Emotions run high at Berlin Film Fest

13th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 February 2004 , BERLIN - Given the complex mix of good, bad and indifferent movies, it's not surprising that we've had more than the usual amount of emotion generated at this year's Berlin Film Festival. Hollywood star Diane Keaton broke down in tears when confronted with reporters' questions she felt "too personal", as did Hans Peter Moland, director of the compelling movie "Beautiful Country". Moland wept when journalists questioned him about the dramatic American pull out from Vietnam almost 30 years

13 February 2004

BERLIN - Given the complex mix of good, bad and indifferent movies, it's not surprising that we've had more than the usual amount of emotion generated at this year's Berlin Film Festival.

Hollywood star Diane Keaton broke down in tears when confronted with reporters' questions she felt "too personal", as did Hans Peter Moland, director of the compelling movie "Beautiful Country".

Moland wept when journalists questioned him about the dramatic American pull out from Vietnam almost 30 years ago, which left behind a war-traumatised nation and countless children, who like "Binh" in the movie, had GI's as fathers.

He was comforted by the film's leading lady, Chinese-born actress Bai Ling, after bursting into tears.

Miss Keaton, 58, who briefly appears nude in the movie, "Something's Gotta Give" co-starring Jack Nicholson, felt reporters' questions were too intrusive at a crowded late night news conference.

Some critics covering the festival have also been getting worked up. They booed and gave cynical handclaps during the rowdy screening of director Romuald Karmakar's movie, "Nightsongs" Tuesday.

The sombre movie is about a luckless novelist and his frustrated wife who plans to escape with her lover when the writer commits suicide by throwing himself off a balcony.

Frustrated at its poor reception, director Karmakar, 38, lashed out at movie critics, saying American films are "influencing the language of film. Anyone who dares object to that has a struggle in Germany".

But he insisted he wasn't peeved at seeing some members of the audience walk out during the film. "That sometimes happens," he said, adding: "I'll fight for this type of cinema. We need diversity."

There was a further angry moment Wednesday evening when "The Final Cut", director Omah Naim's first feature film about chips and so- called Zoe-Tech implants, starring Hollywood actor Robin Williams, was about to be screened in competition.

Most competition films are being screened in the spacious "Berlinale Palast" cinema on the Potsdamer Platz. Not so with "Final Cut" which was switched to the smaller CinemaxX 7 studios nearby.

Critics found themselves jostling to get into the crowded first floor cinema premises. Appeals had to be made for some scribes to vacate seats reserved for the festival jury.

One red-face woman journalist, refusing to budge, yelled: "If the international jury isn't able to get here on time, they can't complain about their reserved seats being taken."

After further commotion, anger subsided when a spokesman announced that an additional screening of the movie - 30 minutes later - was being arranged for those without seats, in a nearby studio.

Meanwhile, in the side-streets running off the Marlene Dietrich square, movie-goers have been treated every night this week to the spectacle of hundreds of crows jostling among the trees, cawing and flapping their wings in their annual search of food haunts.

"I've never seen such a spectacle like this before - right in the heart of a city," said a Japanese visitor. "It's a bit scary."

DPA
Subject: German news

 

 

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