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2016 | 2015 | 2013

8 items from 2016


Berlin: Fire at Sea Wins the Golden Bear

21 February 2016 12:30 PM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

 Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlinale officially closes today. Although we’re not yet finished with our coverage – a couple of interviews still to come – it’s the perfect time to look back and discuss the festival’s awards. In my review of Gianfranco Rosi’s exquisite new film, Fire at Sea, I noted that it would be a shock for the film to leave the Berlinale empty-handed. Lo and behold, the festival’s jury, headed by Meryl Streep, agreed with the sentiment, and rightly awarded the competition’s best film with the Golden Bear.

The festival’s unofficial theme – repeated across press releases and around the festival hub – was refugees and immigrants. Much as Rosi’s impressive constructed, morally compelling and profoundly moving film might have benefited from that, however, it was hard to ignore the fact that its reception by critics and audiences »

- Amir S.

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Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer and Adi on The Look of Silence

20 February 2016 12:45 PM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Amir here. I first fell in love with Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence in September 2014, at Tiff. It was the last, and best, film I watched at that festival, and it left an emotional mark that I lived with for days. I caught up with the film again when it was released for the public and my conviction that this was one of the best documentary features of all time was reaffirmed – in my book, one of 2015’s holy trinity of films. So, you can understand my excitement when I finally had the chance to speak with director Joshua Oppenheimer, and Adi, the subject of his film.

The Look of Silence, nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary, a companion piece to the director’s earlier film The Act of Killing (also nominated in its year), is about the victims of the Indonesian genocide, who live side by »

- Amir S.

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Berlin: 'Alone in Berlin' and 'Soy Nero'

19 February 2016 11:22 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

 Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival. Two new reviews today.

Alone In Berlin (Pérez)

Alone in Berlin, adapted from the novel ‘Every Man Dies Alone’ by Hans Falada and directed by former actor Vincent Pérez, is about justice, and you best believe that. The film wants you to know this so badly that it goes out of its way to shoehorn into the film a scene in which, one character tells his wife, “I have a mistress whom I obey, and her name is justice.” In another scene, a man proves his son’s involvement in the war by showing a picture of him in uniform in Poland, holding a dead child, as though he’s a trophy hunted on a Safari trip. If these examples pain you with their lack of subtlety, you won’t be delighted to know that they are only two of many, »

- Amir S.

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Berlin: 'Genius' starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth

16 February 2016 12:33 PM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

 Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival, Tfe's first time at Berlinale! Here is his take on Michael Grandage's Genius.

Berlinale is known for inviting one or two Hollywood pictures to the festival every year to add glamour to the sprawling selection of mostly arthouse curios. One of those films in this year’s edition was Michael Grandage’s first feature as a director, Genius. A period piece based on a true story, the film came to the festival with high expectations, given the distribution deal with Lionsgate already in place, and the pedigree of everyone involved, including thrice Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan, and Oscar winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in the cast. But this was all before the film was screened and faced walkouts and unintentional laughs.

Maxwell Perkins (Firth) was the editor and invisible hand behind some of the biggest American masterpieces of literature in the 1920s, »

- Amir S.

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Berlin: The Latest from Mia Hansen-Løve and André Téchiné

16 February 2016 5:00 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

 Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival, Tfe's first time at Berlinale! Here are the two French films from the festival’s Competition section (the group of film's Meryl Streep & jury are seeing).

L’Avenir (Mia Hansen-Løve)

Mia Hansen-Løve has established herself as one of world cinema’s most exciting young filmmakers in the past few years. Her latest, L’Avenir (Things to Come) came to Berlinale as one of the festival’s most anticipated films. Starring Isabelle Huppert as Nathalie, a middle-aged philosophy teacher on the verge of significant changes in her personal and professional life, L’Avenir is an intimate, life-affirming character study with a superb star turn from Huppert...

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- Amir S.

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Berlin: Fire at Sea

15 February 2016 5:00 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival for The Film Experience this year, our first time at Berlinale!. Tonight, previous Venice winner, Gianfranco Rosi's Fuocoammare.

Gianfranco Rosi shocked the film world with his Golden Lion win at Venice for Sacro Gra a few years ago. At Berlinale, the true shock would be for his latest film, Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare), to leave the festival empty-handed. The Italian maestro’s seamless hybrid of documentary and fiction is a self-reflexive and compassionate meditation on Italy’s crisis of cultural identity in the face of an unprecedented wave of refugee migration.

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- Amir S.

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Berlin: "Midnight Special" with Michael Shannon & Kirsten Dunst

14 February 2016 5:00 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival for The Film Experience this year, our first time at Berlinale!. Tonight Jeff Nichol's follow up to Mud.

With Shotgun StoriesTake Shelter and Mud, Jeff Nichols has become one of the most intriguing, and divisive, American directors working today. His latest film, the unclassifiable Midnight Special, will no doubt continue the same trajectory. Starring his favourite actor Michael Shannon, along with Joel Edgerton and Kirsten Dunst, this religious fable in the mold of science fiction is a crowd-pleaser that, despite a crucial directorial misstep, delivers a thoroughly riveting experience.

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- Amir S.

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Berlin: Tunisia's "Hedi"

13 February 2016 6:00 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival for The Film Experience this year, our first time at Berlinale!. For his first dispatch, he’s reviewed Tunisia’s Hedi

Although Hedi (Inhebbek Hedi) is Mohamed Ben Attia’s first feature film, it comes with the pedigree of being co-produced by the Dardenne brothers, and it’s not difficult to see why they were drawn to this story. Hedi (Majd Mastoura), a 25-year-old, Tunisian car salesman, would fit neatly into the gritty, realist universes of the brothers’ working class protagonists. A slow-burn study of an unhappy young man on the verge of getting married, Hedi builds up to an intensely emotional, rewarding finale that is once personal and political.

Under the overbearing, towering influence of the family’s matriarch, Hedi is the second of two sons whose father has passed away. Whereas the elder son has moved to France and »

- Amir S.

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2016 | 2015 | 2013

8 items from 2016


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