Munich thinks big
by Bénédicte Prot
28/06/2010 - Since its creation in 1983, the Munich International Film Festival has become the second most important film event in Germany after the Berlinale, with around 70,000 viewers, 2,500 professionals and 600 journalists visiting every year to see 250 films. This year’s edition has been in full swing in the Bavarian capital since June 25 and will close on July 3.
The international programme combines big names in cinema – including Jaco van Dormael with Mr. Nobody [trailer, film focus], Francis Ford Coppola with Tetro [trailer], and Werner Herzog with My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? – with young, up-and-coming talents.
This year, the focus is on political films, with a selection including Cannes titles The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu [trailer] by Andrei Ujica and Draquila: Italy Trembles [trailer] by Sabina Guzzanti; Italian director Stefano Savona’s Cast Lead; Italian-Swedish filmmaker Erik Gandini’s Videocracy [trailer]; and Olivier Masset-Depasse’s Belgian film Illegal [trailer, film focus]. Also from Belgium is Gust Van den Berghe’s highly unusual Little Baby Jesus of Flanders [trailer].
Besides the aforementioned titles, Italian cinema is well represented in this section this year with Giorgio Diritti’s The Man Who Will Come [trailer, film focus], Michelangelo Frammartino’s The Four Times [trailer, film focus] and Francesca Comencini’s The White Space [trailer].
The selection of almost 60 titles also includes Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm’s Danish prison drama R [trailer], Polish director Pawel Borowski’s Zero, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising [trailer, film focus], Damjan Kozole’s Slovenian Girl [trailer] and ArTherapy by Greece’s Nikos Perakis.
Among the event’s different sections is a programme dedicated to "New German Cinema", which will show Christoph Hochhäusler’s Cannes-selected film The City Below [trailer, film focus] and is completed by a retrospective on the "New German Wave". In response to this selection is the impressive panorama of titles in the "New French Cinema" section – audiences will get the chance to discover Xavier Beauvois’s superb Of Gods and Men [trailer, film focus], Olivier Assayas’s Carlos [trailer] and Bertrand Tavernier’s The Princess of Montpensier [trailer] (all three of which shone at Cannes), as well as the latest films by Jacques Rivette, François Ozon, Claire Denis and father and son directors Claude and Nathan Miller.
Moreover, Munich is honouring controversial Austrian director Ulrich Seidl. The festival’s CineMerit prizes will this year reward the contributions made by Abbas Kiarostami and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. Among the different prizes up for grabs, the most important are the Arri-Zeiss Award for Best Foreign Film (€50,000) and the Young German Cinema Award (€60,000).
(Translated from French)