17 items from 2015
Friends and informants become indistinguishable in this intriguing Berlin-set counterpoint to The Lives of Others
Christian Schwochow’s adaptation of Julia Franck’s novel Lagerfeuer opens with a young woman exiting East Germany in the late 70s, then subjected to a humiliating interrogation and strip-search before finally being allowed to leave. Yet having arrived in West Berlin, where a grim refugee centre becomes her new home, Nelly (Jördis Triebel, excellent) finds the indignities of the past mirrored and repeated, with the CIA as interested as the Stasi in the increasingly foggy fate of her deceased Russian partner. “Why did you leave East Germany?” she is asked repeatedly, eventually prompting the reply: “Because of questions like these.”
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- Mark Kermode
Christian Schwochow's late 1970s-set drama about young East German woman Nelly (Jördis Triebel) trying to build a new life in the west has some of the same mix of pathos and paranoia that characterised The Lives of Others. This was a period when the Stasi secret service was poisoning the lives of its citizens in the east but in which western authorities were hugely suspicious of refugees. The film doesn't quite deliver on its initial promise but is still an intriguing study of family, love and treachery. »
Homeland has singed up some new recruits for its upcoming fifth season. The Showtime series, which begins filming in Berlin tomorrow (as the majority of Season 5 will take place in Germany), has announced the addition of four new series regulars. Joining Homeland Season 5 will be Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others), Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Alexander Fehling (Inglourious Basterds), and Sarah Sokolovic (Cold Comes the Night). Here’s who each of the new actors will be playing in Homeland Season 5: Otto During (Sebastian Koch), a German philanthropist and Carrie’s (Danes) boss. Allison Carr (Miranda Otto), the current Berlin Chief of Station, working directly under Saul Berenson (Patinkin). Laura Sutton (Sarah Sokolovic), an American journalist in Berlin who works for the Düring Foundation. Jonas Happich (Alexander Fehling), legal counsel for the Düring Foundation and Carrie’s boyfriend. It will be interesting to see how each of these… »
- Chris King
Carrie Mathison might be estranged from the CIA and mentor Saul, but at least she's got a new boyfriend!
Season 5 picks up two years after the Carrie's disastrous tenure in Islamabad. Disillusioned, she's quit the CIA and working for a private security firm. The new faces include Otto as Allison Carr, the Berlin station chief; Fehling as Jonas Happich, a lawyer for the Düring Foundation; Sebastian Koch ("The Lives of Others"), a German philanthropist and Carrie's boss; and Sarah Sokolovic ("Cold Comes the Night") as an American journalist who works for the Düring Foundation.
- Kelly Woo
Homeland has perhaps dropped out of the zeitgeist in these parts since its first two seasons had the nation's watercoolers abuzz with talk of Carrie and Brody's exploits. But the spy series has become an doughty old staple on Showtime and the network will be hoping to inject fresh life into its fifth season with a change of locale and some new faces. Among them are Australian actress and Lord Of The Rings alumnus Miranda Otto.According to The Hollywood Reporter, Otto is joining the Berlin-set season as the CIA’s station head in the city. Her character will report in to Mandy Patinkin’s Saul Berenson. Also aboard are German actors Sebastian Koch (playwright Georg Dreyman in The Lives Of Others) and Alexander Fehling (Inglourious Basterds), as well as The Good Wife’s Sarah Sokolovic. Koch plays a Grman philanthropist and Carrie Mathison's (Claire Danes) new boss, while Fehling is her new boyfriend. »
As Showtime’s Homeland moves to its new German locale for Season 5, the show is adding four new series regulars, including a new boss and a new love interest for Carrie. Joining the CIA drama are Miranda Otto (The Lord Of The Rings trilogy), top German actor Sebastian Koch (The Lives Of Others), Alexander Fehling (Inglorious Basterds) and Sarah Sokolovic (Cold Comes The Night). The quartet will begin filming in Berlin this week alongside returning stars Claire Danes… »
Homeland is bringing along several new faces in its move to Berlin. As filming on the Showtime drama's fifth season gets underway this week, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that four new players will have regular status when the show returns in the fall. Among them is Lord of the Rings actress Miranda Otto. She'll be joined by Sarah Sokolovic (Cold Comes the Night) and German actors Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others) and Alexander Fehling (Inglourious Basterds). With the bulk of the action in the season shifting to the German capital, the foursome will join returning regulars Claire Danes,
- Michael O'Connell
Susanne Bier Oscar winner 'In a Better World' director Susanne Bier Susanne Bier, whose In a Better World won the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, is seen above on the 83rd Academy Awards' Red Carpet, just outside the Kodak Theatre. The other 2011 Oscar nominees in the Best Foreign Language Film category were: Rachid Bouchareb's Outside the Law / Hors-la-loi (Algeria). Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful (Mexico). Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth (Greece). Denis Villeneuve's Incendies (Canada). As in previous years, several international favorites were left out of the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar competition. Among these were the following: Xavier Beauvois' French Academy César winner Of Gods and Men / Des hommes et des dieux (France). Semih Kaplanoglu's 2010 Berlin Film Festival winner Bal / Honey (Turkey). Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 2010 Cannes Film Festival winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives / Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Thailand). Prior to In a Better World, »
- D. Zhea
Cannes — Germany-based production and distribution company Beta Film has delayed the international launch of its big-budget TV movie “Starfighter,” which centers on a real-life scandal involving hundreds of jet-fighter crashes in the 1960s in Germany.
Beta has postponed the show’s debut at TV sales market Mip TV in Cannes following German broadcaster Rtl’s decision to remove the film from its schedules after the Germanwings plane crash, which killed 150 people in late March. Beta had planned to present the movie to international buyers at its Mip TV brunch on Tuesday, and show clips from the drama.
