My personal schedule for the Berlin Film festival is ready. As I have very few or almost no interest in the Berlinale competition, my main section is always the International Forum.
Some films will surprise me, some will disappoint me. In the last 18 years were neither a film by my beloved Hou Hsiao Hsien, very few by Yoichi Higashi or late Kei Kumai were screened here, my expectations cooled off. In the last 8 years only there directors let my heart beat. 2006 it was Terrence Malick with THE NEW WORLD, the film which definitely made an unconditional admirer of his films, Yoji Yamada and Yang Yonghi /her two documentaries DEAR PYONGYANG and GOODBYE PYONGYANG aka SONA, THE OTHER MYSELF, 2006 and 2010). I was prepared for Terrence Malick, but not for the magic of Yang Yonghi´s films which are still hard to describe for me. Her new film KAZOKU NO KUNI (Our Homeland) will have its world premiere this Saturday, February 13.
To follow a self invented tradition, I will try to see the new film by Yang Yonghi at least three times.
Further three cambodian films at the Forum from before the terror regime of the Red Khmer, some of the few films which are not destroyed, one in 35, one in 16 and the third only available on DVD. There will be as well a documentary about the almost lost film heritage of Cambodia called THE GOLDEN SLUMBER by Davy Chou.
Another great tradition of the Forum is also to screen retrospectives of forgotten Japanese masters, mostly overtaken from the small but wonderful little TokyoFilmex festival from Japan and this year three films by Yuzo Kawashima.
Another film of which I expect a lot is NO MAN`S Zone, by Toshi Fujiwara, one of three films dealing with after effects of the Fukushima disaster March 2011.
10+10 is film compilation of more than 20 short films by different directors including one of the finest asian directors, Taiwanese Hou Hsiao Hsien who got silent for about 5 years and who is one of several directors I discovered through the International Forum and who dominated with an impressing serie of masterpieces the 1980s and 1990s in world cinema.
Last but not least after 9 years the first vietnamese film shown at the Berlin Film festival, LOST IN PARADISE by Vu Ngoc Dang at the Panorama Section.
More about it later