Berlin Film Festival unveils first films

Kosslick's selection focuses on globalization

Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader,” Lukas Moodysson’s “Mammoth” and Harald Zwart’s “The Pink Panther 2” are among the titles screening in the main section of the Berlin Film Festival, which runs Feb. 5-15.

Fest organizers announced 10 films screening in competition, with four celebrating their world premieres in Berlin and four unspooling out of competition in the competition section.

The effect of globalization, both on a grand scale and on personal and emotional levels, is a common theme in many of this year’s films and appears to be a defining factor of this fest.

International productions funded by German coin are getting top billing. “The Reader,” like the fest’s opening film — Tom Tykwer’s “The International,” was shot in Germany and was partially bankrolled by the Teuton government’s Federal Film Fund.

Pic, which stars Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes and German thesp David Kross, tells the story of a young man’s brief affair with an older woman at the end of World War II and his re-encounter with her years later. Pic, like “The Pink Panther 2,” unspools out of competition.

“Mammoth,” which stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Williams, examines a New York family undergoing radical change due to the effects of global forces.

Maren Ade’s “Alle Anderen” is the only German-language film so far chosen for the competition lineup.

Other selections include Sally Potter’s “Rage,” starring Judi Dench, Jude Law and Dianne Wiest; Theo Angelopoulos’ “The Dust of Time,” starring Willem Dafoe and Bruno Ganz (out of competition); and Chinese drama “Mei Lanfang” (Forever Enthralled) by Chen Kaige.

Scribe Oren Moverman’s directorial debut “The Messenger,” starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton, and Rachid Bouchareb’s “London River,” starring Brenda Blethyn, are also competing.

Rebecca Miller’s “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee,” starring Robin Wright Penn, Keanu Reeves, Julianne Moore and Winona Ryder, screens out of competition. “To date, many of the films we’ve chosen explore the globalization and its impact on people’s private lives,” said fest topper Dieter Kosslick in announcing the selections Friday. “These works tell of meaningful encounters, resistance, as well as traumatic experiences. International crises are reflected in them, but also the hope that a better world is possible. And toward the end of the festival the Pink Panther will save the world again with humor.”

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