Berlin’s Forum looks back

'Swoon,' 'Brand X,' 'Ornette' showcased in revival

BERLIN — Films by Tom Kalin, Shirley Clarke and Wynn Chamberlain make up a revival showcase at this year’s Berlinale Forum sidebar.

The section has completed its lineup with a Special Screenings series.

The selection of seldom-seen works and restored classics include Kalin’s provocative 1992 drama “Swoon,” based on the true story of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb who kidnapped and murdered a 14-year-old boy in Chicago in 1924. Pic preemed in Forum two decades ago.

“Swoon” is described by the fest as “one of the best examples of the New Queer Cinema of the 1990s.”

Also unspooling is Chamberlain’s 1970 media satire “Brand X” — a U.S. underground classic long thought lost — as well as restored prints of two films by Shirley Clarke: “Ornette: Made in America,” a 1985 documentary about free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, and 1962’s “The Connection,” a drama about a budding filmmaker looking to film heroin junkies.

Other screeners include Japanese helmer Kawashima Yuzo’s “The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate” (1957), “Suzaki Paradise: Red Light” (1956) and “Between Yesterday and Tomorrow” (1954).

Forum is also showcasing Cambodian cinema from the 1960s and ’70s, including Davy Chou’s 2011 documentary “Le sommeil d’or” (Golden Slumbers), dedicated to films from the era.

In related news, the European Film Market’s new American Independents in Berlin initiative, organized by the Independent Filmmaker Project and the Sundance Institute, will showcase more than 50 U.S. indies in the special market sections IFP Selects and Sundance at EFM to more than 1,500 buyers at the first international film market of the year.

“Through our nine-year collaboration with the Sundance Institute we’ve presented a selection of strong U.S. Indies in Berlin, and now we’re combining this with the American Indies selected by IFP in our new market initiative,” said EFM topper Beki Probst. “It’s a fitting mix and an important expansion of our offering for EFM exhibitors, buyers and participants.”

In addition, the mart will present 35 titles in its “German Cinema — LOLA@Berlinale” section, which spotlights films longlisted for this year’s German Film Award.

The Berlinale runs Feb. 9-19.


“Brand X,” Wynn Chamberlain (U.S.)

“Swoon,” Tom Kalin (U.S.)

“The Connection,” Shirley Clarke (U.S.)

“Ornette: Made in America,” Shirley Clarke (U.S.)

“In the Works,” Minze Tummescheit, Arne Hector (Germany)

“Lawinen der Erinnerung,” Dominik Graf (Germany)

“The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate,” Kawashima Yuzo (Japan)

“Between Yesterday and Tomorrow,” Kawashima Yuzo (Japan)

“Suzaki Paradise: Red Light,” Kawashima Yuzo (Japan)

“Peov Chouk Sor,” Tea Lim Koun (Cambodia)

“The Snake Man,” Tea Lim Koun (Cambodia)

“12 Sisters,” Ly Bun Yim (Cambodia)

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