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Alex Deleon is a festival ambassador with portal and
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As for the film, “Filth and Wisdom” set entirely in London, largely in the Disco scene, I was told by Neil Young, director of the UK Bradford festival (and no relation to CSNY) that the prestigious British daily, the Guardian, had described it as “the worst film in the entire history of the Berlin festival”, but others disagreed and though it was only the worst film of this years festival. Mr. Young himself, an astute film assessor, said that “If you didn’t know it was made by Madonna it would just seem like a run-of-the-mill low budget Indie film, not particularly bad”.  Not having seen it yet, and having other more pressing priorities I reserve judgment.  In any case Madonna’s presence, her face plastered on every front page and middle page of just about every local  German newspaper, and even the front page of the Frankfurter Rundschau at the other end of the map, enlivened what has been a rather pedestrian and slow-moving festival until now.

Most Berlin regulars seem to be taking it easy in the unseasonably mild weather and seem to agree that, aside from the Daniel Day-Lewis starrer,  “There Will Be Blood” which opened the festival on day number one, there are no other must-see biggies in the competition section.  Day-Lewis showed up to plug the film in a red checkered lumberjack outfit with gold earrings suspended from both ears and said in an interview that searching out a good role was like prospecting for gold and, what makes him happy in his chosen profession is losing himself in a role.  

A big side event which has become a regular red carpet happening here is the “Cinema for Peace” gala held each year at the Berlin Konzert Haus in another part of town. The Konzert Haus red carpet was graced this year, among others, by stunning Russian Opera diva, Anna Netrebko, looking fabulous in an off the shoulders purple top and a flowing flowery floor-length skirt.  Film celebs at the event included the First Lady of French film, Catherine Deneuve, American actress Hillary Swank, and British stars, Christopher Lee (the horror film master) and Joseph Fiennes.   Also in attendance was the son of Libyan Dictator Mamar Qaddafi. Said Deneuve, “If they try to introduce me to that man I won’t even shake his hand”. Incidentally, La Catherine, who is a heavy smoker, continued to puff away compulsively on stage in this officially Rauchen Verboten environment, and the papers the next day carried close-ups of the champagne glass filled with stubs that she had utilized as an improvised ashtray.  

Tomorrow, the “Boleyn Sisters” Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, and an Aussie Henry VIIIth in the person of Eric Bana. Alex, Berlin, Feb. 15

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THE FESTIVALS BLOG by Alex Deleon. Watch for festival coverage from the circuit.

Ambiance and reviews from the hot spots. Welcoming your comments too.

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