Berlinale 2018

Berlinale 2018
The 68th annual Berlin International Film Festival
February 15th-25th, 2018
Berlin, Germany

by Marko Domazet

Here we are Loose Lippers – it’s February and time for Berlinale. The town of pretzles, good coffee and decently priced booze did not disappoint. Like in previous years, the main festival hub was based around Potzdammer Platz, but the screenings were scattered across town. This being my first time at the Berlinale, it was a delight to explore the different types of cinemas the city had to offer. From majestic, to super comfortable, to super stylish (but oh so uncomfortable), Berlin really is a city for the cineastes.

Unfortunately, our visit this year was a brief 3 day affair, but we managed to sniff out some of the big contenders and have also thrown in a review of a few more independent choices. Enjoy the read, and take the time to check it out for yourselves next year.


Directed by David and Nathan Zellner
Starring Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner and Nathan Zellner

Take the cornerstones of a classic western – a hero on a rescue mission, a drunken sidekick, a native American, a damsel in distress – defy the expectations and hey presto, you’ve got Damsel.

Samuel Alabaster (Pattinson), an uptight dull-as-dishwater pioneer, ventures across the frontier to save and marry his beloved Penelope (Wasikowska). Aiding him on his mission is a drunken fake priest (David Zellner), a miniature horse and of course every possible pre-conception one has about Westerns. Yes, we’re talking Native Americans, canyons, lone fur-clad woodsmen, hookers and horizons as far as the eye can see. As the story evolves, the lines between the heroes, villains and lovers blur in a deadpan fashion, and Damsel quickly makes it clear that it’s a film keen to deliver the unexpected… read more

Isle Of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Kunichi Nomura, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, Mari Natsuki, Fisher Stevens, Nijiro Murakami, Liev Schreiber and Courtney B. Vance

Wes Anderson’s latest film is another visual feast: Rich in detail, superbly executed and with enough flare to quite happily just look at the pictures and not bother too much with the story. But fortunately, for his 9th feature, Anderson offers up a stellar story too!

As the opening scenes unfold, we find out that by executive order, all canine pets of Megasaki City have been banned to an island; an island also shared with mountains of rubbish and a few abandoned buildings. The reason for this ban is disease the dogs carry (or could potentially carry) and the harmful effects the major Kobayashi thinks they will have on the human population… this is despite protests from scientists, journalist and other folk who seem to be governed by common sense… read more

Out of Competition

Black 47
Black 47
Directed by Lance Daly
Starring Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, Sarah Greene and Jim Broadbent

The year is 1874, the great famine is ravaging through Ireland rendering many people unable to eat and fend for themselves. Feeney, a rough as they come Irish Army Ranger, returns home from a tour oversees to find that most of his family has perished to the famine, and the village he left behind is beyond recognition. Faced with poverty, malnourished people and a system that seems unwilling to offer any help, Black 47 follows Feeney as he silently makes his way across the landscape, slowly eliminating those he feels are in one way or another responsible for the demise of his family. It’s not long before Hannah, a famous tracker, is dispatched along with a sergeant from the English Army to put a stop to Feeney’s rampage. Cue an epic, silent, and at times very violent search, where all involved are pushed to the limits by the brutal landscape and people within it… read more

Berlinale Special

The Happy Prince
The Happy Prince
Directed by Rupert Everett
Starring Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson

Lying in a cheap hotel room with nasty wallpaper, Oscar Wilde opens up the floodgates to old memories and we come along for the journey in The Happy Prince. The story in not told in a chronological order and mostly focuses on the period after Wilde’s release from prison. During this time, Wilde was shunned by most of his acquaintances, didn’t produce any new work and lived in a destructive love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. The two travelled across Southern Europe like penniless vagabonds with Wilde sinking deeper and deeper into an emotional abyss that, alongside with his fast way of living, would eventually catch up with him… read more


Directed by Leila Weinraub

There ain’t no party like a shakedown party (my own quote, based purely on the film, never actually been to their parties).

Shakedown was a series of parties thrown in the Los Angeles area over the last decade. The parties were strictly underground, mainly geared at gay African American women and based around floor shows during which the female audience would get all interactive with the female dancers, slipping dollar notes into their thongs, showering them with bills, and from time to time, busting out a dance move (and boob) themselves. Shakedown follows a number of these party characters and keeps the action confined to either the dressing room or the dance floor. Apart from one of the go-go dancers, we don’t know about these women off the dance floor. Instead, very much like Paris is Burning, we are given access to a scene where there is no judging, no backgrounds, no hassle. Well, as long as you are one of the crowd… read more

Perspektive Deutsches Kino

Feierabendbier (After-Work Beer)
Directed by Ben Brummer
Starring Tilman Strauß, Julia Dietze, Johann Jürgens, Christian Tramitz, Jonathan Berlin, Sophia Schober, James Newton, Korinna Krauss, Manuel Rubey and Levi Schäfer

Magnus has a bar. And an apartment. And a car. Magnus doesn’t have an illness, he has a few loyal friends and a son. Magnus is in his mid 30s. Magnus seems utterly miserable and obsessed with his car. In fact, he’s so obsessed that when the car is stolen, he starts an obsessive hunt that quickly gets out of hand. During this hunt, Magnus has an episode in a swingers’ club, he meets a girl, loses the girl, stages a heist, almost loses custody of his son… read more


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