IXCANUL, where rite and dream lie

Jayro Bustamante won the Silver Bear at the 2015 Berlinale for this film
Maria Mercedes Croy, Maria Telon and Manuel Antun
Directed by Jayro Bustamante

The mother and daughter lead the fat sow to the boar’s pen. They pry open their mouths and pour bottles of rum down their throats to get them in the mood. As they begin to mate, the young woman lingers behind to watch. They need the sow to give birth, for soon the young woman’s fiancé and future family will arrive and they will need the meat for the celebration. Her name is Maria (María Mercedes ... more >



Made in Guatemala

Ever since his Silver Bear win earlier this year at Berlin Jayro Bustamante's IXCANUL (pronounced eesh-kanool) has garnered about fifteen different awards and distinctions. This good year gave Bustamante, a filmmaker from Guatemala, some much-needed exposure and, hopefully, even-better means to make another film soon. In IXCANUL Maria, 17, lives on the slopes of an active volcano. An arranged ... more >

Everything will be fine

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PRESS CONFERENCE, Queen of the desert

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Film was written by Luke Davies
A premiere was held on February 9th
Running time: 111 minutes

As usual, lots of mesmerizingly-good cinema to see and report on at the ongoing Berlinale. I'm a die-hard Cannes-goer but somehow Berlin being held in February seems to work pretty good timing-wise for a lot of the more vital and less-established filmmakers. The wild, young things go to Berlin and the older, more reliable filmmakers make their appearance in May. This might have something to do ... more >


"Transformers" actor has become (more) boring

Actor Shia LaBeouf cannot handle Germany's climate--there's something in the air there and it's gone to his head. At the Berlinale, which ends tomorrow, he's shown up at his film's premiere wearing a paper bag (which reads "I'm not famous anymore") over his head (while wearing a tuxedo, no less) and stormed out of a press conference after dribbling some nonsense about sardines and trawling. And ... more >

Broken Gallery

BERLINALE 2013 – What’s on tap

This year's batch of films was ripped from the headlines

The 63rd edition of the Berlinale will open tomorrow Thursday evening for ten days. And like every year, it’s the diversity of the films on hand which makes this festival remarkable. More than 400 titles will be screened, including big-budget Hollywood movies and a slew of European films (including several first features) addressing controversial contemporary issues like homosexuality within ... more >