But it happens that when the Festival comes to its closing the majority of the anticipants finds itself disappointed with the programming, since “we`ve expected more”. May be, it`s so because Berlin IFF is supposed to “call the tune” being the first Grand festival of the year, opening the circuit.
As for myself, all of a sudden, I was disappointed with my beloved Asian filmmakers – strong and talented guys – one of whom, Brilliante Mendoza, was a competition nominee of the Festival. His feature CAPTIVE, starring Isabel Huppert, is a two-hour journey down the jungle, full of insects, snakes and other weird animals on screen, where Ms. Huppert is almost mute during the whole thing. As soon as Mendoza “has left” the slums of Manila and stepped out of the city, he somehow lost himself, and it`d made most of his fans (and I`m the one) feel… sad.
The other well-known Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang has also presented something unpredictable. Instead of making a sequel of NYMPH (awaited by his admirers) he shot, let`s say, Hollywood-style action called HEADSHOT.
One of the non-disappointing but disappointed himself has turned out to be Mr. Miguel Gomes, awarded with the Silver Bear for a work of particular innovation. His uncomprehending look and slightly sarcastic smile, when he went up stage to receive the award from Mr. François Ozone, were obvious. You could easily see he was surprised if not frustrated, and expressed it in his speech, explaining that he had intended to shoot this movie in the most traditional way, and it had nothing to do with the award he`d just received.
Being plain and simple, TABU resembles the sonnets by his famous countryman – Luis Camoes – with its gravity and woeful wisdom of the objective view at human relations, that always start with love and finishes with death. In general, the film has made an… uncertain impression on me.
The ones who absolutely came through were Russians, starting with the fiction drama by Alexei Mizgirev “Convoy”, produced by Pavel Lungin. The film itself met the expectations of the foreign audience – yes, they`ve always thought Russian reality is just like that: collapsed and broken, not a single happy face on screen, mentally weak people living in a weak society.
Documentary filmmaker Andrei Gryazev has presented his new title “Tomorrow”, dedicated to the art-group WAR infamous with their social acts from picking and stealing to the car rollover at Dvorcovaya square. Its premier occasionally coincides with the beginning of the remonstrative movement in Russia, which makes the audience to insistently put the director to the question regarding his “coincidental” providence.
As for Taviani brothers: someone could even think Paolo and Vittorio had stolen the thunder getting the Golden Bear, - since their movie goes without any remonstrance… when Berlinale and its program has primary been the Festival of political interactions between the screen and the audience.
Even if we let Berlinale be the Festival falling short of expectations, every year in the very beginning of the circuit we wonder how come politics and films are so much alike.