The German government bought 916 Starfighter jets from Lockheed in the 1960s, of which 292 crashed, causing the deaths of 116 pilots. The movie follows the battle by a widow of one of the pilots to uncover the truth behind the plane crashes, which were initially blamed on pilot error.
The visual effects-heavy movie had a »
- Leo Barraclough
That's why Yann Demange has been eagerly sought out. For the last year, since ''71' broke out at Berlin 2014 (going on to play some 33 festivals including Telluride, Toronto, New York, London and Sundance), Demange has been a critical darling (best director winner at the British Independent Film Awards and BAFTA-nominated), wined and dined on the festival circuit and in Hollywood, where he has been hanging his hat for the moment. That's what you do. You go to meeting after meeting looking for the next best project. The danger, oft-repeated, is that agents and managers and sweet-talkers lure the unsuspecting rube into development limbo--or misguided studio projects--until the heat is gone and that catapulting career moment is past. Ask David Michod, Stephen Frears, or Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who unfortunately followed up his Oscar-winning "The Lives of Others" with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie boondoggle "The Tourist." Some wondered if Demange. »
- Anne Thompson
Scott Foundas: Well, Peter, another Berlin Film Festival has come to a close, ending on a high note with the awarding of its top prize, the Golden Bear, to Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi.” Panahi’s film screened right at the start of the festival and emerged as an early consensus favorite among critics here. As it turns out, the Darren Aronofsky-led jury felt the same way, and I’d like to think their decision was based solely on the movie’s artistic merits, rather than the unfortunate position in which its director finds himself in his native Iran, where he’s been under house arrest for the last four years. It’s impossible, of course, to watch “Taxi” without thinking about the unusual circumstances under which it was made — something this highly self-reflexive film very much invites you to do. But what makes “Taxi” a great movie, I think, »
- Peter Debruge and Scott Foundas
Exclusive: First look at Arsen A. Osojic’s drama.
Thomas Kretschmann co-stars in the story of a family who take into hiding a Jewish doctor who saved their son’s life. Parkland Pictures are selling. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
“The lesson we take away is don’t suck — make great movies,” he said with a laugh during a recent lunch.
FilmNation is coming into the Berlin Film Festival with considerable momentum from 2014 as one of the key backers of adult-skewing movies at a time when studios continue to focus their resources on franchises and $200 million tentpoles. Its sweet spot is in the $12 million to $30 million budget range.
The company hit three milestones last year: It helped develop and sell “The Imitation Game” which has more than $100 million in worldwide grosses; during Cannes, it announced the Amy Adams-starring, $50 million alien-arrival project “Story of Your Life,” produced with Lava Bear for which Paramount paid $20 million for North American rights; and finalized a strategic parnership with Roadshow Australia under »
- Dave McNary
By Anjelica Oswald
Of the five foreign-language films nominated this year, Poland’s Ida is the only film to receive an Oscar nomination in another category. The black-and-white film is nominated for best cinematography.
Eighteen foreign-language films have received nominations for their cinematography and four have won. Only six of the 18 films were also nominated for best foreign-language film; however, three of the six won for their cinematography.
The first foreign-language film to earn both a best foreign-language film nomination and a cinematography nomination was Sweden’s Fanny & Alexander in 1984. The film won both awards, as well as best art direction and costume design. Writer-director Ingmar Bergman was also nominated for best director and original screenplay.
Ten years later, Hong Kong’s Farewell My Concubine received both nominations as well. It lost the foreign-language race to Spain’s Belle Epoque and lost the cinematography award to Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, »
- Anjelica Oswald
This week on ABC’s Castle, private eye Rick laid witness to his client’s own murder, leaving him with the highly difficult task of proving who (if in fact anyone) did it.
I’ve got two big issues with this episode (as well as one smaller one), which we’ll get to in a moment. But first, let’s take stock of the positives.
So, here we have our third variation on what a Castle, P.I. episode can look like. First, he essentially “raced” to solve an NYPD murder before Beckett & Co. Then, he worked a case that »
The collaboration will start with the English-language sci-fi thriller “SUM1,” directed by Christian Pasquariello. Iwan Rheon (“Game of Thrones,” “Misfits,” “The Liberator”) will be starring in the lead role as a young soldier, placed on a desolate watchtower high above a forest on a 100-day assignment. His mission is to defend the outpost against eerie, powerful alien creatures in a strange world.
“SUM1″ is produced by Alvart (“Antibodies,” “Case 39,” “Pandorum”), Sigi Kamml (“1 1⁄2 Brothers,” “Banklady”) and Susa Kusche (“Run Boy Run,” “Shahada”). Director of photography is Hagen Bogdanski (“The Lives of Others,” “The Young Victoria”).
Principal photography is starting on Feb 9. Global Screen will start selling the title at the European Film Market in Berlin.
- Leo Barraclough
By Anjelica Oswald
The nine foreign-language films shortlisted by the Academy hail from three continents: South America, Europe and Africa. From South America, Argentina’s Wild Tales and Venezuela’s The Liberator made the list. From Africa, Mauritania’s Timbuktu did as well. From Europe, Estonia’s Tangerines, Georgia’s Corn Island, the Netherlands’ Accused, Poland’s Ida, Russia’s Leviathan and Sweden’s Force Majeure all made the top nine.
This year could mark the first Oscar nomination for Estonia, Georgia, Mauritania (whose film was the country’s first Oscar-submitted film) and Venezuela. Argentina, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden have each received two Oscar nominations in the past 14 years. Of those four countries, Argentina is the only one to win an Oscar, which it did in 2010 for The Secret in Their Eyes. If Russia lands a nomination, it will be the country’s second in the 21st century. »
- Anjelica Oswald
17 items from 2015
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