Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

The Berlinale doesn’t spoil you with its quality. What’s happening at this festival?

With his energy, sense of humor, but also artistic humility, he is an outstanding American director Martin Scorsese he charmed the entire Berlinale. Both during the press conference and the ceremony itself.

His profile, just before the award ceremony, was presented by another outstanding artist – Wim Wenders. Anecdotally, he recalled one of their first meetings, at the Telluride Festival in 1978, when Scorsese’s car had a flat tire and the German, seeing him on the road with his then partner Isabella Rosselini, rushed to the rescue.

The American himself, thanking for the prestigious award that the organizers of this year’s Berlinale decided to honor him with, argued that for him it was not yet the time to remember his work, because he still had a considerable artistic appetite.

“So maybe we’ll see you in a few years, hopefully with another film,” concluded the legendary Hollywood filmmaker to the thunderous applause of the gathered audience.

Scorsese electrified the festival, drawing the attention of the entire film world to Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz. And although the German festival is far from the spectacular nature of Cannes or Venice, stars also appeared on the local red carpet. Among them, the American actress aroused great interest Kristen Stewartwho played one of the two main roles in “Love Lies Bleeding” directed by Rose Glass, shown as part of the Berlinale Specjał Gala.

He was in the same section “Astronaut” (“Spaceman”) by Johan Renck, who attracted me to Berlin Adam Sandler, Paul Dano and Carey Mulligan. Produced by Netflix, the story about a Czechoslovakian cosmonaut is another interesting and non-obvious acting choice by Sandler, who for years has been associated only with comedy roles. I also guarantee that no one has ever seen Paul Dano in this version.

He also appeared in the German capital Gael Garcia Bernal. Although he didn’t have much reason to be happy, because the film in which he played the main role, the competition “Another End” by Pietro Messina, was literally crushed by the critics – a bit exaggerated in my opinion.

The inauguration of the festival belonged to an Irishman Cillian Murphywhich after “Oppenheimer” Christopher Nolan created another very intense and moving performance. Although in a film located at a completely different extreme than the story about the father of the atomic bomb, as is the intimate “Small Things Like These” directed by Tim Mielants.

The finish of this year’s Berlinale may be… stars… of adult films. The Netflix series “Supersex”, inspired by the life of the Italian legend of XXX cinema, Rocco Siffredi, will have its world premiere at the Berlinale. By the way, he is lucky with big film festivals. A few years ago, on the occasion of the premiere of an extremely interesting documentary about him – “Rocco” by Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai, he walked on the red carpet, but in Venice.

The Berlin competition proceeds at its own rhythm. As expected, even before the festival, it doesn’t spoil you with the level and there are probably more disappointments (the biggest one is probably the new film by the Frenchman Olivier Assayas – “Suspended Time”), but fortunately there are also some nice surprises. Maybe not like last year’s “Past Life” Celine Song, but still able to engage our emotions more strongly, interest us and, most importantly, surprise us. So far, two films that I like the most are clearly ahead in the journalists’ ranking. And at this moment, I would consider them the main candidates for the Golden Bear.

The first is Iranian “My Favorite Cake” directorial duo Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha. A couple who, unfortunately, due to political reasons, could not reach Berlin to present their film in person. It is an endearing, bittersweet story about a seventy-year-old resident of Tehran who feels abandoned after the death of her husband and her daughter’s departure to Europe. However, instead of wringing her hands, she wants to make the most of the autumn of her life, which is achieved by having an affair with a man she has just met. The boldness and courage of Mahin (played by the great Lily Farhadpour) pose a considerable challenge to the conservative environment, subject to the dictates of men.

He also uses the poetics of absurdity and unconventional humor, despite the serious topic, in the film “Sterben” Matthias Glasner. It is a three-hour, peculiar portrait of a family in crisis. When elderly parents are no longer able to function independently, and their adult children not only do not cope with this situation well, they also have a number of problems of their own – from relationship problems, through alcohol problems, to sexual ones. Glasner argues that in addition to tragedy, comedy is also embedded in the themes of death, loneliness and lack of love. And it does what is most important in a very convincing way.

Kuba Armata, Berlin