The selection for the Berlinale Special is now complete: in this year’s programme, Timor Bekmambetov, Kay Pollak, Jorge Ramirez Suárez, and Florian Gallenberger will be setting new directions with their recent films. A production by Japan’s Shochiku Studios as well as Rosa von Praunheim’s latest documentary Wer ist Helene Schwarz? (Who Is Helene Schwarz?) are being presented to celebrate the Berlinale Camera awards. Within the scope of the Showcase dedicated to director Im Kwon-Taek, whose films will screen in several Berlinale sections, one of his most recent works has been included in the Berlinale Special. And last but not least, in tribute to deceased cinematographer Carlo di Palma, Michelangelo Antonioni’s masterpiece Il Deserto Rosso (The Red Desert, 1964) has been selected for a showing. As a homage to this year’s jury president Roland Emmerich the Berlinale is showing his latest film success The Day After Tomorrow. The Berlinale will award the Spanish actor Fernando Fernán Gómez an Honorary Golden Bear. On this occasion, his latest film Para que no me olvides (Something to Remember Me By) will be screened.
As part of the Berlinale’s official programme, this film series presents current works by contemporary filmmakers, rescreenings of film classics as well as outstanding films by personalities the Berlinale wants to honour. The main venue for this innovative and experimental programme is the “Filmpalast” Berlin on the Kurfürstendamm, one of Berlin’s classic movie theaters.
The Russian fantasy-thriller Nochnoj Dozor (Night Watch) by Timor Bekmambetov – at home a blockbuster– is a classic production of its genre, with rapid cuts, digitally generated special effects and a breakneck pace. Konstantin Khabensky, Vladmimir Menshov and Mariya Poroshina have been cast in the leading roles. A second and third sequel will continue this epic tale and are already in the making.
In Så Som i Himmelen (As It Is in Heaven, Sweden), an international premiere by Kay Pollak, the world-famous conductor Daniel Dareus (Michael Nyqvist) retires from his hectic career after a serious heart attack. This sensitive and melancholy drama was a spectacular success and has been nominated for the Oscar for best foreign film. Director Kay Pollak last participated in the Berlinale Competition in 1986 with Äska mej (Love Me).
Conejo en la luna (Rabbit on the Moon, Mexico/Great Britain) by Jorge Ramirez Suárez is running as a world premiere. Within 48 hours, the life of an absolutely normal, middle-class family turns into a nightmare. By using the classic devices of a thriller, Ramirez-Suárez portrays state brutality, corruption and the abuse of power. The film features Bruno Bichir, Lorraine Pilkington and Jesús Ochoa, who rank among Mexico’s most celebrated actors.
Shadows of Time by Florian Gallenberger tells the story of a passionate and painful love in colonial India. The director who won an Oscar in 2001 for his short film Quiero Ser is presenting Shadows of Time as his first feature film.
Berlinale Special tributes:
The Berlinale Cameras 2005 will be awarded to Shochiku Studios and Helene Schwarz, who is an outstanding personality in the world of German cinema.
Shochiku, Japan’s oldest and most important film studio, is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year: the festival wants to acknowledge Shochiku Studios’ enormous contribution to international cinematic art by awarding a Berlinale Camera to it. On this occasion, the Berlinale Special is presenting a classic Shochiku Studios production: Keisuke Kinoshita’s melancholic screen drama Nijushi no hitomi (Twenty-four Eyes, Japan 1954).
To celebrate the Berlinale Camera for Helene Schwarz, Rosa von Praunheim’s most recent documentary Wer ist Helene Schwarz? (Who Is Helene Schwarz?) will be shown in the Berlinale Special. The film presents a wonderful figure from the German world of film – a woman who has never been in the limelight herself, but has accompanied many renowned filmmakers, such as Wolfgang Petersen and Detlef Buck. For decades, 78-year-old Helene Schwarz, former secretary at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin, counselled and assisted students aspiring to be directors: it is to this fabulous person that the filmmaker has dedicated this very personal portrait.
Within the scope of the Berlinale Showcase honouring Korean director Im Kwon-Taek, his film Chunhyang dyeon (2000) will be screened. This splendid production is set in the 17th century and based on a popular Korean folktale. With Chunhyang dyeon (Chunhyang, 2000), Im Kwon-Taek staged an artistic and stylised opera of love: traditional Korean vocal music enhances his cinematic tale.
In homage of cinematographer Carlo Di Palma, who died in July 2004, the Berlinale will rescreen Il Deserto rosso (The Red Desert) by Michelangelo Antonioni. By collaborating on Antonioni’s first colour film in 1964, Di Palma made a name for himself as master with the camera. The film – which recounts the fate of a factory owner’s wife – is characterized by long suggestive camera pans and unusual hues. Monica Vitti stars in this bleak portrayal of human loneliness in the industrialized world. A restored print of the film, provided by Mediaset-Cinema Forever, will be presented during the Berlinale Special.
As a homage to this year’s jury president Roland Emmerich the Berlinale is showing his latest film success The Day After Tomorrow. The German Hollywood director’s international career began in 1984 at the Berlinale. The Day after Tomorrow invokes a menacing future scenario where global warming leads to a huge natural catastrophe.
The great Spanish actor Fernando Fernán Gomez will be honoured for his lifetime achievement. On this occasion, his latest film Para que no me olvides (Something to Remember Me By) will be screened. Fernando Fernán Gomez plays one of the leading roles in Patricia Ferreira’s third feature film. It depicts people of different generations, their sufferings, memories and their difficulties in understanding each other.
The Berlinale awards an Honory Golden Bear to the great Spanish actor Fernando Fernán Gómez for his lifetime achievement. In celebration of this occasion, his latest film Para que no me olvides (Something to Remember Me By) will be screened. Fernando Fernán Gómez plays one of the leading roles in Patricia Ferreira’s third feature film. It depicts people of different generations, their sufferings, memories and their difficulties in understanding each other.
January 26, 2005