For cinephiles at the Berlinale hankering for some real post-screening scrutiny, fear not – Critics’ Week Berlin, now in its second year, is back.
This time, they’re taking a critical look at their home turf with a conference titled “Cinema Is Made by Others – Why German Films Party On Their Own” (Feb 10, Kulturquartier Silent Green), during which an illustrious panel including Richard Brody (The New Yorker), Sergio Fant (member of the selection committee of the Locarno International Film Festival) and Charles Tesson (director of the Semaine de la Critique in Cannes) discuss the worrying state of German arthouse cinema today.
As for the film selection, the programmers focus more on the auteurs and the avant-garde this year, curating a week of artful, experimental new films to engage, challenge and provoke debate.
Alongside Philippe Grandrieux’s Malgré la nuit, there’s Andrzej Zulawski’s Locarno Silver Leopard winner Cosmos and Pablo Agüero’s absurdist triptych on the embalming of Eva Perón Eva Doesn’t Sleep, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Denis Lavant.
Syrian director Sara Fattahi delivers a domestic portrait of life during wartime in Coma, while Igor Minaiev’s interrogates Soviet censorship and Lewis Klahr’s cosmic collection of pop collages Sixty Six blurs boundaries between cinema and video art.
As for Germany, it’s represented by the world premiere of Disorientation Isn’t a Crime, Marita Neher and Tatjana Turanskyj’s road movie about the refugee crisis. Along with shorts from Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Vapour) and Denis Côté (May We Sleep Soundly), it’s some hale and hearty food for thought.
For more information and screening schedule, see www.wochederkritik.de.
Critics’ Week Berlin, Feb 11-18 | Hackesche Höfe Kino, Rosenthaler Str. 40/41, Mitte, U-Bhf Weinmeisterstr.
Originally published in issue #146, February 2016: