‘Final Cut’ is in at Berlin

Pic joins 8 other U.S. pics picked for fest

BERLIN — Robin Williams starrer “The Final Cut,” from tyro helmer Omar Naim, and Antoine Fuqua’s blues documentary “Lightning in a Bottle” are among the final six titles selected for the Berlin Int. Film Festival’s main selection.

Of the 26 total films announced Wednesday, nine come from the U.S.

In “The Final Cut,” which is having its world premiere in Berlin, Williams stars as a technician who can store the memories and emotions of high-paying clients on implanted computer chips.

“Lightning in a Bottle” documents a blues concert at Radio City Music Hall, showcasing 50 of the industry’s top performers including B.B. King, Natalie Cole and the Neville Brothers.

Heavily slated with European titles, fest is screening only two Asian films: Sylvia Chang’s story of three women, “20:30:40,” from Hong Kong, and “Samaritan Girl,” Ki-Duk Kim’s South Korean tale of two teenage girls who turn to prostitution to earn money.

Both pics will be having their world premieres here, as will “Lost Embrace,” from Argentinean director Daniel Burman. The only South American film, “Lost Embrace” is about a disaffected young man who works in a laundry in Buenos Aires.

Like previously announced titles, the final selections share similar themes of alienation and despair.

Other newly announced titles include Eric Rohmer’s espionage thriller “Triple Agent” and “25 Degrees in Winter,” an urban road movie from first-time Spanish director Stephane Vuillet about a Spaniard who agrees to help a young Ukrainian woman who is on the run.

Pics screening out of competition include Anthony Minghella’s “Cold Mountain,” which is opening the fest, “Lightning in a Bottle” and Nancy Meyer’s “Something’s Gotta Give.”

The Berlinale runs Feb. 5-15.

Here’s the lineup:

“20:30:40,” Sylvia Chang, Taiwan/Hong Kong
“25 Degrees in Winter,” Stephane Vuillet, Belgium/France/Spain
“Ae Fond Kiss,” Ken Loach, U.K.
“Beautiful Country,” Hans Petter Moland, Norway/U.S.
“Before Sunset,” Richard Linklater, U.S.
“Cold Mountain,” Anthony Minghella, U.S. (out of competition)
“Intimate Strangers,” Patrice Leconte, France
“Country of My Skull,” John Boorman, U.K.
“Nightsongs,” Romuald Karmakar, Germany
“Lost Embrace,” Daniel Burman, Argentina
“Red Lights,” Cedric Kahn, France
“In Your Hands,” Annette K. Olesen, Denmark
“Head-On,” Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey
“Your Next Life,” Manuel Gutierrez Aragon, Spain
“Lightening in a Bottle,” Antoine Fuqua, U.S. (out of competition)
“Maria Full of Grace,” Joshua Marston, U.S./Columbia
“Monster,” Patty Jenkins, U.S.
“Daybreak,” Bjorn Runge, Sweden
“First Love,” Matteo Garrone, Italy
“Samaritan Girl,” Kim Ki-Duk, Korea
“Something’s Gotta Give,” Nancy Meyers, U.S. (out of competition)
“Witnesses,” Vinko Bresan, Croatia
“The Final Cut,” Omar Naim, U.S.
“The Missing,” Ron Howard, U.S.
“Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow,” Theo Angelopoulos, Greece/France
“Triple Agent,” Eric Rohmer, Franc

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