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12 articles

'Ghost Hunting' ('Istiyad ashbah'): Film Review | Berlin 2017

14 hours ago

When your head is full of unresolved trauma after being brutally interrogated by the Israeli security forces, who you gonna call? Ghost Hunting offers a boldly original solution. Part improvised docudrama and part group therapy session, Palestinian director Raed Andoni's unconventional movie project brings together a disparate cast of ex-prisoners to first rebuild their own former jail as a film set, then to re-enact their painful memories on camera. It is a fascinating experiment, though inevitably a little disjointed and not wholly satisfying.

A co-production between Palestine, France, Switzerland and Qatar, Ghost Hunting premiered at the Berlinale, where it won »

- Stephen Dalton

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Berlin: Aki Kaurismaki Wins Best Director for 'The Other Side of Hope'

21 hours ago

Aki Kaurismaki has won the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear for best director for The Other Side of Hope, a dramedy that finds the humanity, and humor, in the European refugee crisis.

The plot of The Other Side of Hope sees Syrian refugee Khaled (played by Sherwan Haji), hide away on a freighter to Helsinki, where he hopes to apply for asylum. When his application is rejected, he escapes and starts to live on the streets. He's taken in by the eccentric traveling salesman-turned-failing restauranteur Wikstrom (Kaurismaki regular Sakari Kuosmanen).

The film has been touted as the second in »

- Scott Roxborough

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Berlin: Hungarian Love Story 'On Body and Soul' Wins Golden Bear Award

22 hours ago

On Body and Soul, a romantic dramedy from Hungarian filmmaker Ildiko Enyedi was the surprise winner of the Golden Bear for best film at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival. 

An idiosyncratic love story about two lonely slaughterhouse employees who go to absurd lengths in their pursuit of one another, On Body and Soul also picked up a trio of awards from Berlin's independent juries, including the best film honor from the association of international film critics (Fipresci).

For Enyedi, the awards attention is the fulfillment of the promise shown with her debut, My Twentieth Century, which won Cannes' Camera »

- Scott Roxborough

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Berlin: 'I Am Not Your Negro' and 'Insyriated' take Audience Awards

18 February 2017 4:57 AM, PST

Two films that feel ripped-from-the-headlines have won the Audience Awards at this year's Berlin Film Festival, the largest public festival in the world.

Insyriated, a drama from Belgian director Philippe van Leeuw about a Syrian household under siege during the civil war, took the top prize for fiction voted on by the festival's some 250,000 cinema goers.

Raoul Peck's I Am Not Your Negro, an examination of U.S. race relations told through the work of writer James Baldwin picked up the audience award for best documentary. I Am Not Your Negro is already nominated for an Oscar in the best »

- Scott Roxborough

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Berlin: 'On Body and Soul' Takes Critics, Audience Honors

18 February 2017 4:33 AM, PST

Ildiko Enyedi's idiosyncratic love story On Body and Soul collected a trio of separate honors for the independent juries of the Berlin Film Festival, picking up the best film awards from the association of international film critics (Fipresci), the German ecumenical jury and the audience award given by a jury of readers of Berlin daily newspaper the Berliner Morgenpost.

Enyedi, who first caught critics attention with her 1989 debut My Twentieth Century, which won the Cannes Camera d’Or prize for first feature, mixes stylized sensuality with magic realist humor in On Body and Soul, which sets its odd love story »

- Scott Roxborough

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'Emo: The Musical': Film Review | Berlin 2017

18 February 2017 3:58 AM, PST

“Could Jesus Have Been an Emo?” is one of the unexpected questions brought up — in song, no less — in Emo: The Musical, in which an emo band at an Australian high school battles it out with a group of Christian singers. This feature debut from writer-director Neil Triffett expands on his eponymous short. It's basically a musical Romeo and Juliet with black eyeliner and dark thoughts on one side and radiant visions of chastity and wholesomeness on the other. Though the film has plenty of weaknesses, especially in the second half, this should nonetheless go down relatively smoothly »

- Boyd van Hoeij

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Berlin: 'The Best of All Worlds' Wins Perspectives on German Cinema Award

18 February 2017 3:47 AM, PST

The Best of all Worlds from first-time director Adrian Goiginger has won the best film honor of the Perspectives on German Cinema section of the Berlin Film Festival.

