Posts tagged with “film festival”

Posted 2 years ago

My second day at the Berlinale.

  • Fell a bit in love with Billy Bob Thornton. Turns out he’s a nice man as well as a good director. 
  • John Hurt, aged 72, is getting cooler and handsomer by the day.
  • Billy Bob’s film Jayne Mansfield’s Car was enjoyable. It’s an Alabama generational saga with an anti-war message; the references are Tennessee Williams and Chekhov, the style is pure Altman. What’s not to like? Some of it is a bit conventional, and the subtext is somehow lacking in depth, but it’s a well-constructed work, with a good pace, quite a few laughs, and a great ensemble cast.
  • The highlight of the day was undoubtedly Winter Nomads, a Swiss film about transhumance - the ancient shepherding practice of walking sheep across land to graze on whatever’s left from the harvest season. Its charismatic protagonists (two shepherds, three donkeys, four dogs and eight hundred sheep!) make it a very enjoyable journey, which leads the viewer to consider the relationship between tradition and modernity, man and beast, landscape and ritual. It’s a delightful, lovely, touching film.
  • I walked from Potsdamer Platz to Hebbel am Ufer, where the Berlinale Talent Campus is taking place. The atmosphere there is anarchic, vibrant, full of exciting new ideas and talent. You can tell some of the people here are going to make a massive contribution to the future of cinema. Went to a workshop on distribution and a lecture on digital storytelling and interactive documentary to pick up tips for some exciting things that are in the pipeline for me personally and for No Borders Magazine. More anon.
  • It’s much less cold, thank god. Only one pair of socks, and thermals under jeans will see me through today. Thermal vest not needed under a thick Icelandic wool jumper.
  • Discovered that the U-Bahn between Kreuzberg and the place wehre I’m staying is closed after 10pm for engineering works. That was interesting. Ugh.
Posted 2 years ago

My first day at the Berlinale, a few considerations:

  • You really can tell the difference between -10°C and -17°C. Snow is forecast for tomorrow, which should bring the temperatures to a toasty -4°C.
  • The first thing I saw this morning on my way to the Berlinale Filmpalast was a photograph of Fritz Lang on the main facade of the Deutsche Filmothek. That made me feel so good about this place. Until I spotted a photo of Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds right next to it.
  • Oh, yeah, Brad Pitt is in town.
  • Brillante Mendoza’s latest film, Captive, really didn’t put me in the mood for boarding the first flight to the Philippines, not so much for the kidnappings, more because of the snakes. Ghhh.
  • On the other hand, Spiros Stathoulopoulos’ Meteora (shot in the Greek monastic site of the same name) made me want to travel there. Mostly in order to tell a better story about the place than the one he chose, which is a pretty standard fable of erotic passion vs spiritual devotion. (Something that Lorca, for instance, was much better at writing - unaided by quirky but dodgy animated Orthodox icons. That’s exactly what I mean.)
  • Highlight so far: the Romanian film Everybody in Our Family. It’s a film about family dynamics and aggression between parents and children. It’s a black comedy infused with a sense of domestic menace that wouldn’t be out of place in a Haneke film. It’s terribly unnerving and dangerous, and yet very, very funny. I loved it. I’m terrified some American producer will see it and want to remake it with Adam Sandler in the lead, so do see it before something awful like that happens. 
  • The wi-fi provision here hasn’t quite made it into the 21st century.
  • Haven’t really spent any time exploring the magnificent Hauptstadt, apart from a lovely walk in Schöneberg at 8am this morning, followed by a spectacular U-Bahn ride between Nollendorf Platz and Potsdamer Platz - sun glowing bright through the frosty haze, only a few film buffs out in the streets, braving the icy temperatures.
  • Angelina Jolie is a joke.
Posted 3 years ago
Birds Eye View started out as a positive response to the fact that women make up only 7% of film directors (a statistic that remains accurate for Hollywood, and that has fluctuated between 6-15% in the UK over the last few years), and around 10-18% of screenwriters (depending on which year, and which side of the Atlantic).

"That’s 6-18% of the creative vision in the world’s most powerful medium. We live in a visual culture, and what we see on screen profoundly affects the way we see ourselves and each other. Film offers us an incredible thing – an immersive trip into someone else’s universe, someone else’s vision of the world.

But if that vision is dominated by men then we are missing out on so much complexity, richness, diversity and creativity. It staggers me that we accept such a radically skewed perspective in cinema. Film after film of nearly all-male casts, with female characters as thin as their waistlines, and we barely bat an eyelid. If you do the Bechdel Test you’ll be amazed at how many films you love fail to pass. That is, they don’t have two or more named women, or if they do, those women don’t talk to each other about anything other than men, if at all. Think about it. Then watch Inception again. What you will find in the Birds Eye View programme, is a sense of balance. These films, without doubt, boast more interesting representation of women than an average night at the flicks.”

by Rachel Millward: Birds Eye View festival: And Woman created films for both sexes … | Film |

If you live in London go to Birds Eye View film festival this week. It’s not just important, it’s also fun.

Posted 3 years ago

Birds Eye View : BFI Retrospective : What A Woman's Gotta Do

As part of Birds Eye View - a festival celebrating women filmmakers - the British Film Institute is presenting a month-long series of films about heroic women, “with countless screen legends and not a stereotype to be seen!”

Posted 4 years ago

Birds Eye View Festival: Whip It

The UK premiere of Drew Barrymore’s brilliant directorial debut Whip It at the Birds Eye View Film Festival will feature a free live roller derby extravaganza on the South Bank, courtesy of the hard-rocking, hell-raising, skate-fighting London Rockin’Rollers. Whoo!

(Of course I’ll have to be Byron Maiden for the night…)

Posted 4 years ago

Birds Eye View Film Festival 2010

The British Film Institute’s annual Film Festival of celebrating, championing and showcasing women filmmakers.

March 4th-12th 2010

BFI Southbank, Institute Contemporary Arts (ICA)

Posted 4 years ago

Rita Hayworth with Mayor of Berlin and future Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Willy Brandt at the Berlin Film Festival, 1959

Photo Gallery: 60 Years of Berlinale - Der Spiegel