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Berlinale 2011. Panorama Lineup, Round 2

A little over two weeks ago, the Berlinale announced the first round of titles screening in the Panorama program. Today, sees a second round of twenty more. Here's what we know about them so far (plus lots of trailers).

 

PANORAMA MAIN PROGRAM + PANORAMA SPECIAL

 

7 Khoon Maaf (7 Sins Forgiven) by Vishal Bhardwaj, India, world premiere. With Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Irrfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah. Panorama Special. Wikipedia calls it a "Hindi drama, thriller and black comedy" and a "story of the romantic misadventures of an Anglo-Indian woman, Susanna Anna-Marie Johannes, a beautiful lass who goes on to kill all her seven husbands."

 

Amador by Fernando León De Aranoa, Spain. With Magaly Solier, Celso Bugallo, Pietro Sibille, Sonia Almarcha, Fanny de Castro. Panorama Special. Image above. The IMDb synopsis: "A drama centered on a young woman who takes a summer job caring for a bed-ridden older man, and the intimate secrets they begin to share with one another." The site.


Byakuyakou (Into the White Night) by Yoshihiro Fukagawa, Japan. With Maki Horikita, Kengo Kora, Eiichiro Funakoshi. Panorama Main Program. Fukugawa "takes on the tale of an obsessive policeman trying to get to the truth of a murder long after the fact," writes Nicholas Vroman. "At the heart of the story is the mystery of an Osaka pawnbroker found dead in a warehouse. Years later the dogged detective, Sasagaki (Eiichiro Funakoshi) revisits the case, tightening around the pawnbroker's son, Ryouji (Kengo Kora) and the daughter of his mistress, Yuhiko (Maki Horikita). Through maddening and excessive flashbacks to Ryouji and Yuhiko's youth Fukagawa manages to cheapen the psychological rifts and thoroughly muddy the events that led to the murder."


Dernier étage gauche gauche (Top Floor Left Wing) by Angelo Cianci, France/Luxemburg. With Hippolyte Girardot, Mohamed Fellag, Aymen Saidi, Judith Henry, Michel Vuillermoz. Panorama Main Program. From Amélie Vrla at the IMDb: "This is not the way it was supposed to happen. Like every other morning, Christian Echeveria, huissier, should have been able to levy his daily distress in this Parisian suburb, before going back to his comfortable home. But that's not what destiny had planned for him, as he'll get to understand it when Salem Atelhadj, 17, takes him a hostage, under his father's desperate eyes, in the tower's twelfth floor which will soon be surrounded by policemen and anti-terrorists squads."


Gandu (Asshole) by Kaushik Mukherjee (Q), India. With Anubrata Basu, Joyraj Bhattacharya, Rituporna Sen, Shilajit Majumder, Kamalika Banerjee. Panorama Main Program. See the roundup from October, when the film played at the South Asian International Film Festival.


Here by Braden King, USA. With Ben Foster, Lubna Azabal. Panorama Main Program. "Will (Ben Foster) is a satellite-mapping engineer conducting a survey of Armenia. One morning at his hotel, he meets Gadarine (Lubna Azabal), an Armenian expatriate and photographer, who has recently returned home. The pair impulsively decide to drive across the country together." For the rest of Sundance's synopsis, see the film's page.


Life in a Day by Kevin MacDonald, Great Britain. Panorama Special. From the film's own channel at YouTube: "On July 24, 2010, thousands of people around the world took part in Life in a Day, a historic cinematic experiment to document a single day on earth."

Lo Roim Alaich (Invisible) by Michal Aviad, Israel/Germany, world premiere. With Ronit Elkabetz, Evgenia Dodina. Panorama Main Program. First, there's quite a bit of background on Aviad, a filmmaker and lecturer at Tel Aviv University, at Wikipedia. According to Haaretz, the film "tells the story of two women — one a charismatic leftist activist, the other a single parent and television editor —  who find out they were both raped by the same man, 20 years earlier." It's "based on the real story of a serial rapist who attacked women in Tel Aviv in 1978."

Man at Sea by Constantine Giannaris, Greece, world premiere. With Andonis Karystinos, Theodora Tzimou, Konstantinos Avarikiotis, Stathis Papadopoulos, Thanasis Tatavlalis. Panorama Special. From OZON Magazine: "The movie takes place inside a huge oil tanker, called Lucky Lady, where captain Alex and his wife Katya meet in an effort to save their marriage, four years after the drowning of their son. Within a few hours, their lives will change again, when Alex and his crew rescue thirty teenager immigrants from a small boat the middle of the sea. The tension on the tanker raises and as the days go by, Alex comes to deal with his broken marriage, the dead-end situation of the immigrants and ghosts from the past…"

Medianeras by Gustavo Taretto, Argentina/Germany/Spain, world premiere. With Pilar López de Ayala, Javier Drolas, Inés Efrón, Carla Peterson, Rafael Ferro. Panorama Special. From The Match Factory: "Medianeras is the story of Mariana, Martin and the city. Martin and Mariana live on the same block, in opposite buildings. But they don't manage to meet each other. They cross each other, not knowing about the other's existence. She goes up the stairs, he goes down the stairs; he gets on the bus, and she gets off the bus. They are at the same video club, but a video rack stands between them; or they sit in the same row at the cinema, but the room is dark. The city brings them together, and, at the same time, brings them apart."

