Tag Archives: Johannes Lehnen

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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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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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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Berlinale Exclusive Day 5: The Back Door

A Berlinale jury badge opens many doors at the film festival.  Photo (cc) SpoiltCat

A Berlinale jury badge opens many doors at the film festival. Photo (cc) SpoiltCat

During his fifth day of the Berlinale, Johannes Lehnen wonders at the ticket-buying process.

The common Berlinale visitor knows but one virtue: patience.  In the Potsdam arcade, many film enthusiasts have stood for hours.  And hours and hours and hours.  Me too.  This year my stay in the arcades was like a daydream.  I walk past the line.  The jury badge waves in the wind.  A nondescript door opens.  Behind the door the room looks like a faculty lounge, and the mood is good.  I go to the counter; I’d like tickets.  The barcode on my badge is scanned.  I am given two cards.  “Parde”–Jafar Panahis’ new film–and “Camille Claudel 1915,” both world premiers in the Berlinale-Palast.  Tonight I will be there with Juliette Binoche.

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Berlinale Exclusive Day 4: Away From the Hustle

Martin Scorsese, 2000.  Foto: Paramount Pictures / Touchstone Pictures, courtesy http://www.deutsche-kinemathek.de/

Martin Scorsese, 2000. Foto: Paramount Pictures / Touchstone Pictures, courtesy http://www.deutsche-kinemathek.de/

Today member of the DFJW-Preis Dialogue en perspective” jury Johannes Lehnen takes us along for a visit to the German Film and Television Museum.

After four days and approximately 16 films one could be exhausted–particularly when the first theater visit is at 8:30 am.

Time out.  Where better than in a beautiful, quiet museum?  In Berlin there is one perfect for me, the Museum for Film and Television.  With a much-praised exhibit about Martin Scorsese.  And here too I get free admission with my jury pass!

However caution was required.  Don’t let yourself be easily seduced.  Idols are nice, but at some point as a filmmaker you have to let go of them.  As Steve McQueen said of Hollywood: “There are no Gods out there.”

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