Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 Berlin International Film Festival: Day 8

Recap of the eighth day of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin), which runs until February 16.

Screening In Competition today:

  • Boyhood by Richard Linklater.

    American director Richard Linklater (winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director in 1995 for Before Sunrise, and last year's recipient of the Berlinale Camera Award), returns to the competition with Boyhood (his 17th feature), an epic undertaking that took 12 years to complete. The ambitious project starring Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, and Ellar Coltrane, follows a young boy as he grows up between the ages of 6-18.

  • No Man's Land by Hao Ning.

    Another newcomer to the Berlinale competition, Chinese director Hao Ning enters with his sixth feature film. Filmed in 2009 and delayed by censors until now, No Man's Land is a violent and visually compelling self styled homage to the westerns of Sergio Leone, set in the Gobi desert.

  • Day 8 - Thursday, February 13
Competition Film
directed by Richard Linklater
United States

Critical response:
"It's lovingly assembled and acted with such grace and ease that it scarcely looks like acting at all."Xan Brooks (The Guardian)
"Favouring naturalistic warmth over clichéd melodrama and realism of performance above all else, Linklater's Boyhood is an utterly enrapturing marvel."Daniel Green (CineVue)
"Casting any six-year-old must have been a gamble but Linklater hit the jackpot with Coltrane, whose subtle style suits the naturalistic dialogue perfectly."Amber Wilkinson (The Telegraph)
"Linklater has an especially sharp eye—and ear—for objects, sounds, tunes and phrases that define a particular moment even as he’s living it, and he applied this unique sense of his for over a decade while making Boyhood."David Hudson (Keyframe)

Competition Film
No Man's Land
directed by Ning Hao

Critical response:
"Engagingly cast with assorted character plug-uglies giving their all, the film goes gangbusters at the start, but once it hits the desert roads, the action really has nowhere much to go."Jonathan Romney (Screen Daily)
"It’s familiar genre stuff but Ning takes such pleasure in exploiting its conventions the end result is a darkly humorous comment on disintegrating morality and unchecked, rampant selfishness."Elizabeth Kerr (The Hollywood Reporter)
"Delivers white-knuckle suspense and mean action sequences spiked with an undercurrent of misanthropy and outrage."Maggie Lee (Variety)

Screening tomorrow at the Berlinale (Friday, February 14):
  • Beauty and the Beast by Christophe Gans (Out of Competition)
  • The Little House by Yoji Yamada (In Competition)
  • Macondo by Sudabeh Mortezai (In Competition)

See our other coverage of the 64th Berlinale:


Unknown said...

Boyhood is the film that I really want to see. I've heard so many good things about it.

Unknown said...

I can't wait to see it either. Love the concept behind the film, and I expect it to win the Golden Bear, or at the very least Best Director. I also hope they keep doing it for another 12 years and capture the next phase of his life.

Unknown said...

Wait, so in Boyhood he literally followed through with peoples lives in order to create 12 years of a fiction? I'm wowed if this is right.

Unknown said...

Yeah, that is correct. Every year for the past 12 years, the entire crew got together for a couple weeks of shooting. Ambitious and impressive.

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