The Berlin International Film Festival comes around for the 60th time from February 11th to the 21st. This monster festival is broken into 7 sections, each with its own director. There are a ton of movies, I thought I should mention a few that sound interesting to me.

One Life, Maybe Two is another paratemporal story, in which a single event goes both ways, and the fork between worldlines explores each outcome. The premise matches up with Sliding Doors in that regard, but the kind of events explored are quite different. While I suspect no one is referencing the Spanish Inquisition in this one, I am looking forward to seeing it some day.

Another film worth noting is Shutter Island, a rather surreal film about a disappearing mass murderess who may have escaped from a psychiatric prison. The talent involved with this film includes names like Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, and Max von Sydow, and the trailer looks great. This one is not just for the film festivals; it goes into public release on the weekend of the 18th/19th of February.

There are a few other films you might want to check out. Howl has been making the festival circuits, a DocuDrama about the Ginsburg obscenity trial in 1957. That was the birthplace of the American Counterculture movement, and everything that it evolved into over the following 50 plus years. This film includes a presentation of the poem itself, which more than anything else puts into perspective just how far we have come since then.

And Ginsburg begat Dury; so how appropriate this festival also includes Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, a film format reconstruction of Ian Dury’s biography, showing how he became key to the development of Punk and New Wave music, and the culture they spawned. He influenced The Clash, The Pretenders and the Sex Pistols to name just a few. He toured the US with Elvis Costello and Lou Reed back in the seventies. As the title of the film (it is also the title of his smash hit song) might make you suspect, he really was on the direct line of decent from Ginsburg, and was a major influence on the development of his segment of the Counterculture.

And Ginsberg begat Warhol and Waters; also in the 70s, No Wave film making was born in New York City, mostly in the low-income parts of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The movie Blank City does a good job of presenting just how intense this Counterculture cauldron became, and what kind of film movements it spawned.

Wish I could be in Berlin for this fest, but I guess I will just have to cheer them on from here.