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Archive: Berlinale

John Cameron Mitchell
might not have a new film out at the moment, but he’s in Berlin for the film festival with plenty of other activities keeping him busy. On a break from writing the stage sequel to Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Mitchell was invited by the Berlinale Talent Campus to speak about cinematic depiction of sex for Thursday’s “Some Like It Hot” panel at HAU1. Later that night, he and I will join Shortbus stars PJ DeBoy and Paul Dawson for MATTACHINE Berlin, the first European edition of their semi-legendary NYC dance party, taking place at Monster Ronson’s.

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The tickets for the 63. Berlinale are now on sale. We’ve taken a closer look on this year’s program and put together a list of the film screenings we’re looking forward to the most. For the individual screening dates please check out the film’s pages on the Berlinale website linked below the trailers.

Hélio Oiticica
Director: Cesar Oiticica Filho
Short synopsis: Found-footage documentary about Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980), the filmmaker’s uncle.

Official Website / Berlinale

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On January 26 2011 Ugandan human rights activist David Kato, co-founder and advocacy officer of the organisation Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was murdered in his home – shortly after he had won a lawsuit against a tabloid newspaper called “Rolling Stone”. The magazine had published his name and photograph amongst the ones of another 99 supposedly gay people under the headline “Hang them”. Its makers were sentenced to pay 1.5 million Ugandan shillings plus court costs to Kato and the other injured persons in this case.
The activist, who had left Uganda in 1992 and after spending 6 years in South Africa came back to fight for sexual equality, was amongst the most visible opponents of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a draconian legislative proposal brought to Uganda’s parliament in 2009. 22-year-old Nsubuga Sydney, who was the prime suspect in the murder case, was sentenced to 30 years in jail in February 2011.
On Thursday, one year after his murder, more than 100 activists have paid tribute to Kato in his hometown Kampala. In honor and remembrance of his live and his achievements Jamaican LGBT and human rights activist Maurice Tomlinson will be the first person to receive the David Kato Vision & Voice award in London tomorrow.

Also, a new documentary entitled “Call Me Kuchu” pays tribute to the live and work of Kato and other Ugandan activists. The film project by US filmmakers Katherine Fairfax Wright & Malika Zouhali-Worrall was started in 2010, shortly after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill had been introduced in Uganda’s Parliament. “Call Me Kuchu” will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday, February 11 and will have two more screening dates, which you find on the films website. The directors are currently seeking for support on Kickstarter to professionally finish the movie before the premiere and start a campaign for it. The donations will also cover the flights and visas for one of the Ugandan LGBT activists featured in the film, so that he or she can join the film team in Berlin. In conjunction with the anniversary of Kato’s death the filmmakers have also just released a short film, which gives a first insight on their recordings of Kato. You can watch “The Will Say We Are Not Here” on the New York Times website.

Here’s the trailer for “Call Me Kuchu”:

Great blog about the African LGTB rights movement:

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge will visit Berlin for two three occasions next week. On February 15 she will attend the premiere of French filmmaker Marie Losier’s movie “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye“, a documentary about Genesis’ life and her “pandrogenist” relationship to artist Lady Jaye, which died in 2007 (trailer below). You may aready know Loiser as the director of the great video to “Have Mercy” of Genesis’ band Psychic TV. You find an interview with her about the background of her film on Still In Motion and the movie’s press kit here. There will also be screenings of the movie in Spain and France in spring.
In conjunction with the Berlinale premiere Genesis will also perform a live concert with musician/artist Tony Conrad on February 19 at Hebbel am Ufer theatre – there are still tickets available on the HAU webpage. Both artists have met during the shootings for the movie and since then from time to time have met for improvised duets with the violin, an instrument they both share a passion love for.

UPDATE: I completely forgot to mention that there is also a third reason why Genesis is here for the Berlinale: She’s presenting an own film called “Ghosts #9″ on the 14th, 15th and 18th at Arsenal cinema. Check out Joey’s comment below and this link for more information. Thanks Joey!

The so-called rigourism of the “Berlin New Wave” is topped by by a Portugiese filmmaker who shot his second feature last winter in Berlin “Gropiusstadt” Swans by Hugo Vieira da Silva will premiere at this year’s International Forum of the Berlin Film Festival.
A constellation of four characters rotates around the body of a woman who is in a coma due to reactions to chemotherapy. An ex-boyfriend who’s going through a midlife crisis and a teenage son who she’s never met are coming from Portugal to see her and live in her flat along with her transsexual thai roommate. What’s really stunning about the movie is the amount of non-communication between these four characters – none of them knows how to deal with each other. Director Hugo Vieira da Silva (who’s first feature Body Rice has quite a cult status in the film festival world) is focusing on their bodies – a troubled, sleepless body (father), a autoerotic, exploring body (son), a ghostly, transforming body (neighbour) and the coma body of the mother which seems paradoxically to be the most agile and alive of them all. A winterly Berlin, some scenes of surrealistic humour and a very slow pace add up to a hypnotic and drifting meditation on somatic perception and the free circulation of desires. Here’s the trailer of the movie, you find more background information on the Berlinale website.