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What a fabulous ten (10) days we have had in Berlin.
Sunday was the last day of the Berlin International Film Festival otherwise known as the Berlinale! And what a wonderful time we all had!
We had a long, fantastic fortnight of films, films, and yes more films!
I live in Berlin. And of course, I’ve been to the Berlinale before but last year was the first time ever, to go there as a press person.
Never as a professional journalist!
So this year, I went as a pro!
Let me tell you.
It was cool stuff!
Berlin has been hobnobbing with the best. If it’s good enough for the likes of the talented Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (the X-Men), Penélope Cruz, Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson (Harry Potter & Twilight) surely, it must be good enough for you!
In the flurry of excitement and talented art, I managed to watch forty-four (44) films in just ten (10) days.
I admit. It was a little exhausting but some films were long and some weren’t.
I’m a Vice-Principal & Corporate English Manager, I’m married and have a teenage son, so I always have to get smart and creative. During the week, I went to only two movies per day – late night – and then really went crazy over the weekend.
I must be bonkers!
Here are the films that I watched:
In my opinion, every film was brilliant, and none were duds!
So without further ado, here are the films that I think are going to be the next big thing, in alphabetical order!
A seemingly ordinary boy (Padma Angdu) who lives in the Himalayan region of India, discovers (at the age of 5), that he is the highest ranking reincarnated Tibetan monk, giving him the noble and spiritual title of Rinpoche! However, the fact that the young boy was born in the India and hence in the wrong place, leads to his banishment from the local monastery in Ladakh. And so the lad is separated from his destiny, his spiritual monastery and thus his disciples, as his monastery is in closed-door Chinese Tibet!
This film is the real-life story of his struggle to get into Tibet and back to his people, with the help of his guardian, teacher and godfather Urgyan Rickzen.
I won’t tell you whether he succeeds, but I can tell you that there was not a dry eye in the room, and various sounds of sniffing and blowing of handkerchiefs!
If you can find this documentary, you must watch it!
I’m thinking that Logan, needs no introduction but if you’ve been living under a stone in the last ten (17) years, he’s also known as The Wolverine, from the X-Men!
The Wolverine is one of the greatest comic book heroes ever created and happily, Hugh Jackman was more than able to reprise his iconic role as The Wolverine for one final time. Mind you, this isn’t your every-day bubble-gum X-Men saga, ‘cos the film is bloody, violent, disturbing and raw, so get ready to hold onto your seat.
We saw it in a press-only screening, so I couldn’t make any comment about it when I first watched it!
As the only girl in a family of boys, my inclusion into the MARVEL family, and any other male-dominated comic / magazine, was always going to be a thing.
It’s 2029 and the mutants are gone – or almost gone. Could this be the last we hear of Logan? If you’re male, you’re going to love it. I know I did!
The boys are back in town, looking as roguish as when we last left them, 21 years ago!
It was the 90’s and for many people, the original Trainspotting film provided an adrenalin rush to the British movie scene, injecting the soundtrack of Underworld’s – Born Slippy NUXX – raves, techno clubs, ecstasy, poverty, politics, and the reality of a dead-end life into Scotland, and many parts of forgotten Britain at the time.
Trainspotting pretty much made careers out of our unforgettable anti-heroes – Ewan McGregor (Renton), Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy), Robert Carlyle (Begbie), and Ewen Bremner (Spud). I mean, I have the original book written by Irvine Welsh, I’ve seen the film a million times, and I even have the soundtrack somewhere, as we all use to go mad with it! As for me, it was the music more than anything that really made the film a cult one.
I’m amazed that Danny Boyle managed to get everyone together again with a shoot of over 70 locations, 12 sets, and 55 days, but manage they did, and they all look great. Indeed, the two main characters still manage to get into a pair of skinny jeans, and that’s saying a lot.
I won’t say any more except to say that T2 Trainspotting is a continuation of the first film, with flashbacks here and there, and references to the original story.
I loved it, and will most likely watch it again when it comes out at the cinema. You should too!
Viceroy’s House is the personal story of the family of the British director – Gurinder Chadha.
The film is about the 1947 Partition of India into Pakistan, and how it affected everyone involved. The story takes place entirely in Viceroy’s House, the British Raj’s seat of government in Delhi, to create an Upstairs, Downstairs vision of Partition. The film focuses on the negotiations upstairs between Lord Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy of India, and India’s new political leaders Nehru, Gandhi and Jinnah, whilst interweaving the stories of the local Indians downstairs (their hopes and fears in relation to how these negotiations will impact their own lives).
The combination of British and Indian talent, gave Gurinder the opportunity to make a true-life British historical epic which is both sorrowful and heartwarming. With talented actors such as Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson and Michael Gambon. And she succeeds.
