They now come into the cinemas, the movies from the Berlinale 2018, where I have participated as a member of the readers jury from the „Berliner Morgenpost“. I was one of 12 jury members.
There were many interesting impressions for us in the Berlinale. It started with our accreditation far away from long waiting queues where we got our press-card and a voucher for the Berlinale-rucksack. Every Morning very early, shortly after 8 a.m. (early for me because it took me nearly one hour with S-Bahn, waiting for the next and walking to reach the Berlinale Palace) at least two or three of us started with the queue before the entrance of the first press-performance.
We tried and managed to get seats in row 12 and 13 and there we were together not only watching the competition-films, but listening to the reaction of the other members of the jury. We never had the same opinion about the movies we saw, only in one case: We did not understand and did not appreciate that the movie „Touch me not“ from the romanian director Adina Pintilie won the main price, the Golden Bear for the best film. We thought it was not due to artistic work like the performance of the actors or the capability of the director to bring to life a standig out story. We believe that the award was given out of political-social reasons. We labeled this movie in our talks as „Watch me not“.
It was exciting to see what different reactions the 12 of us had to the different movies. For instance the german contribution „Three days in Quiberon“ which told the story of the last interview with the late famous actress Romy Schneider. I was scared by the remark of our two youngest members, that they never heard of Romy Schneider before. This moment gave me back the shocking certainty that I am old. And for a moment I stopped breathing. I look back to experiences which mean nothing to other generations. But I do not want to talk only to persons in my age or a little bit younger, I am interested in young people how they look on the things and outcomes of the present reality. So it was new to me to hear about the enthusiasm for Ed Sheeran. Ed who? I am wiser now. I saw and listened to videos in the internet. I like his songs and his voice and he reminds me of a romantic dream I had in the age of 17: I loved the idea to be married to a red-haired irish man and to get 5 red-haired children with him. (My life offered other opportunities for me).
I would like to mention the jury: the three youngsters around 22, the 4 old ones around 74 to 76 and the large middle-group around 50 +/-. Large middle-group? I think I felt most familiar with them and felt a kind of soul-intellect-relationship.
Some of us joined nearly every press audience after the two films in the morning. One of the most elevating moments were when we passed the door-keepers. With an obvious gesture we showed our press-cards. They opened every door for us. And that was the secret in my eyes for the lasting interest and pleasure most of us had the exhausting 10 days of the Berlinale. We had a task to fulfill, a duty and we took it seriously. We tried to overcome the personal emotional impressions (das sog. Bauchgefühl) after a movie and looked for criteria how to judge and to estimate the film.
Before I come to our final decision for the award of the readers jury of the „Berliner Morgenpost“ I want to mention some other movies which we found worthful to watch.
„In den Gängen“ – „In the aisles“, a german movie with Sandra Hüller and Franz Rogowski. A tender love story in the unknown surrounding of a beverage market. Very sensible and touching moments. But no prize!
We were expecting a prize for the outstanding actress Marie Bäumer as Romy Schneider with whom she looked out similarly. But she was not a copy of R.S. Marie Bäumer was capable to relate to the artistic appearence of R.S. and transformed it into her own artistic creation. A great performance! But weeks later she won the award of the „Deutsche Filmpreis“ the „Lola“.
I want to mention „My brother names Robert and he is an idiot“ from Philip Gröning, nearly 3 hours long. Most of us thought this movie as an unreasonable demand. I followed with no real „understanding“ of the story and the pictures. . Long parts I was annoyed. The eruption of cruelty at the end surprised and shocked me. Later I asked myself why I wanted to have an autograph from this director, the only one I asked for during the Berlinale. In the reverse this movie has another meaning for me. It gives a deep impression of the souls of twins who live regularly as two-in-a-unity. This was fascinating to watch and to listen to their dialogues which were more a circulation around themselves. I would recommend it to other psychoanalysts.
Further to remark is the movie which opened the Berlinale: Isles of dogs. From Wes Anderson. Made with the old-fashioned stop-motion-technique. I would go again in this movie when I had to decide which of the films in the competition I would like to see again. It had a lot of charme, a deep humor and possibilities for metaphors and understanding the sense. You even can take it as a political satire of dividing the world into „good“ and „bad“. „Isles of Dogs“ won a Silver-bear for best direction. Wow!
Now to the winner of the prize from our jury: „Dovlatov“ from Russia, directed by Aleksey German junior. „Dovlatov“ got an award ( a Silver bear) for an outstanding artificial performance: costumes and set-design. The film follows some days of the russian writer Sergey Dovlatov. The camera followed each step and each meeting with friends and family. Our group was impressed by the emotional and the close impact of the character and his sorrounding. A really good movie.
6 weeks ago when I was in Berlin again for a short visit I managed to organize a meeting with 2/3 of our group and we looked: „Lady Bird“. We enjoyed it and discussed the film and other topics after the performance in the mexican restaurant near-by the cinema. Maybe we can repeat this.