Halloween is upon us and we’ve got some tangentially scary kino tips, a properly terrifying festival pick, as well as some other events you won’t want to miss.
On the scary-adjacent front, two of this week’s new releases deal with the evils of social media. The one worth seeing is Effacer L’Historique (Delete History), Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern’s Berlinale Silver Bear Special Prize-winning comedy that offers a satirical look at what reality in the 21st century has become thanks to our online dependence. The one worth avoiding at all costs is Dear Evan Hansen, the film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning coming-of-age Broadway musical. It’s just terrible. Click the link to find out why.
Shamefully, I missed out on seeing supernatural horror film Antlers, the one release that would be in keeping with the Halloween vibe. Apologies. To make up for it, I’ve done a bit of penance and written a piece about food and horror. I think it’s a fair trade… in part to honour our food-themed October issue of the magazine; in part because I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to merge my devotion to the horror genre with my love of all things culinary. Read on.
Finally, with this week’s new releases, we recommend you head to Rollberg Kino, which seem to be the only cinema in Berlin to be showing Una Película de Policías (A Cop Movie), which premiered at this year’s Berlinale in the Competition section. Director Alonso Ruizpalacios has created a fantastic documentary hybrid / postmodern exposé that plunges the viewer into the Mexico City police force and the corrupt system it operates in. The filmmaker boldly blurs the boundaries of nonfiction in the most unpredictable of ways, and the eye-opening end result was one of the Competition’s unsung gems. The official release date for the film was kept bafflingly under wraps – presumably because there’s a limited rollout in cinemas before it hits Netflix in November – but rush to see it on the big screen. You won’t be disappointed.
There’s a lot of exciting stuff to get through regarding film events and festivals, so let’s proceed chronologically…
The Pornfilmfestival is still in the swing of things, so try your luck at getting tickets and read our full festival preview for our best *cough* tips.
Our main recommendation this Halloween weekend is to head to City Kino Wedding for the second part of Final Girls Berlin’s 6(66)th edition. It’s a celebration of horror shorts and features made by women and non-binary filmmakers, and it’s to die for. Check out our full festival preview to know what to expect and which films to book. To be honest, with a line-up this excellent, you can’t really go far wrong.
Once you’ve had your spooky thrills satiated, it’s party time: Happy Birthday to Il Kino, which turns 7 on Nov 1 and is kindly inviting us all to celebrate with them! They’ve got an evening of two Italian special preview screenings to mark the occasion: Francesca Mazzoleni’s documentary Punta Sacra (19:00) and Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo’s Silver Bear-winning (for best screenplay) Favolacce (Bad Tales) (21:30). Treat yourself (and them) to a birthday visit!
If you’re not in the mood for Italian cinema and birthdays aren’t your thing (respectfully, you’re wrong on both fronts), you can head to Mongay on the 1st for the screening of Firebird, Peeter Rebane’s feature debut based on Sergey Fetisov’s memoir The Story of Roman (22:00 at Kino International). Having premiered at the 35th BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival earlier this year, this Cold War-set drama follows the forbidden love between a private and a fighter pilot.
You’d also do well to keep in mind that StudioCanal’s monthly Best Of Cinema series kicks off on Nov 2. This programme brings cult films and classics back to the big screens of over 300 cinemas nationwide on every first Tuesday of the month. The first one out of the gate is the brand new 4K restoration of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders (Director’s Cut). Keep an eye out for it, and we’ll be keeping you abreast of the next releases.
Also starting on the 2nd is Portuguese Cinema Days (Nov 2 – 27) at Moviemento. It’s a series of prize-winning Portuguese films (all screening with English subs) that opens with João Maia’s biopic Variações: Guardian Angel at 20:00. Check out the full programme here, and don’t miss out on their tribute to late Portuguese actress Fernanda Lapa on the 22nd.
Lastly, there’s Litauisches Kino Goes Berlin that kicks off the next day (Nov 3-7). Celebrating its 11th edition in Sputnik and ACUD kinos, the festival presents a wide range of Lithuanian cinema, as well as films from Baltic States, Estonia and Latvia. Of particular interest this year is their Festival Pearls film series – which includes Giedrė Žickytė’s award-winning Cold War documentary The Jump (which has been announced as the Lithuanian entry for the 2022 Oscars) and Lina Luzyte’s stunning family drama The Castle – as well as the lecture In Focus: Women in Lithuanian Cinema, given by professor Lina Kaminskaitė, the co-editor of the book of the same name. This takes place in tandem with a photo exhibition The Projection Booth, a visual rendition of Lithuanian cinema culture, which takes place from the 3-24 Nov at Sputnik Kino. The opening night is on Wednesday 3 at 19:00 at ACUD, with the Short Film Competition programme followed by the Rūta Mur concert at 21:00. Don’t miss out and check the full schedule here.
There we have it. Too many festivals, you say? Well, brace yourselves, because November is a ridiculously busy month when it comes to top-notch cinematic celebration. Join us next week for a packed release schedule (including Chloé Zhao’s Marvel film, Eternals) and the lowdown on Soundwatch Film Festival, Visionär Film Festival and the Berlin Sci-Fi Filmfest.