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FEB. 13, 2016

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2/10/16 6:10 PM

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FEBRUARY 13, 2016


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Suburbicon
Finds a Home
at Paramount

From left: Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Shannon, Lieberher


and writer-director Nichols attend the Midnight
Special premiere at the Berlinale Palace. To find
out Nichols inspiration for the film, see page 8.

By Rebecca Ford

n the first big sale of the


Berlin Film Festival,
Paramount is nearing a
deal for U.S. rights to George
Clooneys Suburbicon.
The crime comedy is largely
considered one of the hottest
titles coming into the market.
After Clooney in town for
the international premiere of
the Berlinale opening-night
film Hail, Caesar! charmed
buyers at a presentation
about his directorial project
on Thursday, there was strong
interest in the film from
C O N T I N U ED O N PA G E 2

Stephen Fry
Backs British
Comedy Croak
By Alex Ritman

arry Potter and The


Theory of Everything
star David Thewlis is
set to appear alongside
Juliette Lewis and
Zoe Kazan in Croak,
a darkly comic
British heist movie
to
be directed by
Fry
Kevin Thomas from a
script by Thewlis.
The film is being produced
by Sprout Pictures, founded
by Stephen Fry and Gina Carter,

Midnight Special

REVIEW

Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst and Jaeden Lieberher are superb in Jeff Nichols
gorgeously crafted and emotionally resonant sci-fi thriller BY DAVID ROONEY
N H IS FOU RT H F E AT U R E , MIDNIGHT

Special, Jeff Nichols pays transporting


homage to the rich tradition, spanning the
late 1970s through the mid-80s, of intelligent
sci-fi emotionally grounded in relatable human
dynamics. Theres an explicit nod, in particular,
to John Carpenters Starman, echoed even in
the enveloping mood of David Wingos driving
electronic score. But this suspenseful, beautifully
acted supernatural thriller is also very much of
a piece with Nichols overarching thematic concerns and stylistic approach, with notably strong
links to another riveting study in fatherhood,
family and home, Take Shelter. And like that film,
its built around a performance of formidable
gravitas from Michael Shannon.
Fanboys with big f/x addictions and short

attention spans will no doubt be resistant to the


unhurried films restraint. But Warners March
release should see a steady build of appreciation
as word gets out to discerning genre buffs. There
are quiet evocations here not only of Starman,
but also of sci-fi as diverse as The Man Who Fell to
Earth, E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Nichols screenplay expertly peels away exposition and drops us in a story already in motion,
with scenes set up to infer one situation only to
reveal another via meticulously parceled out
fragments of information. Theres also some sly
humor in the use of that most unreliable and
overheated narrator, Nancy Grace, to share the
sensationalist media account.
An 8-year-old boy named Alton (Jaeden
C O N T I N U E D O N PA G E 2 3

C O N T I N U ED O N PA G E 2

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

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2/5/16 11:18 AM

2/12/16 8:02 PM

theREPORT

HEAT INDEX

ANKE ENGELKE
The German comedian and host
of the Berlinales opening-night gala
drew loud and sustained applause
for her digs at far right anti-immigrant
protests in the country, comparing
demonstrators to film Nazis.

JOEL AND ETHAN COEN


Berlinale opener Hail, Caesar! has
disappointed at the U.S. box office with
the lowest-ever opening-weekend haul
for a wide release directed by the duo.
Berlin gave the film a warm welcome, but
it has failed to set off festival fireworks.

KNOW YOUR DEALMAKER

HAN WEI

BLISS MEDIA, FOUNDER AND CEO

At the start of EFM, Hans company


acquired a sizable stake in Insiders,
the international sales outfit launched
by Wild Bunch and Cine France.
It also recently co-launched the
$100 million YooZoo Bliss Film Fund,
with plans to finance 10 international
and Chinese co-productions.

MEANWHILE, IN THE REAL WORLD


European cinema attendance
was near record levels in 2015. In
the best year since 2004, ticket
sales hit an estimated 1.2 billion,
up 7.6 percent from 2014, amid
growth across the continent.
Netflix ordered a second season
of original comedy Master of None,
from creator-star Aziz Ansari.
Chinese Internet giant Baidu
received a takeover offer for
its 80.5 percent stake in online
video giant iQiyi, valuing iQiyi
at $2.8 billion.

Refugee Crisis Grips the Berlinale


Germanys migrant debate
has dominated chatter early
in the fest, with George
and Amal Clooney leading
the charge By Scott Roxborough

he refugee crisis now


rocking Europe overshadowed the glitz and
glamour of the Berlin Film
Festival, with George Clooney,
as well as German celebs and
politicians, debating the best way
forward in dealing with the flood
of migrants fleeing the Syrian
civil war.
Germany last year took in
about 1 million refugees, more
than any other European country,
as part of a controversial opendoor policy initiated by German
chancellor Angela Merkel.
Clooney, who said he absolutely agrees with Merkels
migrant policy, and his wife
Amal, a prominent human-rights
lawyer, met Friday with the
chancellor and David Miliband,
head of the International Rescue
Committee.
The Clooneys also visited a
refugee center in Berlin to meet
with recent migrants.
German film star Til Schweiger,
who last year set up a foundation
to support refugees in Germany,
welcomed Clooneys engagement

Merkel, second from


left, met with the
Clooneys at the German
chancellory on Friday.

with the issue.


He is absolutely right to raise
his voice and use his popularity
to influence opinion on this,
Schweiger told THR. The
atmosphere in Germany has
completely changed, and there is
a lot more anger and rabble-rousing, also against me and what Im
doing. But they can say what they
want I have to do whats right.
And I will keep doing it.
The refugee situation was the
main topic of conversation at the
festivals opening-night gala for
Hail, Caesar!, with Berlin mayor
Michael Muller telling the audience that Germany had a historic

Suburbicon

Croak
Damon

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

several parties. Sources peg the deal,


which is for U.S. rights, in the $10 million
range.
Julianne Moore and Matt Damon will
star in the film, which is set in the quiet
family town of Suburbicon, where a
home invasion causes a picture-perfect
family to turn to blackmail, revenge and
betrayal.
Suburbicon marks another collaboration for Clooney and Joel and Ethan
than Coen,
who helmed the actor in Hail, Caesar!
The Coens, who also directed Clooney in
Intolerable Cruelty, O Brother, Where Art
Thou? and Burn After Reading,, wrote the
script for Suburbicon.
Clooney also will produce Suburbicon
alongside Grant Heslov, Joel Silver and
Teddy Schwarzman.. Black Bear Pictures is
fully financing the film. Bloom is handling the films international rights at the
market while CAA reps U.S. rights.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_news1+2+REVIEW1_L.indd 2

responsibility to take a stand on


the refugee issue.
Building new walls and barbed
wire, shooting at refugees these
are messages that must never be
transmitted from Germany ever,
ever again, Muller said, seconding Merkels policies.
Vera Luters, a coordinator at
the ufaFabrik refugee center in
Berlin, praised the actions of
VIPs like Clooney. It is incredibly important to have prominent
figures speak out on this issue,
especially now as the climate here
in Germany is starting to turn
against [Merkels policies], she
told THR.

alongside Thomas Thomas Films and


The Development Partnership.
Croak also stars rising name
Craig Roberts (The Fundamentals of
Caring, 22 Jump Street), Ken Stott
(Billy Lynns Long Halftime
Walk, The Hobbit), Julia Garner
(Grandma) and Shirley Henderson
(Trainspotting). Principal photography is set to start in July.
Croak is based on Sunday Roast,
Thomas short film that screened at
the London Film Festival in 2015. It
takes a comedic look at the ludicrous
quirks of the film industry, which are
thrown into sharp relief when a young
actor meets a twisted mortician.
UTA is arranging financing for the
film and handling the U.S. rights.
13 Films is handling international
rights to the project and will introduce
the film to buyers in Berlin.

2/12/16 8:03 PM

SCREENINGS
TOMORROW / Feb 14th / 9:30 am / CineStar 2
WEDNESDAY / Feb 17th / 8:00 pm / CinemaxX 7 / PREMIERE
FRIDAY / Feb 18th / 10:45 pm / CineStar 3
SATURDAY / Feb 19th / 8:15 pm / Cubix 7&8

EFM OFFICE Martin-Gropius-Bau / Stand Number 27 / Phone +49 30 400425 404


HEAD OFFICE Gruenwalder Weg 28d / D-82041 Oberhaching / Phone +49 89 673469 - 828 / beta@betacinema.com / www.betacinema.com

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2/4/16 12:16 PM

theREPORT

Buyers Jump
on Tomboy

Gabriele Muccino Makes


Expiration Date By Rebecca Ford

abriele Muccino, who directed The


Pursuit of Happyness and Seven
Pounds,, will helm the action thriller
Expiration, starring Adrien Brody.
Brian Tucker wrote the script for Expiration,
which stars Brody as a former CIA agent who
attempts to complete one last job but instead
finds himself poisoned. With one day left to
live, he sets out to uncover who his murderer is
and see the woman he loves one final time.
Brody will co-produce Expiration through
his Fable House production banner, and
Paul Breuls will produce through Corsan.
Corsan also is handling international sales
in Berlin while Paradigm is repping domestic
rights. Expiration will shoot in Berlin, with
plans to begin in June.
Adrien Brody and Gabriele Muccino are
two of the most talented people working in
film today, said Breuls.
Along with the Will Smith films Pursuit of
Happyness and Seven Pounds,, the Rome-born
Muccino, repped by Paradigm and Loeb &
Loeb, directed Playing for Keeps,, starring
Gerard Butler, and Fathers and Daughters,, with
Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried.. Hes in
postproduction on Summertime and in talks
s erotic
for an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokovs
thriller Laughter in the Dark. THR

By Rebecca Ford

omboy, A Revengers Tale,


the actioner starring Michelle
Rodriguez and Sigourney
Weaver
Weaver, is drumming up strong
business in Berlin, with The Solution
Entertainment Group closing deals
in multiple territories.
The revenge film has sold to
Rodriguez
TF1 for France and Notorious for
Italy, along with deals for Latin America (California
Filmes), the Middle East (Eagle Films), Greece
(Odeon), South Korea (Double & Joy), Turkey
(Pinema Group), Singapore (Shaw Organisation), the
Philippines and Vietnam (MVP Entertainment) and
India (PVR).
Buyers will get a first peek at Tomboy, which stars
Rodriguez as a hitman who sets out for revenge after
hes turned into a woman by a rogue plastic surgeon
(Weaver), when The Solution presents promo footage
in Berlin on Saturday morning.
The reactions from buyers have been tremendous,
said The Solutions Lisa Wilson. The film just takes
you on a thrill ride with some serious female power
from our lead stars.
Walter Hill directed Tomboy from his own script
based on a story by Denis Hamill. Sad Ben Sad of SBS
is producing with Michel Merkt, and ICM Partners is
repping domestic rights. THR

Brody

Margot Robbie
Joins Hitman
Thriller Terminal
By Rebecca Ford

argot Robbie will star


in Vaughn Steins noir
thriller Terminal.
Stein, a veteran assistant director, wrote the screenplay and will
direct Terminal, which is in preproduction. It follows two
hitmen as they embark on
a risky mission for a mysterious employer and a
large
paycheck. Along the
Robbie
way, they meet a dynamic
woman named Annie (Robbie),
who may be more involved than
they originally suspected.
Robbie is in Berlin to meet
with buyers about the project,
which Highland Film Group is
financing and shopping to international buyers. CAA is handling
U.S. rights. Repped by CAA and
Management 360, she next will
be seen in Paramounts Whiskey
Tango Foxtrot and will star in
Warner Bros. Suicide Squad. THR

Exclusive
First Look

Marjorie Prime

A service that provides holographic re-creations of deceased loved ones allows a man (Tim Robbins) to come
face-to-face with the younger version of his late father (Jon Hamm) in Marjorie Prime. Lois Smith and Geena Davis
also star in the Michael Almereyda film, which Fortitude International is handling in Berlin.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

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2/12/16 10:01 AM

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anthony@kaleidoscopefilmdistribution.com
Daniel Cooper - Sales Executive
daniel@kaleidoscopefilmdistribution.com

2/4/16 11:11 AM

theREPORT

BERLINALE IN BRIEF
Dog Eat Dog Sells to
Germany, France, U.K.

