Film Festivals

1999 Sydney Film Festival

An interview with Bertrand Tavernier

"My job is to dream and invent, and out of this produce something that will change the world"

By Richard Phillips, 10 July 1999

Bertrand Tavernier, veteran French film director, screenwriter and producer is a warm and gregarious man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of American and international film. In a cultural environment dominated by cynicism and the promotion of historical ignorance, Tavernier is a rare figure, someone genuinely concerned about what is happening to working people, deeply hostile to anti-immigrant racism and like-minded legislation, and determined to help create the artistic and intellectual environment that will produce progessive social change. Tavernier spoke with World Socialist Web Site reporter, Richard Phillips during the Sydney Film Festival.

The San Francisco International Film Festival - Part 6

Some older or lesser known films

By David Walsh, 17 May 1999

One of the pleasures of the San Francisco festival is the opportunity to see older films, many of which would be difficult to see in any other circumstance. The festival organizers find various pretexts to present such works, this program and that, but I think, at heart, they simply value the opportunity to screen rare and unusual works, and I am grateful for it.

David Walsh on the San Francisco International Film Festival--Part 5

Sixteen films, briefly

15 May 1999

Arturo Ripstein is a leading Mexican filmmaker. Born in Mexico City in 1943 and the son of a film producer, Ripstein grew up in the movie industry. While still at university he worked as an assistant to famed Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel on The Exterminating Angel (1962). At the age of 21 he directed his first film, based on a script by Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. Since that time he has directed 20 more.

David Walsh on the San Francisco International Film Festival--Part 3

Some films from the Balkans and Africa

11 May 1999

The San Francisco festival screened three films from the former Yugoslavia: Black Cat, White Cat, directed by Emir Kusturica, The Powder Keg by Goran Paskaljevic and The Wounds by Srdjan Dragojevic.

David Walsh on the San Francisco International Film Festival--Part 2

Conversations with three filmmakers

8 May 1999

While in San Francisco I spoke to Aktan Abdykalikov, the director of Beshkempir--The Adopted Son, a sensitive film from the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. Abdykalikov, an unassuming and intelligent man, explained, through a Russian translator, that he had grown up in a village some 20 miles from the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek and still lived there.

David Walsh on the San Francisco International Film Festival--Part 1

The anatomy of melancholy

6 May 1999

I recently attended the first week of the San Francisco film festival, which ends May 6, and saw a good many films, some of them genuinely valuable and fascinating. When I was not watching a screen, I was walking up and down hills, or gazing out at the bay. We can't help ourselves; we are continually looking at new phenomena or trying to make sense, or more sense, of familiar ones.

The Berlin Film Festival - Part 4

Two German films about fascism

By Stefan Steinberg and Bernd Reinhardt, 11 March 1999

Two German feature films presented at the recent Berlin film festival approached the theme of fascism from very different standpoints and with varying degrees of success. Aimee and Jaguar,by German director Max Faerboeck, opened the official competition at this year's festival. Based on the life of Lilly Wust, now 85 and living in Berlin, it deals with her love affair with the Jewish woman, Felice Schragenheim. When they first meet, Lilly already has four children and a husband on the Eastern front. Under such circumstances, Lilly considers filing for divorce and begins living with Felice. It is 1943 in Berlin, two years before the end of the war.

The 49th Berlin Film Festival: Part 3--documentary films from Germany, Switzerland and Austria

By Stefan Steinberg and Bernd Reinhardt, 10 March 1999

In addition to some international contributions addressing the issue of fascism, this year's Berlinale was marked by a significant number of German films dealing with this subject. Several films examined the persecution of the Jews during the Third Reich and in light of the campaign against foreign workers in many European countries today, including Germany, and the rise of extreme right-wing tendencies, these works have a particular relevance. In addition, a number of documentary films at the festival probed pressing social issues, including the situation in the states of the former GDR (Stalinist East Germany) where mass unemployment has led to a pronounced social polarization.

The 49th Berlin Film Festival: Part 2--the latest from Tavernier and a film from Turkey

By Stefan Steinberg and Bernd Reinhardt, 4 March 1999

Two films of considerable merit at the Berlin Film Festival were the new work from veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier, It All Starts Today, and a new film from Turkey, Journey to the Sun.

The 49th Berlin Film Festival: Part 1

By Stefan Steinberg and Bernd Reinhardt, 3 March 1999

Two correspondents from the World Socialist Web Site attended the recent 49th Berlin Film Festival, viewing some 40 of the 350 films on offer there from all over the world. The winner of the main prize, the Golden Bear, was the fine American anti-war film The Thin Red Line, which has already been reviewed on the WSWS. In our selection of films to review we paid less attention to Hollywood and European blockbusters that will shortly be appearing on general release, but sought out less well-known international productions, as well as examples of new German cinema.

“Not to banalise, not to rewrite, but to keep the discussion going”: Radu Mihaileanu’s Train of Life

By Stefan Steinberg, 26 November 1998

The 8th Cottbus Film Festival of young East European film was also the venue for the German premiere of Train de Vie ( Train of Life) by the Rumanian director Radu Mihaileanu. The film is guaranteed a controversial reception should it reach German audiences (up until now it has no German distributor), above all for its subject matter—the use of humour in dealing with the deportation of the Jews during the Second World War.

A review of recent east European cinema

Film festival in Cottbus, Germany—November 11-15

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 November 1998

A visit to the annual festival of young east European film in the German city of Cottbus provides a glimpse of the enormous problems confronting cinema and filmmakers in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe following the restoration of capitalism.

Pennebaker and Hegedus: seminal figures in American documentary film

By Richard Phillips, 12 August 1998

This is the last in the series of articles on the 45th Sydney Film Festival.

David Walsh looks at the San Francisco film festival

Blacklisted film director John Berry honored

By David Walsh, 9 June 1998

This is the last in a series of articles about the 1998 San Francisco International Film Festival

The Apostle

Robert Duvall's false objectivity

By Kate Randall, 24 March 1998

In addition to starring in The Apostle, Robert Duvall wrote, directed and produced the film. Duvall worked on the project for 10 years, and put up his own money to finance the production when none was forthcoming from Hollywood. It must be said that Duvall the actor outshines Duvall the director in this film. He stars as Euliss "Sonny" Dewey, an aging, fiery Pentecostal preacher from Texas.

The 48th Berlin International Film Festival

A number of valuable new works

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 1998

At first glance the Berlin International Film Festival presented a bewildering array of films from dozens of countries. A perusal of the reviews and documentation was necessary to determine which films appeared to go beyond mere Hollywood-type entertainment and offer fresh and challenging material.