65th Berlinale: Ned Rifle (2014), Joe Bullet (1971) and Umbango (1988) firecrackers

Ned Rifle (2014), music,directed, written by Hal Hartley:

It is hard to find out at the beginning, if the film is a comedy with dramatic elements or a drama with few funny scenes. One you can be sure of: it is funny for at least half of it’s length (depending on your sense of humor of course).  The dialogs / monologues are really well constructed, you actually want to listen to them despite their horrific length. James Urbaniak is hilarious, did he really took comedy classes from Llloyd Kaufamann ? Let’s hope not.   In general I can say that “facing his inner clown” went very well for Hal Hartley. Eloquently funny.

 

Joe Bullet (1971/1973) written & produced by Tonie van der Merwe, directed and photographed by Louis de Witt:

Forget about Shaft, Black Belt Jones and Dolemite, Joe bullet is the new hero and will end the corruption in the football / soccer World. This film tops many of the Blaxploitation films I’ve seen. Action, suspense, gadgets, romance, sports – What else can you want from a movie ? A great music theme? It has it too!

Who is Tony van der Merwe?

What is Gravel Road Entertainment Group ?

Joe Bullet Trailer

Joe Bullet page

imdb.com says:

One of the first South African films featuring an all-African cast, and starred Ken Gampu, one of the first black South African actors to appear in Hollywood films. Independently released in 1972 in the Eyethu cinema in Soweto, and after only two screenings, the film was banned by the then Apartheid government. The film was later unbanned after special appeal and a personal screening to the Minister of Communications. The film was, however, never released again and simply disappeared. Now, after more than 40 years, the film has been digitally restored and finally available for world-wide release.

 

Umbango (1988/1986) directed and photographed by Tonie van der Merwe:

Second of the Gravel Road films shown at the festival, a western with only one caucasian actor (that dies in the first 1/3 of the film). Was entertaining, but had also it’s bad moments.

Umbango trailer 

Gravel Road page.

 

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“Nypmhomaniac” [Vol.1] Director’s Cut ; Berlinale – late – short report

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Not having seen the theatrical cut before attending the Directors Cut’s screening was not a bad thing. The ~40 minutes longer version seems alright and I haven’t found anything I would want to get rid of. The movie itself is something we don’t experience in cinema a lot, but isn’t that what a good cinema is about: showing or doing things that haven’t been done before…

The Limits of Control

Berlinale’s Plot summary:

Ronah works as a sexual surrogate, teaching inhibited men what they fear most: intimacy. Her clients are referred to her by a psychotherapist. She and one of their number casually make the bed where they will sleep together; later on she lets him show her his new business idea on his laptop as if they were best friends. Such scenes are interspersed with hotel hallways, claustrophobic shots of Manhattan’s urban canyons, hassles with workmen, cries for help from Ronah’s brother she chooses to ignore, even as he tells her that their mother has disappeared. It is impossible to identify when exactly she loses control. She’s clearly not been able to get a handle on her new, auto-aggressive client Johnny with his soft voice, his intelligence, his occasional mocking remarks. She starts to fall in love with him instead. Without any trace of voyeurism, Anja Marquardt’s impressively complex, stylistically precocious directorial debut observes how the line between professional and private intimacy becomes gradually blurred.

 

That Demon Within (?)

Countless flashbacks, uneven pace that changes every 20 minutes (or often), all heated with a CGI-fire. If all this will not unleash that demon within you, you will probably make it through the movie.

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Dante Lam’s  almost 120 minutes long ‘Mo Jing’  has it’s good moments (for instance the film opening with the masks that reminded me of the ‘Five Deadly Venoms’), the problem is they will be outbalanced by the frustration that the rest of the film will cause. 4/10.

Stories we tell

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A story has as many versions as the number of people that it is told by. In her documentary-project Sarah Polley touches the relativity of storytelling using  her mom’s  life’s-story. This film is not another simple nostalgic docu-bio-pic, it’s a riveting, deep , thrilling and touching documentary that will grab your attention until the last second.

An original element of the film  is  implementing reenactments  that are (probably) mixed with the original footage from the family archive – they are a bit distracting/confusing. I guess it also could be the way of trying to show Sarah’s version of the story.

Without hesitation – one of the best films from this year’s Two Riversides Festival’s lineup.

Berlinale Day 1

Dzień pierwszy święta filmu w stolicy Niemiec ( tak na prawdę to dzień drugi, ale dla mnie był pierwszym).

Ale po kolei.

Bilety – sprzedaż online działa, ale pula biletów przeznaczonych do sprzedaży w internecie jest zbyt mała. Prowadzi to do tego, że wszystkie bilety rozchodzą się w 3 minuty, a co dzień o 10tej rano strona jest przeładowana. Więc zakupienie przez internet biletów na seanse Berlinale wymaga szybkich ruchów i kilku dodatowych trików. Jeśli chcemy kupić tylko jeden lub dwa bilety na jeden seans w sprzedaży online, to jeszcze pół biedy. Schody zaczynają się gdy jesteśmy zainteresowani kilkoma tytułami danego dnia. Zanim skończymy rezerwować pierwszy bilet, pozostałe z pewnością się rozjedą i czeka nas wyprawa do kasy festiwalowej, gdzie nie wiadomo  co nas czeka jeśli chodzi o dostępność biletów.

Kasy festiwalowe – mamy do dyspozycji 3 im bliżej centrum tym kolejki dłuższe.

My first Berlinale movie:

The Venue

Delphi Filmpalast do najmłodszych kin nie należy, ale chwała mu za to. Długa w nieskończoność sala i wklęsły ekran 16:9 tworzą niesamowity klimat. Trochę niewygodne jest to, że widzowie wpuszczani są na seans dopiero punktualnie o godzinie projekcji (są oczywiście wyjątki od tej reguły, ale o tym później). Delphi FP ma chyba najwygodniejsze fotele kinowe w jakich do tej pory siedziałem.

The movie

Bestiare, to film dla publiczności i może nawet o publiczności. Około 80 minut prawie bezdialogowego filmu, mogłoby wydawać się nudne i nieinteresujące, jednakże film zaskakuje pozytywnie swoją oglądalnością. Film klasyfikowany jako dokument, ale po tym co powiedział reżyser po filmie, na temat udźwiękowienia to skłaniałbym się raczej w stronę mockumentary.