BERLIN (Reuters) – Iran’s Jafar Panahi has defied a 20-year ban on filmmaking to secretly co-direct “Closed Curtain”, a multi-layered portrayal of how restrictions on his work and movement have brought on depression and even thoughts of suicide.
The movie, in competition at the Berlin film festival, has its premiere on Tuesday, but Panahi was not expected on the red carpet despite festival organizers saying the German government had requested he be allowed to travel.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise the roles of Jesse and Celine in “Before Midnight”, the third but not necessarily the last movie in their long-running series based on the same characters as they age over time.
In this film, set 18 years after “Before Sunrise”, the couple is on holiday in Greece and we learn that they live with their twin daughters in Paris while Jesse’s son has stayed with his mother in Chicago.
BERLIN (Reuters) – British actor Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom reunite for “The Look of Love”, a biopic of pornography publisher and night club impresario Paul Raymond that brings to the screen the sleaze, success and tragedy in his life.
Dubbed the “king of porn”, or, more politely, the “King of Soho” after the London area where his empire was based, Raymond began amassing his fortune in 1958 with the opening of the “Raymond Revuebar” and expanded to theatre and men’s magazines.
BERLIN (Reuters) – There were cheers for Chilean drama “Gloria” at the Berlin film festival on Sunday, partly out of relief as the annual cinema showcase finally got its first hit after a series of critical misses.
The touching story of a middle aged woman’s quest for love and adventure in modern-day Santiago drew comparisons to Woody Allen for the intimacy of the relationships and to Meryl Streep for the arresting performance of actress Paulina Garcia.
BERLIN (Reuters) – It seems that wherever Matt Damon goes to promote his movies he is asked about something else altogether – his old friend and collaborator Ben Affleck, whose Iranian hostage drama “Argo” is in the running for a Best Picture Oscar.
Damon shared a screenplay Academy Award with Affleck for the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting” and has gone on to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, with blockbusters including the “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Bourne Identity” series.
BERLIN (Reuters) – The 2013 Berlin film festival kicks off on Thursday with the red carpet premiere of “The Grandmaster”, Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai’s martial arts period drama set in China at the time of the Japanese invasion in the 1930s.
Starring regular collaborator Tony Leung Chiu Wai as kung fu master Ip Man and Zhang Ziyi as his rival and friend Gong Er, the heavily stylised picture is a story of honour, principle, betrayal and forbidden love all set in a time of turmoil.
BERLIN (Reuters) – The 2013 Berlin film festival kicks off on Thursday with “The Grandmaster”, a martial arts epic from Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai who is also presiding over this year’s jury.
The 11-day stretch of screenings, photocalls, interviews and parties will showcase hundreds of movies, with much of the focus on 19 entries in the main competition and a handful of star-studded U.S. titles.
LONDON (Reuters) – Singer-songwriter Ebony Day has been named MTV’s act to watch in 2013 before even signing a record deal, underlining how up-and-coming artists are increasingly using the internet and social networking sites to build a significant fan base.
Inspired by the viral success of Canadian teen sensation Justin Bieber, the 19-year-old Briton posted a series of online videos performing cover versions, and quickly amassed a sizeable following – 18 million views on her YouTube channel and 156,000 subscribers to date.
LONDON (Reuters) – The Berlin film festival looks east this year with six of 19 competition entries either made or based behind the old Iron Curtain, while two star-studded U.S. movies tackle big business – energy and pharmaceuticals.
Iran’s record on human rights will be in the frame during the two-week cinema showcase starting on February 7, while the Flintstones make way for “The Croods”, a prehistoric family at the centre of a new 3D animation from DreamWorks.
LONDON (Reuters) – One of the first things people see when they sit down to watch “Money the Game Show” at The Bush Theatre in London is a pile of 10,000 pound coins on the floor of the stage.
Standing by is a security guard to ensure the cash does not go missing over the ensuing 90 minutes during which two “hedge fund managers” guide the audience through the world of derivatives trading and the 2008 financial crisis.