Berlin buyers have jumped on Dog


Eat Dog, a crime thriller directed
by Taxi Driver scribe Paul Schrader
and starring Nicolas
Cage and Willem
Dafoe. Described as
a gritty crime thriller
about
a kidnapping
Cage
that goes horribly wrong,
Dog Eat Dog was adapted from
the Eddie Bunker novel of the
same name by Schrader and Matt
Wilder. Arclight has closed deals
with Metropolitan for France, KSM
for Germany, Inopia for Spain and
Signature for U.K. The film also sold
across Eastern Europe, the Middle
East and Latin America.

Shalhoub, Poesy Framed


for Tuccis Portrait

Tony Shalhoub and Clemence


Poesy are joining Geoffrey Rush
and Armie Hammer in Final
Portrait, Stanley Tuccis fifth stint as
director and based on the memoir
by James Lord about his friend, the
Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti.
The film is being shopped internationally in Berlin by HanWay.

Thomsen, Bro Aboard


Scandi Noir Drama

Scandinavian stars Ulrich Thomsen


(The Celebration) and Nicolas Bro
(Nymphomaniac) have signed on
to star in the upcoming feature
from Danish helmer Ole Bornedal
(Nightwatch). The still-untitled
feature sees Thomsen and Bro
playing two tradesmen, Ib and
Edward, who, tired of their lifeless
marriages, decide to hire a
Russian contract killer to knock off
their wives. But they have badly
underestimated their spouses, and
their plan turns on itself.

Orgy in a Small Town


Goes Big Overseas

Double Dutch International


has closed a raft of sales for How to
Plan an Orgy in a Small Town,
Jeremy Lalondes indie drama
that stars Lauren Holly and Jewel
Staite. The Slamdance title sold
to Viewlink for Mexico and Latin
America, Eagle Pictures for Australia
and New Zealand, Lighthouse
for Germany, Monolith for Poland
and Premier TV for Benelux.

n
Hidde
GEM

An Unflinching Family Portrait


Brooklyn-based doc filmmaker Danae Elon chronicles her familys difficult
adjustment after moving to Israel in the poignant P.S. Jerusalem By Etan Vlessing

Tristan struggled to comprehend the


complexities of everyday life in Jerusalem.

n his deathbed in
2009, celebrated Israeli
writer Amos Elon
begged his daughter, documentary director Danae Elon, never
to return to Israel.
But Elon ignored her fathers
dying wish and, with a camera
and family in tow, left Brooklyn
in 2010 for Jerusalem, where she
grew up, to touchingly honor the
memory of her dad.
The result is P.S. Jerusalem, a
documentary with a home-movie
aesthetic set for a European
premiere in Berlin as part of the
Forum sidebar.
P.S. Jerusalem captures Elon
and her family as they are
quickly exposed to, and eventually exhausted by, the seeming
endless war, occupation and
human-rights abuses during their
three years in the city.
I wanted to be brutally honest.
I didnt want to hide behind

poetic, liberal ways of thinking,


Elon tells The Hollywood Reporter
about her filmmaking style.
Like so many other documentaries about Israel, P.S. Jerusalem
is about perceptions, like how
Israelis and Palestinians choose
to see and define themselves. But
she says she had no interest in
choosing sides.
I didnt want to talk about
peoples neither Palestinians
or Israelis. I wanted to focus on
individuals, she explains.
The result is hardly reality
TV, even though Elon seemingly
keeps her camera rolling at all
times. P.S. Jerusalem is at its most
moving when, through the prism
of parenthood, Elon captures
the reactions of her family to the
complexity of the conflict surrounding them. We learn quickly
that the Hebrew and Arabic the
oldest of her three sons learn in
school are survival tools. In one

D3_Berlin_Gem_Jerusalem_K.indd 6

THE C OLOR IST

berlin according to ...

DENIS DE SOUZA
Celebrity colorist and
co-owner of Mare Salon
in West Hollywood
Biggest Berlin faux pas
I think there is nothing that
you can do wrong in Berlin.
You can wear whatever
you want and you can be as
you want to be it is no
place for faux pas.
Things you cant
live without during
the festival
Hat, scarf, mittens: Germans

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

tense scene, Tristan, 4, whispers


to his Palestinian friend as they
enter a Jewish neighborhood:
Dont speak Arabic here.
Minutes later, his friend whispers
to Elons son in Arabic as they
pass back into Palestinian zone:
Not a word in Hebrew!
In time, Elon captures the
boy asking endless questions
about soldiers and air-raid
sirens and why he lives a
different life than those of his
Palestinian pals.
Elon ultimately has to confront
her deeply conflicted role as
mother, wife and filmmaker
when her partner, Philippe, a
French-Algerian Jew living for
the first time in Israel, declares
hes had enough with war, occupation and craziness.
You do want to explode,
Elon says of Philippe waiting to
get out of Israel. You just cant
take it anymore.
After three years, Elon and
her family leave, but not before
a final scene where her son is
tearful as hes forced to part with
his Palestinian friends.
Elon arrives in Berlin with no
regrets over putting her family
through an ordeal to capture their
experiences in P.S. Jerusalem. I
exposed some of our most painful
moments in conversation, she
says, and I tried to be true to
them and not to polish them and
not hide behind imagery.

often talk about the Berlinale


Flu they get sick right after
the festival because they
stand outside cinemas in a
line for hours.
Secret pro tip for
the Berlinale
The East Side Gallery, which
is the longest open-air
gallery in the world, and the
longest piece of the Berlin
Wall still existing, with crazy
graffiti art. It always helps
me find the way back to my
hotel in Berlin the morning
after a long party night.

Best places to get away


from the fest
Borchardt restaurant.
Get a table there or a seat at
the bar. This is where youll
meet celebs without risking
a flu. And if you dare to
dance the night away till the
next morning, Berghain is
the place to go!
Strangest late-night
experience
Bar Larry in Berlin-Mitte.
They dont offer drinks in
glasses but pour them
directly into your mouth.

2/12/16 6:34 PM

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Despite it being a
genre film, its also
a serious film, so Im
excited to have a
serious crowd look at
it for the first time,
says Nichols of
Midnight Special.

Q&A DIRECTOR

Jeff Nichols

The Arkansas native, returning to the scene of his first


festival with Midnight Special, on being a new father and why
hed watch Michael Shannon sit on a park bench By Rebecca Ford

E F F N IC HOL S F I R ST F I L M F E ST I VA L WA S T H E 20 07

Berlinale, where Shotgun Stories, his directorial debut, premiered.


So its fitting that the writer-director is returning with his fourth
film and most ambitious project to date the sci-fi chase film
Midnight Special. In the years since that inaugural Berlinale, the
Little Rock, Ark., native has continued to create critically acclaimed
films, including 2011s apocalyptic drama Take Shelter and the
Southern crime drama Mud, which kicked off Matthew McConaugheys
now-famous career rebirth. Along with Midnight Special, which follows
a father (Nichols consistent collaborator Michael Shannon) who tries
to protect his young son who has special powers, Nichols also will
release another film this year: Loving, which is based on the true story
of an interracial couple who were imprisoned for getting married in
1958. Ahead of his Berlin return, Nichols, who lives in Austin with his
wife and son, spoke to THR about what inspired Midnight Special, why
Shannon is his muse and what he thinks of the McConaissance.
writing, so Midnight Special
became about this newfound
position of having this little person that was so fragile and could
so affect the trajectory of my
life, and I had no control over it.
I think part of the trick of being
a parent is giving up all of this
control to this new being.
Why do you use those Spielberg and
John Carpenter films as inspiration?
The thing that I carried with me
since first seeing them was the
sense of mystery. Its the tone of
them, this kind of bluish-black
aesthetic and of the light being
this kind of blue. They did wonderment really well. I dont do
wonderment the same way, my
scores dont operate the same way
as John Williams scores do, but I
do appreciate awe and mystery.

Where did the idea for Midnight


Special come from?
I had the idea of two guys driving
a car only at night through back
roads of the American South.
How much of this film was shot
There also was this desire to
at night?
make a film like the ones I loved
A fair amount of it.
growing up, like
That was part of the
Close Encounters
BY THE NUMBERS
technical challenge.
of the Third Kind,
I like to shoot on
Starman and E.T. I
film, and when you
always work on two
Films made (all starring
shoot at night, it
tracks, so on the one
Michael Shannon)
completely loses
hand Ive got genre
all of the beautiful
and plot and on the
organic qualities
other, Ive got these
Box office of 2013s Mud
that happen in
thematic connecdaytime. It was a
tions, these personal
Average rating for
real challenge, and
connections. My son
Nichols three films on
I think its one we
was 1 when I started
Rotten Tomatoes

$21.6M
93%

overcame. It doesnt necessarily


feel like a film shrouded in night
when you watch it, but certainly
making it, it felt that way. We
were outside in the cold night
quite a lot.
Not much was revealed about the
movie until the release of the first
trailer. Was that intentional?
Definitely. I think once you see
the film, youll understand. As
a writer, Ive been thinking a lot
about narrative structure. I dont
adhere to typical plot, things
youre supposed to do in order to
make a good movie, which is why
some people think my movies are
really slow and boring. [Laughs.]
I think this movie is the culmination of something Ive been trying
my hand at for a long time, which
is removing expositional dialogue
and information. I might be
cutting it to the bone on this one.
I think Warner Bros. has been
smart about it. If you try to cut
a trailer that explains what was
going on good luck, this movie
barely does it in two hours.
Shannon has been in every one of
your films. What is it about him that
keeps you coming back for more?
He makes my writing better
and makes me a better director.
Especially in a film like this that
removes so much dialogue and
removes so much information in

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_QA_Nichols_I.indd 8

the traditional sense of exposition. He fills all that in just with


looks on his face. I can watch
Mike Shannon literally do nothing, sit on a park bench and pick
at his fingernails, and I would be
intrigued by it, and I think a lot
of people could too. He is able to
carry the weight of a character
through very quiet moments better than anybody else I know.
How hard was it to take on a true
story with Loving?
I was creatively paralyzed for
about a month. I just felt like a
phony, but you get over it and
you start to just absorb as much
information as you possibly can
from the real-life circumstances.
Its drop dead gorgeous, its going
to knock people on the ground.
I challenge anyone to watch this
movie and not cry.
Mud is considered the start of
the McConaissance. Do you deserve
all the credit?
Id like to think Im a key player
in it, but when he came to us,
hed come off the set of Magic
Mike and I think hed already
done Killer Joe and The Paper Boy.
He was already starting to pull
levers, to make adjustments in his
career, and we were very pleased
to find each another at that time.
I just saw him this weekend. I
want to work with him again.
SUNDANCE

You premiered Shotgun Stories in


Berlin. How does it feel to come back?
I just remember the Q&As
immediately snapped me into
attention because I had to be on
my game. The first question I was
ever asked was, Obviously, the
film youve made is an allegory
for vicious political policy I
think I was 25. I was struck by the
intense nature of the audiences.
Im excited to have that type of
audience be the first to watch
Midnight Special. Its a sci-fibased movie, and its also about
this kind of intense emotional
feeling that I have toward being
a father and toward my son.

