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Film Festival shows TV Shows
by Shelly Schoeneshoefer

Why has television found its place at the Berlinale?

I never thought of myself as a person who would get  hooked into series until now… The series of today are more like little mini  films which have smart scripts and great actors and enough money is being  pumped into them to provide great settings and wonderful costumes to boot.

In 2010, German director Dominik Graf spoke about his  award-winning Face of Crime television series which was a first at the film festival. Face of Crime was a multilayered crime series where the Russian  Mafia rules the streets of Berlin. Graf’s work has changed the way we look at  crime scenes and he was highly innovative in its script. The next directors to  enter the arena were from down under: Jane Campion and Gerald Lee revealing  their six-part hit series Top of the Lake in 2013. They had top actors such as Holly Hunter and Elizabeth Moss; rumor has  it that Nicole Kidman may be in the next episodes, which are due to come out  this year: 2016. This series has a mysterious atmosphere where a pregnant  12-year-old disappears into thin air. Jane Campion’s shrouded symbolism, which  she developed in Angel at the Table and The Piano, can be clearly felt in  this drama-series.

This year, we had the chance to see the second episode  of Better Call Saul by directors  Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. This series is a spinoff of one of the most  acclaimed series Breaking Bad. In Better Call Saul, the main character  Jimmy McGill is played by Bob Odenkirk, an optimistic lawyer, who bends the  rules and sometimes makes up his own. This series is brilliantly funny as we  watch Jimmy having a mid-life crisis in a swimming pool. Actors are Rhea  Seehorn, Patrick Fabian and Kerry Condon. The dialogue is original and  hilarious and much of it is due to Odenkirk’s comedy appeal. Unfortunately,  none of the cast or directors showed up to give us any insights into this  series.

The last-but-not-least series was Cleverman, which is an Australian, American, and New Zealand  production, directed by Ryan Griffen. This six-episode series is a science  fiction, near-future theme, where hairy humans are being hunted down by other  humans. The hairy humans have special abilities, but are treated badly and live  under poor conditions. Some of the actors include Hunter Page- Lockard, Iain  Glen and Rob Collins. Griffen said the series came from an idea from his son,  who simply asked him why there are no Aboriginal super heroes. So he took that  idea and went running with it. So, tell me: who can resist a series which came  from an idea of a kid? I certainly will be watching this on Netflix which is  now in Germany.