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Lindsay R. Bellinger


Lindsay is a film journalist and an aspiring playwright currently based in Berlin.

Attending film festivals, reviewing films and collecting vinyl keeps her busy. Let her know what you think of her reviews.^^


Naked Animals: A Callback to Karyn Kusama's Girlfight

(Carlo Chatrian, Melanie Waelde  © Berlinale 2020)


Only in the last few weeks, thinking and rethinking about Nackte Tiere (Naked Animals) did I remember the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and Cannes wonder Girlfight, US filmmaker Karyn Kusama's directorial debut which introduced the world to the force that is Michelle Rodriguez. It's funny to think how long it took me to remember Girlfight because now I can't stop thinking about the parallels between Rodriguez's Diana Guzman in the world of boxing and Marie Tragousti's Katja in the world of martial arts. While the way German director Melanie Waelde handled the telling of Katja and her four high school friends' stories somewhat overlaps with the way Kusama developed Diana's story perhaps the biggest overlap is the fierceness of both of these teenage females in their respective worlds.  

Have a look at their trailers and see if you can also see some comparisons. If the rise of Michelle Rodriguez and Karyn Kusama can be any indicator, then let's hope that Marie Tragousti and Melanie Waelde will have bright futures in the international world of cinema. 



Marie Tragousti looks off into the distance as she contemplates life and the directions which she may or may not go. It was her first time in a feature length film and she pulled it off without a hitch! Kudos to her and director Melanie Waelde!


Michelle Rodriguez and Karyn Kusama racked up a lot of well-deserved nominations for acting and directing that year. Rodriguez's first audition and she landed it! Her performance entranced me the first time that I saw Girlfight years ago. So glad that Kusama stuck to her guns and got the casting that she wanted even if it did put some extra obstacles in the way with regards to funding.   


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About Lindsay R. Bellinger

With Dieter Kosslick during his last Berlinale.

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