Berlinale 2011 Lineup Announced

While it Sundance may be the festival everyone is talking about, as it’s currently taking place in Park City, it is the Berlin Film Festival that is getting our attention today.

The 2011 Berlinale has announced its in competition lineup, and it’s one hell of a collection of films.   Also, a really weird one.

The biggest addition here has to be Bela Tarr’s The Turin House.   The director’s last film, it has been in the works for years now, but has suffered routinely from delays.   Kind of the foreign, art house version of Tree Of Life shall we say.   The film was an expected 2010 festival player, but has since been relegated to the 2011 lineup, making its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.   I’m a huge Bela Tarr fan, particularly when looking at the director’s iconic style, so hopefully this one can live up to the hype.

That said, with most of the focus being on the art house side of things (debuts like Joshua Marston’s Maria Full Of Grace follow up, The Forgiveness Of Blood for example), Hollywood will definitely have a place here.   For some reason, Liam Neeson’s Unknown will be premiering here, as will JC Chandor’s financial crisis film, Margin Call.   I told you, this is one weird collection of films.

However, there is one this writer is most interested in.   It has been revealed that Spike Jonze’s Arcade Fire music video/short film, Scenes From The Suburbs will debut at the festival.   Jonze is on a roll as of late, creating two of my favorite pieces of cinema from the past 24 months, with Where The Wild Things Are (best film of 2009), and I’m Here, the best short film of 2010. Toss in the Arcade Fire, and you have a film I can’t wait to see.

And, in a welcome and just turn, the festival will be honoring unjustly imprisoned Iranian filmmaker, Jafar Panahi, by showing a collection of his films, as well as hosting a panel on the current state of censorship in Iran.  This is a story that is sadly not getting the publicity it rightly should be, so it’s great to see a festival like this proclaim its support for a filmmaker of Panahi’s stature, who is currently serving one of the most heinous prison sentences  imaginable.  Not just the six years in prison, but with 20 years barred from making films, the least a festival like this could do is show its support for Panahi.

Here’s the lineup:

A Torinói Ló (The Turin Horse) Hungary/France/Germany/Switzerland
By Béla Tarr (Satantango, Werckmeister Harmonies)
With János Derzsi, Erika Bók, Mihály Kormos
World premiere

Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland (Almanya) Germany
By Yasemin Samdereli ‘“ debut film
With Vedat Erincin, Fahri Yardin, Aylin Tezel,Lilay Huser, Demet Gül
World premiere / Out of Competition

El premio (The Prize) Mexico/France/Poland/Germany
By Paula Markovitch ‘“ debut film
With Paula Galinelli Hertzog, Sharon Herrera, Laura Agorreca, Viviana
Suraniti, Uriel Lasillo
World premiere

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader And Simin, A Separation) Iran
By Asghar Farhadi (About Elly, Fireworks Wednesday)
With Leila Hatami, Peyman Moadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat, Sarina
International premiere

Les contes de la nuit (Tales Of The Night) France
By Michel Ocelot
World premiere ‘“ animated film in 3D

Les femmes du 6ème étage (Service Entrance) France
By Philippe Le Guay (Le coût de la vie)
With Fabrice Lucchini, Sandrine Kiberlain, Carmen Maura, Natalia Verbeke
International premiere / Out of Competition

Margin Call USA
By JC Chandor ‘“ debut film
With Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore , Paul Bettany, Zach Quinto
International premiere

Mein bester Feind (My Best Enemy) Austria/Luxemburg
By Wolfgang Murnberger (The Bone Man)
With Moritz Bleibtreu, Georg Friedrich, Ursula Strauss, Uwe Bohm,
Marthe Keller, Udo Samel
World premiere / Out of Competition

Saranghanda, Saranghaji Anneunda (Come Rain Come Shine) Republic of Korea
By Lee Yoon-ki (Love Talk, This Charming Girl)
With Lim Soo-jung, Hyan Bin
World premiere

Schlafkrankheit (Sleeping Sickness) Germany/France/Netherlands
By Ulrich Köhler (Windows on Monday, Bungalow)
With Pierre Bokma, Jean-Christophe Folly, Jenny Schily, Hippolyte Girardot
World premiere

The Forgiveness Of Blood USA
By Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace)
With Tristan Halilaj, Sindi Laçej, Refet Abazi, Ilire Vinca, Çelaj, Çun Lajçi
World premiere

Un Mundo Misterioso (A Mysterious World) Argentina/Germany/Uruguay
By Rodrigo Moreno (The Custodian)
With Esteban Bigliardi, Cecilia Rainero, Rosario Bléfari
World premiere

Unknown Germany/Great Britain/France
By Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan)
With Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz
International premiere / Out of Competition

V Subbotu (Innocent Saturday) Russia/Germany/Ukraine
By Alexander Mindadze (Otryv/ Soar)
With Anton Shagin, Svetlana Smirnova-Martsinkievich, Stanislav
Rjadinsky, Vjacheslav Petkun, Sergej Gromov
World premiere

Source: The Playlist / The Playlist /

Joshua Brunsting

Josh is a critic, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, a wrestling nerd, a hip-hop head, a father, a cinephile and a man looking to make his stamp on the world, one word at a time.

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