Festival fever

This month’s jam-packed film calendar looks set to keep spirits high as the nights draw in.

Image for Festival fever This month’s jam-packed film calendar looks set to keep spirits high as the nights draw in. For this fourth edition, the Italian Film Festival is upping its scope and scale, with a new awards initiative, a spacious new venue (Kino in der Kulturbrauerei), a core programme of seven feature films (all with English subs) and several special events. Be sure to catch Edoardo de Angelis’ fable-like Indivisibili (photo), a disconcerting tale of conjoined twins played out against a quintessentially Italian backdrop of corruption and Catholicism; and Let Yourself Go!, an exuberant screwball comedy starring Toni Servillo as an uptight psychoanalyst. Servillo will also be celebrated with a retrospective at three of our favourite Kiezkinos, with highlights including Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty. The Interfilm festival is the city’s biggest and best shorts fest, bar none. This 33rd instalment features over 500 short films split into 60 programmes, playing at 10 cinemas across town. Beyond the usual competition and regional strands, there’s a selection devoted to Samuel Beckett and a celebration of Karl Marx’s 200th birthday. Our top picks include “Meryem”, an unflinching portrait of a women’s army fighting IS in Kobani (Documentary strand); “Kleptomami”, which hilariously details the horrors of new motherhood (German); and “Zarte Momente”, in which a cuddle party becomes a satire of Marxist theory (Marx/Absurd). Around the World in 14 Films offers Berlin audiences a first peek at the cream of the past year’s international festival crop. This year’s globetrotting extravaganza kicks off with Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless (from Russia), an unrelenting account of a divorcing couple whose son disappears, crowned best film at last month’s BFI London Film Festival. Meanwhile The Untamed (Mexico), Amat Escalante’s 2016 Venice Silver Lion-winner, is equal parts challenging allegory and out-there body horror, with shades of Possession and Under the Skin. And Sean Baker’s The Florida Project (USA),a vividly stylish portrait of a young girl living in poverty in the shadow of Walt Disney World, sees the director deliver on the promise of his iPhone-shot trans tale Tangerine. All this, plus highly anticipated new films by Claire Denis, Yorgos Lanthimos and Lynne Ramsay. — ATH/DM/P’OC Italian Film Festival Nov 9-12 Kino in der KulturBrauerei | Toni Servillo retrospective Nov 15-17 Bundesplatz, Lichtblick and Il Kino Interfilm international film festival Nov 20-26 Various venues, full programme at Around the World in 14 Films Nov 23-Dec 2 Kino in der Kulturbrauerei