Welcome to Exberliner's Berlinale Blog – your online guide to Europe's second (or third) biggest film festival. There may be other festival guides out there for you to read, with smart movie reviews, sexy celebrity gossip, and funny stories about nipple-slips at opening parties. But they are by fair-weather Berliners – day trippers who fly in for these international events and flounce around in floppy haircuts not knowing where to get the good shawarmas.
But THIS blog – this is written by locals. Those who know what the festival means to the city. Those who have basically been hunched in the cinemas all year round and know where the stained seats and the mad cleaning ladies are. Those who have been through JANUARY and so will not whinge when the icy rain runs down the necks. Here they are:
Giovanni Marchini Camia, Gio to his lovers, is EXB's resident total-Europe cineaste. What he doesn't know about Hungarian contemporary cinema could be written on the back of Béla Tarr's dead cat (that is a very clever reference). He will be catering to all your film review needs – slowly working his way through those extended black-and-white tracking shots of a herd of cows so you don't have to (another reference) and give all the sharp, brilliant insight you could want.
Eve Lucas is our diplomatic dame, armed with a mobile internet device and a camera, spending the week flitting between film star tête-à-têtes, gala openings, prize givings and press conferences to bring you all the latest from, or at least near, the red carpet. There Will Be Juice.
Meanwhile yours truly has the task of shining a light into the Berlinale's shadow – or, as its also known, the European Film Market. It's a swampy parallel world where films are conceived in an unholy clash of urges – to be born shrieking into the world next year. Or the year after. Or never. Some of those grotesque embryos just have to be aborted. The brief is to follow a group of directors, screenwriters, and producers as they attempt to sell their as-yet-unrealized projects to bloated, evil, indifferent financiers. It will be a blow-by-blow chronicle of glorious desperation – an intimate diary of the need to get someone important to notice the drops of your heart's blood staining the script.
So welcome to Berlinale #63. Here's to the movies.