After a frenzy of press conferences, celebrity appearances and (of course) film screenings, the 64th Berlin International Film Festival has come to a close.
Sunday night’s closing ceremony saw the Chinese thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice win the Golden Bear for best film, with the film’s star Liao Fan also picking up the award for best actor. One of our lucky film programmers was on ground at the festival, so we’ve asked them for their personal highlights of this year’s Berlinale.
This would have to be Nymphomaniac. I have to admit that I haven’t been the biggest fan of ‚ÄòLe Grand Provocateur’ (Lars von Trier) over the years, and after the silliness that was Antichrist, I was expecting more of the same. Instead, what I got was a gorgeously cinematic bedtime story full of humour, tenderness, intelligence, wonderful digressions and – naturally – sex. I have my suspicions that Volume 2 could possibly feature at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival. If this was the case, I’m sure that Lars von Trier would return, bringing the usual media circus with him. After all, controversy is his calling card.
Director Richard Linklater has done something truly remarkable with his film Boyhood. The film comprises of 143 scenes filmed in 39 days over 12 years, and charts the coming-of-age of a child from the age of 5 to 18. Boyhood hits all the touchstones and pivotal moments of childhood, allowing it to resonate with all who experience it. Linklater takes you on a journey from the wide-eyed-wonder of a 5-year-old through to the discovery of the opposite sex, and the first experience of heartbreak. As far as the coming-of-age film goes, I found it close to perfection. Linklater masterfully touches on these pivotal moments bringing the characters’ lives into focus and our own along with it.
This would have to go to Ellar Salmon for the achievement that is Boyhood, with an honourable mention to Stellan Skarsgård for his performances in both Nymphomaniac and the Norwegian black comedy In Order of Disappearance.
FILM YOU CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT
Boyhood or Nymphomaniac – depending on the audience.