2/12/16 11:56 AM

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2/4/16 12:07 PM
04.02.16 16:11

SPECIAL FEATURE

30 YEARS OF PRIDE
Long before LGBT content went mainstream, the
Berlinale shined a much-needed spotlight on queer
cinema with the groundbreaking Teddy Awards
By SCOTT ROXBOROUGH

ACK T H EN W E W ER E

idealists, we were
convinced that film had
political power, says
Wieland Speck, recalling
the day back in 1987 when he
and Manfred Salzgeber launched
the Berlinales Teddy Awards,
the worlds first-ever honor for
LGBT films. It made sense
to do it here. Berlin was always
a haven for queer people, before
the second world war, before
the first world war even, it
was a refuge.
In the years since, the Teddys
became a refuge themselves, for
queer filmmakers and their work.
Long before movies with gay and
transgender subjects became
mainstream, Berlin honored

queer cinema pioneers Pedro


Almodovar and Gus Van Sant, Derek
Jarman and Todd Haynes, Lisa
Cholodenko and Rose Troche,
Francois Ozon and Bruce LaBruce.
Thirty years on, the issues
championed by the Teddys, on
and off the screen, have been
picked up by Hollywood and
society at large. Queer cinema
doesnt have to fight to claim its
space as it once did, Speck
notes, though he says the pace of
change surprised even him. You
now have all these conservative
people who are homosexual, who
just want to prance around with
their husbands. I guess the end
of any real emancipation is not
very exciting, its just people
living their ordinary lives.

5
6

1 Almodovar won the first-ever best film Teddy in 1987 for Law of Desire, a crazy comedy-thriller melodrama that focused on the love and sexual disorientation of siblings Pablo and Tina hes gay, shes
transgender. In lieu of a trophy, Teddys co-founder Speck went to a local shop and bought Almodovar a teddy bear for his prize. 2 Cholodenko in 2010, accepting the Teddy for The Kids Are All Right, a feature
that showed, with its depiction of a lesbian couple as conservative, even conventional, that queer cinema had definitely cracked the mainstream. 3 Tilda Swinton with German actor Daniel Schmid in 1988,
when Swinton won the first Teddy Jury Award for her performance in Jarmans The Last of England. Swinton left the awards ceremony that night to join a gay-rights demonstration, which was protesting the
passing of Clause 28 in the U.K., which banned positive depictions of homosexuality, a law that stayed on the books in Britain until 2003. Swinton became a Teddys regular and received the events inaugural
lifetime achievement award in 2008. 4 Javier Bardem didnt have a film in Berlin in 2006, but the Spanish star glammed it up for the Teddy party, always a festival highlight. 5 Todd Haynes debut feature Poison
premiered in Sundance, where it won the Grand Jury Award. It followed up in Berlin with the Teddy for best film, launching the Carol helmers international career. 6 German cinema icon Udo Kier, whose
career has included films with Andy Warhol, Van Sant and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, received a long-overdue lifetime achievement Teddy in 2015.

3 QUESTIONS WITH
CHRISTINE VACHON

HRISTINE VACHON AND BERLIN GO WAY BACK.

The veteran producer has won best film Teddy Awards


for Todd Haynes Poison (in 1991), Rose Troches Go
Fish (1994) and John Cameron Mitchells Hedwig and the
Angry Inch (2001). On Feb. 18, Vachon will receive an honorary
Teddy in Berlin at the Kino International, ahead of a gala
screening of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Youve been coming to Berlin for decades now.
What impact has the festival had on your career?
Well, the Berlin film festival actually was the first
international festival I ever attended. We took Poison there

after it won the Grand Jury Prize in Sundance, and the


festival really opened up a whole new world for me, not just
seeing films from other countries but meeting the
filmmakers, the journalists, starting to understand
what indie film was and could be internationally.

So many of the issues you raised in your early


films have been co-opted by Hollywood. Whats
How has the market for queer cinema changed
your assessment of queer cinema now?
since you first came to Berlin in 1991?
Queer cinema, what does that even mean
There is a lot more content available to a lot more
anymore? A lot of the early movies we made get
Vachon
people. When we started making movies if you had a
branded with the moniker of queer cinema even though
movie like Poison, with gay and lesbian themes in it, the
they were often very critically received by gay audiences.
community would flock to it but if you wanted to see
Now there is a growing discussion about diversity and
yourself portrayed onscreen, there werent very many
inclusion in film. Against the backdrop of all this discussion,
movies out there, it was hard to find them. Now, if you want
we should be asking why there is so much exclusion in our
only to see movies featuring under 30-year-old gay men
business. Its an interesting time; things are getting more
from San Francisco, theres content for you. The positive
transparent and starting to change. Thats a positive thing.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_teddysC.indd 1

side is discovering you are gay when you are a teenager,


theres a way for you to feel you are not alone. You can
access the complete works of Fassbinder.

10

2/12/16 4:28 AM

Village Inc. D3 021316.indd 1

1/29/16 11:53 AM

EXECUTIVE SUITE

invested in many new productions German


productions, international productions. They
went all in just as the market was changing.
Cinema releases were becoming more risky,
and the ancillary markets, like television
and home entertainment, were less dependable. You see, film is a great business. Its
fascinating, but its also dangerous. You cant
forget about the risks, even when youre
successful maybe especially then. Theres
always a risk, but you have to make sure
that if you have a flop, it doesnt topple the
whole company. Dont bet the house on one or
two titles.

If you think a film is great, you


have to gamble, says Gabizon,
who was photographed Jan. 26
at his office in Berlin.

MANAGING DIRECTOR,
WILD BUNCH GERMANY

Marc Gabizon

Vincent Maravals man in Germany


discusses his worst deal, why stars no
longer guarantee success and the need
for (calculated) risks By Scott Roxborough

I L D BU NCH, T H E F R ENCH-BA SED

European production and distribution giant, prides itself on its


enfant terrible image with
designed-to-shock-films such as Gaspar
Noes 3D sex fest Love and its legendarily
debauched parties in Cannes. So its a bit
of a surprise to meet Marc Gabizon, the
49-year-old exec who runs Wild Bunch
Germany. Soft-spoken, discreet and diplomatic almost to a fault, Gabizon, who is
French but has spent his entire career in
Germany, doesnt fit the brass, crass Wild
Bunch mold, exemplified by its chief
creative officer, Vincent Maraval. In Cannes,
Gabizon can be spotted scooting from
meeting to meeting on his bike, as trim and
purposeful as a UPS messenger. Its been a
busy year for Gabizon: Just before the 2015
Berlin Festival, Wild Bunch in Germany
merged with Senator, rescuing the storied
Berlin production and distribution outfit from bankruptcy. Ahead of this years
Berlinale, he spoke with THR about balancing risk with reward, his best (and worst)
deals and just what went wrong at Senator.

Youve done a lot of deals over the years for


German licenser Telepool before joining Wild
Bunch. Which one are you most proud of?
Hayao Miyazakis Spirited Away. I bought
that for Germany [from Wild Bunch], and
Im just happy and thankful to be associated
with a film like that. Or movies like Crash
or Rust and Bone. Another one was The Kings
Speech. Wild Bunch bought that in Toronto,
together with Senator. It was a huge success,
as everyone knows.
What was your worst deal?
Thats a long list. And I keep adding to it. But
my first big flop was a Joseph Fiennes movie
with Heather Graham: Killing Me Softly. Have
you heard of it? No? Well that says it all.

What does that say about the presale market


in general?
We have to learn from disappointments like
Burnt. We have to be more careful: does the
story really have what we need, can we lock
in the talent, contractually, to do promotion
for the film in Germany? Thats becoming
increasingly important. Its very different
than it was six, seven years ago when stars
were more or less a success guarantee.

What went so wrong with Senator?


Thats a very delicate subject. Its not really
for me to speculate but, and this isnt
meant as a criticism, but the film business
is extremely volatile. You make two or three
decisions that prove to be wrong, and that can
have drastic consequences. That happened
with Senator. They have been hugely important in the German film industry theyve
had a major influence on German film, with
big hits like The Miracle of Bern. But there also
have been times when, maybe in the euphoria
of a recent success, they may have lost sight
of the economic risks. It happened after they
went public on the Neuer Markt, and it happened after [French comedy] The Intouchables
was such a huge success in Germany [earning $80 million for Senator]. The company

So has Wild Bunch lost its edge? The company


used to be associated with the most shocking and
controversial films out there.
Well, even Wild Bunch in France has changed
a bit from the old, edgy image. Of course,
Wild Bunch is an independent, and we want
to keep that ethos: trusting good filmmakers,
bringing provocative and innovative movies to the screen, but not as an end in itself.
The movies we do have must have a certain
commercial potential, however cutting edge or
experimental they may be. And sometimes the
experiment is the commercial selling point.
[German drama] Victoria was a dream combination: a great art house film, edgy, original,
which won awards and found an audience. But
Id be lying if I said I knew it was going to be
successful. That surprised all of us.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_ExSuite_Gabizon_I.indd 12

Thats going to be an issue going into Berlin,


where youll again be prebuying films based on
cast and script. Recently you bet big to prebuy
Bradley Cooper-starrer Burnt, which flopped.
What went wrong there?
As so often, its a bit of a puzzle when a film
that seems to have it all doesnt work. The
U.S. release was a big disappointment. Its
very painful, because its a really good film.
It might be it was perceived as not being
romantic or feel-good enough. Maybe that
cost it. Then theres promotion. At the last
minute, Bradley Cooper canceled his trip to
Germany to promote the film. That certainly
hurt it. I have the feeling people just missed
the movie. We had a great response from the
ones who did see it, but that does not compensate for our disappointment, of course.

