Tuesday, June 27, 2017

REFUGEE DOCUMENTARY WINS TOP PRIZE AT BERLIN FILM FEST

February 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

For the first time in its 66-year history, the Berlin Film Festival — the Berlinale — has awarded its top prize, the Golden Bear, to a feature documentary. The Italian film Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea), from director Gianfranco Rosi, concerns the predicament of the masses of refugees fleeing Islamist terror in the Middle East who […]

SPIKE LEE BLASTS INTO THE BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL

February 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Spike Lee’s “rap musical” Chi-Raq, based on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, opened to solid reviews but dismal domestic ticket sales last December. In its opening weekend, it earned just $1.2 million in 305 theaters. Two weeks later, it expanded to 1,576 theaters and grossed just $120,019 or an average of just $76 per theater — indicating that […]

MICHAEL MOORE BOWS OUT OF BERLINALE SCREENING

February 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A day before Michael Moore’s latest theatrical documentary, Where to Invade Next was to have its European premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, Moore’s company released a statement saying that it would premiere without him. Moore, who had been rushed to the hospital and placed in the ICU after contracting pneumonia earlier this month, was […]

ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM SCREENS WITHOUT SUBTITLES IN BERLIN

February 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Terence Davies’s A Quiet Passion was screened at the Berlin Film Festival on Sunday without subtitles. It could not have been otherwise. For the film evinces the love of the English language — certainly as it was cultivated by sophisticated writers and speakers the Victorian era — as much as it stunningly reveals the interior […]

AMAZON, NETFLIX STUMBLE IN BERLIN

February 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The day may eventually dawn when digital giants such as Amazon and Netflix will be able to share a place in the sun with the likes of Warner Bros., Universal, Disney, Paramount, and the other major Hollywood studios. That day clearly has not yet arrived, something that’s being demonstrated at the Berlin Film Festival, where […]

“MIDNIGHT SPECIAL” ROLLS INTO THE BERLINALE

February 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Ever since “The Midnight Special” was composed more than a half century before Creedence Clearwater recorded a hit with it in 1969, people have been debating what the lyrics really mean. They will probably now begin debating what it means as the title of a new sci-fi thriller by Jeff Nichols, starring Michael Shannon, Kirsten […]

BERLINALE CRITICS HAIL “HAIL CAESAR”

February 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Berlin Film Festival — the Berlinale — mounted a glittery, red-carpet opening Thursday night worthy of a Hollywood premiere during (arguably) the industry’s heyday in the 1950s. Coincidentally the festival’s opening film was the Coen Bros.’ tribute/spoof to Hollywood’s 1950s’ excess, Hail Caesar!, starring George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Alden Ehrenreich, […]