Monday, February 9, 2009

Berlinale - Day 4

The Berlinale is a dark, brooding and provocative Mammoth.

It is impossible for one person to gauge the overall scope of the programming of a festival. Especially one of this size. Everyone has a skewed perspective of the film selections, as one can only see about 1/10th of the total package.

That being said, it is a very dark year for the Berlinale. Not dark in terms of poor quality films, but darkness in terms of the subject matter, themes and messages of the countless fiction and documentary films I have seen thus far.

I have been trained through years of programming to be able to digest films ad infinitum like this, but it seems to be a taking a toll this year.

In particular, iconoclastic Swedish director Lukas Moodysson's "Mammoth" has me swearing I will never travel again without my loved one.

Extremely well directed, even if a bit repetitive and long on exposition, the global morality tale features an ace performance from Michelle Williams in the tale of three separate mothers who regret not spending more time with their children.

The sharply focused tale takes the tension and strain of separation on an epic scale, leaving one feeling that maybe the industrial revolution was not such a good thing after all. It is a tale of the toll that globalization takes on family life.

Think of "Mammoth" as a meditative "Babel," without all of its contrivances.

Here is a link to the trailer for "Mammoth."

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