Cover would be over red carpet promenade
What to do about the weather?That, too, is on Berlinale topper Dieter Kosslick’s mind, as he flitted among the 52 appointments, speeches and places to be Wednesday. And he’s serious. “I’m not Jesus Christ,” he hastened to explain, “I’m just talking about doing something about the red carpet and the actresses freezing to death in their gowns.” The solution he has in mind: a transparent roof over the red carpet promenade in front of the Palast. Cate Blanchett, for example, was waving to the crowds for a good half-hour on that coldest of nights, Saturday (for “The Good German”), but for her second appearance (“Notes on a “Scandal”) rushed right into the Palast. Kosslick said he didn’t know what it would cost to build such a thing, but it’s one of the things on his checklist. While the operations of the festival have, by and large, run with Teutonic precision, there has been one unfortunate glitch Kosslick is riled about. Because folks linger too long inside the Palast hoping to catch glimpses of the stars as they make their way into the auditorium, many are entering the theater after the lights go down. “This is unacceptable — people walking in front of Clint Eastwood while his movie is running,” he fumed. One unnamed German director actually came to fisticuffs with Berlinale personnel as he was trying to get into “The Good German” after the doors had been closed. “He even called me a Nazi,” Kosslick added, saying that respect for the movies demands that there will absolutely be no one allowed into the auditorium once the doors close. “No exceptions,” he emphasized. As for this Berlinale, Kosslick termed it “balanced” and the most star-driven in the history of the fest. To the question whether the selection this year tended, as suggested by some film critics, toward the bland or unexciting, Kosslick was adamant that there are many other more positive opinions. “I like the Berlinale (selection) this year,” he said. “The mood is very good. I’m there for the first five minutes every night and I sense excitement.” He pointed out that German press coverage has not been “double, nor three times, but 10 times more” than ever before. Still, Kosslick insisted he doesn’t read any press while the fest is running, for fear of getting distracted from his relentless schedule. In any case, the topper also said that for as long as he is fest director, he will stick to a mixture of big splashy movies and indies. “We’re a festival,” he concluded, “and that also means we’re looking for new talents and new directions.” Asked what was the most exciting discovery of the festival for him, he wasted no time — even though his choice defies what most critics thought. “The happiest people in Berlin are me and Ryan Eslinger.” The 24-year-old director had his second film (“A Man Falls in the Forest”) chosen for the Competition. Per the fest director, the kid seemed to savor his every minute in Berlin.