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December 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm #169274
Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Among First Berlin Competition Titles
by Nancy Tartaglione December 15, 2014 6:42am
The first seven films for the 65th Berlin Film Festival Competition program have just been announced, slightly lifting a veil of mystery on at least one title. Included in the lineup is Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups, which will vie for prizes in its world premiere. Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman star. Malick has been notorious for the secrecy that shrouds his projects and little has been known about Knight Of Cups other than that it deals with temptations, celebrity, and excess. The Berlin announcement hasn’t provided any more intel, but watchers have pondered when the film would make its first festival appearance, and its inclusion in the Berlinale’s first competition titles has just added an extra dimension to the proceedings as news begins to trickle out of Germany. Malick has won in Berlin before, taking the Golden Bear for 1999’s The Thin Red Line. His last major festival film was To The Wonder, which debuted in Venice in 2012, a year after The Tree Of Life won the Palme d’Or in Cannes. FilmNation is handling Knight Of Cups.
Also in the Berlinale mix is Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, although it’s playing out of competition. Blanchett will do double duty on the red carpet with this live-action Disney pic and Knight Of Cups. Lily James plays the titular role. Other films that made the first cut include Peter Greenaway’s Eisenstein In Guanajuato and Andrew Haigh’s UK title 45 Years with Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. Berlin runs from February 5-15. Below is the full list of films announced today:
By Andrew Haigh
With Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay
Als Wir Träumten (As We Were Dreaming)
By Andreas Dresen
With Merlin Rose, Julius Nitschkoff, Joel Basman, Marcel Heuperman, Frederic Haselon, Ruby O. Fee
By Kenneth Branagh
With Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Derek Jacobi und Helena Bonham Carter
International premiere – Out of competition
Eisenstein In Guanajuato
The Netherlands / Mexico / Belgium / Finland
By Peter Greenaway
With Elmer Bäck, Luis Alberti
Ixcanul (Ixcanul Volcano)
Guatemala / France
By Jayro Bustamante
With María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Antún, Justo Lorenzo, Marvin Coroy
World premiere – Debut feature
Knight Of Cups
By Terrence Malick
With Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman
Pod Electricheskimi Oblakami (Under Electric Clouds)
Russian Federation / Ukraine / Poland
By Alexey German
With Lui Frank, Merab Ninidze, Viktoriya Korotkova, Chulpan Khamatova, Anastasiya Melnikova, Piotr Gasowski
World premiereJanuary 14, 2015 at 5:02 am #169276
Berlin Adds Competition Titles From Werner Herzog, Jafar Panahi
by Scott Roxborough 1/14/2015 2:46am PDT
Germany’s biggest film fest has announced a slew of new competition titles for its 65th edition, including Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, Taxi by Iranian director Jafar Panahi (Offside) and Body from Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska.
In Queen of the Desert, the one-time Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson plays Lawrence of Arabia, aka T.E. Lawrence, alongside star Nicole Kidman as explorer, writer, archeologist and British Intelligence officer Gertrude Bell. Queen of the Desert also features Homeland‘s Damian Lewis as Charles Doughty-Wylie, a married British officer who had an unconsummated affair with Bell, and James Franco as Henry Cadogan.
Taxi will be Panahi’s third film to run in competition in Berlin. His drama Offside, about Iranian girls dressing as boys to sneak into soccer matches, won Berlin’s Silver Bear in 2006. The director is currently serving a six-year jail sentence in Tehran for “propaganda against the Iranian government” and has been officially banned by the Iranian regiem from making movies for 20 years.
Polish director Szumowska last appeared in Berlin’s competition lineup with In The Name Of… in 2013.
Other new Berlin competition titles include Benoit Jacquot’s Diary of a Chambermaid starring Lea Seydoux, Bill Cordon’s Mr. Holmes featuring Ian McKellen and Laura Linney, the Vietnamese drama Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories from director Di Phan Dang and Gone with the Bullets from Chinese director Wen Jiang (Let the Bullets Fly). Berlin has also added a second German-language film to this year’s competition with Victoria from Sebastian Schipper (Gigantic) starring Laia Costa and Frederick Lau.
February 2, 2015 at 8:22 am #169277
Malick, Herzog… can’t wait!
I bet the Golden Bear this year is another mess.February 2, 2015 at 11:46 am #169278
Coolest looking award goes to . . .
I’m hoping good things for Life, Mr. Holmes, and Woman in Gold. They’re premiering out of competition.February 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm #169281
Why no coverage of this here? “Queen of the Desert” is apparently a dud.February 9, 2015 at 12:24 am #169282
I was really looking forward to Queen of the Desert but turned out to be a disappointment…February 9, 2015 at 11:58 am #169283
Mr.Holmes is being raved, Knight of Cups is being demolished. Exactly what I expected. Is Malick losing his magic?February 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm #169284
Mr.Holmes is being raved, Knight of Cups is being demolished. Exactly what I expected. Is Malick losing his magic?
