Friday, February 6, 2009

Berlinale - Day 2

Damn, the Danes know drama.

The positive dramatic effects of the Danish born "Dogma 95" film movement are still being felt in its contemporary independent cinema. One need to look no further than Annette K. Olesen's competition picture LITTLE SOLDIER for evidence. The taught drama follows the relationship of a female Iraq war vet, with untold war scars, to her father, a pimp. The scenario is a touch on the ridiculous, but the emotions and intensity are very real.

Spending a lot of time in the European Film Market. Held in conjunction with the Berlinale, more than 20,000 industry professionals from around the World attend the market. The market allows sales offices, distributors, producers and cultural film offices from around the world to sell, and hype, the films screening in the festival as well as hundreds more. See, in addition to the films screening in the festival, the market features several hundred more as anyone can rent a screening slot. ATTENTION Milwaukee filmmakers: where are you?

Saw my first shorts program today and once again I am left totally befuddled. I just can't seem to lock into the sensibilities of the short film programmers here, even after several years of attending. I don't seem to be alone in this, as every year the audience is always very shifty, exerting several groans, inappropriate timed laughs and even catcalls. I don't think it is simply a different German or European sensibility, as I have yet to find an equal for features programming than the Berlinale. However, I do have to pay tribute to their vision. They have stayed consistent over the years and at least are looking for some new voices and film language.

Off to see some more films...

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