Berlinale fever

Cinematic, musical and culinary delicacies – and protests on the red carpet: impressions from the Berlinale weekend.

Berlinale 2018: fans besiege actor Robert Pattinson
Berlinale 2018: fans besiege actor Robert Pattinson dpa

Germany. Berlin in cinematic ecstasy: up to 25 February more than 400 films from around the world are showing at the Berlinale. Impressions from the festival.

Berlinale 2018: Greta Gerwig and Tilda Swinton
Berlinale 2018: Greta Gerwig and Tilda Swinton dpa

#MeToo at the Berlinale

The #MeToo debate about sexual harassment in the film sector is a hot topic at the Berlinale. Several events are offering discussions surrounding the theme. At the opening gala Minister of State Monika Grütters called for a cultural change: ‘Power and fear have been silent accomplices for far too long. The time of silence has to finish.’ In the run-up to the festival the actress Claudia Eisinger called on festival director Dieter Kosslick to give a clear signal by dying the red carpet black. While this particular demand was not met, many actresses wore black at the opening, including Greta Gerwig from America, Tilda Swinton from the UK and Iris Berben, Inka Friedrich, Senta Berger and Meret Becker from Germany. Some women onlookers surrounding the red carpet wore masks and carried #IchAuch/#MeToo signs.

#MeToo: protest on the red carpet
#MeToo: protest on the red carpet Fanny Steyer

German films in the Competition

German cinema is particularly visible at this year’s Berlinale. There are four German films running in the Competition alone. They demonstrate the great diversity of current German cinema: Transit by Christian Petzold, In den Gängen by Thomas Stuber, 3 Tage in Quiberon by Emily Atef and Mein Bruder heißt Robert und ist ein Idiot by Philip Gröning.

Transit is a film version of the eponymous novel by Anna Seghers with shooting star Franz Rogowski. In the drama he plays a man in Marseille who is fleeing from persecution. Rogowski also plays the leading role in another Competition film: In den Gängen.

Jury president Tom Tykwer

This year the Berlinale’s international jury has a German president: Tom Tykwer, who directed films such as Run Lola Run, The International, Cloud Atlas, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and the multi-award winning TV series Babylon Berlin. At a Berlinale Talents event during the first festival weekend, Tom Tykwer talked with young filmmakers about his work on the series.

Tom Tykwer is president of the Berlinale jury
Tom Tykwer is president of the Berlinale jury dpa

Music at the Berlinale

The Berlinale has quite a few surprises in store for music fans. The jury also includes a composer, Ryūichi Sakamoto from Japan. The Panorama section is showing Shut Up and Play the Piano by German director Philipp Jedicke, a documentary film about the Canadian musician Chilly Gonzales. He and the rapper Peaches both came to the premiere.

Culinary Cinema

The Culinary Cinema section is a popular evergreen at the Berlinale. Documentary films dedicated to culinary themes are accompanied by menus served by leading chefs. One of the films, titled Chef Flynn, was about the 19-year-old American head chef Flynn McGarry. The screening was followed by carrot and coffee puree with crustaceans, and glazed potatoes in clear mussel soup.