Thursday, February 12, 2009

Seventeen New Worlds

My first Berlinale I saw 10 films, my second 13, and this year with a great deal of determination I will have managed 17, a bit short of my goal of 20. But at Day 7, as I'm about to set off to number 12, I admit to experiencing some fatigue. Each day I spend roughly one hour waiting in line, one hour or more going to and fro on transport and 4 to 5 hours inside movie theaters. The good thing is that I've now bought all my tickets through to the end (yesterday was the last day standing in line). My light-deprived state is, fortunately, counteracted by the huge head trip of whizzing in the space of short hours, from the war-torn Balkans to Istanbul slums to gorgeous Greece. Attending so many films has clearly diminished my ability to blog (eating, inconveniently, has to happen, and today I gave in to the need to actually spent time doing laundry).

I'll expand this post when I have time to breathe. But right now I'm recommending these films for the final days of the Berlinale. Yesterday was a good day -- Hayat Var from Turkish director Reha Erdem (whose work I'll definitely be seeking out on video) and a very surprising Isabelle Adjani film, La Journée de la Jupe, which was masterfully crafted from beginning to end. Today, so far, has been Strella, a Greek film that one-ups the Crying Game in a big way. All of them, along with Human Zoo, fall in my "run, don't walk (to get tickets)" category.

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