Berlin Critics’ Week 2018 Lineup

On Film / The Daily — Jan 23, 2018

Last week we saw the first four titles lined up for this year’s Berlin Critics’ Week, the independent program that, like its counterparts in Cannes and Venice, runs parallel to its city’s big festival, the Berlinale. Below, an overview; you can delve into more details on each of these films here.

First up, on February 14, before the screenings begin, there’ll be an evening of two panels under one rubric, “Painting by numbers? On notions of the public and their effects on cinema.” The first panel will address the German film industry specifically, while the second will open up the discussion on an international level. Invited speakers include directors Kleber Mendonça Filho (Aquarius) and Rebecca Zlotowski (Planetarium) and curators and critics Marie-Pierre Duhamel and Chris Fujiwara.

The films:

Serge Bozon’s Mrs. Hyde (Madame Hyde) with Isabelle Huppert. Click the title for reviews.

Lukas Feigelfeld’s Hagazussa, a medieval tale of the “daughter of an outsider woman” who “seemingly drifts into madness after being rejected by the village community.”

Olivier Godin’s Waiting for April (En attendant avril), an “absurdist comedy” that “joyfully and radically does away with cinematic conventions.” Image at the top.

Octavio Guerra’s documentary Searching for Oscar. “For several months, the director accompanied the film critic Óscar Peyrou from one film festival to the next. In the process, through meticulously composed shots, the director created a dual portrait of an aging critic and of an idiosyncratic festival society.”

Péter Lichter and Bori Máté’s The Rub, which “invokes Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the American films of the late twentieth century,” and the short 8th October 2016, “an experimental sketch of the demise of Hungarian opposition daily Népsabadság.

Mihaela Popescu’s debut feature, Yet to Rule, “fuses traditions from the Romanian New Wave . . . with free-flowing, fantastical narration about gender relations, dominance and the rules of communal life.”

Ana Urushadze’s Scary Mother (image above), winner of the Best First Feature award in Locarno.

The Big House is “an unusual documentary about the largest football stadium in the U.S.,” Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

And then there’s Air Time, a collective work by six performers who use fragments of the Litchfield Mosquito Control District Meeting on YouTube. “The only two delegates present vie passionately for attention and speaking time—all in the hope that at the other end of the broadcast someone is still watching. Running parallel is live web-cam footage from remote corners of the earth.”

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