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Reporting from Berlin on the 67th edition February 9 -19, 2017
Our team of festival ambassadors and reporters bring you the dailies from the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market and keep an eye on past editions archives.
The 66th Berlin International Film Festival was held February 11 - 20, 2016 #berlinale Preview Newsletters 1 & 2 I Line Up issue I
Django at Berlin: The real McCoy!
Actor Reda Kateb brings jazz legend Django Reinhardt back to life in "Django", the film.
by Alex Deleon <filmfestivals.com>
World Premier viewed at Berlin film festival, Feb. 9, 2017.
Django Reinhardt was a most brilliant pioneer of European jazz and the father of Gypsy Swing. The film "Django" portrays one chapter in the musician's eventful life, a gripping tale of survival, constant danger, flight and the atrocities committed against his family which never made him stop playing.
This film like last year's Jazz Legend Berlin biopic "Miles Ahead" (Miles Davis) assumes that the audience knows the personality in question well enough not to require any back story and plunges right into a certain segment of the life under scrutiny. In actual fact, while three fingered guitarist Django Reinhardt was highly regarded by black American Jazzmen such as Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman, et alia, because his name is mainly associated with the french "Le Hot" jazz scene of the thirties and forties, he is not as well known to the general American public as he should be. Django was simply a musical genius whose hot jazz quintet was the hottest band around in France and surrounding countries up to and including the German occupation years of WW II. This film focuses on two things: The incredible music of Django with half a dozen virtuoso foot stomping musical sequences, and (2) the persecution of Gypsies under Nazi racism. The musical sections show in great detail the fantastic guitar fingerings of the inimitable Django as well as his backup musicians, notably the clarinetist who was also jamtastic.
At the very end after France is liberated a Requiem he composed to honor the Exterminated Gypsies is played on a momentous church organ and Django's wartime heroism is recognized. A final message on screen notifies us that all but the opening bars of Django's requiem were lost, but have been reconstructed by serious musicians to prove that Reinhardt was not only a virtuoso performer but a noteworthy composer as well. Magnificent, beyond words. Cécile de France was also captivating as Django's fictionalized Gadjo (Non-Gypsy) girlfriend who marries a Nazi to save her own life but risks it at the end to save Django. Incidentally, the old woman who plays Django's mother is a scene stealer every time she appears. Director Étienne Comar has done both the film and music worlds a great service with this remarkable picture.
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Berlin 2016: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Ole Schulz Lia Fietz, Aida Amasuno Martin, Martin Petrov and Bruno Chatelin...
|October 30, 2015||Deadline for film entries for the festival (feature length films)|
|November 17, 2015||Deadline for film entries for the festival (short films)|
|January 6, 2016||Application deadline for accreditations|
|February 2, 2016||Programme Press Conference at the "Federal Press and Information Office"; access with invitation only|
|February 11, 2016||
Opening Ceremony of the
66th Berlin International Film Festival
|February 11-19, 2016||European Film Market|
|February 13-18, 2016||Berlinale Talents|
|February 14-16, 2016||Berlinale Co-Production Market|
|February 20, 2016||
Closing & Award Ceremony of the
66th Berlin International Film Festival
|February 21, 2016||Berlinale Publikumstag|
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