Top thesps planning to attend film festival

BERLIN — Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Jack Nicholson and Robin Williams are among the growing list of stars expected in the German capital next month for the Berlin Film Festival.

Kidman returns with “Cold Mountain” a year after the competition screening of “The Hours” won joint actress kudos for the pic’s three leads. For her “Cold Mountain” co-star Law, it will be his second film to open the fest after 2001′s “Enemy at the Gates.”

Other high-profile attendees include Juliette Binoche, Cate Blanchett, Ron Howard, Ethan Hawke, Nick Nolte and Christina Ricci.

Nicholson is expected to be on hand for the premiere of “Something’s Gotta Give,” which is screening out of competition, and he is also a main focus of this year’s retrospective: “New Hollywood 1967-1976. Trouble in Wonderland.”

The program showcases 66 titles that transformed Hollywood moviemaking in the late 1960s and early ’70s, including “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Easy Rider,” “Badlands,” “Chinatown” and “Taxi Driver.”

The Berlinale also will present retrospective “Selling Democracy — Welcome Mr. Marshall,” highlighting films from the U.S. Marshall Plan that helped revive Western Europe after WWII.

The special program will screen some of the 200-plus pics produced between 1947 and 1952 to document American aid efforts; encourage democracy, intercultural understanding and self-help; and establish a bulwark against communist Eastern Europe. Pics, made by European and American directors, were shown to the general public in cinemas and screened in schools and film clubs.

Fest director Dieter Kosslick said the pics remain relevant to today’s auds in view of present-day parallels. He added that efforts were under way to bring out the Marshall Plan film collection on DVD.

The Berlinale topper also announced the recipients of this year’s Berlinale Camera awards, presented since 1986 to honor film personalities who have supported the fest. This year’s honorees include centenarian composer and former silent-film pianist Willy Sommerfeld, Berlin-based producer Regina Ziegler, photographer Erika Rabau and Rolf Baehr, the outgoing head of Germany’s Federal Film Board.

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