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This week at the kino: Literary classics, bird blood and (more) festivals

It’s been a lacklustre month for new releases, but that changes this weekend. Our film editor highlights the movies that should be on your radar, including what’s looking like one of the year’s best German films.

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Pelikanblut is an unpredictable, genre-straddling feature that sees Nina Hoss struggle as the adoptive mother to a troubled child. It might be one of the best German films of the year. Photo: DCM

Considering the last few weeks haven’t given us all that much to get excited about (and yeah, we’re counting you too, Tenet), what a relief it is that this week’s releases are worth a merry jaunt to the kino. The first is The Personal History Of David Copperfield, a Charles Dickens adaptation that is far more than your bog standard, slavishly faithful book-to-screen transfer. Armando Iannucci – the man behind scathingly brilliant satires like In The Loop, The Death Of Stalin, and TV show Veep – delivers a vibrant and exciting spin on a timeworn classic that needs to be seen. The second is a homegrown hit that premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival – Pelikanblut (Pelican Blood), by director Katrin Gebbe. It’s an unpredictable and genre-straddling feature that sees Nina Hoss struggle as the adoptive mother to a troubled child. No more shall be revealed here, but let’s just say the end result could very well be one of this year’s best German-language genre film. We interviewed Katrin Gebbe about her influences, the sensitive topics her story addresses, as well as the delicate tonal balancing act she confidently put in place for her second film.

Both films can be found in OV and with English subs at Hackesche Höfe Kino, b-ware! ladenkino and Il Kino, and if you can, there’s a premiere tonight (5.45pm) of Pelikanblut at Delphi Lux, with Katrin Gebbe and Nina Hoss in attendance.

Aside from general releases, there’s still plenty to enjoy on the festival front. ALFILM is entering its final stretch and there are plenty of great films to catch before the festival closes its doors for another year. We recommend you pick Freedom Fields and You Will Die At 20, both screening this Sunday at City Kino Wedding (7pm and 9pm respectively), and make sure you don’t miss out on this year’s edition’s strongest entry, the documentary Talking About Trees, which screens on Tuesday 29th at 7pm, also at City Kino. For more information, make sure to catch up on our full festival preview.

Visionär Film Festival started this week – the festival continues to grow as a platform for emerging talents and brilliantly champions new filmmakers from around the world. Check out our festival preview, which includes our must-see picks of this year’s 4th edition.

Also on our radar is Creepy Crypt’s Saturday showing of Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (10.30pm). Adapted from a story by Daphne du Maurier, this masterpiece of ’70s horror is a beautifully haunting tale of grief, and its disturbing climax – one of the greatest endings in horror history – deserves to be seen on the big screen. Another must-catch event is Monday’s preview screening of Eliza Hittman’s upcoming Never Rarely Sometimes Always, at Neues Off Kino, 7pm (followed by a livestream discussion). The film comes out on the 1st October and is absolutely one of the most vital features you’ll see all year. Stay tuned for our full review and interview with the director, published online next week.

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for the start of the Human Rights Film Festival, which starts on the 30th (until 10 October). Under the motto “The Future Is Now”, HRFFB 2020 will be opened this year by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will hold the opening speech. The festival itself presents a series of documentaries that seek to inspire people and raise awareness of human rights violations, and this year’s edition returns as a hybrid on-and-offline and will continue to hold discussions and Q&As will filmmakers, activists and experts to discuss some of the most pressing topics of our time. Physical screenings will be held – amongst others – at Moviemento, ACUDkino and BUFA. Check out the main program here and make sure to book tickets in advance.

That’s it from us this week. Stay safe, wear your masks, take a trip to the kinos to see this week’s releases and make sure to talk about trees.