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Tops and Flops
by the KinoCritics



Attending and talking to Jay Clarke who was the creator of the storyboarding on the film Isle of Dogs at the Berlin Talent Campus Talks.

The moment when Joaquin Phoenix expressed why he hates Film Festival as a journalist asks yet another stupid question.


The press conference on the film Styx make me only aware of the exploitation of the young actor Oduor Weseka, who expressed that he did not know how to swim before the project and suffered sea sickness especially since he was supposed to swim when a storm was happening. I was not surprised that, when they asked him what he wants to become in the future, he said he wants to become the producer and not the actor. I chose not to see the film.



My favorite film of the festival was Shut up and Play the Piano, a documentary by Philipp Jedicke. This was fast moving with not one boring moment. I love documentaries and I love music documentaries especially. The best part was that, I, who thinks she knows it all, had never heard of musician Chilly Gonzales, and now I have a whole new topic to research. He’s coming to Hamburg in eight months and tickets are almost sold out.


It’s hard to determine a flop at the Berlinale; most is so wonderful. Perhaps a film that I saw, but cannot remember in any way at all, would be Jibril. If I had no recollection, then it must not have been very impressive.



Watching Partisan at the Kino International (the GDR’s main cinema for premiers) with its retro appearance and excellent seating arrangement which ensures there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Following the screening of this quintessentially Berlin documentary, Frank Castorf and his team came to the stage to thunderous applause and support from the audience, a great experience for anyone who has been following the drama of his ousting.


It’s hard to pick a flop. Was it one of the films I walked out on in frustration (Mein Bruder Heißt Robert…) or mild disgust (Damsel)? How about the films which felt exploitative (Styx and Utøya 22. Juli)? No, in the end I think it must be Steven Soderbergh’s cell-phone film Unsane with its outdated and harmful view of mental health hospitals which takes the cake. Just what society needs, more fear mongering about mental health professionals so that those in need will hesitate getting help. Ugh.