Berlinale back to its best?
It’s fair to say Berlinale 2022 suffered at the hands of post-Covid industry uncertainty. The high-spirited return of the in-person in 2022, sadly, wasn’t matched by the programme. Yet with a deluge of great cinema ahead of us, in 2023 Berlinale is set to be a great vintage.
Long live British Shorts
After the headsy high of 2021, with alumni short The Long Goodbye bagging an Oscar, it felt like the bar would fall a little in 2022 – but that wasn’t the case. Now celebrating its 16th year, the British Shorts Films Festival remains at the top, breaking and re-breaking the glass ceiling with endless coffers of talent each year.
Distribution delays and bureaucratic push-backs have meant that many 2022 international films like Decision to Leave and The Banshees of Inisherin are still to be released in Germany. Like late buses, they all come at once. The already busy start-of-year cinema schedule will be packed to the rafters – it will be hard to keep up!
The year of American auteur
As if all locked in some Hollywood basement and suddenly let out, the grandees of American cinema return for a coupd’éclat in 2023. From Todd Haynes and Kelly Reichardt to Paul Schrader, Daren Aronosfky, Steven Spielberg and Todd Field (not to mention Martin Scorsese) – the high echelons of Hollywood return for a power grab.
Arsenal at Silent Green
The year ended with breaking news. In 2025, film buffs’ favourite Arsenal Kino will relocate to Wedding’s Silent Green Kulturquartier. This rings the final blow for the Sony Centre, which, after suffering the 2019 closure of Cinestar Original, is to be turned into a culture desert. For the first time, all the projects of the Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art will be under the same roof, right next to our EXB office and away from the Sony Cinestar corporate eyesore. A cinephile’s dream!
Coming soon to big screens near you…
Poor Things (Yorgos Lanthimos)
Alasdair Gray is one of those literary giants whose work has been stamped as a no-go even for the boldest of directors. Notwithstanding, Lanthimos comes to grips with Gray’s Poor Things, a postmodern take on Frankenstein with a beautiful young erotomaniac in lieu of the classic monster. With a cast including Willem Dafoe, Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo, he might just pull it off. Release date TBC.
Decision to Leave (Park Chanwook)
The South Korean auteur has a mind-bending back catalogue of slick epics that go straight to the heart of darkness. Following up his mazy erotic thriller, The Handmaiden, this painful and seductive story of a detective that falls for the wife of his murder case victim has left a blazing trail in its path with awards aplenty. To be released Feb 2.
Tár (Todd Field)
A less-than-prolific filmmaker with a near-perfect CV, the American interior drama master is behind In the Bedroom and Little Children. Returning to our screens after 17 years, Field follows the downfall of a renowned female composer-conductor, Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett), who struggles to cling on to the role she spent her life creating. To be released Mar 2.
Showing Up (Kelly Reichardt)
One of modern cinema’s modest masters, Reichardt follows up from her excellent debut, First Cow, with a stripped-back study of an artist at a turning point in her life. The fourth collaboration between the director and Michelle Williams, this films confirms Reichardt as a reveller in the poetics of the visual image. Release date TBC.
Stone Mattress (Lynne Ramsay)
This revenge thriller set on an Arctic cruise ship sees Julianne Moore as a 60-year-old widow, embarking on a luxury voyage with a crowd of privileged influencers and fellow retirees. A Margaret Atwood adaptation by Ramsay and starring Moore – this has all the trappings of a winning match. Release date TBC.