Ian McKellen wants that BAFTA. For some reason he doesn’t have the Fellowship yet. A well respected veteran of stage and screen, nominated twice before, is playing an aging version of one of the most iconic literary characters in history. That’s as baity as you can get without playing a real person. There’s one early prediction that I might be able to keep till the end.February 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm #169285
[quote=”tomhardys”]Mr.Holmes is being raved, Knight of Cups is being demolished. Exactly what I expected. Is Malick losing his magic?
Ian McKellen wants that BAFTA. For some reason he doesn’t have the Fellowship yet. A well respected veteran of stage and screen, nominated twice before, is playing an aging version of one of the most iconic literary characters in history. That’s as baity as you can get without playing a real person. There’s one early prediction that I might be able to keep till the end.
If Mr. Holmes manages to be as good as the wonderful Gods and Monsters then I’m all for it. I still can’t believe McKellan lost to Benigni for the acting equivalent of an annoying persian cat scratching a metal plate.February 11, 2015 at 7:23 am #169288
Best Actor to McKellan seems like a good bet.February 11, 2015 at 7:26 am #169289
Mr.Holmes is being raved, Knight of Cups is being demolished. Exactly what I expected. Is Malick losing his magic?[/quote]
I hope not. My theory , based on his last few films, is that he is going through some kind of personal transition. And for an artist, his films reflect that. Plus, his sudden prolific output.
If the critics dont get him, I am certain he doesnt care.February 12, 2015 at 1:33 pm #169291
This could be one of our foreign language film nominees next year:
‘13 Minutes’ Helmer Says Hitler’s Would-Be Killer Was Like Snowden – Berlin
by Nancy Tartaglione February 12, 2015 11:44am
Sony Pictures Classics acquired North and Latin American distribution rights to Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Nazi-era drama 13 Minutes early on at the Berlin Film Festival. The story of Georg Elser, who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1939, has its official screening out of competition today and was met with high praise from the press corps this morning. This is a return to familiar territory for the Oscar-nominated Downfall director after 2013’s savaged English-language biopic Diana.
A compelling portrait of the resistance fighter, 13 Minutes is not the first time Elser’s story has come to the screen, but it’s a rarity. Klaus Maria Brandauer starred in and directed 1989’s Seven Minutes, which focused more on the building of Elser’s poorly timed bomb. The failed deed was put in motion during a speech given by Hitler for the anniversary of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. The bomb Elser had placed behind the lectern detonated 13 minutes after the Nazi leader had left the platform — killing eight others. Elser was arrested, interrogated, tortured and eventually sent to Dachau. In 1945, days before the end of the war, he was executed on Hitler’s orders.
Answering questions after the Berlin press screening, Hirschbiegel called 13 Minutes, “a political thriller, a movie about Germany and a love story.” Asked why Elser’s story has been so little recounted, Hirschbiegel said, “Until just recently, we had a distorted image of Elser. The Nazis went to great lengths to project him as a henchman of British and American intelligence agencies – that he was a puppet on the strings.” There had also been rumors, the director said, that the Nazis “had somehow commissioned him to make his attack in order to show that Hitler was somehow protected by providence.”
He compared Elser to Edward Snowden: “Someone without any personal vested interest who resorts to publishing something knowing that by that same token he also ruins his own life. Elser’s action has to be seen even on a higher level because he really risked his life and lost his life in doing this.”
The White Ribbon’s Christian Friedel plays Elser alongside Katharina Schüttler (Generation War) as his companion and Burghart Klaußner (The White Ribbon) as one of the interrogators. The script is by Fred Breinersdorfer, who also penned the Oscar-nominated Sophie Scholl, about the final days of the famous Resistance fighter.
In the film, Elser is portrayed as a seducer who eventually grasps the dangerous changes happening in Germany. Friedel said today, “He is someone who lives a very light life, moving from one woman to the other, enjoying life. And then coming back to his own village and seeing the dark developments and developing this urge to do something.” Elser isolated himself as he hatched his plan. “I spoke to his nephew, who said nobody ever had any inkling as to what he was doing because as a personality he came across as a completely different person,” Freidel added.
Speaking of current unrest in Europe and elsewhere amid a rising right wing undercurrent, Freidel said, “We have an asset, which is our voice. Everyone has to be political and be aware that you need to raise your voice and not turn a blind eye. Elser looked at what was happening and had a clear and discerning gaze.” His comments were met with a raft of applause.
NFP will release 13 Minutes in Germany on April 2, almost exactly 70 years after Elser’s death.