Do you enjoy watching movies? A simple question, but the follow-up question to a yes answer can lead you into a great number of situations; “What is your favorite movie?”, “Do you like French New-Wave films?”, “Do you find German Expressionist films from the 1920s pretentious?” Some people are serious about movies, some are not. The people who really enjoy cinema are usually very hip to film festivals that take place all over the world, and to the films that are being shown and judged.
We all have that friend who tells us about that independent movie you’ve never heard of that just won the Cannes award for Best Original Screenplay. Film festivals have become a very important venue for independent films, as it is a first chance for many of the films to be introduced to international audiences.
I am what you may call a purveyor of films that I find interesting. I keep my finger on the pulse to keep up with movies the best I can, and I watch films from specific time periods that typified a certain type of cinema (French New-Wave, Blaxploitation, Arthouse, etc.), but I am not a Filmcyclopedia (possibly invented word, possibly awaiting patent rights). I did, however, become very intrigued by something I saw the other day online, and due to this, I may just spend the next few weeks of my life watching and learning all that I can about German and foreign films at the moment. What I saw was a news headline saying that Isabella Rossellini, daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and star of David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” and “Wild at Heart”, will be the president of the jury at the 61st Berlinale Film Festival taking place in Berlin, February 10-20, 2011! I know what you’re thinking… Green Porno, right? Yeah, me too.
There are quite a few film festivals every year: Cannes, Berlin International Film Festival, Sundance, and the annual True/False Film Festival that takes place in Columbia, Missouri every March. Locally know as simply True/False, the festival welcomes independent and amateur documentary movies to share the silver screen with bigger name titles and other independently made movies that have been nationally recognized. Though True/False takes place in my city of residence, I am drawn more to the happenings of the Berlinale Festival. First off, I am studying German culture and language, so it is a given that a German film festival would catch my eye. Secondly, it is inspiring that this massive celebration and critique of film and film culture takes place in the bustling capital of Germany.
Here’s the plan: I am going to make a valiant attempt to watch all of the films that are contenders for awards at the Berlinale in February 2011. Tall order of business? Maybe, but I experience watching great films on par with having great conversation, always worthwhile, and always better with friends.
P.S. If you’ve seen it, but you’re still reading this, thank you, but go watch Green Porno, done by the lovely Isabella Rossellini. Oh, and it is definitely SFW (safe for work), unless you work for an exterminator… or safari hunter.