Writers have blogs, but dissertation writers probably shouldn’t. I realize this after I woke up this morning and realized there’d been a week since the end of the Berlinale and I hadn’t so much as hinted at my experiences there. Too much other writing going on.
Since I probably have too much to describe anyhow, I will use the woefully insufficient writing device of bullet points to summarize.
During Days 3-10 of the Berlinale 2010, I…
* …attended three retrospective panels with film artists in attendance.
* …discovered an excellent bistro: Marcann’s.
* …helped the HFF and sehsüchte host the Filmhochschule Party at HBC.
* …began planning a DEFA conference.
* …found myself watching more Japanese films than German or American.
* …saw Katrin Saß, Sylvain Chomet and Hanna Schygulla in the flesh.
* …met Gojko Mitic, Wolfgang Kohlhaase, Günter Reisch, F.B. Habel, Stefan Haupt, Anton Kaes, Rainer Rother, Ralf Schenk, Günter Agde, Wolfgang Mühl-Benninghaus, Wolfgang Klaue, Karl Griep and Bernd Plattner. I leave this to be examined by DEFA scholars.
* …regularly got up at 6 a.m. to get my accreditation tickets at Potsdamer Platz.
* …was threatened with physical violence by an angry old woman who thought I had unfairly cut in front of her in the ticket line.
* …wrote eight pages of solid film theory for my dissertation (dork moment).
What films did I watch and what did I think of them? Scroll down to Fantasy.
Here’s some photographic evidence of my meeting DEFA director Günter Reisch:
The Illusionist (dir. Sylvain Chomet, 2010)
Utterly brilliant. Read my thoughts here.
Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (dir. Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillét, 1968)
A history of Bach that preserves its own historicity. I must have seen this one about six or seven times. Yet I still have trouble ordering all the images in my head, but they look fantastic in 35mm.
The Law of Desire (dir. Pedro Almodòvar, 1987)
A tightly controlled meditation on the sensual possibilities of film and film-writing through melodrama. Anticipates Almodòvar’s entire career.
Red Sorghum (dir. Zhang Yimou, 1988)
A Chinese nationalist epic that starts off on the right foot and somehow ends on the far right foot…
Summer Wars (dir. Mamoru Hosoda, 2009)
This is the must-see anime of the year: a look at cyberwarfare through the story of a shogun family in modern times. Reminds one of Satoshi Kon’s Paprika (2006), with perhaps a far less open ending.
Kyoto Story (dir. Yoji Yamada, 2010)
A declaration of love to Kyoto Uzumasa, site of the former film studios. A fictional love triangle is masterfully interwoven into the daily lives of real shopkeepers on a real street.