• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Stars head to capital for Berlinale film festival

AFP/The Local · 6 Feb 2014, 09:41

Published: 06 Feb 2014 09:41 GMT+01:00

The world premiere of Wes Anderson's keenly awaited caper "The Grand Budapest Hotel" will open the Berlinale as it joins the race for the Golden Bear top prize.
   
The high-profile opening movie with an all-star cast including Bill Murray and led by British actor Ralph Fiennes marks a coup for the Berlinale, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year.
   
The 11-day festival will screen more than 400 productions from around the world in its various sections before a jury led by US producer James Schamus ("Brokeback Mountain") hands out the main awards among 20 contenders.
   
Anderson's eighth feature follows his bittersweet first-love story "Moonrise Kingdom", which launched the Cannes film festival in 2012 to become a critical and box office hit.
   
It will be the third time in the Berlinale competition for Anderson, who has strived to maintain quirky indie sensibilities while filming with bigger and bigger budgets, following "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and "The Royal Tenenbaums".
 
 

   
Although set in an imaginary Central European country called Zubrowka, the action in "Grand Budapest" traces a familiarly tragic historical arc from the Belle Epoque to fascism and then communist dictatorship.
   
The film was based in part on the stories and memoirs of Austrian author Stefan Zweig mourning the lost world of his youth, Anderson said.
   
Festival director Dieter Kosslick told reporters last week that apart from being a major new work from a popular director, the movie was the right choice in a year in which Europe marks the 100th anniversary of World War I as well as 25 years since the Berlin Wall fell.
   
"There is a lot of German history in this movie, and that goes for many of the films to be shown here, regardless of where they are from," he said.
   
Story continues below…
Bill Murray also stars in George Clooney's "The Monuments Men" about an elite unit of Allied soldiers fighting to rescue precious artworks from the Nazis, which will screen Saturday out of competition at the Berlinale.
   
Both pictures were shot in Germany with themes that resonate deeply in the country, Kosslick noted, pointing to the recent discovery of hundreds of priceless artworks stashed in a Munich flat, many of them believed to have been looted by the Germans during World War II.
   
Another hot ticket outside the race for the main prizes is the extended director's cut of Danish provocateur Lars von Trier's no-holds-barred study of sex addiction, "Nymphomaniac Volume I".
 

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Bremen mall evacuated due to escaped psychiatric patient
Police outside the mall. Photo: DPA

The man had reportedly made worrying statements relating to Isis and last week's shooting in Munich.

German ambassador to Turkey left out in cold
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

The Turkish government has been giving German ambassador Martin Erdmann the cold shoulder for weeks, after German parliamentarians passed a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Ansbach suicide bomber was interviewed by Bulgarian TV
Photo: DPA

A Syrian who blew himself up outside a German music festival at the weekend was interviewed twice by Bulgarian television while living there in 2013, footage showed on Wednesday.

No injuries after blast near Bavarian migrant centre
A sign at the Zirndorf migrant centre. Photo: DPA

A suitcase, likely packed with aerosol cans, has blown up near a migrant centre on the outskirts of Nuremberg, causing no injuries, police confirm.

Not your average student digs: 'amazing' plastic bubble
Photo: DPA

Could this wacky experiment be the future of student housing?

Police settle train violence over smelly feet
Not the feet in question. Photo: Caitlin Regan/Flickr

A fellow passenger's foot odour proved too much for one traveller to stomach.

How Berliners are responding to the Bavaria attacks
Photo: DPA

Is fear of terrorism creeping up on the capital?

Munich gunman was far-right racist: media reports
Photo: DPA

According to research by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the Munich gunman was proud to have been born on the same day as Hitler and hated Turks and Arabs.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach bomber ‘influenced’ by third person: officials
Photo: DPA

Officials in Bavaria have said that the man who blew himself up in an apparent Islamist attack on Sunday was influenced by an as yet unknown person.

What is the link between the attacks in Germany last week?
Police on guard in Munich. Photo: DPA

And how likely are 'copycat' attacks?

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
11,008
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd