Berlin festival mixes '50 Shades' premiere with arthouse
By Michael Roddy
REUTERS - Two blockbusters will have world premieres at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival opening on Thursday, but neither "50 Shades of Grey" nor the new Disney live-action "Cinderella" will compete for the main Golden Bear prize.
That's because the festival is more geared to arthouse films, which it will have aplenty from directors including Terrence Malick, Peter Greenaway, Wim Wenders and Pablo Larrain.
In all, 23 films are being screened in competition of which 19 are in contention for the main prize, to be awarded on Feb. 14, the festival says.
This year's lineup will be "the usual mixture of anorexia, religious fanaticism, child abuse and torture", Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said - tongue in cheek but only partly so.
"That's what we show - and when you look at the news you can see that our program is situated right in the middle of today's social and political debate."
In that vein, Chilean director Larrain's "The Club" is about four disgraced priests living together in a refuge who have trouble adjusting to the arrival of a fifth.
Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska's "Body" is the story of a police investigator and single parent having to balance the demands of work with bringing up his anorexic daughter.
Such films assure the festival remains true to its roots, but the film adaptation of the international best-selling S&M soft-porn novel, plus Cate Blanchett as Cinderella's stepmother in the film directed by Kenneth Branagh, focus world attention. Continued...