EFM-Day 2

It is Day 2 of the EFM here at Berlinale, and the festival itself is in full swing after last nights Gala Opening. I was close by the main event, as I could see the barricades and hear ecstatic screaming ;which could only mean that George Clooney was nearby heading into the opening film of this years Berlinale: Hail Caesar.

However, I  ducked into the friendly confines of Cinemaxx 2 and checked out the cool new French flick: The Crew (Braquers; France 2015 Action Thriller).

Directed by Julian LeClerq, this is a heist film about a group of professional robbers who take a new rookie member into their midst for an impressive heist scene that kicks off the proceedings with a shot of adrenaline.

After the job, the film settles down for a while into on exploration of the human stories, motivations, and family struggles underpinning our characters and the unlikely bonds between them.

The plot takes an unfortunate twist however, as a mistake by one of the younger members of the crew eventually pits them against a gang of heroin dealers, and the ensuing  struggle threatens to tear families and friendships apart.

A slow build up of tension is ultimately truncated by terrific outbursts of action, as well as the realizations of tragic personal loss.

A terrific film, well shot,directed, and acted; with a great electronic film score, I will try and track down the name of the composer.

A great ending scene as well, and watching it you are left wondering what the future has in store for The Crew that remains …

The Crew

Creepy (Japan 2015)- A new film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa,who recently won Best Director in the Un Certain Regards section at Cannes 2015 for his drama: Journey To The Shore.

This new film Creepy is based on a novel by Yutaka Maekawa and revolves around an ex-police detective and criminal psychologist Takakura, who moves into a quiet suburban town seeking peace and quiet, but then suspects his new neighbour of being a serial killer.

This is a cool premise , and was a film I really wanted to like, but was hugely disappointed in the ludicrous plot turns, absurd character development, and cliches. Not to mention the irritating use of submissive female roles , and the total incompetence of the police force. Definitely a pass on this one folks….

I will write more later… As I need to get to  the second show of the day. It is a beautiful day here in Berlin: sunny and 5c.

The Dark Side Of the Moon (Germany 2015-Thriller) screening was fantastic, and it stars Jurgen Pronchnow (Das Boot) and Moritz Bleibtreu. It’s about a lawyer who has a crisis following the death of a rival in a corporate merger, and involves some psychedelic mushrooms that seem to facilitate his violent meltdown. Or do they??Based on a novel   By Martin Suter this is the feature film debut of director Stephan Rick. Recommended.

Evolution(France 2015-Thriller/Drama).This was a visually stunning dystopian drama about a secluded rugged seaside village, whose only inhabitants are women and young boys. Something very strange is taking place ,as the children seem to be unwilling subjects to strange experiments in genetic engineering; whose purpose remains unclear and enigmatic to the viewer. A strange , disturbing movie with many layers of metaphor waiting for the viewer to unravel. The new film by director  Lucile Hadzhalilovic stars Max Brebant and Lucie-Marie Parmentier ( The Crew) , and is a feast for the eyes ,especially on the Cinemaxx IMAX screen here in Berlin.Evolution premiered at TIFF 2015 ,and is a must see for those with an eye for something a little different. Think: Under The Skin.


Must log off for the day here from Berlin. But a funny story.

I was in line for the Evolution screening,when a woman got in the row behind me. She tapped me on the shoulder and asked: ” Are you in line for Evolution?”. I replied: ” I hope so, but only Darwin knows for sure”….