Entertainment behind the scenes
The Berlin Film Festival used to distribute tonnes of press releases, media kits, brochures and other information from filmmakers trying to get the attention of thousands of journalists every day, filling some 1,500 cubby-hole media mailboxes with piles of paper that few ever needed or read.
That all changed this year when Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick decided to abolish the paper practice and take a few other fledgling steps to protect the environment – such as switching lighting systems on the red carpet to use more energy efficient lights and using hydrogen-powered cars to shuttle celebrities to and fro.
“I’m a practising greenie,” Kosslick told a group of foreign journalists recently. “We decided to do away with the press mailboxes because they’re outdated and waste a lot of paper. Every day it seemed like paper the equivalent of 5 hectares of Brazilian rain forest was being distributed and most of it just thrown away. We had to dispose of all that paper in the evening. It just wasn’t right.”
Kosslick, who lives in a country where fears of climate change run high and protecting the environment is a mainstream political issue, admits the festival has a long way to go still and tried to downplay any notion that the festival was putting a big emphasis on going green.
Swedish director Lukas Moodysson might not be the happiest of filmmakers at the moment. It’s hardly surprising, given that his latest movie “Mammoth“, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, was roundly booed by reporters and critics after a press screening at the Berlin film festival.
Critics have panned the examination of globalisation and economic migrants. The film’s average mark in Screen International’s informal poll of reviews is 0.9 out of four, or below a poor rating. Five out of eight critics deemed it plain “bad”.
“Escapism”, we were warned, was going to be a recurrent element of many of the entries in this year’s Berlin Film Festival, the world’s first major cinematic barometer since the global financial meltdown began. People are yearning to escape for a few hours from the economic gloom and doom, the film experts were saying before the Berlinale’s curtain went up.
Yet even knowing that, it was still difficult to predict how far French director Francois Ozon (“8 Women”, “Swimming Pool”) was going to take viewers on a most bizarre journey out of our depressing little lives in his newest film “Ricky“, which made its world premiere in Berlin.