12

PHOTOGRAPHED BY

Andreas Chudowski

2/12/16 12:09 PM

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11:35

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2/9/16 3:48 PM

SPECIAL FEATURE

LATIN
AMERICA:
A TALE OF
TWO
CINEMAS

Mexico

Colombia

Brazil

Chile

Film production is booming and local filmmakers are thriving


on the festival circuit, but homegrown projects remain no
match for Hollywood at the multiplex BY AGUSTIN MANGO

Argentina

H E STAT E OF L AT I N A M ER ICA N CI N EM A IS SOM ET H I NG OF A PA R A DOX:

overall film production and box-office numbers seem to break records every year,
and there is certainly plenty of talent, with local auteurs regularly making the
jump to Hollywood (think Narcos co-creator Jose Padilha or Hateful Eight co-star
Demian Bichir). But while the festival circuit consistently honors the regions best with top
awards, only a handful of local films mostly comedies featuring TV stars make a dent at
the local box office. And when they do succeed, they take most of an already reduced share
of the market, which is heavily concentrated and dominated by Hollywood blockbusters. The
contrast between the art house and the multiplex is especially acute in these five markets:

MEXICO

Once again, Mexican talent is chasing


Oscar glory, and the countrys most
promising filmmakers are making their voices
heard on the festival circuit. But back home,
the box-office numbers tell a different story.
Locally produced movies captured less than
6 percent of Mexicos box-office share last
year, while the lions share of a record-breaking year ($892 million in receipts) went to
Hollywood distributors.
Even the road movie 600 Miles, which won
best first work last year at Berlin and had the
potential star power of Tim Roth playing the
lead role, struggled to connect with audiences, grossing $247,000 after a five-week run.

600 Miles writer-director Gabriel Ripstein


believes Mexican audiences are generally
looking for lighthearted content, so hes
hardly surprised that his thriller, about an
ATF agent kidnapped by a gunrunner, was
received with less enthusiasm than, say, the
animated hit A Rooster With Many Eggs.
Of the years top 10 domestic releases, not
one deals with heavy subjects like Mexicos
brutal drug war.
People want to disconnect from that
reality, says Ripstein, a former head of
production at Columbia Pictures Mexico. If
someone wants to make a strictly commercial
film, Id recommend a comedy.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_LatinAm_J.indd 14

14

TALENT TO WATCH

Freshman filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios,


37, made a big splash in Berlin two years ago
with his black-and-white road movie Gueros,
which won best first feature in the Panorama
section. The stylish Mexico City-set slacker
film, in which Gael Garcia Bernal served as
associate producer, went on to nab more than
a dozen prizes, including multiple awards at
the AFI Fest, Tribeca and best picture and
director at the Ariels (Mexicos version of the
Oscars). Up next for Ruizpalacios is Museo
(Museum), a fascinating truelife story about an unlikely
heist of some 140 artifacts from
Mexico Citys National Museum
of Anthropology.

MEXICO BY THE NUMBERS


TOTAL BOX OFFICE FOR 2015

$892 million
HIGHEST-GROSSING FOREIGN FILM

Avengers: Age of Ultron


($50 million)

HIGHEST-GROSSING LOCAL FILM

A Rooster With Many Eggs


($11 million)
BERLINALE TITLES Soy Nero
(Competition), Panamerican
Machinery (Forum), Tales of Two Who
Dreamt (Forum), Tempestad (Forum)
EFM TITLE We Are the Flesh
(Sales: Reel Suspects)

CREDITS HERE AND HERE

Soy Nero

2/12/16 10:53 AM

CDB16_AF02AD EFM THR13.pdf

2/9/16

11:47 AM

CM

MY

CY

CMY

Cinema do Brasil D3 021316.indd 1

2/9/16 3:08 PM

SPECIAL FEATURE

CHILE

ARGENTINA

In 2015, Chilean cinema


grabbed the lowest market
share in five years (3.4 percent) in a concentrated market
where the top 10 films took
almost half the box office and
only two local films The
Church of Karadima and Alma
sold more than 100,000 tickets. This is a global problem:
Hollywood has seized the theaters, says CinemaChile CEO
Constanza Arena. You cant
compare apples with oranges
and pretend art house films
deliver the same figures as the
mainstream. There are many
shades of gray between the
two. Indeed, festival favorites
like Pablo Larrains Golden
Globe nominee The Club or
Patricio Guzmans The Pearl
Button barely made it into the
local top 10. Auteur cinema
cannot sustain itself in the
commercial theater circuit. Its
like trying to sell a steak to a
vegan. No way, says Arena.
The Church
of Karadima

Time Was
Endless

BRAZIL

A Jupiter-size market in the LatAm solar


system, Brazil continues to grow in film production (more than 130 films in 2015), audiences
(up 20 percent), theaters (250 new screens) and
market share for local product (from 12 percent in
2014 to 13 percent in 2015). In that concentrated
scenario, only a handful of mainstream comedies
are garnering serious numbers, while an array of
films that make it big at festivals abroad hardly
get by. We only get to see lots of blockbusters in
theaters. Then, when you make one art house film
and try to enter these places, it seems as if the two
dont combine, says producer Antonio Junior. I
think theaters should be created for this kind of
movie as well as a LatAm network that supports
these theaters with LatAm films.

Concentration is a keyword in this market,


where the top 10 films (out of 450 releases)
grabbed 45 percent of the years film audience.
While Hollywood is consistently dominant the
release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens clogged
half the countrys screens a younger generation
of Argentine
mainstream
filmmakers
(Damian Szifron,
Juan Taratuto,
Ariel Winograd)
is drawing larger
audiences. Still,
festival winners
have a hard time
breaking out, as
The Tenth Man
the local market
share for Argentine cinema (13 percent in 2015) is
usually the result of only one or two releases. This
year it was The Clan ($17.1 million), which garnered
director Pablo Trapero a Silver Bear in Venice, and
the cyber-thriller Abzurdah ($4.7 million).

TALENT TO WATCH

TALENT TO WATCH

Marco Dutras first co-directing gig, Hard Labor, screened


in Cannes Un Certain Regard 2011. The 35-year-old helmer
then turned to genre fare with When I Was Alive, produced
by powerhouse RT Features, and co-wrote
Karim Ainouzs 2014 Berlinale entry Futuro
Beach, starring Wagner Moura (Narcos). His
upcoming relationship drama Era el cielo
stars Leonardo Sbaraglia (Wild Tales).

Erica Rivas acclaimed performance as a psychotic bride in the


last episode of Argentinas Oscarnominated Wild Tales came after
a successful stint as a TV comedian on the hugely
popular local version of Married With Children.
The 41-year-old actress next will be seen in
Ariel Rotters 1960s-set drama Incident Light.

BRAZIL BY THE NUMBERS

ARGENTINA BY THE NUMBERS

TOTAL BOX OFFICE FOR 2015 $593 million

TOTAL BOX OFFICE FOR 2015 $228 million


HIGHEST-GROSSING DOMESTIC FILM The Clan ($17.1 million)

HIGHEST-GROSSING DOMESTIC FILM

Loucas para casar ($11.1 million)


TALENT TO WATCH

A 2014 Grand Jury Prize winner


in Sundance with To Kill a Man,
Alejandro Fernandez Almendras,
44, returned to Park City with Much
Ado About Nothing, a probing look
at contemporary Chile that was
inspired by a real life hit-and-run
case. Next up: Three Broken Men,
a comedy set in
the U.S., and a
dystopian sci-fi flick
called The Gray
Beyond.
CHILE BY THE NUMBERS
TOTAL BOX OFFICE FOR 2015

$115 million

HIGHEST-GROSSING DOMESTIC FILM

The Church of Karadima


$1.3 million

HIGHEST-GROSSING FOREIGN FILM

Minions $10.2 million


BERLINALE TITLES Much Ado About
Nothing (Panorama), Youll
Never Be Alone (Panorama),
Rara (Generation Kplus)
EFM TITLES The Church of
Karadima (Sales: Ocio Films),
The Memory of Water (Sales:
Global Screen)

D3_Berlin_LatinAm_J.indd 16

HIGHEST-GROSSING FOREIGN FILM

HIGHEST-GROSSING FOREIGN FILM Minions ($36.1 million)

The Avengers: Age of Ultron ($35.7 million)


BERLINALE TITLES Dont Call Me Son (Panorama), Time
Was Endless (Panorama), Zona Norte (Panorama)

EFM TITLES The Tenth Man (Sales: Filmsharks),


The Black Frost (Sales: Still Moving), My Friend From
the Park (Sales: Visit Films), Oscuro Animal
(Sales: Gema Films)

COLOMBIA

The year 2015 was definitely


a good one for the growing
Colombian industry: a boost
in production and three films
in Cannes, with a Camera dOr
for Land and Shade and the now
Oscar-nominated Embrace of the
Serpent topping the Directors
Fortnight. However, attendance
for local films remained scarce,
and the industry was dependent
on mainstream comedies. Apart
from the mostly foreign-made
doc Colombia magia salvaje, onethird of all tickets sold by local
films came from a single feature,
Dago Garcias Uno al ano no hace
dano (1.1 million tickets), whereas
festival winners barely cracked
the 100,000-ticket mark. Were
in a golden age that seems to be

a sand age within the country,


says producer and Cartagena
Film Festival director Diana
Bustamante. I dont think the
problems are just the exhibition
chains their goal is only to
make money. Its imperative that
we strengthen the circulation of
LatAm films within the region.
We, the filmmakers, need to stop
complaining about the perverse
interests of the machinery and
do our own thing.
Embrace of
the Serpent

TALENT TO WATCH

A co-writer on recent festival


hits Los Hongos and La Sirga,
Cesar Acevedo, 28, grabbed
four awards at Cannes in 2014
(including the
Camera dOr)for
his directorial
debut, Land
and Shade.

