the government is still veryambiguous about the war. Internationally,they admit responsibility,but within Japan they continueto honor those who committedthe war crimes.”Li said he hopes his movie willspark discussion in Japan aboutthe Yasukuni Shrine and Japan’srole in World War II.“I hope my film will help curewhat I think of as the postwarsyndrome,” Li said. “It’s a sickness,this ambiguity towards thepeople responsible for the war. Ihope my film can help cure thissyndrome. I think it will begood for the health of theJapanese nation.”While he is taking precautionsto protect himself and his team,Li said he is going ahead with thefilm’s Japanese release throughdistributor Nai Entertainment.“I have spent 10 years makingthis movie,” he said. “The issuesin the film are key to many of theproblems Japan faces in dealingwith the war and dealing withthe rest of Asia. Compared tothat (my personal safety) isunimportant.” •FILTH & WISDOMSemtex FilmCredits: Screenwriter/director/executive producer: Madonna; Co-screenwriter: DanCadan; Producer: Nicola Doring; Director of photography: Tim Maurice Jones; Productiondesigner: Gideon Ponte; Costume designer: B; Editor: Russell Icke. Cast: A.K.: Eugene Hutz; Holly:Holly Weston; Juliette: Vicky McClure; Professor Flynn: Richard E. Grant; Sardeep: InderManocha; Businessman: Elliot Levey; Chloe: Clare Wilkie; Harry Beechman: Stephen Graham;Businessman’s Wife: Hannah Walters; Sardeep’s Wife: Shobu Kapoor.No MPAA rating, running time 81 minutes.Madonna triumphant in returnBy Liza ForemanThe last time Madonna cameto the Berlin International FilmFestival she hid under a raincoatand nobody knew she was here.Or so the story goes. But thistime, she was out in full viewfor her directorial debut, “Filthand Wisdom,” playing in thePanorama Special section.Reporters queued for twohours to catch a glimpse of thediminutive director and her stars,the Gypsy rocker Eugene Hutzand the British actresses HollyWeston and Vicky McClure.“I stalked him (Eugene) like aRAIContinued from page 1—Sekulic said in exchange RAICinema will have a first look dealwith his company on any coproductionprojects it is puttingtogether. Titles Sekulic doesn’tselect for sales duties will continueto be sold by RAI Cinema’sown in house sales team. Hestruck the pact with RAI Cinema’sGiovanni Scatassa.Sekulic has cemented the dealwith RAI Cinema after brokeringa deal between RAI andCanal Plus Cine Cinemas instrange fan,” said Madonna ofgetting the Ukrainian musicianto play in the film.The Material Girl might haveall the success in the world, butshe can still feel the struggle ofher early years.“I think that in spite of whatappears to be my material success,I still feel like the charactersin that movie,” she said. •more onlineFor more aboutMadonna in Berlin,go to THR.com/berlinFrance to distribute “CementoArmato” (Concrete Romance),directed by Marco Martani.Said Sekulic: “We’re lookingfor any film with an internationalangle and will market it thatway. It’s to try and avoid peoplemissing out on some qualitysuccesses.”Sekulic cites the €20 millionplusboxoffice success of FaustoBrizzi’s “Notte prima degli esami”(Night Before the Exams), whichremained unsold for months onRAI Cinema’s shelves. Sekulicbrokered a deal with Canal Plus onthat, too.•thr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)14


DAY8_001_EDIT_news1 2/13/08 8:04 PM Page 15Day 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008newsGuerillasContinued from page 1—raising a budget going backthere. They’re not doing thekind of film like the French didfor decades where they go intothe former colonies and shoot afilm with all these funky blackpeople and in the middle is thenoble French doctor or whatever.Those were French filmsusing the colonies as a décor.”Italian director Luigi Falornicalled on his background as adocumentary filmmaker to go incountry for “Heart of Fire,”which is based on child soldierturned-singerSenait Mehari’sbest-selling autobiography. Thedirector cast the film at anEritrean refugee camp.