How do you determine great acting performances

Eroticism, end times and excess

The best films from the Berlinale are shown in the »Panorama« section. But does this save the festival from wasteland and contentism? - Berlinale diary, episode 9

From Rüdiger Suchsland

“He's finished. How nice it would be to just sit there day in, day out and stare at the garden. It would be even better to stare at the water. A pond. That's it. Bogumil is supposed to create a pond. Splendid. He treats himself to a glass of 'Schmiere', as he calls Campari orange juice. One should celebrate the festivals as they fall."
Heinz Strunk: "The Golden Glove", p. 68

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Two more days in Kosslick. "With its support for the Berlin International Film Festival, ZDF underlines the importance of the critical issues presented and recognizes great cinematic implementations and acting."
ZDF likes to appear as a major sponsor of the Berlinale. At the same time as this kind of sponsorship, the broadcasters' spending on buying films for the Berlinale or Cannes, Venice, etc. has been dramatically reduced in recent years. The most important argument with which the broadcasters vote against purchasing is the need to save money and a lack of money.
There is hardly any balanced film culture in the ZDF program.

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According to my information, the total budget of the Berlinale is 26 million euros. The federal government increased its share of the total budget by half a million to 8.2 million euros. In 2020, for the 70th anniversary of the Berlinale under new management, it should be another half a million euros more.
About 40 percent of the total budget is public money. In addition, there are around 5 million sponsorships, including from ZDF, Glashütte, L'Oreal, Audi and others. Around 4.6 million are generated through income from the European Film Market, 2.2 million through ticket sales, 2 million through third-party funding, e.g. from the Foreign Office and the Goethe Institute (e.g. for travel expenses for filmmakers etc.) and 1.2 million through Accreditation Fees.

The new Berlin airport, which has not yet opened, is currently costing taxpayers 35,680,000 million per month.

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A spontaneous uprising, citizens rebel against rising rents, inhuman investors and gentrification, here too, in the middle of a metropolis in China today.

The Chinese Lou Ye tells an entangled story: the focus is on four people, actually six: two women and two men who have been interwoven over decades in a complicated web of relationships.
One is a building contractor with ties to the Mafia, the other a political official who opens gates and paves the way for him. His wife has an affair with the building contractor, who in turn is blackmailed by an ex-lover.
One day the officer falls off the roof and a police officer begins an investigation. The more he finds out, the more the construction company's daughter comes to the fore, and an unidentified corpse in a grove next to the motorway.

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The director Lou Ye has been one of the most interesting filmmakers in China for around 20 years, and even before the somewhat better-known Jia Zhangke, he is the most exciting director of his, the "sixth generation" of Chinese cinema. The "sixth generation" are the realists whose truth is documentary saturated. With Lou Ye, however, it looks very different than with Jia Zhangke. He juxtaposes documentary and fiction, Lou Ye interweaves them to the point of invisibility.

In his new film "The Shadow Play", Lou Ye tells a story of China between 1989 and today in breathtaking, shimmering, extremely sensual images based on his characters. It is about power and morality, capital and corruption, eroticism and excess.

"The Shadow Play" is the very best film at the Berlinale. A film noir and psychological thriller from today's China.
Grandiose cinema that enchants, fascinates, accompanies the viewer's thoughts and feelings and does not let go for days.

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The best films from the Berlinale will be screened this year in the »Berlinale Panorama« section. Where the competition focuses on content-based world improvement films and is even more boring with more formal simplicity than usual, the largest section of the Berlinale is not only diverse as usual. Above all, it also offers those films in which a strong aesthetic is accompanied by surprising stories and characters.
The strength may have to do with the fact that the Panorama has recently started showing films from Sundance. Compulsory world premieres were yesterday.

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Alejandro Landes's »Monos« was also played there. A fascinating film, a second, really great highlight. The film is set in Colombia, but it doesn't have to be, as universal as it is, it could also be set elsewhere, where armies are waging a dirty war on terror. That only plays a minor role, but forms the background. In fact, one can think of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and its film version Apocalypse Now, but also of Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
Actually, this is about a group that is organized as a paramilitary, eight young people, the oldest maybe 20, who are fighting somewhere in the mountains against an enemy that is almost always invisible.
It is mainly about the internal dynamics of the group. They have a cow that they have to guard, because it gives them milk. But once they eat mushrooms and get pretty stoned, the cow ends up dead. Who is responsible? There is a process of self-tearing and a real journey into an inner heart of darkness - and that in breathtaking psychedelic images.

Cinema as it should be, especially at a festival like the Berlinale. Here in the panorama you can see that cinema is above all form.

(to be continued)