COLUMBIA BY THE NUMBERS


TOTAL BOX OFFICE FOR 2015 $164 million
HIGHEST-GROSSING DOMESTIC FILM

Colombia magia salvaje


($4.4 million)

HIGHEST-GROSSING FOREIGN FILM

The Hunger Games:


Mockingjay Part 1 ($36 million)
BERLINALE TITLE Eden (Short Films
Generation 14plus)

2/12/16 10:54 AM

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FEB. 13 CINESTAR 2 16:30

MARKET PREMIERE TOMORROW


FEB. 14 MGB CINEMA 14:15

WORLDWIDE SALES, CONTACT THE ANNEX


ALEX HUGHES, MGB #145 TEL: +1.416.363.9971 EXT. 241

The Annex D3 021316.indd 1

2/4/16 2:11 PM

Celluloid Dreams
Heart of a Dog

EFM SCREENING GUIDE


2016
FEB. 13

9:00 Parasol, Kino Arsenal 1,


73 mins., Belgium, Be for Films
Behemoth, CinemaxX 8,
90 mins., France, Studiocanal
A Violent Prosecutor,
CineStar 4, 125 mins.,
South Korea, Showbox
The Stuff of Dreams,
CinemaxX 18, 103 mins., Italy,
Amadeus Entertainment
Roommates Wanted,
CinemaxX 9, 96 mins., France,
SND Groupe M6
Drive She Said aka Amateur
Night, CinemaxX 1, 93 mins.,
USA, The Works
The Fourth Phase, CineStar
IMAX, 80 mins., USA, Red Bull
Media House
9:15 Historys Future,
Kino Arsenal 2, 95 mins.,
Netherlands, Germany,
Ireland, Mongrel International
Our Loved Ones, CinemaxX
19, 102 mins., Canada, Wide
War on Everyone, CineStar
7, 98 mins., United Kingdom,
Bankside Films
Weekend, CinemaxX 17,
97 mins., Russia, Igmar
Jim: The James Foley Story,
MGB-Kino, 112 mins., USA,
Dogwoof
The New Classmate,
CinemaxX Studio 12, 100 mins.,
India, Films Boutique
Ants on a Shrimp, CinemaxX
15, 93 mins., Netherlands,
Fortissimo Films
Irreplaceable, CineStar 5,
103 mins., France, Le Pacte
9:20 Vive le Cinema!,
CinemaxX Studio 11, 90 mins.,
France, Bac Films
9:30 Heart of a Dog,
CinemaxX 16, 75 mins., USA,
Celluloid Dreams
Aloys, CinemaxX 10, 91 mins.,
Switzerland, France, New
Europe Film Sales
Jack Unterweger,
Parliament, 95 mins., Austria,
Picture Tree International
Top Cat Begins, Marriott 1,
91 mins., Mexico, India,
Kaleidoscope Film Distribution
The Model, CinemaxX 2, 109
mins., Denmark, TrustNordisk
Le fils de Joseph, CineStar
2, 115 mins., France, Belgium,
Les Films du Losange

Complete Unknown, CineStar


6, 90 mins., USA, Protagonist
Pictures
9:45 Dofus Book I: Julith,
CinemaxX 5, 107 mins., France,
Indie Sales
Raffi, CinemaxX 14,
97 mins., Germany, Eastwest
Filmdistribution
A Good American, CinemaxX
13, 100 mins., Austria,
Slingshot Films
10:00 A Heavy Heart, Zoo
Palast 2, 109 mins., Germany,
Picture Tree International
GmbH
10:20 Five, Kino Arsenal 1,
102 mins., France, Studiocanal
10:25, Hopefully, CinemaxX 3,
94 mins., France, EuropaCorp
10:30 Tomboy, CineStar IMAX,
60 mins., USA, The Solution
Entertainment Group
10:45 Lo & Behold, Reveries
of the Connected World, EFM
Cinemobile, 98 mins., USA,
Magnolia Pictures
Galloping Mind, CinemaxX 9,
115 mins., Belgium, Hungary,
Be for Films
Factory Boss, CinemaxX 1, 100
mins., China, Fortissimo Films
11:00 Sheep and Wolves,
CineStar 5, 80 mins., Russia,
Wizart
Creative Control,
CinemaxX 15, 97 mins., USA,
Coproduction Office
Operation Avalanche,
CinemaxX Studio 12, 93 mins.,
USA, Canada, XYZ Films
Gibby, CinemaxX 17, 87 mins.,
USA, VMI Worldwide
Bittersweet, Kino Arsenal 2,
95 mins., Germany, Wide
Union Bound, CinemaxX 19,
104 mins., USA, XVIII
Entertainment
Lily Lane, CinemaxX Studio 11,
91 mins., Hungary, Films
Boutique
Burn Burn Burn, CinemaxX 18,
106 mins., United Kingdom,
UDI Urban Distribution
International
11:05 Hedda Gabler, Marriott
1, 111 mins., United Kingdom,

Vision Films
11:10 No Tomorrow,
Parliament, 88 mins., South
Korea, Contents Panda (Next
Entertainment World)
11:15 Up for Love, CineStar 4,
100 mins., France, Gaumont
11:20 31, CineStar 6, 104 mins.,
USA, Protagonist Pictures
11:25 Legacy of Soma,
CinemaxX 2, 138 mins., Japan,
Village
11:30 Time Without Pulse,
CinemaxX 13, 80 mins.,
Mexico, Mexican Film Institute
(IMCINE)
Sticky Notes, Zoo Palast
Club A, 94 mins., USA,
Carnaby International Sales &
Distribution
The Algerian, Zoo Palast Club
B, 105 mins., USA, Hannover
House
S Is for Stanley, CinemaxX 14,
78 mins., Italy, Rai Com
The First, the Last, CineStar
2, 98 mins., France, Belgium,
Wild Bunch
Kokoro, dffb-Kino, 90 mins.,
France, Tunisia, Belgium, Doc
& Film International

12:50 Marry Me!, CinemaxX


19, 94 mins., Germany,
ARRI Media
Born to Dance, CinemaxX
14, 96 mins., New Zealand,
Cinema Management Group
(CMG)
Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai
Guo-Qiang, CinemaxX 4,
82 mins., USA, Cinetic Media
13:00 Antboy III, CinemaxX 17,
86 mins., Denmark, Germany,
Attraction Distribution
The Waiting Room,
CineStar 4, 93 mins., Canada,
Gearshift Films
On the Other Side, CinemaxX
13, 85 mins., Croatia, Serbia,
Cercamon
Tsukiji Wonderland, Marriott
1, 110 mins., Japan, Shochiku
Love and Friendship, MGBKino, 94 mins., Ireland, United
Kingdom, France, Protagonist
Pictures
The Fear, CineStar 1, 92 mins.,
France, Wild Bunch

11:40 Come What May,


CinemaxX 5, 114 mins., France,
Path International
Sky, CineStar IMAX, 102 mins.,
France, Germany, The Bureau
Sales
12:00 Hanas Miso Soup,
CinemaxX 16, 118 mins., Japan,
Gaga Corporation
Coconut Hero, Zoo Palast 2,
101 mins., Germany, Canada,
Beta Cinema GmbH

13:05, The Tiger, dffb-Kino,


139 mins., South Korea,
Contents Panda (Next
Entertainment World)

12:30 Level Up, CineStar 5,


85 mins., United Kingdom,
Independent
Jailbirds, CinemaxX 1,
98 mins., France, Elle Driver

13:10 Wonderland, CinemaxX


18, 99 mins., Switzerland,
Germany, Wide

12:40 Ville Marie, CinemaxX


Studio 11, 101 mins., Canada,
Films Boutique
Bad Cat, CinemaxX Studio 12,
87 mins., Turkey, Odins Eye
Entertainment

13:15 This Beautiful


Fantastic, Zoo Palast
5, 92 mins., USA, United
Kingdom, Ambi Distribution
Chronically Metropolitan

12:45 Danny Says, CinemaxX


THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_SG B.indd 1

15, 104 mins., USA, Magnolia


Pictures
Keeper, EFM Cinemobile, 95
mins., Belgium, Switzerland,
France, Be for Films
Tomcat, Kino Arsenal 2,
114 mins., Austria, Films
Distribution
The Olive Tree, CinemaxX 9,
99 mins., Spain, Germany,
Seville International

By Invitation Only, Zoo


Palast Club B, 85 mins., USA,
13 Films
Ithaca, Zoo Palast Club A,
89 mins., USA, The Exchange
13:40 Hangman, CineStar
IMAX, 87 mins., USA, Myriad
Pictures
13:45 Ossessione Vezzoli,
Parliament, 80 mins., Italy,
Rai Com
13:50 Shadow World By
Invitation Only, CinemaxX 2,
90 mins., USA, Denmark,
Belgium, Wide House
14:10 Diggers, CineStar 5,
80 mins., Russia, Central
Partnership
Whos Your Daddy?,
CinemaxX Studio 12, 89 mins.,
France, Bac Films
14:15 Collector, CinemaxX 16,
80 mins., Russia, All Media
14:30 Lost in the Pacific,
CinemaxX 13, 90 mins., China,
Arclight Films
Outlaws and Angels,
CinemaxX 17, 110 mins., USA,
VMI Worldwide
The Possession Experiment,
CinemaxX 14, 85 mins., USA,
Cinema Management Group
(CMG)
Mammal, CinemaxX
Studio 11, 99 mins., Ireland,
Luxembourg, Netherlands,
Picture Tree International
From Afar, CinemaxX 19,
93 mins., Venezuela, Mexico,
Celluloid Dreams
P.S. Jerusalem, CinemaxX 4,
87 mins., Canada, Filmoption
International
Dancer, CinemaxX 1, 82 mins.,
United Kingdom, WestEnd
Films
14:35, Black, CineStar 1,
95 mins., Belgium, Be for Films

18

2/12/16 7:06 AM

EFM Screening
SUN 14.02 9:00 AM
MGB-KINO
TUE 16.02 2:30 PM
CINEMAXX STUDIO 11

Mattia Oddone
mattia.oddone@rai.it
Alessandra Sottile
alessandra.sottile@rai.it

Meet us in Berlin!
MARTIN-GROPIUS BAU
BOOTH #160

Lucetta Lanfranchi
lucetta.lanfranchi@rai.it

RAI COM FP D3 021316.indd 1

2/11/16 10:41 AM

EFM SCREENING GUIDE


2016
14:40 The Bodyguard,
CinemaxX 15, 90 mins., China,
All Rights Entertainment

Thank You for Bombing,


CinemaxX 16, 104 mins.,
Austria, Premium Films

16:35, Andron, Zoo Palast


Club B, 96 mins., USA, Italy,
Ambi Distribution

14:45 Keeper of Darkness,


Zoo Palast Club B, 103 mins.,
Hong Kong, China, Edko Films
Solo, MGB-Kino, 97 mins.,
Italy, True Colours
Blood Father, CineStar 4,
88 mins., France, Wild Bunch
I Am a Hero, Kino Arsenal 2,
127 mins., Japan, Toho

16:00 Aldabra, EFM


Cinemobile, 75 mins., Czech
Republic, Vision Films
Mountain Cry, CineStar 5, 107
mins., China, Fortissimo Films
Agnes, Zoo Palast 2, 100
mins., Germany, Pluto Film
The Morning After, CinemaxX
14, 79 mins., USA, Princ Films

16:45 Hevn (Revenge),


CinemaxX 18, 100 mins.,
Norway, Canada, Beta Cinema

15:00 Becks Last Summer,


CinemaxX 18, 99 mins.,
Germany, ARRI Media
The Tenth Man, CineStar 2,
80 mins., Argentina,
Filmsharks International
Ninja the Monster, Marriott 1,
81 mins., Japan, Shochiku

16:15 Tanna, CinemaxX 19,


105 mins., Australia, Visit Films
Point Zero, CinemaxX 15,
88 mins., Brazil, Film Republic
Dad in Training, CineStar 1,
95 mins., France, TF1 Intl
Incident Light, CinemaxX 13,
95 mins., Argentina, Uruguay,
France, UDI Urban
Distribution International
A Heavy Heart, CinemaxX
Studio 11, 109 mins., Germany,
Picture Tree International

