The Berlin International Film Festival has added another nine titles to the initial round of six to the Competition lineup of the 63rd edition running from February 7 through 17. The headline-grabber here is going to be the new film by Jafar Panahi, who, by all accounts, remains under house arrest. Little is known about Parde at the moment, but the other eight films aren’t nearly as mysterious:
Camille Claudel 1915, by Bruno Dumont (The Life of Jesus, Humanity, Flanders). With Juliette Binoche and Jean-Luc Vincent. France. World Premiere. IMDb: “Confined by her family to an asylum in the South of France—where she will never sculpt again—the chronicle of Camille Claudel’s reclusive life, as she waits for a visit from her brother, Paul Claudel.”
Elle s’en va (On my Way), by Emmanuelle Bercot (Clément, Backstage, Les infidèles). With Catherine Deneuve. France. World Premiere. Cathy (Deneuve), 60, is abandoned by her lover and her family business is looking shaky. So she jumps in her car and… it’s a road movie, evidently, to hear Fabien Lemercier describe at Cineuropa.
Epizoda u životu berača željeza (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker), by Danis Tanovic (No Man’s Land, Hell, Circus Columbia). With Senada Alimanovic, Nazif Mujic, Sandra Mujic, Semsa Mujic. Bosnia and Herzegovina/France/Slovenia. World Premiere. From Filmaffinity: “Senada is 31 and she lives in Poljice neighborhood in Lukavac municipality with her partner and two daughters. She is pregnant with her third child for approximately five months. Since she didn’t have health insurance, she does not go to the doctor’s. When she started bleeding, she goes to the hospital. The doctor told Senada that she needs an emergency surgery and she needs to pay 500 EUR. Without a health insurance card and without money, Senada returns home.”
Gold by Thomas Arslan (Dealer, Vacation, In the Shadows). With Nina Hoss, Marko Mandic, Uwe Bohm, Lars Rudolph, Peter Kurth, Rosa Enskat, and Wolfgang Packhäuser. Germany. World Premiere. Gold focuses on a group of German immigrants who trek from New York to northwest Canada in 1898, that is, well after the initial Gold Rush. To cut expenses, these inexperienced gold-diggers decide on a route slicing straight across the continent. They discover, of course, that this is not a shortcut.
La Religieuse (The Nun) by Guillaume Nicloux (The Flying Children, A Private Affair, That Woman). With Pauline Etienne, Isabelle Huppert, Louise Bourgoin, and Martina Gedeck. France/Germany/Belgium. World Premiere. An adaptation of the novel by Denis Diderot, which was also adapted, of course, by Jacques Rivette in 1966.
Layla Fourie by Pia Marais (The Unpolished, At Ellen’s Age). With Rayna Campbell, August Diehl, Rapule Hendricks. Germany/South Africa/France/Netherlands. World Premiere. From Pandora Film: “Layla Fourie, a young single-mother in South Africa, receives a job assignment as polygraphist. In the constant presence of mistrust, lies and fear Layla soon becomes a suspect herself.”
The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, the feature debut of Fredrik Bond. With Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger, Rupert Grint, James Buckley. USA. International Premiere. From Wikipedia: “Charlie Countryman (LaBeouf) is just a normal guy until he meets and falls in love with Gabi (Wood), a Hungarian girl after he sits next to her father on a plane that resulted in his death. But Gabi is married to Nigel (Mikkelsen), a violent and mentally unstable crime boss with a gang of thugs at his disposal. Armed with little more than his wit and naïve charm, Charlie endures one bruising beat down after another to woo Gabi and keep her out of harm’s way. Finally his exploits of blind valor create such a mess that he’s left with only one way out; to save the girl of his dreams—he has to die.” It’s a comedy.
Parde (Closed Curtain), by Jafar Panahi (The Circle, Offside, This Is Not A Film) and Kambozia Partovi (The Fish, Café Transit). With Kambozia Partovi, Maryam Moghadam, Jafar Panahi, Hadi Saeedi, Azadh Torabi, Agha Olia, Zeynab Khanum, and Boy. Iran. World Premiere. This is all we seem to know at the moment. Nancy Tartaglione at Deadline: “Berlin provided few details about the film other than it’s co-directed by Border Café helmer Kambozia Partovi, who co-wrote Panahi’s 2000 Venice winner The Circle.”
Side Effects, by Steven Soderbergh, (sex, lies, and videotape; Erin Brockovich, Haywire). With Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum. USA. International Premiere. A psychological thriller: Emily Taylor (Mara) turns to prescription medication to ease her anxiety over her husband’s impending release from prison.