'Blade,' 'Heaven' added to festival bill
LONDON — The Berlin Film Festival is set to announce the remaining titles in competition, with local speculation pushing Will Smith starrer “Hitch” as a possible surprise addition to the 11 entries already unveiled Dec. 23.
New titles will include “The Hidden Blade,” vet Yoji Yamada’s second samurai outing after Oscar nominee “The Twilight Samurai.” Pic opened the Tokyo Film Festival and sold to most major territories at the AFM. It is being screened as part of a tribute to Shochiku, which celebrates its 110th anniversary this year.
Sweden’s Oscar entry, Kay Pollak’s “As It Is in Heaven,” was nominated in eight categories for the country’s Golden Bug awards Jan. 4. Pic, starring Michael Nyquist, concerns a world-class conductor who returns to his hometown after an emotional breakdown. Pollak’s first film in 18 years has been a hit in Sweden since its September release.
Other pics include Jacques Audiard’s “De battre mon coeur s’est arrete” and Alain Corneau’s “Les mots bleus,” from France; Jorge Ramirez-Suarez’s $3.2 million political thriller “Rabbit on the Moon,” a Mexico-U.K. co-production that screened at the AFI fest and AFM last year; and Florian Gallenberger’s debut feature, “Shadows of Time,” a sumptuously shot slice of Asian melodrama that first screened at Toronto in the Special Presentation section.
These may be joined by Turkish-born Italo arthouse darling Ferzan Ozpetek’s “Hungry Heart” (Cuore sacro) and Tsai Ming-Liang’s risque Taiwanese musical “Wayward Wind.”
“Tickets,” three stories directed by Ken Loach, Ermanno Olmi and Abbas Kiarostami set on a train traveling from Northern Europe toward Rome, may screen out of competition at the fest, which runs Feb. 10-20.