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The 71st  Berlinale International Film Festival will be held from February 11th to 21st, 2021.
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Berlinale 70th Golden Bears and Helen Mirren

By Mark Tchelistcheff

The 70th Berlinale film festival is over.  The Golden Bear went to dissident Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof for THERE IS NO EVIL, an unblinking depiction of freedom and the death penalty in Iran.  Bravo to the jury for awarding this exceptional film the Golden Bear award to Rasoulof.  Rasoulof’s daughter, actress Baran Rasoulof, accepted on his behalf as the director was banned from traveling for defying Iran’s authorities.  This was a good note to the end the festival with as there were perhaps a number of films that could have been left out of competition. 

 

A fabulous highlight of the 70th Berlinale was Oscar Winner Helen Mirren who received an Honorary Golden Bear.  Mirren is truly one of the exceptional contemporary actors of our day portraying complex and powerful characters on the screen, including an Academy Award for her work in THE QUEEN.  Perhaps it is that she taps into her Russian roots.  The “dusha” as the Russians say, that “deep penetrating soul”, make her performances natural, multi-layered and mesmerizing.  On stage for Berlinale Talents with Rajendra Roy, the curator of Moma film archives, Helen was all wit embracing the audience with her lucidity and warmth.  Mirren’s spoke about her roles in films including A LONG GOOD FRIDAY revealing her fight for her ideas and as well as bravely rewriting the script on the set with Roy aptly noting how her character made the film all the more powerful.  She followed up with her role in PRIME SUSPECT where she brought the audience to laughing tears as Mirren said with a “slip of the tongue” the word “cock” instead of “cop”.  Though most important takeaway from PRIME SUSPECT is her depiction of Jane one of the first female leading roles of a cop which Mirren made her own.  Other films she spoke about included THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER; THE QUEEN and THE LAST STATION.   Mirren’s advice for directors is that “it is great to walk on set with a director that is immaculately prepared” and certainly not to improvise sex scenes.  Directors should “walk into the make up trailer without knocking on the door… don’t be afraid and say “Hi” and be easy”.  

For actors her simple advice included the use props for acting to take the actors mind off the problems of acting.  Hats off to Helen Mirren and Berlinale for recognizing an actress who has given us some of the most memorable female roles spanning stage, television and cinema.  If you have not seen some of Mirren’s performances in cinema it is time to watch the master at work in one of her 61 films.  

 

To see the entire Belinale Talent Talk with Helen Mirren go to:  https://www.berlinale-talents.de/bt/program/telelecture/3447

 

 

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Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
Ambiance, film reviews, trailers and podcasts, EFM insider information, and much more.
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