Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Berlin Part 2 - Berlinale

To Explain a little about the fest- The Berlinale – not only the city’s largest cultural event, but also one of the most important dates on the international film industry’s calendar. More than 19,000 film professionals from 120 countries, including 4,000 journalists, are accredited for the Berlin International Film Festival every year. The Berlinale is truly a mega event. At the same time, it is a festival of encounters and discussions. With more than 200,000 tickets sold, the Berlinale is not only a film industry meeting. It also enjoys by far the largest audience of any film festival in the world. For two weeks, art, glamour, parties and business meet at the Berlinale.

Berlinale Palast is where we saw “be kind rewind” with Jack Black
Screens: 1
Seating capacity: ca. 1600
Screen size: 17,6 m x 8,0 m

The Berlinale Palast on Potsdamer Platz is actually a theater for musicals. Every year, for two weeks, it is transformed into the largest and most prestigious venue of the Berlinale. The Competition films celebrate their premiere. A throng of journalists, fans and autograph hunters wait for the stars to appear on the red carpet.

Synopsis of Be Kind Rewind
Jack Black and Mos Def star in Be Kind Rewind, a unique comedy from Academy Award-winning writer/director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Black stars as a loveable loser stuck in a life that's too small for his big dreams. But when he unintentionally erases all the tapes in a video store where his best friend (Mos Def) works, he devises a plan to satisfy the store's few loyal customers by re-creating and re-filming every movie they decide to rent. Be Kind Rewind features a cast that also includes Danny Glover, Melonie Diaz and Mia Farrow. It is scheduled for a February 22, 2008 release.

Our Review – The 75 minutes out of the 96 minutes of the movie we saw were hilarious. I was crying from laughing so hard. Please keep in mind I love Jack Black and have a strange sense of humor. The reason we didn’t get to see the whole movie is we need to catch our plane – but we could have stayed a little bit longer.

Now for the interesting stuff…I tried to get tickets for “The other Boleyn Girl” the same time I got the “be kind rewind” tickets but they didn’t go on sale at the same time. I unfortunately had my first day of French class the day they went on sale. I asked my two friends Kate and Anne to try for me. Anne was in Berlin and went to the ticket counter and they were all sold out. Kate did the internet on-line sale for me right at 10:00 she tired for ticket but they were sold out just as they became available. I really would like to thank them again for trying to get me tickets it is a hard job. I’m just thankful I got ticket for one show.

Tickets…so when we were in Berlin I asked everyone and anyone how they got there tickets and what the best way to get them for next time was. The very friendly lady at our hotel reception desk replied “I’m not sure most of our guests have been invited to see the shows” Thanks for rubbing that in my face! Standing in line to pick up our internet tickets I ask a frantic gay boy and he was mainly going to the low budget films call “Forums” and there were some of them left for sale but there is whole catalog of film how would I decide. Then I went and stood in line for the tickets that they did have left – not many and chatted with a girl from Canada that now lives in Germany. We chatted about everything and anything while standing in line. She was very helpful and let me look at all her catalogs and books. She even gave suggestions however we were leaving on Sunday afternoon when most of the film she suggested were showing. She was an accreted journalist and just got tickets for “The Other Boleyn Girl” and of course can only get one ticket – yes I asked if she could get more.

We also ran into a young couple that was there all week going to the shows. That is what they do every year is go to Berlin and watch movies. At Breakfast she was planning there whole day of what they were going to see when.

The Red Carpet…Friday we ran around and saw the sites then we got ready for the viewing of the stars on the red carpet. However Joe did not understand the concept of we need to get there early to get a spot. We go there a little later than I would like and were not in the front but on the side in the front row. The spot turned out to be good for this reason…this is where all the cars carrying everyone stopped before they drove the 10 feet if that to the red carpet. (They didn’t walk it because it was freezing out) So we saw everyone in the car – they were only a foot away from us if that. The problem was that when Natalie Portman was in front of us I didn’t realized it cause she had on this huge winter jacket – everyone else that went by was just in their dress or tux. I don’t think that Scarlet even stop I think they just drove down. Not sure what Natalie was wearing it was very ugly if you ask me…and Scarlet not sure what was up with her hair it was like a rats nest literally and fuzzy with piece sticking up. The camera man running the camera for the jumbo tron zoomed in on her cleavage the crowd went wild. And of course with celebrities there were protesters, some with signs and other climbing the jump tron screen in spandex suits.

Saturday we did the same thing but because it was an older cast and not as popular according to Joe we didn’t need to get there really early…it was packed by the time we got there and were on the other side which was good view of the carpet but a little further away. We saw the director posing for photos and then he went in and the main photographers were packing up…again I asked the people around me why are the photographers leaving? They said the director is in the show will start now. While I didn’t get to see Jack Black or anyone else…come to find out they were not at the fest.

Items you need for next years red carpet…more layers of clothing and most of the people had step ladders. Do you think that you could check a step ladder on the plane??

Sunday – the big day!! We got up early and checked out so that we could make our way down to the theater and be one of the first people in line to get in thinking it was general admission. We sat in Starbucks with a good view of the doors and with about an hour left before the movie we head out for our first film fest adventure.

First stop was the red carpet for a photo op. The one main gate was moved just a little so you could squeeze through so we did. It wasn’t as open as the one in Cannes so kept waiting to get yelled at for being on it.

Since it was so cold outside they were letting people line up inside the building and we were one of the first 10 people there. The countdown began…then the man the other side of the rope said oh no you need to go through these other doors behind us. Behind us!!! There were tons of people and they were still coming in, talk about feeling like a fish swimming up stream. Then we were waiting again at the main staircase for the rope to be lifted. So again I took the opportunity to chat with the people around me to get the scoop on how they got there tickets. The man beside me had a different looking ticket than mine come to find out that if you get them from the internet they are bigger in size. Then the ropes opened and most of the people were heading to the upper levels so I thought we should head to the good one since not many people were going on that level. Got an excellent seat! The place was filling up nicely with journalist wearing badges and very funky people then we noticed a man putting stickers on the seat denoting the blue zone. Oh Great I thought now we are in the wrong section and we are going to have to move up to the top where no seat are left together. So we asked the man if we could stay were we are “only if you have Blue zone on your ticket” We whipped out tickets out to see if the magic words were printed on them and by George zone blau rechts was printed on our tickets! Not that I noticed it before the whole ticket is printed in German. Not sure how I pulled that off and I’m not even going to ask I’m just glad it worked. The other levels were red, green and orange. There was never a choice when ordering tickets I just selected how many I wanted.

The movie started and before you knew it we had to duck out of the rest…but I’m glad I got to be a part of it.

That was our first experience at the Berlinale and if I have my way it will not be the last…but I need to go with some one who is willing to be adventurous. Joe was a good sport about the red carpet and following me into buildings for the film vip and Journalist but just letting me get into the lobby areas.

Hope you enjoyed reading about our trip to Berlin. OHH one note…if you can believe it our trip was so short there was no shopping…I have heard of these cute stores and not enough time to find them.


Kate said...

You looked great on the red carpet (and a lot warmer than Natalie and Scarlett)! Loved the bear logo for the festival . . .

Jill, Joe & Foxy said...