15:10 Good Kids, Zoo Palast


4, 90 mins., USA, Voltage
Pictures
15:15 Eldorado XXI, CinemaxX
6, 126 mins., Portugal, France,
Forum/Office
Boris Without Beatrice,
CinemaxX 10, 93 mins.,
Canada, Films Boutique
15:30 A Man Called Ove,
CinemaxX 2, 115 mins.,
Sweden, TrustNordisk
Miles, Parliament, 85 mins.,
USA, Odins Eye Entertainment
Down by Love, CineStar 6,
110 mins., France, Studiocanal
15:45 The Final Lesson,
CinemaxX Studio 12, 107 mins.,
France, Elle Driver

16:30 Passage to Mars,


CineStar 2, 95 mins., USA,
The Annex Entertainment
Little Mountain Boy,
CineStar 4, 104 mins.,
Switzerland, ARRI Media
Too Close to Our Son,
CinemaxX 1, 103 mins., France,
Be for Films
The Polar Boy, MGB-Kino,
97 mins., Estonia, Luxfilm
Our Last Tango, Marriott 1, 85
mins., Germany, Wide House
Sophie and the Rising Sun,
CinemaxX 17, 115 mins., USA,
Seville International

D3_Berlin_SG B.indd 2

17:40 The Interrogation,


CinemaxX Studio 12, 84 mins.,
Israel, Germany, Wide
17:45 Kate Plays Christine,
CinemaxX 6, 114 mins., USA,
Forum/Office

17:00 Elstree 1976, Kino


Arsenal 2, 103 mins., United
Kingdom, The Works
Canada: Not Short on
Talent, Zoo Palast Club A,
106 mins., Canada, Telefilm
Canada
17:10 Ederly, Parliament,
96 mins., Poland, Andersa
Street Art and Media
17:15 Seasons, CineStar
IMAX, 96 mins., France, Pathe
International
4 Kings, Zoo Palast 4, 99
mins., Germany, Global Screen
17:20 They Call Me Jeeg, EFM
Cinemobile, 118 mins., Italy,
Rai Com

18:00 Jaco, Marriott 1,


117 mins., USA, Submarine Ent.
The Chosen By Invitation
Only, CineStar 5, 125 mins.,
Spain, Mexico, Filmax
International
The Exile, CinemaxX 15, 87
mins., Spain, Cinema Republic
Ogres, CineStar 1, 145 mins.,
France, Pyramide International
Go With Me, CinemaxX
13, 91 mins., USA, Electric
Entertainment
18:15 Havenhurst, CinemaxX
Studio 11, 85 mins., USA,
Cinema Management Group
(CMG)
18:20 Campo Grande,
CineStar 2, 108 mins., Brazil,
France, Films Distribution
Eloise, CineStar 4, 92
mins., USA, Hyde Park
International
Fannys Journey By
Invitation Only, CinemaxX 1,
98 mins., France, Indie Sales

17:25, Abattoir No Press,


CineStar 6, 100 mins., USA,
Versatile
17:30 Reset, CinemaxX 2,
110 mins., France, Studiocanal
Noma My Perfect Storm,
CinemaxX 16, 95 mins., United
Kingdom, TrustNordisk
Camino, CinemaxX 14,
104 mins., USA, Bleiberg
Entertainment
The Legendary Giulia and
Other Miracles, dffb-Kino,
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

RAI COM Partial D3 021316.indd 1

115 mins., Italy, Intramovies

18:30 Everest The


Summit of the Gods,
CinemaxX 18, 122 mins.,
Japan, Kadokawa Corporation
Zoom, MGB-Kino, 96 mins.,
Canada, Brazil, WTFilms

To My Beloved, CinemaxX 17,


113 mins., Brazil, Pluto Film
The Woods Dreams
Are Made Of, CinemaxX 19,
144 mins., France, Switzerland,
Be for Films
19:00 Persona Non
Grata, CinemaxX 10, 139
mins., Japan, Nippon TV
Gods Not Dead 2,
Parliament, 126 mins.,
USA, Pure Flix/Quality Flix
Human, Kino Arsenal 2,
191 mins., France, Kinovista
19:10 Nagasaki: Memories
of My Son, CineStar 6, 130
mins., Japan, Shochiku
19:15 Race to Win, CinemaxX
16, 84 mins., USA, VMI
Worldwide
19:25, Quackerz 3D, EFM
Cinemobile, 110 mins.,
Russia, Planeta Inform Film
Distribution
19:30 Nakom, CinemaxX
15, 90 mins., Ghana, USA,
Wide
The Altruism Revolution,
dffb-Kino, 90 mins., France,
Java Films
Porno & Liberta, CinemaxX
14, 78 mins., Italy, Wide House
Bitter Harvest, CinemaxX
2, 104 mins., USA, Spotlight
Pictures
20:00 We Are Never Alone,
CinemaxX 6, 105 mins., Czech
Republic, France, Wide

20

2/11/16 11:21 AM

2/12/16 7:06 AM

Your one stop shop from script to screen

e-mail info@nuboyana.com
telephone +359 2 933 2500
address 1616 Sofia, Bulgaria,
84 Kumata Str.

Nu Boyana D1 021116.indd 1
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Development
Scheduling
Budgeting
Production
Equipment Rental
Editorial
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Sound Design
Mixing
Coloring
DCP Delivery
Marketing

web site nuboyana.com


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instagram and twitter @nuboyana
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wwfx.net

2/2/16 11:07 AM
29.01.16 . 19:08

Bleiberg Camino D3 021216.indd 1

2/8/16 11:54 AM

R E V I E WS
audacious distributors.
An opening sequence-shot
gives us a good idea of where
the sly, tomboyish and rather
fragile Ana (Richard) finds
herself: Working as an assistant on a movie, she drives
around in circles with the
lead actress (Kate Moran),
arriving almost an hour late
to set. After getting balled
out by one of the bosses,
who makes her cry on the
spot, she takes the productions Porsche Panamera for
a joy ride all the way to her
native Strasbourg, where
she shows up at the apartFrench director Rachel Langs debut is a sly,
ment of her straight-talking
affecting portrait of a wayward young woman
grandmother, Odette
BY JORDAN MINTZER
(Claude Gensac).
The rest of the movie follows Anas zigzagN BADEN BADEN, A N A I M L E SS 26 -Y E A Rging trajectory as she tries to decide what her
old woman returns to her hometown of
next move is going to be, especially after a
Strasbourg, France, reconnecting with
nasty fall lands Odette in the hospital. While
old flames while desperately trying to build a
installing a new shower in the womans bathshower stall in her grandmothers bathroom.
room a process that takes several weeks and
Thats not much of a story to build a film
allows for a few moments of home improveon, but writer-director Rachel Lang and star
Salome Richard manage to craft an intriguing ment slapstick Ana gets back together with
her ex, Boris (Olivier Chantreau), a dashingly
feature debut filled with keen observations
pretentious video artist who is obviously not
and slices of dark humor in a work that may
the guy she needs though seems to be the
stretch the patience of certain viewers while
guy she still wants.
pleasing fans of stark art-house narratives.
Very little happens in terms of a traditional
This Franco-Belgian co-production should
plot, though Lang manages to keep things
see fest action and niche theatrical bids from
Richard is
a young
Frenchwoman
searching for
purpose.

Baden Baden

Midnight Special
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Lieberher) has allegedly been abducted from his home in a gated


Texas religious community known as The Ranch, where the sects
leader, Calvin Meyer (Sam Shepard), took charge of his upbringing
two years earlier. The boy has hit the road with his biological father,
Roy Tomlin (Shannon), later revealed to have been raised within The
Ranch. Accompanying them and providing muscle in sticky situations
is Roys childhood buddy Lucas (Joel Edgerton), a state trooper persuaded as to the necessity of the fugitives flight by mysterious things
that Alton has shown him. As they drive across the Southern states,
they also reconnect with Altons mother Sarah
(Kirsten Dunst), who fled the ranch when her
son was taken from her.
Alton initially seems like any normal kid,
immersed in a Superman comic for much of the
journey. But he wears tinted swimming goggles
and noise-canceling headphones. This suggests
hypersensitivity to light and sound, but the
reality of his condition and capabilities slowly
emerges as something far more complex.
Shannon (left) and
Edgerton are on the run
The landscape across which the anxious
from mysterious forces.
family unit travels is classic Americana gas

Forum
Cast Salome Richard, Claude Gensac, Swann
Arlaud, Olivier Chantreau, Zabout Breitman
Director Rachel Lang
95 minutes

stations and cheap motels dotted along lonely roads under beautiful,
brooding skies, shot in atmospherically grainy widescreen by Nichols
regular cinematographer Adam Stone.
As the fugitives race toward a preordained destination with a fourday deadline and mounting concerns about Altons declining health,
other forces mobilize on their tail, including NSA officer Paul Sevier
(Adam Driver).
The actors are excellent. Dunst follows her sublimely off-kilter
work on season two of Fargo with a complete about-face in a subdued
yet moving portrait of a woman torn between maternal love and belief
in a higher purpose. And Shannon adds another powerful entry to
his gallery of burdened souls, finding quiet moments of tenderness in
Roy. Lieberher is a model of naturalness here,
handling the everykid scenes as effortlessly as
those divulging the full scope of Altons origin,
power and intelligence. Midnight Special confirms Nichols uncommon knack for breathing
dramatic integrity and emotional depth into
genre material.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_news1+2+REVIEW1_F.indd 23

interesting enough through an eclectic blend


of minimal realism, deadpan comedy and
sequences bordering on the surreal, including
a recurring dream where Ana follows Boris
through the jungle. Other scenes set the
heroine against the drab modernist backdrop
of Strasbourg, while a late excursion to Le
Corbusiers stunning Notre Dame de Haut
chapel inspires something closer to awe.
Richard has appeared in Langs other
work and is evidently a sort of muse for the
filmmaker, offering up a delicate performance that swings between fits of joy and
despair while conveying the ennui of Anas
purposeless existence. And although this
kind of plotless affair can definitely be trying
at times, the film nonetheless provides its
share of emotion, especially in the scenes
centered around Odettes gradual demise
as well as those involving the clumsy relationship between Ana and Gregoire (Lazare
Gousseau), a shaggy handyman who cannot
actually fix anything.
Its during such moments that Baden Baden
reveals itself to be more of a drama than an
experimental narrative, and as Ana struggles to find her way in life, what ultimately
emerges is the hopeful portrait of a girl whos
down but not yet out.

Competition
Cast Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten
Dunst, Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher
Director Jeff Nichols // 111 min.

