Daily | Berlinale 2015 Lineup, Round 3

Knight of Cups

Terrence Malick and Christian Bale on the set of ‘Knight of Cups’

The Berlinale, whose 65th edition runs from February 5 through 15, has announced the first seven titles to be screened in Competition (well, all but one, that is).

Kenneth Branagh‘s Cinderella. With Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter. International premiere. Out of Competition. Surely a synopsis won’t be necessary. Here‘s the trailer.

Jayro Bustamante’s Ixcanul (Ixcanul Volcano). With María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Antún, Justo Lorenzo and Marvin Coroy. World premiere. From Variety‘s John Hopewell: “Written by Bustamante, who grew up in the Guatemalan highlands where Ixcanul is set, his debut feature first portrays the daily existence of a 17-year-old Kaqchiqel girl living in a village in the foothills of a volcano, Ixcanul, who faces an arranged marriage with the overseer of the local lands. But she falls under the spell of Pepe, a young plantation worker who enthralls her with talk of emigrating to the US.  When Pepe leaves alone, he also leaves Maria pregnant. Her dishonor levels up Ixcanul’s narrative drive.”

Andreas Dresen’s Als wir träumten (As We Were Dreaming). With Merlin Rose, Julius Nitschkoff, Joel Basman, Marcel Heuperman, Frederic Haselon and Ruby O. Fee. World premiere. An adaptation of Clemens Meyer’s debut novel with a screenplay by Wolfgang Kohlhaase, winner of an honorary Golden Bear at the 2010 Berlinale. The story’s about a group of friends, Rico, Mark and Daniel, knocking around in Leipzig not long after the end of the Cold War.

Alexey German’s Pod electricheskimi oblakami (Under Electric Clouds). With Lui Frank, Merab Ninidze, Viktoriya Korotkova, Chulpan Khamatova and Anastasiya Melnikova, Piotr Gasowski. World premiere. Costume designer Vozianov: “The movie consists of several short stories, which is happening in the backdrop of Soviet Union changes during the past twenty years.” Post-production was interrupted just last month, but evidently, that bump in the road is behind German, the son of the late Aleksei German.

Elmer Bäck as Eisenstein

Elmer Bäck as Eisenstein

Peter Greenaway‘s Eisenstein in Guanajuato. With Elmer Bäck and Luis Alberti. World premiere. From the film’s Facebook page: “The venerated filmmaker [Sergei] Eisenstein is comparable in talent, insight and wisdom, with the likes of Shakespeare or Beethoven; there are few—if any—directors who can be elevated to such heights. On the back of his revolutionary film Battleship Potemkin, he was celebrated around the world, and invited to the US. Ultimately rejected by Hollywood and maliciously maligned by conservative Americans, Eisenstein traveled to Mexico in 1931 to consider a film privately funded by American pro-Communist sympathizers, headed by the American writer Upton Sinclair. Eisenstein’s sensual Mexican experience appears to have been pivotal in his life and film career—a significant hinge between the early successes of Strike, Battleship Potemkin, and October, which made him a world-renowned figure, and his hesitant later career with Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible and The Boyar’s Plot.”

Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years. With Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. World premiere. The single-line synopsis from Haigh‘s own site: “A marriage is thrown into turmoil with news of a long dead lover.” Variety‘s Leo Barraclough has more, reporting that Haigh’s followup to the wonderful Weekend “follows Kate Mercer in the five days leading up to her 45th wedding anniversary. The planning for the party is going well, but then a letter arrives for her husband. The body of his first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps. By the time the party is upon them, five days later, there may not be a marriage left to celebrate. Haigh adapted the screenplay from a short story by the poet David Constantine.”

Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups. With Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman. World premiere. “Knight of Cups and The Untitled Austin Film are not part of the same story,” notes the Hollywood Reporter‘s Chris O’Falt. “According to its backers Film Nation, ‘Knight of Cups is a story of a man, temptations, celebrity and excess.’ Producer Sarah Green confirmed that the film was about the modern-day L.A. movie business with Bale set as the lead, reportedly (not confirmed) playing a depressed screenwriter.”


Earlier: The first films lined up for the Perspektive Deutsches Kino and Generation programs.

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