The semi-autobiographical feature looks at a young boy growing up in 1990s Salzburg with a loving, but heroin-addicted mother.

The jury also awarded a special jury prize to Nicolaas Schmidt's Final Stage, an experimental montage film set in modern urban spaces.


- Scott Roxborough

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Berlin: 'Butterfly Kisses' Wins Crystal Bear for Best Film in Generation Sidebar

18 February 2017 1:34 AM, PST

Butterfly Kisses, a drama about life on a British housing estate, from first-time director Rafael Kapelinski, has won the Crystal Bear for best film in the Generation section of the Berlin Film Festival. The black-and-white feature stars newcomers Theo Stevenson, Liam Whiting, Byron Lyons and Rosie Day.

“From the kaleidoscopic opening sequence onwards, we are captivated by the haunting intensity of this electrifying feature film debut,” said the jury, announcing its decision.

The exhaustively titled Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves from Canadian directors Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie, won special mention from »

- Scott Roxborough

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Berlin: Sebastian Lelio's 'A Fantastic Woman' Wins Teddy Award for Best Film

18 February 2017 12:47 AM, PST

Sebastian Lelio's A Fantastic Woman has taken the top prize for best film at Berlin's Teddy Awards, which honor Lgbt films screening at this year's Berlin Film Festival.

The Chilean feature, which premiere in competition in Berlin, stars newcomer Daniela Vega as a transgender woman struggling with the death of her partner and the judgment of his family.

The Teddy jury said Lelio “infused the story with understanding and compassion illuminating the ongoing discrimination and marginalization of transgender people around the world.”

The Teddy special jury prize this year went to Panorama entry Close Knit, from Japanese »

- Scott Roxborough

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Warren Frost, Who Played Doc Hayward on 'Twin Peaks,' Dies at 91

17 February 2017 5:10 PM, PST

Warren Frost, the late-blooming actor who played the dependable town physician Will "Doc" Hayward on Twin Peaks, has died. He was 91.

Frost died Friday morning at his home in Middlebury, Vt., after a lengthy illness, according to his son, Mark Frost, who created the surreal 1990s ABC show with David Lynch.

Warren Frost also is known for his stint as Mr. Ross, the father of George Costanza's fiancee Susan Ross, on NBC's Seinfeld. His character had an affair with the author John Cheever; his house was burned down by Kramer's Cuban cigar; and his daughter was poisoned to death »

- Mike Barnes

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'Lion King' Remake Casts Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa

17 February 2017 4:46 PM, PST

Donald Glover is going to be king.

The star has been cast in Disney's remake of The Lion King as Simba, with director Jon Favreau announcing the news on Twitter. Favreau also revealed James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa, the beloved father character he voiced in the 1994 animated original. 

Favreau first met Glover at The Hollywood Reporter's conversation on creativity in December, where Favreau told Glover his son is a fan of the star's music, which he performs under the name Childish Gambino. ("By the way, full disclosure: I see your face every day when I wake up my »

- Aaron Couch

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'Fabricated City': Film Review

17 February 2017 4:22 PM, PST

Playing like an updated version of Park Chan-wook's Oldboy set in the world of online videogames, Park Kwang-hyun's Fabricated City tracks the efforts of a desperate gamer to uncover the forces behind his unjustified imprisonment for murder. Featuring a fast-paced plot and a snappy visual style, Park's absorbing third feature should appeal equally to high-tech enthusiasts and action film fans. 

As the leader of the online videogame combat unit Resurrection, skilled tactician Kwon Yu (Ji Chang-wook) has a reputation for putting his talented team members first, including a rebellious hacker, a persecuted tech whiz and a misfit demolitions expert. In »

- Justin Lowe

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