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This week at the kino: Catch-up time and festival fun

New releases, British Shorts, Cat Video Fest, Berlinale audience favourites and more: Here's your weekly Berlin cinema guide!

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Time to catch Leonie Krippendorff’s Kokon (Cocoon), which opened this year’s Berlinale Generation 14plus section. (Image: Salzgeber)

It’s a slow week for new releases, with two films standing out: Irresistible and The Song Of Names. The first is the sophomore film by former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, which works as a pleasantly nostalgic Capra throwback more than a razor-sharp satire on the state of modern American politics. It’s still worth your time. The latter fares less well – it’s a well-meaning but flimsy adaptation of Norman Lebrecht’s novel that centers on the disappearance of a young musical prodigy. Despite director François Girard at the helm, The Constant Gardener screenwriter Jeffrey Caine on script duty, and the great Tim Roth giving it his best, this historical drama-mystery still fails to conjure up the same excitement or urgency as the director’s The Red Violin.

All things considered, we recommend you catch up (if you haven’t already) on previous weeks’ releases, like the hard-hitting For Sama, which is still showing every day at Il Kino (with English subs), the brilliant-but-hard-to-nab After Midnight, screening at Filmrauschpalast on the 9th at 6.30pm, and of course, the excellent Berlin Alexanderplatz, which is showing at various kinos and on every night at Hackesche Höfe Kino (8pm / 9.15pm, with English subs). Make sure to read our exclusive interview between the director Burhan Qurbani and filmmaker Yony Leyser.

Regarding upcoming events, there’s a lot on these coming days, so strap in.

Pompeji Freiluftkino am Ostkreuz are hosting a Jordan Peele double-bill evening tomorrow and Saturday, with Get Out and Us, starting at 9pm on both nights. They’re also screening Amazing Grace on Monday 10th at 9.15pm – don’t miss out on the chance to see this powerfully personal and unbelievably rousing concert film, which got a limited theatrical run last year. Check out our 5-star review, as well as our interview with the director Alan Elliott, who peeled back some of the layers behind this long-gestating doc and spoke about the late Aretha Franklin’s legacy.

Our top pick for outdoor screenings this week is the British Shorts Summer Edition at Freiluftkino Insel im Cassiopeia tomorrow night (at 8.30pm, with a repeat evening next Friday due to the limited seat capacity). The evenings feature awarded short films and other highlights from the British Shorts Film Festival held in January, spanning all genres from comedy to animation, music video to thriller. If you’re not already booking your tickets now, read up on our festival preview from January to whet your appetite.

Our close second for top pick is a fur-bulous (sorry) evening on Saturday that cat lovers won’t want to miss. Indeed, taking place at City Kino Wedding is Weltkatzentag: Cat Video Fest – it starts at 5pm and don’t hesitate one meow-ment (again, so sorry) in booking tickets.

Looking ahead to next week, we recommend you head to Freiluftkino Friedrichshain from Monday 10th to Wednesday 12th, as audience favourites from this year’s Berlinale will be screened over the course of three evenings. This Summer Berlinale programme includes: Leonie Krippendorff’s Generation 14plus opening film Kokon (Cocoon) on Monday at 9.30pm (presented by Berlinale co-head Mariette Rissenbeek); Srdan Golubović’s stunning Otac (Father), which won the Panorama Audience Award and the Award of the Ecumenical Jury, screening on Tuesday (also at 9.30pm, presented by Michael Stütz, the head of the festival section Panorama); and finally, this year’s winner of the Golden Bear, Sheytan vojud nadarad (There Is No Evil), by Mohammad Rasoulof (screening on Wednesday at 9.30pm, and presented by Berlinale co-head Carlo Chatrian). And if you miss out on seeing Leonie Krippendorff’s Kreuzberg-set coming-of-age gem Kokon, Delphi Lux are also screening it on Wednesday 12th as part of their Queerfilmnacht. The film comes out next week, so keep your eyes peeled for our review, and in the meantime, you can read our Berlinale interview with the director.

That’s it for us this week. Happy screenings, make sure to book your tickets online, and keep wearing your masks.