Archive for the ‘Turkey’ Category

Berlin 2010 Preview: Forum, Part 3

February 11, 2010

Yeah, so the Berlin Film Festival has probably started already. This may still be of use to somebody. The Forum section is traditionally populated by newbies and experimental filmmakers. This year, several themes have emerged, among them the importance of labor and the plight of women in the modern economic system. The third part of our Forum preview has a particularly feminist bent, with documentary filmmakers tackling life in both ultra-Orthodox Israel and ultra-crazy North Korea. After it all, though, we end with a zippy Taiwanese comedy about a guy who just wants to visit his Parisian girlfriend. Click on the titles to watch trailers.

Click here to read the first part of our Forum preview.
Click here to read the second part of our Forum preview.

Pus (Haze)

A handgun and a photograph lead a young DVD pirate to become involved in a troubled couple’s lives. Director Tayfun Pirselimoglu situates this noir threesome in the industrial outskirts of Istanbul, where the atmosphere is as potent as Eraserhead’s distillation of Philadelphia.

Putty Hill

American filmmaker Matt Porterfield uses the day before a junkie’s funeral to scrutinize the rest of the family. In a faux documentary style, Porterfield creates deft sketches of put-upon skate punks and their impressively inked parents.

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Berlin 2010 Preview: Panorama Main/Special, Part 2

February 5, 2010

The Panorama section takes in a wide swathe of both independent and international productions which deserve a few more eyeballs cast in their direction. There’s plenty in this year’s line-up to merit attention. A Japanese courier goes on the run after a bomb blast, a miracle-working vagabond raises some hell, Dostoevsky goes Moroccan and families across Europe suffer the fallout of secrets and lies. For afters, there’s even a hermaphrodite road movie. What’s German for “fasten your seatbelts”?

Read the first part of our Berlin Panorama preview.
Read the first part of our Berlin Competition preview.
Read the second part of our Berlin Competition preview.

Fucking Different São Paulo

In the fourth installment of the LGBT-friendly series, male directors take on lesbian stories and female directors tell of gay lives in Brazil’s largest city. Like all portmanteau films, it’s literally a grab-bag. Through a variety of genres that includes animation, the directors tackle all-girl rock bands, long-term relationships, and friends turned lovers.

Goruden Suramba (Golden Slumber)

Director Yoshihiro Nakamura and author Kotaro Isaka have enjoyed a fruitful collaboration that includes 2009’s Fish Story. The Japanese team’s latest is about a courier who goes on the run after he becomes a prime suspect in a political assassination. Put-upon star Masato Sakai won a Blue Ribbon for his role in 2008’s Climber’s High.

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Berlin 2010 Preview: Panorama Main/Special, Part One

February 5, 2010

According to the program notes, Berlin’s Panorama section is meant to present “an overview of trends in art-house world cinema.” That’s shorthand for “this is where we put stuff we like, but which is unlikely to attract the attention of a Competition film.” The films found in the Main and Special programs highlight international and independent productions in need of wider distribution. This year’s batch includes India’s first legally gay film, a Brazilian action film and Kevin Spacey moving in with his daughter. Read to the end, because there’s a trick in this line-up’s tail. Click on the titles to see trailers.

Read the first part of our Berlin Competition preview.
Read the second part of our Berlin Competition preview.

Arekti Premer Golpo (Just Another Love Story)

A gay director and his bisexual cameraman learn that it’s hard to make a documentary in Calcutta. Star Rituparno Ghosh is better known as a director, having won the National Film Award for Unishe April. According to director Kaushik Ganguly, this is the first gay picture to be shot in India after the decriminalization of homosexuality.

Amphetamine

A straight fitness trainer named Kafka and a gay businessman have a fraught affair. This is the second film in a stylish autobiographical trilogy by Hong Kong IT-whiz-turned-filmmaker Scud (Permanent Residence), which also starred model Byron Pang.

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Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 1

February 3, 2010

The Berlin Film Festival is often overshadowed by Cannes Film Festival as it’s very difficult to dock a yacht in Berlin. It’s endured for 60 years, though, as an early warning system for the best of the year’s international art house fare. The Competition strand features those films vying for the Golden Bear, which in past years has gone to Jose Padilha’s The Elite Squad and Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow. The field’s first half features Japanese war stories, the making of one of the worst films ever made, criminals old and young and the returns of Polanski, Baumbach and Popogrebsky.

Bal (Honey)

Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu’s fifth film is a father/son story set in the remote mountains. Young Yusuf is ostracized at school for his stammer, but worships his beekeeper dad, who tends to a network of precarious treetop hives. When his father is called away on business, Yusuf follows him into the forest.

Kyatapira (Caterpillar)

Lieutenant Kurokawa returns from the front of the second Sino-Japanese War. He’s had his arms and legs blown off. Shigeko is expected to dutifully attend to her immobile war hero husband. Director Koji Wakamatsu’s previous film, the acclaimed United Red Army, still awaits release in the U.S. Based on the story by Edogawa Rampo, which was censored by the Japanese authorities in 1939.

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Rotterdam 2010 Preview: Bright Futures, Part 2

January 20, 2010

The second half of the Bright Futures slate at this year’s Rotterdam International Film Festival is dominated by homecomings. Documentary filmmakers go back to their roots to perform their investigations into history both personal and political. Sometimes it’s the dislocation which throws the contradictions of society into sharp relief. With all this brow-furrowing going on, it’s a relief to find some old stand-bys like the British comedy of embarrassment and a coming-of-age-among-the-tulips tale. The IRFF runs between January 27 and February 7. Oxygen tents will be available after the screening of The Sentimental Engine Slayer.

Mijn Enschede

The pitch: In 2000, the Dutch city of Enschede was ripped apart by a deadly fireworks factory explosion. Native filmmaker Astrid Bussink revisits the scene.
There’s still some fallout? It’s a personal journey of sorts. Bussink left the city the day the factory blew up. Since then she’s won awards for short documentaries like The Angelmakers and brought her first feature, The Lost Colony, to Rotterdam in 2008. Living within spitting distance of the memorial, the film filters the question of who’s to blame through her efforts at understanding.

Nuit Bleue

The pitch: Another story of return. Corsica is seen through the eyes of a homecoming expat, which reveal its patriarchal social structure and beautiful landscape.
I’ll book my vacation soon. It’s not all Lonely Planet eye-candy. Artist Ange Leccia has branched out into film to experiment with sound. There’s no dialogue anywhere in the film.
Immersive! The notes, however, do promise Serge Gainsbourg’s “Ne dis rien” on the soundtrack.
That’s funny. In the Bright Futures sidebar, you take your laughs where you can find them.

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Trailerama: Kosmos

August 27, 2009

A new arrival in town upsets the community’s delicate balance with his miracles and fornication. The trailer for this new film from Turkish director Reha Erdem suggests a pretty full-blooded work, with shades of Bela Tarr.