Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Berlin and Beyond 2009 - Day 6

The Goethe-Institut San Francisco's annual festival of films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, affectionately titled Berlin and Beyond continues its week long stay at the Castro Theatre until Wednesday, January 21, 2009.

First, in the spirit of full disclosure, I saw PALMERO SHOOTING at the press conference announcing Berlin and Beyond and I was not at this evening's screening (I took the "day off" for Obama Day!), which honored director Wim Wenders with the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Directing. Also, I must confess that I am not a Wim Wenders "fan" either. However, I do have a report (anonymous and unedited until I receive permission) from an attendee:

"this guy is a nut job and a half. plus he mumbles into the mike. sorry if that's un-pc. the usual groupies who worship at his feeet filled the castro saturday night -- they were trolling for seats -- balcony was loaded!

he said it made up for his first showing at the pfa 30 years ago (tom luddy invited him) ..t hey showed his first three films (in reverse order) and my the last one .. there was no one in the audience AND the projectionist had left (he couldnt even turn the damn film off!).

i am sooooooooooooooooooooo glad I saw Kings of the Road .. .it was suuper, but after seeing the doc on him (just before palermo shooting) boy did i (and others) get an earful of insight on him! in kings of road he was obviously (even without seeing doc) working out his angst with his father. hoo boy! couldnt he at least have seen a jungian instead of spending eight years in freudian analysis? yes yes I know filmmakers do work out much of their angst int heir filmmaking ... buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut palermo shooting was beautiful and the lead actor (big rock star in germany) was a hottie and then some ... and it had some good stuff, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much existentialism for me (I hate hate sartre ((and de beauvoir)) ....and had some really embarrassing scenes (ghost speaking) and dennis hopper is getting too iconic for his own good. sigh."

My view of PALERMO SHOOTING (dir. Wim Wenders, Germany, 2008, 108 mins.) As I said, I am not a Wenders fan. I find him a bit pretentious or precious, depending on how you might regard his pre-occupation of anthropomorphizing death. That said, he does have an eye for casting. Campino (apparently a German rock star that I am unfamiliar with) is unusually attractive, in sort of a post punk way. The production design and settings in Düsseldorf and Palermo are also gorgeous! My qualm with the film is the inclusion of Death as played by Dennis Hopper, which feels almost cliche', if not forced. It is not all that different in theme from Bergman's SEVENTH SEAL, really, though Bergman's ability to mythologize is so complete, that the game against Death doesn't seem as contrived. As much as it is out of my character, I think I would have preferred a standard romance between Campino and the object of his affection, Giovanna Mezzogiorno.

Maxxxxx says

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