23

2/12/16 6:12 PM

REVIEWS

Boris Without Beatrice

French-Canadian film critic turned director Denis Cotes latest is a gratingly mannered and
unpleasant modern fable about a selfish businessmans moral awakening BY DAVID ROONEY
N A N I N T E RV I EW

included in the press


materials for Boris Without
Beatrice, writer-director
Denis Cote expresses his
hope that the central characters
required soul-searching will be
seen as a universal theme, not
confined to any particular social
class. But its hard to interpret
this painfully mannered fable as
anything but a simplistic allegory
for the toll of lofty entitlement,
wealth and complacency.
Cotes films can be rich in deadpan humor and genre subversion,
like his previous Berlin competition entry, Vic + Flo Saw a Bear,
which swerved from bucolic
anti-melodrama into grotesque
tragicomedy. The directors new
feature is made with his customary stylistic rigor and with his
usual economy in conveying
meaning via arresting images.
But Cote has never shown much
interest in creating empathetic
characters, which makes this
account of one mans uneasy
introspection an alienating chore.
The setup draws you in at first.
An immaculately dressed middleaged Quebec businessman, Boris
Malinovsky (James Hyndman),
stands in a field awaiting the
arrival of a helicopter. Cut to a
clothing store, where he purchases
an armful of expensive shirts and
then, in a bracing moment, curtly
puts the ingratiating cashier in
her place as she asks for the standard customer data.
But the familiar roads of

Hyndman
and Sichov are
more than just
colleagues.

comeuppance, moral awakening


and redemption are not Cotes
itinerary. Instead, he invokes
Greek tragedy with a ponderous hand to force Boris to take
a long hard look at himself and
acknowledge the possibility that
he might indeed be a bad person.
The root of his steadily amplified anxiety is the crippling
depression of his wife, Beatrice
(Simone Elise-Gerard), a senior
minister in the Canadian government taking a leave of absence.
Placing another executive in
charge of his factory operations,
Boris takes time off to be with
his bedridden wife amid the lush
seclusion of their country house.

3 Questions With Denis Cote


By Etan Vlessing

Boris Without Beatrice is your fourth film in Berlin, the second in


competition. You must really like the Berlinale?
I went to Cannes in 2009 and Locarno, and maybe its my personality,
but I feel so comfortable with the Germans. The organization, nothing
is stressful. You always feel they will tell you to your face whether they
dont like your film. They will say a film is not for competition, but for
the Forum. I like the honesty. And coming here, this city is very relaxed.
Your latest film is billed as an idiosyncratic psychological thriller.
Are you trying to change the thriller genre?
I just read the synopsis from the Istanbul festival, and they called my
film a comedic existential farce. And here its an idiosyncratic psychological thriller. I just hope people see some humor in the film, but

She is looked after there by


Klara (Isolda Dychauk), a young
care worker, while Boris seeks
comfort, or at least diversion, in
an affair with an employee, Helga
(Dounia Sichov). His daughter,
Justine (Laetitia IsambertDenis), is a petulant social
justice warrior, ashamed of her
right-wing industrialist father
and unsympathetic about her
stepmothers melancholia.
Boris is a cold, unpleasant
man, but flashes of happy times
with Beatrice suggest that his
love for his wife is sincere.
The turning point comes when
he receives an enigmatic summons to go to a quarry one night

its still quite serious. Its the story of a guy who needs
to confront himself in the world to get his wife back,
because shes ill with a mysterious depression.
So many Quebec directors like yourself, Denis
Cote
Villeneuve, Jean-Marc Valle, Philippe Falardeau, are
making the leap to Hollywood. Do you have similar aspirations?
Well, well, well. First, in Quebec, I have a reputation of working far in
the left field. Im the arty, festival guy. People respect me for that. But
Im considered a difficult filmmaker, not commercial at all. After Vic +
Flo, I had U.S. agents asking if Id consider working in Hollywood. I said,
Its all new to me, I dont know whether I would say yes or no. But I
dont want to make cheap, commercial scripts for money. Im not in
love with money, or Hollywood. So its not a need or an ambition for me
like other Quebec directors. So if it happens, its really by accident, and
someone would need to come to me and convince me.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_rev_boris_G.indd 24

and meet a stranger who offers


to help. That unnamed man is
played by Denis Lavant, the fetish
actor from Leos Caraxs films,
in an arch turn as an all-seeing
oracle who identifies himself as
both judge and friend.
At first, Boris continues his
unrepentant behavior, beginning a sexual relationship with
Klara while unceremoniously
dumping Helga. He also gives a
frosty welcome to the solicitous
Prime Minister (Canadian radical queer filmmaker Bruce La
Bruce in an inside-joke casting
choice) and is hostile toward the
government-appointed psychiatrist. But gradually, the voice of
the stranger convinces Boris that
his arrogance has made Beatrices
condition worse.
As Boris starts reaching out
to Justine and to his emotionally
remote mother (Louise Laprade)
the film paradoxically
becomes more distancing. It also
feels increasingly stagy, with
the central drama too affected to
be involving.
Competition
Cast James Hyndman, Simone
Elise-Gerard, Denis Lavant
Director Denis Cote // 93 minutes

24

2/12/16 3:12 PM

Bleiberg BackInTheDay D3 021216.indd 1

2/8/16 11:55 AM

REVIEWS

Olszanska is a
lesbian loner
turned murderer.

I, Olga Hepnarova

This fact-based drama about a mentally fragile


young woman who became a cold-blooded killer is a bit
too austere for its own good BY STEPHEN DALTON

T RU E STORY OF M EN TA L

illness and mass murder


in 1970s Czechoslovakia,
the opening film in the Berlinale
Panorama section this year is a
vintage blast of central European
glumcore. Clothed in luminous jazz-cool monochrome by
first-time feature directors Petr
Kazda and Tomas Weinreb, I,
Olga Hepnarova is an artfully
austere character study pitched
at the audience who made Pawel
Pawlikowkis similarly retrochic Polish drama Ida into an
Oscar-winning cult hit. But this
relentlessly somber Czech-PolishSlovak-French co-production is a
lesser work in both style and substance. Although the gay-themed
plot elements will ensure niche
interest, commercial buzz likely
will be lukewarm.
Born in 1951, Olga Hepnarova
led a short and troubled life
that ended in a notorious murder case. Played by the rising
Polish star Michalina Olszanska,
Olga is first introduced as a

tormented teenager. A failed


overdose attempt leads to a spell
in a psychiatric hospital, where
she is brutalized by her fellow
patients. A chain-smoking, sexually repressed lesbian loner, she
eventually leaves the family she
despises for a series of manual
jobs, living a semi-feral existence
in a remote wooden cabin.
But even liberated from her
family, Hepnarovas trials are far
from over. The film re-creates
a number of her fleeting affairs
with women, illustrated with a
couple of explicit sex scenes, but
all end unhappily. Sinking into a
zombie-like state of alienation,
she begins to harbor dreams of
cold-blooded vengeance against
an uncaring world.
In July 1973, Hepnarova
finally snapped, deliberately
driving a truck into a crowd of
pedestrians waiting at a Prague
tram stop. Eight people died
and another dozen were injured.
In an advance letter posted to
newspapers before the attack, she

wrote, I, Olga Hepnarova, the


victim of your bestiality, sentence you to the death penalty.
Kazda and Weinreb re-create this
motorized massacre with almost
banal understatement, shooting
it mostly in a single take from
Olgas viewpoint.
Olszanska gives an impressively
intense performance, if a little
too mannered at first, but neither
she nor the filmmakers ever get
beneath the characters skin. Was
she really motivated by revenge
for a lifetime of bullying, as she
claimed, or was she suffering
from schizophrenic delusions, as
the script teasingly hints? Kazda
and Weinreb play the story far

The First, the Last

The fourth feature from Belgiums Bouli Lanners is an enigmatic caper


with emotional and existential undertones BY BOYD VAN HOEIJ
WO GROUCH Y BOU N T Y H U N T ER S,

two oafish lovers on the run, two


wise old men and one Jesus no
explanatory adjectives necessary are the
improbable protagonists of The First, The
Last, the fourth feature from Francophone
Belgian iconoclast Bouli Lanners (The
Giants). More dryly absurd than amusing,
this is the kind of conceptual film that feels
like a transitional work in the actor-directors
oeuvre, with both the positives and negatives
that term implies. The Berlinale Panorama
entry will probably be too bleak to follow in
the footsteps of Lanners most commercially
successful titles, though film aficionados will
definitely want to catch it.
The scraggly-bearded Gilou (Lanners) and
the dark Cochise (Albert Dupontel) are colleagues whove been hired by a rich guy who
wants his cellphone back because it contains
important files. To achieve that goal, hes
given the duo a tracking device, though the
problem is that it can only receive a signal

when the phone is turned on. However, the


petty thieves who have stolen it, Willy (David
Murgia) and Esther (Aurore Broutin), mostly
keep it turned off.
The film looks painterly from its first shots.
But purely in narrative terms, its first act feels
rather formulaic, even though the director
starts introducing elements that are rather
odd quite early on, such as the fact that the
lovers believe the end is nigh and then bump
into an emaciated and bearded man (Philippe
Rebbot) who introduces himself as Jesus.
Murgia (left) and
Broutin are a pair
of Belgian thieves.

Panorama
Cast Michalina Olszanska, Martin
Pechlat, Klara Meliskova
Director Petr Kazda, Tomas
Weinreb // 106 minutes

Things grow more interesting and complex


in the films midsection with the introduction of a woman (Suzanne Clement) at a gas
station who befriends Cochise; an elderly
employee (Michael Lonsdale) of a rundown
hotel; and a just as elderly undertaker (Max
von Sydow), asked to deal with a dead homeless man the bounty hunters stumble upon
when looking for that damned phone. As
the various plotlines overlap and the main
characters grow more full-bodied the ace
supporting actors all play stock characters
it becomes increasingly clear that the whole
crime story is a classical MacGuffin and that
the film is nothing less than a rather atypical
meditation on life and death.
Theres a sense throughout this is a deeply
personal film for the filmmaker, one hes
really made for himself rather than an audience. Meanwhile, the turbulent widescreen
landscapes help suggest something about the
inner struggles of the characters.
Panorama
Cast Bouli Lanners, Albert Dupontel, Michael
Lonsdale, Suzanne Clement, David Murgia,
Aurore Broutin, Max von Sydow
Director Bouli Lanners // 98 minutes

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_rev_olga_first_C.indd 1

too safe, committing to nothing


but the bald facts where a little
more speculation and fabrication
might have helped shape this disjointed bio-drama into something
more satisfyingly cinematic.
Composed mostly of static interior shots, and with little music,
I, Olga Hepnarova has a cool
Eastern Bloc elegance that Adam
Sikoras crisp cinematography
smartly treats as an asset rather
than a liability.

26

2/12/16 6:20 AM

EFM2016 SCREENING SCHEDULE

Roguish kidnappers abduct the daughter of a wealthy


diamond distributor, only to realize shes been
possessed by a sinister demon.

CinemaxX 12 Feb 14th 18:15

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Jack Quaid
Meg Ryan

Hamish Linklater
Alex Neustaedter
Tom Hanks

Zoo Palast Club A Feb 13th 13:15

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REVIEWS

Homo Sapiens

Nikolaus Geyrhalters new doc is an aesthetically stark


catalog of contemporary ruin BY JORDAN MINTZER

H
Sparks fly between
Mastoura
and Messaoud.

