I’ve another fun film to share. Check out the delightful animated “Slimtime” HERE.
People had told me Berlin is magic. Now I understand. As I see the old, the new, the saved, and the mostly destroyed, I gain ever more insight into things I’d only previously read about. The impact’s far greater than I ever could have imagined. I daresay Berlin has already changed my life. Who could have guessed?
On Day 2, Berlin-Greeter, this fabulous (and free!) service, set me up with a wonderful local hostess who gave me and new fest buddy, Abel, a 3-hour walking tour of the city. I am in awe. History is alive and all around us. I’ve found answers to questions I didn’t even realize I had. And I’ve formed new questions for which I suspect there are no answers. Above all, I understand the value of freedom like never before. It is our most precious blessing.
Admittedly, I am getting to know mostly foreigners and Ex-Pats. It’s such a wonderfully international city. New friends from Turkey, France, Portugal, Norway and Italy regale me with stories and ideas that have my inner gypsy all aflutter. Disney got it wrong. It’s not such a small world after all, only sometimes we try to make it that way.
Above all, I have learned two valuable truths: 1) I must come back and live here at some point. 2) I indeed want to make our next films in Europe. There is a freedom here that I fear the U.S. filmmaking industry has misplaced. Film is still a revered artform – not merely a business. There seems to be less fear, less concern about tried-and-true formulas and marketing packages. Interesting faces and original visions are valued above “safety”. It’s liberating…and a relief.
But enough waxing philosophical. There’s a festival on which to report… I am increasingly humbled as I see the other films screened. Where have these filmmakers been all my life? Before coming here, I was beginning to feel like I’d seen it all. After a hundred or so fests the past few years, it was becoming increasingly rare to find a truly original story told in a truly unique fashion. Is there a point when there are simply no new ideas? I now believe the answer is a resounding, “No!” Phew!
We’ve had our first 2 screenings and I daresay we’ve never screened in a more impressive block of genre shorts. There was not a cliché in the bunch. To the contrary, they were some of the most original horror shorts I have ever seen. The block is aptly named “Nightmares and Dark Tales.” The nightmare imagery is stunning. It’s a relief to go to brand new places. Perhaps I’m too jaded for porn, but lately it’s felt like horror should go for a stroll on the beach with its mother and ask about that “not-so fresh feeling”, if you know what I mean.
There is simply no need for horror clichés. I now have proof. I hope these fine directors go on to make features as inspired as their shorts. Our beloved genre needs them. It’s time to raise the bar. For movie descriptions and links, click HERE.
The other shorts in various genres have also been remarkable. I’m pleased to find Germans seem partial to dark comedy if the films I’ve seen are any indication. Some favorites have included: Water Lilies in Bloom (a wonderful fairytale by the “Norwegian Paul Bartel” inspired by his time as the only man at a “fat camp.”) And Out of Erasers which somehow reminded me of “classic noir meets Godard’s Alphaville meets A-ha’s TAKE ON ME video.”
There are too many more to mention at present. It’s actually Day 5 already and my intention to blog daily proves to have been delusional. There is simply no time. However, I will try to recap some of the highlights tomorrow. Last night I experienced one of the most delightfully weird and wonderful experiences yet and it has resulted in a new filmmaking goal for which I may just need some help from twisted kindred spirits. But now, some underground bunkers beckon….