Cultural events or exhibitions highlight some of the film festival events. During this Berlin film festival Francesco Rosi received the Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement. To compliment this achievement was a photo exhibition at AB project Galerie, Torstrasse 96 which included 35 photographs from the Italian film maker Francesco Rosi’s private collection. The selection represented many of the milestones in his career. Even from the start, Rosi’s film The Challenge won several awards. Other award-winning films were Salvatore Guiliano and Hands Over the City. In all he made 17 films and currently his attentions have moved to theater productions which is not surprising since many of his films are epics with dramatic scenes. The opening of this exhibition was successfully crowded. Unfortunately, the gallery space was a little strange and the photos seemed cramped in the wall spaces. Although there was a nice progression to the photos, the photographs themselves were not carefully hung. Perhaps the curator thought that the people would only look at the fantastic photographs and not the actually gallery itself.
The second exhibition was a homage to the great Spanish film director Luis Buñuel. One of his most famous images comes from the film Un chien andalou where he (himself) slits a woman’s eyeball with a razor at the beginning of the film. He was a man who liked to shock and would often push the accepted boundaries to illustrate the horror of our society. He used Surrealism, an artistic movement from the 1920s, a form which is rarely used in film today. One of the most famous Spanish surrealists and a childhood friend was Salvadore Dali. Buñel made some of his first films with Dali when they were young. He is most famous for Los Olividados, Palme dOr and Belle de Jour. The man was unbelievably productive. He made 32 films altogether and at certain times in his life, he made two films a year. His work portrayed the suffering and often the realistic hard view of life but he always maintained a sense of mystery. The photo exhibition was at the Instituto Cervantes which didn’t have normal German opening hours but rather Spanish ones, making it difficult to have a look at this exhibition and impossible for movie goers on the run to see!