Monthly Archives: February 2013

Berlinale Exclusive Day 10: A Goodbye Hug

The theater before the showing of Grandmaster.  Photo (cc) flickr user flierfy

The theater before the showing of Grandmaster. Photo (cc) flickr user flierfy

On the last day of the Berlinale, Johannes Lehnen attends the awards ceremony and says goodbye.

After the gala is before the gala.  After the DFJW prizes were awarded came the big event: the awarding of the Golden Bears in the Berlinale-Palast.  In the sixth row!  A seat behind Christian Petzold, two behind Andrea Sawatzki.  And Katja Riemann directly to my left.

The awarding of the Bears is harmonious, though I thought “Camille Claudel 1915″ was better than the press did.  The doubts about “Prince Avalanche,” however, I can get behind.  The Golden Bear is for “Child’s Pose,” and the film earned it, though I found “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker” more fascinating.  It made sense that it got the Jury Grand Prix Award, as well as the prize for Best Actor.

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Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Berlin

I bet the Berliners are all longing for sunny weather like this right now.  Here’s to the quick arrival of spring!

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

Photo (cc) flickr user Zanthia

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Berlinale Exclusive Day 9: Final Decisions

Photo (cc) flickr user SORAT-Hotels

Photo (cc) flickr user SORAT-Hotels

On the 9th day of the Berlinale, Johannes Lehnen talks about selecting the winner of the “Perspektive Deutsches Kino” award.

And the winner is…”Zwei Mütter”!  Ok, ok, it wasn’t the Golden Bear.  Actually it wasn’t a bear at all.  But it was the trophy of the DFJW prizes.  And that is, at least, the only prize in the category “Perspektive Deutsches Kino.”  And then we couldn’t resist a bit of praiseworthy name-dropping.  Santiago Gil created a short film that could not be overlooked with “Chiralia.”  It was generally a very good year for “Perspektive,” and many of its films that weren’t premiered will come to the theaters.  “Metamorphosen” contains minutes-long landscape takes and is in the process one of the most exciting documentaries that I have ever seen.

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Berlinale Exclusive Day 8: The Honorable Bear

Photo (cc) flickr user Carlos_Y

Photo (cc) flickr user Carlos_Y

At the Berlinale, Johannes Lehnen watches Claude Lanzmann receive a golden bear.

If one studies the depiction of the Holocaust in film, one cannot avoid him: Claude Lanzmann.  His Opus Magnum “Shoa” is 540 minutes long and includes no archived photos.

Friday Lanzmann was honored the “Goldenen Ehrebären” for his life’s work, a moving moment in the Berlinale-Palast.  Subsequently his film “Sobibor, 14 octobre 1943, 16 heures” was shown.  In his speech he raved about bears.  He likes white polar bears, the brown bear, and even the Russian bear.  He then received three standing ovations.

Thank you, dear Berlinale, that this charismatic, important documentary maker was honored!

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Berlinale Exclusive Day 7: I made Schlöndorff’s day

Photo (cc) flickr user Serenae

Photo (cc) flickr user Serenae

On day seven of the Berlinale, jury member Johannes Lehnen visits a discussion about the future and significance of film.

Tradition and resistance.  Those were the themes of a panel discussion in the context of cooperation between DFJW and the Berlinale.  Participants of the discussion were Bruno Dumont (his film “Camille Claudel 1915″ was in the Competition for best film), Volker Schlöndorff, Pia Marais (“Layla Fourie” had potential, but wasn’t completely convincing), and Emily Atef (she is a great jury president).  The most interesting question was about new approaches in film and the significance of film in our society.  In short: a 90 minute conversation led to seven pages of notes.  Toward the end of the discussion I had to describe the situation in Mainz, and it got emotional.  At the end Volker Schlöndorff started to clap, and later he told me “You made my day.”  Is there anything better?

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The Week in Germany: David Bowie and the Pope

Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds

Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds

Bowie and Berlin

A biopic called “Lust for Life” about David Bowie and Iggy Pop’s time in Germany is set for production.

“The time between the two rock titans spent living in their Hauptstrasse apartmen, shopping in KaDeWe and hanging out at Dschungel club resulted in Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy albums (Low, Heroes and Lodger) and Iggy’s Idiot and Lust For Life.”  Read the full article here.

Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds

Photo (cc) flickr user Leo Reynolds

Bye, Bye Benedict

Of course, the biggest bit of news this week has been the resignation announcement of German Pope Benedict XVI.  Immediate contraversy spread around the announcement:

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Berlinale Exclusive Day 6: Premiere without Panahi

Jafar Panahi was not allowed to leave Iran for the premiere of his film "Parde."

Jafar Panahi was not allowed to leave Iran for the premiere of his film “Parde.”

On day six of Johannes Lehnen’s Berlinale blog, he attends the premiere of Jafar Panahi’s film “Parde.”

Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Steven Soderbergh, Juliette Binoche: they are all on the red carpet.  The mood at Potsdamer Platz is euphoric.  That an Iranian filmmaker didn’t make it to the premiere of his own film isn’t immediately evident under the circumstances.  But it is Jafar Panahi we’re talking about, whose film “Parde” isn’t even supposed to exist.  And it was noticed.

Panahi has been under an occupational ban for several years.  He wasn’t allowed to leave for the Berlinale.  His last film was smuggled out of Iran to France in a cake.  Appropriately, the documentary was titled “This is not a film.”

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