2013-02-08

Short Times at the Berlinale

I prefer my Berlinale "short". I've watched every short film since 2008, cheered their award winners and interviewed a lot of exciting directors. It's 2013 now, I'm sitting in the first screenings of the new program and I say to myself:

"Amazing, there's still so much to discover at the Shorts."


A naked woman. At first glance I think she's shaving her body. Takes me some time to understand she is painting her silhouette on a door behind her. The last seconds of the film explain her motivation. One master shot tells it all.

Her spouse is 18 years old, her daughter technically her niece. She tries to memorize the text, her troupe's play is set to premiere soon. Short on money, she has to sell her body and please a man's bizarre sex fantasies. Now imagine "she" is actually a transvestite who lives in Belgrade.

Drummer and guitar picker on the pursuit of harmony in a tour de force of sounds. They solely use their eyes and fingers to communicate. At times I'm not even sure if one of them is actually mute. Intense and  eager rehearsals lead to a high power sound explosion at a gig in front of an up close audience.

What would a film made for chimpanzees look like? A film geared to the needs of chimpanzees, with chimpanzees as protagonists. And what would happen if this film was shown to real chimpanzees?  There's no way I could have come up with a weird idea like this myself. Now I've seen it come true.

She's almost perfect. She talks to him, even though she can't. That's what he tells us. He has defeated his burnout and somehow made his way back to a happy live. That's what he tells us while he's curling up with a life-sized latex doll on a sofa in front of the TV.

Overstimulation that absolutely deserves it's epilepsy warning in the program booklet. Flickering colors, a lot of subtitled voice over and again there's a naked woman. Programming block 2 of the Berlinale Shorts 2013 ends with its opening film's main motive in a completely different environment.

This blog post is not supposed to be an in-depth reflection of individual short films. If possible, the reader should watch the films for himself, experience it on the big screen and come up with his own thoughts. Enjoy the feeling of ongoing surprise. I want to give him a taste of it. A taste of the unmatched diversity of brave contributions in the Berlinale's short film section. No matter if you are a cineaste, a lover of the arts, hungry for innovation, a thoughtful character or just curious what else the Shorts have to offer. Visit the screenings, there's something for all tastes. And even the films you don't like are a short experience worth of your time.