By Helen Barlow
The 2015 Berlin Film Festival, which runs February 5-15, has issued its first slate of films and there are a handful of Aussies in the program so far. It’s likely more will be included when the final films are announced in late January. Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky will head the competition jury.
Cate Blanchett has been a regular in Berlin,promoting films including The Missing and Notes on a Scandal. Even if she was unable to attend earlier this year to plug George Clooney’s Monuments Men she will most likely make the trek in 2015 to support her two movies. So far she is the star attraction at the festival.
In Cinderella (Disney, March 26) directed by Kenneth Branagh Blanchett moves on from royal elf Galadriel to the plum role as the wicked stepmother in Disney’s live-action version of the famous fairy tale. Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) plays Prince Charming opposite Lily James (Downton Abbey) as Cinderella and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. Blanchett was the first actor cast in the film, which is based on a screenplay by Chris Weitz (About A Boy). Weitz is also director of Sundance entry Grandma starring Lily Tomlin.
In reclusive director Terrence Malick's latest, Knight of Cups, Christian Bale stars as a Hollywood type, probably a famous director (could it be Malick?) broodily ruminating on the trappings of success.
As you can see from the trailer, it seems Blanchett plays his beleaguered wife, while Natalie Portman is one of his lovers. Aussies Teresa Palmer and Isabel Lucas could be others, while Jason Clarke also features in the film. Evidently, Malick has developed a thing for Australians. (He of course spent time here filming 1998's The Thin Red albeit with American stars.)
The title is explained in a cryptic synopsis issued with the trailer: “Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep. Rick’s father used to read this story to him as a boy. The road to the East stretches out before him. Will he set forth?”
Robert Connolly's Paper Planes—featuring Sam Worthington and Ed Oxenbould - focuses on a father and son who live in the outback. Young Dylan’s ability to make paper planes allows him to enter the world of competitive paper-plane making, where he makes new friendships and rivalries and discoveries about his family. The movie releases here on January 15.
Watch a featurette with the director:
Robert Connolly made his mark in Berlin as producer of The Boys in 1998, and last year he presented The Turning there, too.
Nick Cave features in B-Movie — Lust & Sound in West-Berlin directed by Jörg A. Hoppe, Klaus Maeck and Heiko Lange. The film unearths forgotten gems from the 1980s, including tracks by Gudrun Gut, Nick Cave and Blixa Bargeld, former guitarist and backing vocalist in the Bad Seeds.