Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 Berlin International Film Festival: Day 1



Today was the opening day of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin), one of the most prestigious and well attended film festivals in the world.

Separate press conferences were held to introduce the official competition jury as well as the opening film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, directed by Wes Anderson.

Presiding over this year's International Jury is American producer James Schamus (Brokeback Mountain). Schamus is joined by American producer Barbara Broccoli (Skyfall); Danish actress Trine Dyrholm (In a Better World); Iranian filmmaker and painter Mitra Farahani (Just a Woman); American actress Greta Gerwig (Greenberg); French filmmaker Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind); Hong Kong actor Tony Leung (The Grandmaster); and Austrian Actor Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds).

The 64th Berlinale International Jury: Tony Leung, Barbara Broccoli, Trine Dyrholm, Michel Gondry, Mitra Farahani, Christoph Waltz, Greta Gerwig, James Schamus

  • Day 1 - Thursday, February 6
Opening Film
The Grand Budapest Hotel
directed by Wes Anderson
USA, Germany
Quotes from the press conference:

"Well the romance is gone..."Bill Murray joking about his long working relationship with Wes Anderson.
"It's such a precious place for me. I came here with the first film I ever made. It's like my battery charger, cinematically."Tilda Swinton on what the Berlinale means to her.
"This character is quite grand and theatrical and has to recite poetry, paragraphs of text. Raplh is the person I thought will make this a real man."Wes Anderson on the the casting of Ralph Fiennes
"There are some things that I steal on purpose, and other things that I don't have to make an effort to steal and I think Kubrick falls into that category. I just love the way he worked."Wes Anderson on the influence of Stanley Kubrick

Critical response:
"This might just be Wes Anderson’s best film; it’s certainly his most thrilling."Nico Hines (The Daily Beast)
"At once absurd and beautiful, Anderson's world has never been so spectacularly realized."Eric Kohn (Indiewire)
"The film’s shaggy-dog, sort-of-whodunit yarn offers laughs and energy that make this Anderson’s most fun film since ‘Rushmore’."Dave Calhoun (Time Out London)
"A vibrant and imaginative evocation of a bygone era, with a brilliant lead performance from Ralph Fiennes that lends Anderson’s latest exercise in artifice a genuine soul."Justin Chang (Variety)
"In relocating his fixed sensibility to an obsolete European neverwhere, and making the eponymous institution as storied and tragic a subject as any of its residents, Anderson has hit on the ideal narrative context for his restless romanticism and production design fetish."Guy Lodge (In Contention)
"Led by the impeccable, flamboyant and sometimes profane Fiennes, the cast goes calculatedly over the top with aplomb."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
"As off-kilter affecting as we found its nostalgia for a world of charm and dash that really only ever existed in the movies, and as terrific as almost all of the performances are, as a whole package it fell just slightly short of the promise of its parts."Jessica Kiang (The Playlist)
"Subtle pangs of melancholy — that Anderson staple — permeate every immaculate frame, even as the film's plot barrels along at more of a sprint pace than usual."David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
"A warmly whimsical and deftly magical tale of love, robbery, murder and comedy mishaps all set against the fantastical backdrop of an imaginary central European region, Wes Anderson’s beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable The Grand Budapest Hotel sees the director deliver his best film."Mark Adams (Screen Daily)
"The most intensely pleasurable curtain-raiser in recent history, if not ever."Tim Robey (The Telegraph)
"It's lush and gorgeous and colorful and twee and utterly obviously fake."Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood)
"Compared to 2012′s heartfelt Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is a lark, but what an elaborately entertaining lark it is."David Hudson (The Keyframe)
"At the end of the day it’s really pretty simple: either you want to see a movie in which a bearded Jeff Goldblum plays a character named Deputy Vilmos Kovacs, or you don’t. But trust me, you do. You really do."David Ehrlich (Badass Digest)

Screening tomorrow at the Berlinale (Friday, February 7):
  • '71 by Yann Demange (In Competition)
  • Jack by Edward Berger (In Competition)
  • Two Men in Town by Rachid Bouchareb (In Competition)
  • Snowpiercer by Bong Joon-ho (Forum)
The 2014 Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 6-16, be sure to return for our daily coverage!

10 comments:

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Oh, so good to have you back doing the coverage on the Berlin Film Festival as I really hope to see The Grand Budapest Hotel as I'm calling Ralph Fiennes for Best Actor.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Welcome back after a long hiatus... have been badly missing your profound thoughts on cinema!!! :-)

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Cheers Steven!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks Murtaza! It's good to be back.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Seeing as I'm not a huge Wes Anderson fan, the only thing bringing me into this one are the positive comments and a selection of actors I'd really like to see together.

You've been missed, BT!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Glad you're back - my number one source for film festival coverage! Looking forward to The Grand Budapest Hotel's premiere here, looks great.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

wow, those early reviews for Budapest Hotel are so positive. Enjoying the coverage so far, BT! Good to see you back in the blogging world.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks D4. Personally I can't wait to see it.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks, always nice to hear from you Maria Sofia!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Not all that surprised, as the mainstream critics do love Wes Anderson. Will have to wait a few more weeks to see for myself whether it truly deserves all that praise. Thanks for the warm welcome back!

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