In fact, there is a twist to the story, but you’ll have to watch the film to find out. I suggest that you do so!
If you’re really into independent or international films, then the following list will please you, and whet your appetite, for good quality film-making.
Films that don’t need to worry about whether the audience will “get it” or appeal to 12 year old boys. In short, intelligent films!
In a way, Menashe is quite funny!
We’ve all seen disturbing psychopathic thrillers before, but they’ve never been about fun-living hedonistic Berlin.
Very cleverly done.
Although based on the serious topic of refugee safety, the film is strangely disturbingly hilarious!
After her grandfather is diagnosed with lung cancer, she watches as he calmly digs his own grave, furnishing it for his comfort in the hereafter with a handful of his worldly possessions. His light-hearted approach to dying is a gentle and laconic acknowledgement of the natural cycle of life and death. But things don’t always go as planned in the land of the living..
A heart-warming, but sad film.
The boy’s father fails to pick him up from school, so he simply walks off. Of course, he quickly finds himself lost and wanders through the noise and chaos of the poverty-stricken African city in Senegal. Does he ever find his way home?
Watch it and see!
Like 60 million other children in China, his parents leave the country to find work elsewhere. Fending for himself in the mountainous countryside, he finds solace in his parents’ promise to return on New Year’s Eve, and in the loyal company of a tame piglet.
With magnificent footage, the film tells the tale of an existence filled with unavoidable adversity.
A heart-breaking film.
I’m very into British / Irish, Asian and East European films, as they’re all quite gritty, weird and obscure. This year, I watched quite a few German films. And surprisingly, I liked them!
In watching a festival film, you get to see a large variety of international locations and settings, and a better intimate view with acting and scenes, that are much more realistic than in films with a Hollywood budget!
The Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, is a special treat for the public.
See you next year!
This article is not sponsored and even though I received press accredited rates for tickets, all opinions and the impressive festival films that I saw, are my very own!
On 24.02.17 I’ll be going to the first ever blogger event at the Wintergarten Varieté Berlin on How to be an artist LIKE BERLIN!
On 08.03.17, I’ll be at the iambassador – Traveldudes – ITB Travel Tweet-Up event.
On 08.03.17 – 12.03.17, the world’s largest tourism trade fair – the ITB will be in action, and everyone who is anyone in the travel industry, will be here!
On 15.03.17, I’ll be at the Spring Reception for the British Community at the British Embassy in Berlin.
If you’re not in Berlin in February, you’re boring!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
I loved the Berlinale when I was there. It was the Year Wings of Desire won the Golden Bear. Great film, great city! Tom
Thanks very much Thomas!
We had a really great time at the Berlinale. And yes, Berlin is a great city! I haven’t seen Wings of Desire, but I’ve just had a quick look and it looks great. Hubby says that the Nicholas Cage film – City of Angels – which I enjoyed very much, was based on Wings of Desire or Der Himmel über Berlin, but he said that the original is far better lol! 🙂
FORTY-FOUR FILMS? Dang, girl, that’s ambitious! Despite having worked for entertainment mags for 10+ years, I’ve only been to the Tribeca Film Festival, and I usually just covered the events, didn’t go to many screenings. I’ll have to reference this post as many of the films make their way to America (here in TN, we don’t get a lot of them…we still haven’t even gotten La La Land!).
Thanks so much Kristin! We’re a family of nerds. You should see my husband. He actually took 10 days off just for the Berlinale. I’m not that mad!
The Tribeca Film Festival is wow! I would loooove to go there. In New York where all the intense talent is. Yes, please! Yeah, I would want to watch the films though and that that would be a problem, being that it’s New York and I’d probably be on holiday, or I would have to move there or something lol! I met a journalist who came all the way from Norway. Just for the Berlinale film festival. She had been to Tribeca and Cannes, but found it reeeeally difficult to get a foothold in Cannes! 🙁
p.s. I would say that we’re behind the UK in terms of timing, but Germany is still the most important country in Europe, as far as film production, filmmaking, filmbudget, film audience, etc, are concerned. And we’ve had La La Land for quite some time now. Those films are coming to you.
And er. The Oscars. Oh dear! 😉
Hi Victoria, again, I am insanely jealous of you for this! 44 films in 10 days would be a dream come true for me! I literally just went through your list adding all the films that looked interesting (most of them!) to me watch wish list, so I really appreciate this post 🙂
Thanks so much Amy!
I really don’t know how I did either bearing in mind that I still had to go to the office, go home make lunch and dinner, and then go out! Mind you, I was very strategic with planning. Anywhere that was on the other side of town, wasn’t going to happen lol!
p.s. You’ve got to watch some of those films. They’re magnificent! 🙂
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