Hedi

Mohamed Ben Attias quietly satisfying Tunisia-set debut


is a love story in which tradition and desire are at odds

BY DEBORAH YOUNG
T U N ISI A N M A N IS TOR N BET W EEN A CON V EN T IONA L

marriage and following his creative star in this sensitively


crafted first feature by Mohamed Ben Attia. Though pleasingly rooted in its time and place, its an easily accessible story
that has been told in many countries. Still, the stakes are higher
and more dramatic when the culture is so sharply divided between
old and new, and its glimpses into contemporary sexual mores
can be startling. Quiet but pungent and featuring vibrant performances, Hedi offers further evidence that the rebirth of Tunisian
cinema is underway and should find welcoming art film slots.
As the film opens, Hedi (hypnotically played by newcomer Majd
Mastoura) is about to get married. Khedija (Omnia Ben Ghali),
his bride-to-be, is a pretty girl from a middle-class background
like his own. Shes so chaperoned that they can only stage fleeting
meetings in his car, and after a lengthy engagement they barely
know each other.
Of far greater weight in Hedis life is his domineering mom,
Baya (Sabah Bouzouita), who praises her other son, Ahmed, who
has made a good life for himself in France while putting down
Hedis interest in drawing. In reality, his complex comic book art
is the only outlet he has for his individuality.
The wide-open spaces of rural Tunisia offer the boy another
escape from his oppressive mother. Thanks to his job as a traveling
Peugeot salesman, he jumps behind the wheel with the carefree
assurance of a teenager. The economy is in the dumps and car
sales are nil, but at least it gives him the chance to move around.
He spends nights in empty hotels, yet the lonely life seems to
suit him. In a resort hotel in Mahdia, he meets Rim (Rym Ben
Messaoud), one of the activity directors who entertain the handful
of guests still around. She is 30, five years his senior, spontaneous
and unrepressed. They quickly end up in bed ,and a new world
opens up for Hedi. As his marriage draws closer and closer, his
heart takes wing in quite another direction.
The force of this character-driven story depends on the actors,
and all hands turn in convincing performances. Attia directs his
cast with measured maturity, reigning in Mastoura until the climactic scenes. To watch this sphinx-like young actor face down his
mother and older brother for the first time in his life is as liberating an experience for the audience as for Hedi.

OMO SA PIENS A R E

conspicuously absent in
Austrian documentarian
Nikolaus Geyrhalters latest film,
which chronicles a series of manmade structures that have been
left to rot after natural disasters,
human neglect or time itself have
taken their toll.
Similar in form to the directors previous nonfiction studies
(Our Daily Bread, Over the Years),
this wordless assemblage of fixed
shots is as much a museum piece
as it is a strictly art house item,
inviting viewers to sit back and
let the imagery consume them.
Far from commercial, its still a
compelling modern study of man
vs. nature, with the latter clearly
getting the upper hand.
Filming in places ranging from
Fukushima to Bulgaria, with
stops in the U.S., South America
and parts of Europe, Geyrhalter
who shot all the material
himself presents us with an
array of homes, offices, shopping malls, hospitals, schools,
churches, movie theaters and
military installations in various
states of decay. Where they are
located and why they have been
abandoned is never explained,
nor does the filmmaker attempt
to appease us with scenes of
people rebuilding or moving on:
there are simply no people to
speak of, and at best one can see
a few birds or frogs enjoying their
new habitats.
Reminiscent of photos by Allan

Sekula and Andreas Gursky,


or else of the 2010 book The Ruins
of Detroit by Yves Marchand &
Romain Meffre, Homo Sapiens
manages to find much beauty
in the sight of destruction,
with each image a skillfully
lighted and framed composition
underlining both the absence
of humans and the fact that
Mother Nature is slowly claiming
back what may be rightfully hers.
Weeds sprout up in the middle
of untended parking lots,
water flows across wrecked lobbies and, in one exquisite shot,
an old car lies at the bottom of
a cave as if returning to the prehistoric age.
Working again with sound
designer Peter Kutin, Geyrhalter
eschews any music or explanatory voiceover, building a dense
soundscape out of blowing wind,
leaky roofs and other reminders
that Earth can never be turned
off like all the powerless structures on display. If the imagery
can be at once breathtaking and
disconcerting one devastated
seaside city looks like the set of
Inception, another wreck in the
desert belongs in Planet of the
Apes theres a sort of consolation in the fact that the natural
world will continue to live on
despite us. Ashes to ashes, dust
to dust.
Forum
Director Nikolaus Geyrhalter
94 minutes

Geyrhalters doc ponders the destructive


power of time and nature.

Competition
Cast Majd Mastoura, Rym Ben Messaoud, Sabah Bouzouita
Director Mohamed Ben Attia // 88 minutes
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_rev_hedi_homoC.indd 1

28

2/12/16 7:14 AM

Photo Joe Scarnici, WireImage for TIFF.

Business
Connections
Discoveries
September 8 18

Toronto International Film Festival Inc.

Industry early-bird registration opens May 5


tiff.net/industry

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2/8/16 11:22 AM

REVIEWS

Pena (left) and


Skarsgard play
bad cop/bad cop.

War on Everyone

The American debut from Calvary director John Michael McDonagh is an amusing
but rather glib homage to vintage detective-duo movies BY STEPHEN DALTON
BER L I NA L E WOR L D PR EM IER E , JOH N M ICH A EL

McDonaghs third feature is an irreverent action


comedy that riffs knowingly on vintage buddy-cop
movies. The London-based writer-director with Irish
roots has described War on Everyone as a comic twist
on The French Connection, but there are other echoes in here too,
from Quentin Tarantino to Guy Ritchie, Starsky & Hutch to Lethal
Weapon. But while there is clearly guilty pleasure to be gleaned from
reworking such time-honored genre conventions, McDonaghs first
American-made feature is only a partial success, lacking the sharp wit
and moral heft that characterized his past work.
McDonagh previously dealt with crooked cops in his 2011 debut,
The Guard. Three years later, he fashioned a masterful black comedy
from heavyweight questions of faith and guilt in his second feature,
Calvary. Both films starred Brendan Gleeson, both were set in the
west of Ireland, and both earned critical raves followed by modest
commercial success. War on Everyone lacks the profane mania of the
former and the philosophical weight of the latter, but its modestly
marquee-friendly cast and rowdy comic energy could still add up to
decent commercial returns.
Terry Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard) and Bob Bolano (Michael
Pena) are cheerfully corrupt detective partners dispensing their
own ethically dubious brand of justice in Albuquerque, N.M. These
fast-talking, hard-drinking, wisecracking anti-heroes take relish in
brazenly blackmailing, robbing and beating up all the criminals on
their turf. In a nod to the films 1970s roots, they also wear sharp suits,
blast around the city in a stylishly retro car and work for a longsuffering precinct chief (Paul Reiser) who is perpetually giving these
insubordinate bad boys one last chance while City Hall leans on him
to fire them.
Terry and Bob get into deep water when a planned racetrack heist
involving African-American Muslim convert Reggie X (Malcolm

Barrett) ends in a bloodbath, which leads the duo to sexually


indeterminate strip club boss Birdwell (Caleb Landry Jones) and
former stripper Jackie (Tessa Thompson). Smelling a big payday
for themselves, the duo track down Reggie in hiding in Iceland, a
picturesque and enjoyable silly interlude. But the duo rediscover
their long-dormant consciences in time for a violent showdown
with the godfather behind the heist, English aristocrat Mangan
(Theo James, channeling the young Rupert Everett), whose louche
old-world manners mask some diabolical crimes.
War on Everyone is a little too keen to advertise its own cleverness.
The characters feel more like random collections of quirky tics than
real people, with Terry defined by his chronic alcoholism and his love
of Glen Campbell, a recurring musical motif throughout the film.
Others trade wry quips about their own status as racial stereotypes
and knowingly reference cop movie conventions. As Reggie shrugs
during a routine shakedown, Im familiar with the whole cop-slashinformer dialectic. A steady stream of elevated cultural allusions
Simone de Beauvoir, Joseph Conrad, Marcel Duchamp gestures
toward a level of intellectual ambition that the underlying script never
matches. A cliche is a cliche, however ironically packaged.
McDonagh and his cinematographer, Bobby Bukowski, make
attractive use of the New Mexico landscape, from grand mountain
vistas to gleaming modernist villas perched on the edge of the desert.
The oldies-heavy pop soundtrack is a lively mixtape that punctuates
Campbell with Roberta Flack, The Clash, hip-hoppers M.O.P. and
more. War on Everyone is an entertaining smash-and-grab raid on
some familiar action-comedy tropes, but not much more.
Panorama Special
Cast Michael Pena, Alexander Skarsgard, Theo James, Tessa Thompson,
Malcolm Barrett, Caleb Landry Jones
Director John Michael McDonagh // 98 minutes

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_rev_warC.indd 1

30

2/12/16 6:48 AM

IN BERLIN
THE EFM DOCUMENTARY
NETWORKING PLATFORM

In cooperation with the European Documentary Network (EDN)

MEETING POINT & DAILY SESSIONS


AT MARTIN-GROPIUS-BAU, 2ND FLOOR
Stand #201 & EFM Producers Hub
Phone: +49 30 400425-440
meetthedocs-efm@berlinale.de
Find the whole panel programme, the Docs Spotlight selection (by CPH:DOX, IDFA and DOK Leipzig)
and further details on www.efm-berlinale.de

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8 Decades of The Hollywood Reporter


The most glamorous and memorable moments from a storied history

Capra landed at
Tempelhof Airport for
the 1958 Berlinale.

Jury Duty in
Berlin Sparked
Capras Career

H EN F R A N K CA PR A

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

D3_Berlin_endpg_Capra_E.indd 36

36

ULLSTEIN BILD/ULLSTEIN BILD VIA GETTY IMAGES

was asked to head the


Berlin International Film
Festival jury in 1958, the
61-year-old director of It Happened One
Night (1934) and Its a Wonderful Life
(1946) was mired in a career lull. A lifelong science enthusiast, Capra had spent
much of the 1950s helming educational
TV films with such names as Our Mr. Sun
and Meteora: The Unchained Goddess. The
Berlinale too was in a transition of sorts:
After years of rejecting entries from countries that maintained diplomatic relations
with East Berlin, the eighth annual
event billed itself as a more cosmopolitan fest and welcomed submissions
from the Soviet Union. (The invitation
was declined.) It was held that year at the
new Berlin Congress Hall, an audacious
modern structure gifted to Germany
by the U.S. for the 1957 Berlin World
Exhibition. As rain pounded during the
opening-night gala on June 28, 1958,
champagne flowed inside as everyone
from Gina Lollobrigida to Sidney Poitier
to Walt Disney rubbed shoulders. Capras
jury, which also included French star
Jean Marais, awarded the Golden Bear
to Ingmar Bergmans Wild Strawberries.
(A last-minute switch of Germanys entry
caused some confusion, but that had little
bearing on their decision.) Berlin proved
to be a shot in the arm for Capra: He
quickly returned to feature directing with
A Hole in the Head, a 1959 comedy starring
Frank Sinatra, followed by Pocketful of
Miracles (1961), with Glenn Ford. But
those would be his last two films; he died
in 1991 at age 94. SETH ABRAMOVITCH

2/12/16 10:39 AM

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