A Communist Kangaroo?

This can only be a German production. Or a Berlin one, I should say.

Kangaroo

The Kangaroo Chronicles, a quartet of comic novels by slam poet Marc-Uwe Kling that has sold millions of copies in Germany over the last 10 years, is a classic man-meets-beast buddy story in the vein of Seth MacFarlane’s 2012 comedy Ted – only that its animal protagonist is mainly vulgar in the Marxist rather than the foul-mouthed sense…

His only liability, in terms of electoral optics, could be a fatal addiction to booze-filled pralines – and the marsupial pouch in which he keeps his copy of Mao’s red book…

The film, directed by Swiss filmmaker Dani Levy, shows the communist marsupial team up with Berlin locals against Jörg Dwigs, a Trump-style property tycoon and founder of the fictional AzD (“Alternative to democracy”) party: a classic “the people v the elite” narrative, which the German far left has found more difficult to adopt than its counterparts in Britain, America or Southern Europe.

Who Would Have Thought That Possible?

That the film guru in charge of the Berlin Film Festival’s propaganda efforts from 1951 until 1976 was also closely involved with the Nazis’ film propaganda efforts, I mean.

Nazi

Ex-Nazis in Germany? In the 1950s? How could that be possible?

Will the horrors never cease? First all the crappy movies. Now we find out that the whole shebang is Nazi-verseucht (infected). Let’s call the whole thing off.

The Berlin Film Festival turns 70 this year, but plans for the anniversary celebration have been overshadowed by new revelations that Alfred Bauer, Berlin’s first festival director, had deep ties to the Nazis.

33% More Women Directors?

Fine with me. Just as long as they can ensure that 97% of the movies shown at the Berlinale remain as crappy as they’ve always been.

Women

This morning’s Berlinale Competition line-up announcement featured 33% films (six of 18) with women directors, including one project, DAU. Natasha, which is co-directed by a man and a woman (Ilya Khrzhanovskiy and Jekaterina Oertel).

That’s a drop on last year’s percentage of 41%, when seven of 17 pics selected were from female filmmakers (the figure is seven of 16, 44%, if you don’t count Zhang Yimou’s One Second, which was pulled before it screened).

Still, the Berlin fest continues to compare favourably to the other major European festivals. In 2019, Venice featured just two women directors of the 21 films in its Competition (less than 10%), while Cannes selected four of 21 (19%).

Berlin Competition Lineup: Kelly Reichardt, Sally Potter, Abel Ferrara, Christian Petzold; Disney’s ‘Onward’ & Hillary Clinton Also Heading To Fest

58 Percent Female Directors

And 97 percent crappy movies. Which is actually down from past years. So keep up the good work or something.

Crap

The Berlin Film Festival on Wednesday unveiled its Generations sidebar lineup, consisting of 59 children and youth films, with 58 percent of the titles, both feature-length and short films, directed by women.

Berlin organizers recently also said that the festival’s co-production market, where producers look for partners to finance their new projects, will feature more than 50 percent female-directed films for the first time in its 17-year history.

PS: What prevented the token woman from getting her diet coke from the soda machine? She didn’t have enough quotas to pay for it.

That Didn’t Take Long

But, then again,  it never does.

Trump

#TrumpNotWelcome trends in Germany after Trump says he’d like to visit ‘soon’ – Merkel couldn’t contain a surprised smile at Trump’s announcement, but social media users weren’t so gracious. The mayor of Trump’s grandparents’ hometown shrugged at the news.

Speaking of Donald Trump’s roots, I really love this little documentary (too bad it’s in German for ya’all). It was filmed before he ran for president and none of today’s  toxicity is there yet. The film makers even treat him like, I dunno, friendly or something (start viewing around minute 47:00). Refreshing, to say the least.

“We’ll be there … we’re very honored by the invitation — and that’s true — and we will be there. Maybe soon. I have German in my blood.”

Kings of Kallstadt

President Trump Keeps Falsely Saying His Father Was Born In Germany.

It’s an honest mistake, I guess. If he never saw this German documentary called “Kings of Kallstadt,” I mean. His grandfather – as did H. J. Heinz of the famous ketchup company – both stemmed from this same small German town in the Rhineland. The film is in German, of course, but even if you don’t speak German it gets interesting around minute 48.

What’s also interesting about the film, I think, is that this takes place shortly before Donald Trump ran for President and the civil tone of the whole undertaking is breathtaking. Before all the poison that came out later, I mean. The film is a bit of an accident, in other words.

“He was born in a very wonderful place in Germany.”

How Could It Not?

Not win, I mean. This is the Berlin Film Festival, after all.

Berlinale

Argentine LGBTQ Sci-Fi Film Wins Berlin Festival’s Teddy Award.

That’s the Berlinale for you. If it’s not about LGBTQ Sci-Fi films it’s about politics. Or should I say other forms of politics?

Santiago Loza’s Brief Story From the Green Planet, an odd genre-mixer involving a trio of LGBTQ friends who discover an actual alien sleeping in the house of one of their late grandmother’s, won the Teddy Award for best LGBTQ film screening at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlin International Film Festival has always been a political stage for filmmakers, and the 69th edition is no exception.

How Sexist Or Something

The Berlin International Film Festival will sign the 50/50 by 2020 gender parity pledge,

Gender

So, like, let me get this straight. You are ASSuming that there are only TWO genders or what, Herr Dieter Kosslick with the dopey hat? You’re going to get letters, pal. Some might have explosives in them, too.

At first I thought they meant 50/50 with regard to the quality of the films they show here at the Berlinale. You know, 50 percent crappy and the other 50 percent really crappy? But I was way off, as usual.

The 50/50 by 2020 pledge does not mandate gender quotas, but calls for festivals to strive for gender parity in top management and for them to publish figures on the gender of the directors of films submitted every year.

More Crappy PC Films But This Time With That Special #MeToo Touch

Which is also a bunch of crap. But maybe that’s just me.

Berlinale

Let the Berlinale begin again or something. That way it will be over quicker. And please note: With special safe space area this year!

The organizers said they had created a special counseling center at the festival where both audience and participants of the festival could go if they experience or witness discrimination, harassment or abuse. 

I’m wacko for Wacko-puffs! Wacko for Wacko-puffs!

Berlinale-Chef Kosslick verspricht “politisch korrektes Entertainment.”

World’s Largest Publicly Funded Broadcaster Squeamish About Showing Documentary On Antisemitism

Because, well, that would be too unpleasant for the public being made to do the broadcaster’s  forced funding to have to face.

Israel

Germany’s state-run television channel ARD recently decided not to air a documentary it had itself commissioned concerning the latest outbreak of antisemitism in Europe and the Middle East because the people doing the film apparently did this job much too well (after enough noise was made about this decision the ARD had to broadcast it anyway).

This could trouble viewers in a country where at least 40% of its citizens hold anti-Israel, antisemitic views. Or so the reasoning must be. ARD documentaries propagating negative views about Israel get aired here all the time, however. This having to do with balanced journalism or something. Or so the reasoning must be.

Anti-Zionism is not a legitimate political position, but rather a movement against the Jewish and democratic state. It is Antisemitism 2.0.

PS: Meanwhile… The latest boycott Israel campaign from BDS seems to be making great strides forward here in Berlin. It is unclear at this point whether the ARD will be commissioning a documentary about this campaign or not.