“I didn’t want this to be aHollywood look at Africa — likea ‘Hotel Rwanda,’ where DonCheadle flies in to play the leadrole,” Falorni said. “Authenticitywas of the utmost importance.It was essential that peopleacting in the movie had beenthrough the war, knew what hadhappened and would tell me ifanything wasn’t accurate.”Falorni said it is “sort of ascandal” that a white Europeanmade “Heart” instead of a directorfrom Eritrea. “But there isno film infrastructure in Eritreaand, to be honest, no freedomof speech either. So it wouldhave been impossible.”Australian director BenjaminGilmour shot his Forum title“Son of a Lion” on an altogetherdifferent scale. He workedalone or with a local cameraassistant for eight months inPakistan’s remote and lawlessNorthwest Frontier region toproduce his story about a youngPashtun boy in a village of gunmakerson a budget of only$20,000. (The Australian FilmCommission later put in around$400,000 to complete postproduction.)“For a big film crew to go inthere was impossible. The Pakistanimilitary would travel withyou and the Pashtuns hate themilitary; you would not succeed,”said Gilmour, whodescribes his film as “guerillafilmmaking at its purest.”“It took a long time. ThePashtuns notoriously don’t trustoutsiders so for the first sixmonths I didn’t even pull outthe camera. It was just aboutbuilding relationships,” said theformer paramedic, who gainedhis first cinematic experienceworking as a unit nurse on sets.Gilmour arrived with a scriptbut ended up changing it radicallyas he worked with thelocals. “They ended up runningthe show. Sometimes I thoughtthat the film was directing itself.But in a sense, that is now whatpeople like about it — that in away it feels like an observationaldocumentary. The action is justplaying out naturally.”The Generation 14plus picture“Munyurangabo” is anotherAfrica-set film in stark contrastto previous Hollywoodtakes on the continent. The filmtells the story of two friendsfrom either side of the tribaldivide in Rwanda, and wasdirected by New York-based LeeIsaac Chung, who gained privilegedaccess to the countrythrough his wife’s work as a volunteerthere. “Because of her wehad a lot of friends on theground who trusted us. Itallowed for us to have constantinteraction with people in theirhomes. Being part of the communitychanges the film; wedidn’t come in with this foreignconcept,” Chung said. The filmis the first feature to be made inthe local language, and usedlocal actors. “The crew were studentsthat we trained,” said thedirector, who shot on 16mm forless than $40,000.So have these films managedto avoid taking a colonial view?“That’s something we werevery conscious of from thebeginning,” said Sam Anderson, co-writer and co-producerof “Munyurangabo.” “Ifeel that we did, but the bestjudge would be a Rwandanaudience.”Gilmour said he, too, wasworried about providing a“white man’s” view. “I had agreat response from Muslimaudiences at the Marrakesh FilmFestival,” he said. “None ofthem could believe that a non-Muslim had made this film.That’s an indication to me that Ididn’t leave too much of a Westernmark on it. But if a Pashtunhad made this film it may nothave traveled as far it has.”This type of filmmaking mayeven be going some waytowards fostering an indigenouscinema in visited countries. “Alot of (Rwandan) guys whoworked on our movie are nowmaking their own shorts,”Anderson said. •“Lake Tahoe”CriticsContinued from page 4—point of obsession. Little wonder.Americans today are one bigdysfunctional family. They nolonger know how to talk to oneanother, to debate differencesand admit to shortcomings. Anugly anger has entered the zeitgeist,and this hit home in severalAmerican films in Berlin.Lance Hammer’s “Ballast,” followingits multiple-award Sundancedebut, watches theextremely painful process throughwhich a black family in the MississippiDelta must work through asuicide death, another attemptedsuicide and mutual recriminationsin order to achieve a spiritual andpsychological balance to theirlives. In contrast to other Berlinfilmmakers, Hammer is relativelyyoung and this is his first feature,so it will be interesting to observehis development after the impressivedebut.Dennis Lee’s “Fireflies in theGarden” gives us a squabblingMidwest family with a domineeringcontrol-freak for a fatherand a grown son thoroughly poisonedby his father’s callousness.The death of the mother bringseverything home to roost: Allthe buttoned-up hostilities andarguments boil over once morein a story that, unfortunately,reeks of soap opera rather thanincisive drama.One could even argue thatPaul Thomas Anderson’s “ThereWill Be Blood” features a dysfunctionalfamily and a spiritualdivide. In the film, a father andadopted son grow increasinglyestranged as greed overwhelmsthe father’s life purpose. The oilman’scounterpart is the son of afamily he once defrauded whobecomes an evangelist. But thepreacher is no more sincere in hispursuit of heaven than the oilmanis in his