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Berlin: The Entire City is a Movie

“Three – Two – One – Action!” Thanks to the Berlinale, Berlin just became a giant motion picture. This is the film festival’s first day. “Cut!”

“Action!” The Berlinale’s press department called the opening night “glamorous” even before it took place. But the prophesiers they must have hired are right. Just looking at the guest list will increase the excitement to alarming levels, as always. Minister of State Monika Grütters will be there. So will Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller and the two new Berlinale directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian. “Cut!”

Champagne and Glamor

“Action!” Who could resist that kind of glamor? The dozens of other expected guests, among them actresses, actors, politicians and other prominent individuals, will be standing there, slurping champagne. The perfect film scene! “Cut!”

“Action!” During the opening night, the Berlinale will introduce its “international jury”, the people who will throw Golden Bears at lucky winners. They include Kenneth Lonergan, an American director, the Italian actor Luca Marinelli, the Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho, the Arab director Annemarie Jacir, the German producer Bettina Brokemper and the French-Argentinian actress Bérénice Bejo. Wait a minute. Who are we missing here? Oh, yes! Jeremy Irons. “Cut!”

Roll It!

“Action!” Once the champagne bottles are dry, there won’t be much to do. So the Berlinale organizers thought of a nice activity called ‘watching a movie’. In fact, ‘My Salinger Year’ will be celebrating its world premiere tonight and its entire team will be on site, including Sigourney Weaver. Roll it! And get me a valium. “Cut!”

“Action!” Even before the fashion show on the Berlinale’s red carpet took place, Governing Mayor Michael Müller said glitter and glamor would always be part of the Berlinale. At the same time the festival was a political event too, since it included motion pictures that caused controversies and dealt with political questions. True. “Cut!”

Dark Cloud Over Festival

“Action!” Müller stated the Berlinale was an established market place for the international film and media business “in the center of the cultural metropolis Berlin and the Berlin-Brandenburg film region” which had reached another shooting day record last year. The Governing Mayor said he was looking forward to Burhan Qurbanis’s new adaption of Alfred Döblin’s motion picture ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’. “Cut!”

On a far more serious note, a Nazi scandal has been overshadowing this 70th Berlinale since the ‘Zeit’ weekly uncovered that the founder and first director of the festival, Alfred Bauer, held a high position in the film department of Joseph Goebbel’s Propaganda Ministry in Nazi Germany. It looks like Bauer managed to conceal his Nazi past when he was the festival’s director from 1951 to 1976. The new Berlinale directors promised the festival would come to terms with its past.

The Hottest Tickets In Europe

“Action!” Berlinale tickets are the hottest ones available on the continent these days. Long queues at the selling points are an old Berlin tradition. In this case, standing in line is almost as good as meeting all those actresses and actors at movie screenings. Let the show begin! “Cut!”

By the way: The publication you are reading, The Berlin Spectator, was established in January of 2019. We have worked a whole lot, as you can see. But there has hardly been any income. This is something we urgently need to change. Would you consider contributing? We would be very thankful. Our donations page can be found here.