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 >

BERLINALE ’11 wrap-up

Two movies that closed the festival

Two highly anticipated late competition entries in this year’s Berlin Film Festival which wrapped up yesterday scooped up awards at Saturday’s award ceremony. American director Joshua Marston’s “The Forgiveness of Blood,” an Albanian-language dramatic thriller nabbed the Silver Bear for best screenplay. Andres Veiel’s feature film debut “Wer Wenn Nicht Wir” (pictured; “If Not Us, Who”), a German ... more >

Triumph in Berlin

Iranian moviemaker gets top honor

Asghar Farhadi’s “Nader and Simin” was the big winner at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, which announced its awards Saturday evening, a day prior to the end of the fest. Farhadi won the Silver Bear for best director two years ago for his film “About Elly.” “Nader and Simin” was widely seen as a shoo-in for the Golden Bear, both for its outstanding quality in a year of insipid competition fare ... more >

Coriolanus and Nader & Simin

From the Berlin Film Festival

As the Berlin Film Festival creeps film-by-film to its end this coming Sunday the amount of mediocre fare in the main competition section is baffling. However, solace was at hand with Ralph Fiennes’ worthy “Coriolanus,” and Asghar Farhadi masterful "Nader and Simin: A Separation," which arrived on days five and six, respectively. I’ll start with the less impressive of the two. A decade ... more >

El Premio and Yelling at the Sky

From the 61st edition of the Berlinale

Last Thursday the 61st Berlin International Film Festival kicked off with a star-studded red carpet gala for Joel and Ethan Coen’s “True Grit,” the stateside hit (and Best Picture Oscar nominee) that was celebrating its international premiere here. The Coen’s revenge epic about a fourteen-year-old girl out to bring her father’s murderer to justice seemed an appropriate opening shot for a festival ... more >