Berlinale’s premieres coming to your local arthouse soon
With only three days left of the annual Berlin International Film Festival – also known as Berlinale – we thought we’d bring to your attention some of the best indie flicks to emerge from the event so far. Similarly to Sundance 2018, there’s a range of talent on offer from romances, to dramas, to some rather uncomfortable true-life adaptations. Film fanatics, take note – here are Berlinale’s ten best indie flicks to look forward to in 2018:
Four years after The Grand Budapest Hotel opened at Berlinale, Wes Anderson returned in the same slot with his new scintillating stop-motion feature about a pack of dogs marooned on a dystopian Japanese island. For those of you stoked about the return of the king of symmetry, be sure to keep your diaries open for its release on March 23.
Starring Gael García Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle), Alonso Ruizpalacios’s political drama takes us back to 1985, when a group of criminals mock the security of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City in order to extract pre-Hispanic pieces from their showcases. Who else is totally pumped at the thought of Bernal’s lovely face back on the big screen?
Director Ursula Meier cast Kacey Mottet Klein as a young student who writes a detailed diary entry about plans to murder his parents, posts the diary to his teacher (Fanny Ardant), and then carries out the gruesome act. Unsurprisingly, Shock Waves – Diary of My Mind makes for a compelling, albeit uncomfortable watch.
OMG! Steven Soderbergh is back with Unsane – the first film to be shot entirely on an iPhone in the timespan of a single week. Mental asylums? Experimental filming techniques? Soderbergh? Count us in. IndieWire gave it a B, describing the film as a “delicious satire of modern technology”.
There’s no denying that Erik Poppe’s agonizing look at the Utøya massacre came at a sensitive time, premiering just five days after the Parkland mass shooting in Florida. Poppe presents the Norwegian right-wing terrorist attack with pure technical skill, drawing parallels between Gus Van Sant’s Columbine school massacre adaptation Elephant.
Berlinale veterans Måns Månsson & Axel Petersén co-directed for the first time with this dark comedy thriller, following a 68-year-old woman (Léonore Ekstrand) who inherits an apartment complex in Stockholm before being pulled into the greedy game of real estate. Though the film has received mixed reviews so far, according to Screen Daily Ekstrand saves the day with her “tour-de-force performance”.
José Padilha’s 7 Days in Entebbe is a dramatization of the 1976 hijacking of Air France Flight 139, which flew to Entebbe in Uganda before being stormed a week later by Israel Defense Force commandos. Starring the likes of Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), and Lior Ashkenazi (Footnote), the film offers a broad mix of talent and some action scenes with backbone to boot.
Allegations aside, controversial director Kim Ki-duk’s new feature Human, Space, Time, and Human could either be one to watch or one to shun depending on your preferences. The story revolves around a small group of people from all walks of life who embark on a journey to the open sea. But of course, Kim being Kim, the film was filled with tricky themes including violence, rape, and prostitution . . . we told you it’s not for everyone.
For his sixth feature, Lance Daly looks into Ireland during the Great Famine. Starring Hugo Weaving (V for Vendetta), James Frecheville (Animal Kingdom), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game), Freddie Fox (Pride), Barry Keoghan (The Killing of a Sacred Deer), and Moe Dunford (Vikings), the drama follows an Irish ranger who abandons his overseas post to reunite with his family.
Benoît Jacquot’s back with his cutting drama romance about a playwright who encounters a mysterious woman when he takes shelter in a chalet. Isabelle Huppert (Elle) and Gaspard Ulliel (Hannibal Rising) are well-matched on-screen lover foes, with Variety describing Eva’s shruggingly adult Frenchness as “a pleasure in itself”.