pursuit of Mammon.The Berlinale finally caughtup to the rest of the festivalworld by programming its firstdocumentary in competition,Errol Morris’ disappointing“Standard Operating Procedure.”Cannes made the moveseveral years ago, but until thisyear, Berlin has stubbornlyrefused to acknowledge thevitality and artistic achievementof documentaries worldwide.This goes to the heart of whatails the Berlinale. A certaintimidity and a propensity towardsafe rather than daring choicesdominate the selections yearafter year. My colleague MaggieLee, with a deep knowledge ofAsian cinema, was surprised byher first visit to the fest. Competitionselections from Asia, shefelt, represent “safe choices,technically excellent but not sovibrant and exciting.”Films such as the WeinsteinCo.’s right-wing vigilante movie“Elite Squad” and the too-longand lightweight Korean entry“Night and Day” did not belongin competition. And many felt afilm like Eran Riklis’ wise andpoignant “Lemon Tree,” a simpletale of a Palestinian woman takingon the might of the Israeli militaryin order to save her lemongrove, did belong in competitionrather than in Panorama.Finally, the Forum sectionneeds rethinking. Too manyextremely low budget and aestheticallywearisome films thatlack any true originality getswept into that category. It hasbecome a section for poseurs.•CorrectionTelepool sales executiveWolfram Skowronnek said heand his company fully supportthe European Film Market andthe Martin-Gropius-Baulocation (The Daily, Day 7).thr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)15


DAY8_003_EDIT_news2 c 2/13/08 7:24 PM Page 16Day 8 Thursday, February 14, 2008newsArchiveContinued from page 3—about €500,000 ($725,000)needed to fund the project forits first year.European Film Treasures ishoping to tap into a chunk ofthe huge audience for freeonline video sites like YouTubeand Bebo. “The difficulty todayis not so much to find old filmsand restore them, it’s finding anaudience for them,” Brombergsaid. “These are the some of thebest films shot in Europe overmore than 80 years, but it’soften difficult to convince peopleto see films like these.”Each partner archive will proposefilms, and a jury of historicfilm specialists will decide whichto include on the VOD sitebased on such criteria as historicalinterest and artistic quality.Footage will be accessible forstreaming only, not download,but the site could in the futureextend to associated DVD sales.The platform is being developedby Enki Technologies.Films will be available in theiroriginal language with translationwhere needed into fiveEuropean languages: English,French, German, Italian andSpanish.The site is expected to launchwith about 100 titles, but theaim is to include up to 500 filmsonce fully loaded. Lobster iscoming up with original musicto accompany silent films.It took two years to convinceall the archives to come on board.“They thought it was a goodidea but considered it wasimpossible,” Bromberg said.“The idea is not just to showtheir films but also to present thearchives and their work.” Theonly major national archive thatdecided not to be representedwas from Belgium. “That is totheir great shame,” he opined.Bryony Dixon, silent film curatorat the British Film Institute’sNational Archive, said that VODis a well-adapted platform forthese early and short films that areotherwise difficult to program.“Theatrical, you may get a fewthousand viewers. On the Web,you can get hundreds of thousandsor even millions. If you putit out there, people will find it.You get that long-tale effect.”As with the other partnerarchives, the BFI not contributingfinance but simply makingfilms available. “We’re in a goodposition to do that as probablythe biggest film archive inEurope,” Dixon said. Amongfilms the BFI is submitting are“Daisy Doodad’s Dial,” 1913British-made comedy starringU.S. actress Florence Turner,and a rare film of a French boxingchampion.“We’ll pick things that haveappeal, like the boxing film,which will be really interestingfor the boxing communitybecause it’s not seen before,”Dixon said.For its part, the Danish FilmInstitute is submitting a 1923Danish film that is one of theearliest examples of a viable talkingfilm; an animated sausagecommercial film from the mid-1930s that uses Dufay Color, amosaic screen additive systemthat predates Technicolor; and araunchy 1910 one-reeler aboutCopenhagen nightlife.“These are films that werestored recently. They’re allentertaining films, one aboutcolor and cinema, one aboutsound and cinema. It’s broadeningpeople’s idea of the developmentof cinema,” DFI curatorThomas Christensen said.“It’s great that there’s thiskind of channel for content thatis otherwise sitting fallow in thearchive,” Christensen said. “Idon’t expect it to become ablockbuster phenomenon. Itmight never be more than marginal,but it’s an interestingchannel to be represented on. Ithink this is very much a transitiontime, and we have toexplore the possibilities.” •BACContinued from page 3—Angeles-based internationalsales company Cinema ManagementGroup, headed by veteraninternational sales and distributionexecutive Edward Noeltner.Noeltner made the deal withBAC and is in Berlin at the EFM.The Rohauer Collection isowned by Douris U.K., which israising cash for creditors via thesale of the collection.“The collection has the unchallengedrights to important materialwhich will hold immenseappeal to the specialist film industry,”said Nick Edwards, Deloittepartner and administrator forDouris U.K. •“Sherlock Jr.”LimitsContinued from page 3—Rossellini’s shorts, producedfor the Sundance Channel, wereconceived and shot not for thebig screen but for mobilephones and Internet viewing.Maddin describes “Winnipeg”as a “Chinese Whispers” form ofdocumentary, where the facts ofthe city’s — and the director’sown — history are distorted andrefined in the telling.“It’s a bit like the stories inthe Old Testament or oral traditions,where the stories are toldover and over again until theyget focused, hardened, like adiamond,” Maddin said.Maddin’s technique of combiningarchive footage with recreatedscenes from his ownchildhood — using his motherand actors playing himself andhis siblings — combine to portrayWinnipeg in almost mythicterms. A city most cinemagoerscouldn’t find on a map gets theepic treatment usually reservedfor world capitals such as NewYork, Paris or Berlin.“Canadians are lousy at selfmythologizing,”Maddin said.“I think it has something to dowith the humbling echo fromthe United States. It makes usgrow shy.”Rossellini, who has workedwith Maddin on several films,including “Brand Upon theBrain!” (2006) and “The SaddestMusic in the World”(2003), recalls her first visit tothe cold Canadian city.“I was changing planes inToronto, and when I told thewoman at the gate where I wasgoing, she asked ‘Why are yougoing to Winnipeg?” the actresssaid. “I thought it was a securityquestion but it was just disbelief.”But IFC at least thinks this historyof a small prairie city can haveappeal beyond that of eclectic festivalgoers.It snatched up “Winnipeg”in Toronto and is hopingfor the same crossover success thecompany saw with Maddin’s“Brand Upon the Brain!”“Our secret desire was bymaking the film so specific toWinnipeg — I don’t think anyother place is mentioned in thefilm — it would make it universal,”Maddin said. “That seemsto have worked.”For “Porno,” Rossellini chosethe one subject with guaranteeduniversal appeal: sex.“The idea was to have a subject,and a title, that might getsome attention, and so Ithought it has to be sex,”Rossellini said. “I chose the subjectof insect sex because it isreally strange and really funnywhat they do.”“Porno” is a series of five- toseven-minute shorts followingthe same premise: Rosselliniimagines herself as a differenttype of insect and then mateswith her opposite pair. Becausethey were designed for viewingon mobile phone screens,Rossellini and co-director JodyShapiro (the cinematographer on“Winnipeg”) chose simple setupswith few camera movements.“It was almost a classical cinematiclook,” Rossellini said.Rossellini describes the shortfilms as the cinematic equivalentto “those little New Yorker cartoons,”a short bit of whimsybetween the serious stuff of festivalfeature films.To accompany “Porno” inBerlin, Rossellini and Shapiro —together with artists RickGilbert and Andy Byers — haveinstalled three insect terrariumsin the Filmhaus at the SonyCenter on Potsdamer Platz.Inside, visitors can screen all thefilms in the series and also learnabout the real sex lives of insects.It is a cross among installationart, museum exhibit and filmscreening.In making movies specificallyfor mobile devices, Rossellini saidshe feels like a trailblazer, comparingthe experience “to howmy father (legendary Italiandirector Roberto Rossellini)must have felt when he started, ascinema was just making the shiftfrom silent film to sound.” •thr.com | los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)16


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