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FESTIVALS - Berlinale 2012 Final Report: The Tantalizing and the Taboo

What does it take to get your film into a world class festival? That's the question asked with gleeful irreverence by "The Woman in the Septic Tank," which screened at the recently concluded 2012 Berlinale, one of the world's foremost festivals. This hilarious satire of international art filmmaking finds two aspiring auteurs sitting in a Manila café, jealously regarding a rival's Facebook photos taken at the Venice film fest. They vow to devise the ultimate movie to win festival audiences and prizes: a single mother of five suffering in the slums is forced to sell her son to a rich pedophile. But like Mel Brooks' "The Producers," the project gets out of hand, and before we know it we're watching a musical version with the pedophile singing "Is this the boy / who'll bring me endless hours of joy?" It's one of many delightful detours taken by these filmmakers seeking the road to art house glory.
  • By Kevin B. Lee
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  • February 21, 2012 6:46 AM
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VIDEO ESSAY: Love Against Irony in Maren Ade's EVERYONE ELSE

One of the most sublime and insightful romantic films in recent memory, Maren Ade’s Everyone Else won both Best Director and Actress awards at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival. This video looks at one of the film’s key love scenes, and explores how two people struggle to express their true feelings clouded by personal insecurities, which they cloak behind a wall of smart-ass ironic statements. In other words, it’s truly a film for our time.
  • By Kevin B. Lee
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  • February 17, 2012 3:33 PM
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FESTIVALS: Berlinale Decision Points Pt. 1: Herzog on DEATH ROW and Lesbian Marie Antoinette

At what point do you make your mind up about a movie? It's an especially pressing question at a festival like "Berlinale," where you can watch as many as seven or eight films a day. There’s a risk of just letting these films wash over you and, to borrow a French phrase, “fall from your eyes,” so that you leave the theater with just a vague impression of what you’ve seen and few specifics to say. To fight this I’ve decided to shape my "Berlinale" coverage around decision points: the moment where I pretty much made up my mind about a film, and how that moment reflects on the film as a whole, capped by my Indiewire grade:
  • By Kevin B. Lee
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  • February 10, 2012 7:47 AM
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