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The 5 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2013 Berlin Film Festival

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 6, 2013 at 3:26PM

We're still brushing the snow off our metaphorical evening wear from the Sundance Film Festival, which feels like it ended only yesterday, and yet tomorrow sees the second stop of The Playlist's 2013 festival roadshow get underway, with the opening night of the Berlin Film Festival. The earliest in the year of the Big Three European festivals (alongside Cannes and Venice), the Berlinale, founded in the German capital in 1951, is traditionally one of the most prestigious events in the movie calendar.
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A Single Shot
"A Single Shot"
Synopsis: A poacher accidentally kills a teenage girl, and discovers a large sum of money, only to be targeted by the killers it belonged to.
What You Need To Know: The latest from former documentarian David M. Rosenthal ("Janie Jones") has been in the works for quite a while, going through various cast permutations over the years (Michael Fassbender and Alessandro Nivola were both set for the lead at various points), but finally made it before cameras in 2012. And there's at least one reason to be excited about the film; it features one of the best actors alive, Sam Rockwell, in the lead role. Rockwell is scientifically proven to make everything he's in about 25% better, but when he has a lead role, as he does here, you generally know that you have a treat in store, and the dark, weighty subject matter suggests it could provide him one of his best showcases. And he's far from the only great actor involved with Jeffrey Wright, William H Macy, Melissa Leo, Kelly Reilly, Jason Isaacs and Ophelia Lovibond all cropping up too. While we haven't been wowed by Rosenthal's work to date, these guys don't sign on to just anything, and this sounds like it could be the kind of complex, dark morality tale we don't see enough of these days.
When: First screening is on February 9th. No distributor is lined up yet.

Maladies
"Maladies"
Synopsis: In the 1960s, a schizophrenic actor, his mentally detached sister, and his cross-dressing best friend all share a house together.
What You Need To Know: Another film festival, another James Franco movie. Between his acting appearances for the likes of Harmony Korine, his directorial projects, and his weird documentaries/art projects, the "Oz The Great & Powerful" star seems to be everywhere at once. And he arrives in Berlin with three films, joining Sundance entrants "Lovelace" and "Interior. Leather Bar" is "Maladies." The film, shot two years ago by enigmatic artist Carter (yup, just Carter), is notable as the end-point to Franco's recurring role on soap "General Hospital," which came about as a means of researching his role in this, playing a 1960s TV soap star (called,  yup, James) who's retired from his job due to his possible schizophrenia. Co-starring Catherine Keener as his cross-dressing friend, newcomer Fallon Goodson (who'll also appear in Franco's adaptation of "Child of God"), David Strathairn and Alan Cumming (Claire Danes was due to appear, but seemingly dropped out), it's described as "a sensitive exploration of perception" with a "bold narrative structure," it's certainly unlikely to be multiplex fodder. But with this cast, and a potentially interesting subject matter, we're hopeful it'll be more than just another in the string of movies about how interesting it is to be James Franco.
When: Screens February 10th, and you guessed it, no U.S. distro yet.  

Camille Claudel 1915 Poster
"Camille Claudel, 1915"
Synopsis: The sculptor Camille Claudel, confined to an asylum by her family, awaits a visit from her brother.
What You Need To Know: With a reputation as one of the most "difficult" European auteurs out there, Bruno Dumont on the surface appears to have gone a little more mainstream for his latest film by working with a major star for the first time, Juliette Binoche, and taking on that most formulaic of genres, the biopic. Dumont's picture will tell the story of Camille Claudel, a sculptor who was institutionalized with schizophrenia in her 40s, where she stayed for over thirty years, never to sculpt again. Of course, when you think about the subject matter -- and the particular approach that Dumont tends to take -- we're sure this'll be anything but a traditional biographical take. We're sure it won't be much fun to watch, but the combination of Binoche and the director is an enormously exciting one, particularly given the potency of the role.
Release Date: Screens February 12th, and take a wild guess if it has U.S. distribution yet or not.

Check out new images below from from the documentary "Act Of Killing," "I Used To Be Darker" and River Phoenix's final film, "Dark Blood." And on the next page are more snapes from "A Single Shot," "Maladies," "The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman," "The Grandmaster" and "Camille Claudel."

Act of Killing
I Used To Be Darker
Dark Bloo, Judy Davis
Dark Blood River Phoenix
Dark Blood River Phoenix

This article is related to: Features, Berlin International Film Festival, The Grandmaster, Jafar Panahi, A Single Shot, Maladies, Bruno Dumont


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