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BERLINALE | “Tabu”

Our closing review from this year's Berlinale

Miguel Gomes’s Tabu, a meditative fable about love, memory and loneliness that jumps deftly between contemporary Lisbon, colonial Africa and the landscape of dreams has been gathering steam on the festival circuit, notably in Berlin this month. The film takes both its title and structure from F.W. Murnau’s final cinematic statement, a collaboration with Robert Flaherty. Shot in grainy black and ... more >

Jayne Mansfield’s Car

From this year's Berlinale

Billy Bob Thornton’s Jayne Mansfield’s Car is the director’s return to the big screen since 1999’s All the Pretty Horses, adapted from the Cormack McCarthy novel. Thornton said he was delighted to be back to directing his own material. He has chosen a quirky tragi-comedy set in the American south in the 1960s that is a double portrait of two families, one American, the other British. It has ... more >

BERLINALE | The winners are announced

Two Italian brothers take home the top prize

Viva Italia! Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die) has become the first Italian film in over two decades to carry the Golden Bear, top prize of the Berlin Film Festival. In last night’s award ceremony, the eight-member international jury, headed by British-director Mike Leigh and featuring actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Charlotte Gainsbourg, awarded the Taviani’s ... more >

62ND BERLINALE – Captive

A new film from Serbis director Brillante Mendoza

Inspired by the 2001 Dos Palmas kidnapping of foreign tourists and missionaries by the Islamic separatist group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, Philipino director Brillante Mendoza (Kinatay, Serbis) Captive excruciatingly follows the twenty hostages as they are dragged at gunpoint from their hotel, spirited onto a fishing boat and led through various towns and jungles for over a year. Isabelle ... more >

62ND BERLINALE – Caesar must die

New from the Taviani Bros

In Berlin for a while, everyone talked about Caesar must die, a historical and literary reenactment filmed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani in superb documentary style--but it's a feature film documenting a jail bound theater production. The Tavianis (Padre Padrone, Kaos), who are now in their eighties, entered a high-security prison near Rome to film a production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” ... more >

BERLINALE | “Farewell my Queen”

A week of turmoil in Versailles

Halfway through the 62nd installment of the Berlin Film Festival, no single film has emerged to carry the fest’s top prizes. The international jury, this year’s headed by British director Mike Leigh, will have a difficult time distributing the Gold and Silver bears if the competition fare remains this lackluster. Benoît Jacquot’s French-Revolution drama, Les Adieux à la Reine was the firing ... more >

The Year That Was

The best of the best: Here. Now.

It’s that time of year when this critic must sift through the hundreds of films consumed in the past twelve months and make choices—some easy, others very difficult—about the year’s best batch of films. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi’s marital drama snatched top prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, and for good reason. Back in February, I wrote, “One of the film’s best qualities is that it ... more >