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Day 4 at the Berlinale 2024

Why we go to the festival

Kino Publikum
Cinema audience © GettyImages, Foto: Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy

Why do we actually do this? Why do we feverishly await the Berlinale every year, used to queue for hours for tickets, now sit excitedly in front of the computer in the morning hoping to get all the tickets and then spend the whole day in the darkness of the cinema hall?

Of course, we want to see the stars live for once, whom we usually admire on the big screen, and enjoy this unique festival atmosphere, but actually we do it all for the love of film - in the hope of seeing that one very special film. That magical moment drives us when we lose ourselves in a film, are taken away by it and leave the cinema a different person.


There are a few of these quirky film moments at the Berlinale this year, including the French competition entry L'Empire by enfant terrible Bruno Dumont. The film had already caused quite a stir in France in the run-up to the festival because the actress Adèle Haenel left the production in protest. 
The forces of good and evil fight the final battle on Earth. They have landed with their cathedral-like spaceships somewhere in the French provinces, where they have taken on human form and use their new bodies to pursue deeply human needs. This is all amusing and quite funny for a while, as when the knights of good and evil engage in laser battles in the front garden, but the story eventually comes to a standstill as the action becomes increasingly absurd. When French acting legend Fabrice Luchini prances through the throne room in a Dada costume and joins the fight, you ask yourself: "Are they really serious? What am I doing here?"

Special Gala: Cuckoo

And then there are films that you don't understand how they make it to the Berlinale. What did the curators see in this movie? And why can't I see it? 
Cuckoo is such an example. The horror film tells the story of young Gretchen, who moves to a remote hotel in the Bavarian Alps with her father and his new family after the death of her mother. Strange things happen here, people die, she is followed by a woman, but none of her family believes her. The hotel owner (played by Dan Stevens), who conducts gruesome experiments, seems to be behind the events. 
So, if you like it weird and completely off the wall, you've probably come to the right place.

Or you can watch Tian bian yi duo yun (The Wayward Cloud), another strange film that already screened in competition in 2005 and is now being shown again in the Classics series. It won the Silver Bear for "Outstanding Artistic Achievement" and at least made it into the Berlinale audience's eternal memory as the "melon sex musical" with weird dance interludes and funny sex scenes (with melons) - an honor that Cuckoo will probably be denied.

Kristin: visitBerlin-Bloggerin unter


does not smile on fotos. But in real life she enjoys with a smile in her face the rich cultural life of Berlin - the metropolis both in front of and behind the scenes. Her favourite season is the Berlinale, then she spends 10 days watching movies and writing about them in the blog. All posts