OFFBEAT by Jan Gassmann, Switzerland, world premiere. With Hans-Jakob Mühlethaler, Domenico Pecoraio, Manuel Neuburger, Vesna Garstik, Marlise Fischer. Panorama Main Program. Gassmann has a page at Arsonfilm, but no word yet there on this new one.


Qualunquemente by Giulio Manfredonia, Italy. With Sergio Rubini, Lorenza Indovina, Nicola Rignanese, Davide Giordano. Panorama Main Program. So evidently, Cetto's been living abroad, comes back home to Italy and finds things in a right mess. So he enters politics. From what I can gather. The site.

Romeos by Sabine Bernardi, Germany, world premiere. With Rick Okon, Liv Lisa Fries, Maximilian Befort. Panorama Main Program. At her own site, Bernardi describes as a feature based on her documentary transfamily. In short, this'll be a light-hearted, transgender coming-of-age story.

Sala samobójców (Suicide Room) by Jan Komasa, Poland, world premiere. With Jakub Gierszal, Roma Gasiorowska, Krzysztof Pieczynski, Agata Kulesza. Panorama Special. From the Polish Film Institute: "Suicide Room tells the story of Dominik. Dominik is a regular kid. He is popular, his girlfriend is the prettiest girl in school, he has wealthy parents and therefore money to afford clothes, gadgets, and parties. Until one day a single kiss changes everything. She — the girl who chats him up online. She is intriguing, dangerous, and devious. She leads him into the 'suicide room,' a place of no return. Dominik, trapped in a ruse of his own emotions and drawn into a deadly intrigue, will lose the one thing that is most valuable in life. Komasa's feature combines the real world with the virtual by mixing live action and animation. In addition to traditional photography, Suicide Room contains over 20 minutes of CGI. The film's virtual reality was created using the latest accomplishments in film technology and special effects."


También la lluvia (Even the Rain) by Icíar Bollaín, Spain/France/Mexico. With Luis Tosar, Gael García Bernal, Juan Carlos Aduviri, Karra Elejalde, Raúl Arévalo. Panorama Main Program. "Idealist director Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and his bullish producer Costa (Luis Tosar) are making a film about Christopher Columbus..." See the full synopsis from the BFI on the film's page.

The Mortician by Gareth Maxwell Roberts, Great Britain/USA, world premiere, 3D. With Method Man, Edward Furlong, Dash Mihok, Judy Marte, Angelic Zambrana. Panorama Main Program. Official synopsis via GeekTyrant: "The Mortician processes corpses with a steely regard. He is alienated and cold. He feels threatened by his new employee, Noah, who brings the notorious gangster, Carver, to the mortuary door. The Mortician's attention is pricked by the tattoo of Botticelli's Birth of Venus on the body of a murdered young woman, Jenny. A fleeting recognition triggers a sequence of haunting dreams from his childhood. He discovers a scared child, Kane, fleeing the morgue. Carver interrogates him about the whereabouts of the boy. The Mortician witnesses Noah drag Kane into the shadows of a derelict tenement. Forcing him to act, Kane sparks the Mortician's emotional awakening. Emerging from his icy state, the Mortician and Kane become reluctant allies united in their struggle to escape the physical and emotional chains that threaten to imprison them."

Tomboy by Céline Sciamma, France, world premiere. With Zoé Heran, Malonn Raffin, Jeanne Disson, Sophie Cattani, Mathieu Demy. Panorama Main Program. Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: "Scripted by Sciamma herself (who has also co-written Ivory Tower by Canadian musician Chilly Gonzales, recently unveiled at Locarno), the storyline of Tomboy is centered around Laure who moves into a new neighborhood with her little sister. Because she is in need of new friends and does not know anybody, Laure decides to dress as a boy. She meets Lisa, they become close, but Lisa doesn't know her new best friend is not a boy."

Vampire by Iwai Shunji, Canada/USA. With Kevin Zegers, Rachel Leigh Cook, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Adelaide Clemens, Kristin Kreuk. Panorama Main Program. "Not all of those amongst us who crave blood are vampires, and not all vampires crave blood. For those of you expecting anything remotely resembling Twilight, Nosferatu, or Bela Lugosi, Vampire may not be your cup of the red elixir of life… Simply put, Vampire gives new meaning to the word 'vampire.'" See the film's page for the rest of Sundance's synopsis.


SUPPORTING FILMS


Porno Melodrama by Romualdas Zabarauskas, Lithuania/France/Finland, world premiere. With Marius Repšys, Vilma Kutavičiūtė, Kurtis. Here's the description of the video above: "Young film director Romas Zabarauskas attends the 2010 Berlinale and is looking for support for his film Porno Melodrama, a short movie challenging the homophobic law in his home country Lithuania. At the Teddy Awards Gala, he meets many supporters, including filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, Teddy boss and Panorama Director Wieland Speck, as well as Gloria Viagra, Berlin's most famous drag entertainer. Directed by Stéphane Riethauser, February 2010."

Spring by Hong Khaou, Great Britain. With Christopher O'Donnell, Jonathan Keane. From the British Council: "A young man meets a stranger for SM sex, an experience that will change his life forever."

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The first trailer (7 Khoon Maaf) cannot be watched by everyone – “This is a private video”.

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