Thursday, February 14, 2013

2013 Berlinale: Day 7 Report

Berlin Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Recap of day 7 of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival (Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin), which runs until February 17.

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker - From Academy Award winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic No Man's Land (2001). A micro-budget hybrid documentary/dramatic recreation, that chronicles a true incident in the lives of a Roma family, played by the actual family involved.

Prince Avalanche - The European premiere of the latest from American indie director David Gordon Green, a remake of the Icelandic film Either Way (2011) by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, is a melancholic and philosophical comedy that follows two highway road workers who work in isolation in a stark landscape devastated by forest fire. Starring Emile Hirsh and Paul Rudd.

Night Train to Lisbon - Screening out of competition, from acclaimed Danish director Bille August, twice winner of the Palme d'Or, an adaptation of Pascal Mercier’s best-selling novel about a Swiss professor who abandons his buttoned-down life to embark on a journey of self discovery, starring Jeremy Irons, Mélanie Laurent, and Jack Huston.

  • Day 7 - Wednesday, February 13

  • Competition Film
    Epizoda u životu berača željeza • An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker
    directed by Danis Tanovic
    Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Slovenia

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Director Danis Tanovic on the cameras used: "We shot it with DSLRs, I won't say the name of the company, because they didn't want to work with us, so I don't want to give them free advertising. Also if we knew Wong Kar Wai was going to be the president of the jury, we would never have used DSLRs to shoot the film."

    Critical response:
    "Tanovic paints a desolate but sadly authentic portrait of stagnant poverty that doesn’t even consider the option of rising up in protest." - Dan Fainaru (Screen Daily)

    "This is a universal human story at heart, a bleakly compelling family drama with a coldly furious edge of political protest." - Stephen Dalton (The Hollywood Reporter)

    "Sadly, this commitment to realism results in a lifeless exercise in sociopolitical anthropology, with minimal dramatic urgency or enjoyment." - Patrick Gamble (CineVue)

    Senada Alimanovic, Danis Tanovic, Nazif Mujic
    (Source: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe)

    Competition Film
    Prince Avalanche
    directed by David Gordon Green

    Critical response:
    "Laconic in tone, this washed-out English language remake opens boldly, with crackling images of the hellish fires that devastated the region, but runs out of fuel rather too quickly to be enjoyable." - Patrick Gamble (CineVue)

    "Unfortunately, Green’s latest effort is also one of the more grating and sluggish films in recent memory." - Sam Fragoso (Movie Mezzanine)

    "Isn't quite a 'return to form', but it is a satisfying step in that direction, a lovely, melancholy little film about loneliness and self-discovery." - Eric D. Snider (Twitch Film)

    "The finest pleasures are derived when it is simply our two leads having a heartfelt one-on-one exchange." - Jordan Raup (The Film Stage)

    Paul Rudd, Lisa Muskat, David Gordon Green, Emile Hirsch
    (Source: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe)

    Out of Competition
    Night Train to Lisbon
    directed by Bille August
    Germany, Switzerland, Portugal

    Quotes from the press conference:

    Producer Günther Russ on author Pascal Mercier's opinion of the film: "He liked it very much. The only question he had after seeing it was 'When can I see the film again?'"

    Jeremy Irons on working on this film: "It was a wonderful experience, with a wonderful crew, wonderful producers, and a wonderful director. I hope this movie is a great success so that we can make a Night Train to Lisbon 2."

    Critical response:
    "Every car is a sleeper on the stunningly tedious Night Train to Lisbon, a load of old windbaggery in which people keep remarking what a fascinating story is being told, yet they fail to make any kind of a case for it." - David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)

    "There’s all manner of political intrigue, cruelty and betrayal in Night Train to Lisbon. But if a movie can be polished to dullness, this one is." - Stephanie Zacharek (

    "Oscillating between unimaginative and tedious, with far too many actors phoning it in... at times feels like a filmed conference call" - Boyd Van Hoeij (Variety)

    "No major European festival is complete without at least one all-star Europudding." - Guy Lodge (Hitfix)

    Jeremy Irons, Martina Gedeck, Bille August, Mélanie Laurent, Jack Huston
    (Source: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe)

Our other coverage of the 63rd Berlinale:


365 moviesandsongs365 said...

That's a pity the reviews call Night Train to Lisbon dull and tedious, not so excited about that one now.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah on paper it sounded like a winner. Think I'll still probably end up watching it, but with much lowered expectations.

d_4 said...

Well, at least I kinda wanna see An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker. I'm kinda scared of it, though.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yep that's the one that most interests me from this batch.

Post a Comment