Day 6 of the 2014 Berlin Film Festival saw the premieres of three films in the main Berlinale competition: Austrian Feo Aladag’s Inbetween Worlds (Zwischen Welten), Brasilian Karim Ainouz’ Praia do futuro, and Greek Yannis Economides’ Stratos (To Mikro Psari). The festival also screened the experimental movie “darkroom” by Austrian avant-garde artist Billy Roisz, whose style is somewhat similar to Hans Richter’s Rhytmus 21, which was also shown today along other classic avant-garde moives as part of the Berlinale retrospective “Aesthetics of Shadow.” Today was also the special tribute for Philip Seymour Hoffman, who recently died of a drug overdose, with the movie Capote, for which Hoffman won the Best Actor Oscar in 2006.
With Inbetween Worlds and Praia do futuro, some of the leitmotifs of today’s Berlinale were foreign lands, equality, and personal identity.
Inbetween Worlds by Feo Aladag at Berlin Film Festival
Inbetween Worlds is the second feature of Feo Aladag, who made her film breakthrough with When We Leave (Die Fremde), winner of the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. While Aladag’s first feature was a poignant portrait of a Turkish-born mother’s struggle to fit in the Western culture, Inbetween Worlds tells the story of German soldiers in the Afghanistan war.
In the press conference, Aladag emphasized the cultural gap between Germany and Afghanistan and the need for raising awareness. Actor Ronald Sehrfeld said he was surprised to find out how little he knew about the fate of German soldiers in Afghanistan before the movie was made.
Praia do futuro Press Conference at Berlin Film Festival
Praia do futuro by Karim Ainouz tells the story of a Brazilian lifeguard who moves to Berlin to pursue a a romantic relationship with a German tourist he saved from drowning. However, the director and film cast were eager to point out that the movie is not just about homosexuality or immigration.
It goes beyond the classic issue of immigration because immigration is a very complex issue. Immigration leads to metaphysical questions: what is it to be in a new [place], to be an alien
said Karim Ainouz. The director’s first feature film was Madame Sata (2002) which screened in Cannes’ ‘Un Certain Regard’. The 1966-born director studied architecture in Brasillia, and then film at NYU. Apart from directing, he has also performed as a visual artist.
Wagner Moura, one of Praia do futuro’s main actors, said the movie’s focus should not be the relationship between two men because it is time for society to overcome this kind of prejudice. Watch highlights of the press conference:
Stratos by Yannis Economides at Berlin Film Festival
The movie Stratos tells the story of a recession-stricken Greek and his inevitable collapse of morals. Trying to save up money to bail a friend from jail, Stratos works double shifts: as a hit man and a bread factory worker. The director Economides called the film “an existential psycho-cardiogram of speech and silence.”
Berlinale Shorts: Billy Roisz’ Experimental Film darkroom
Billy Roisz’ experimental film darkroom also screened at the Berlin Film Festival today. The 13-minutes movie is a non-narrative exploration of the film medium. It radically opposes the story-driven trends in contemporary cinema and reminds of the 1920s film experiments such as Man Ray’s Emak Bakia and Hans Richter’s Rhytmus 21 and Rhytmus 23, all three of which screened today in the retrospective “Aesthetics of Shadow.”Unlike the 1920s silent film trends, Roisz’ movies have the sound-vision relationship as one of its main themes—an approach reminiscent to Hollis Frampton’s exploration of the topic in his movie (nostalgia).
Billy Roisz was born in 1967 in Vienna. This is her second movie in the Berlinale shorts—her 2012 movie Zounk! also screened at the Berlin Film Festival.
Zounk! is a psychedelic exploration of the powerful synchrony of sound and image and their ability to convey emotions without the use of narrative. The film featured the music of broken.heart.collector. Watch the experimental film: