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A big Thank you to all the teachers and parents who made it possible for classes from Flex though the upper Secondary to see screenings of selected movies during the Berlinale.

Here are some Berlinale Reviews by students of Mrs Sekhon's Movie Critique WPU Course (mixed English and German).

14plus: SPIELFILME BERLINALE 2012

Reviews and interviews by NMS students/reporters

Electrick Children

Regie: Rebecca Thomas
USA 2012 / 96 Minuten
mit: Julia Garner, Rory Culkin, Liam Aiken, Billy Zane, Bill Sage

By Sam Keogh, 16
The perfect balance of fun as well as very somber and serious scenes make it a tremendously gripping film to watch, never to get boring. Rachel is a 15 year old girl growing up in a small Mormon community somewhere in the outback of Utah, with little-to-no knowledge of the rest of the world. After listening to a forbidden rock n' roll cassette in the cellar, she becomes pregnant Virgin-Mary style, i.e. immaculate conception. When her parents try to wed her to a man she hardly seems to know, she runs off to find the father of her child (the singer of the rock n' roll song) and a touchingly awkward journey begins. Love, drugs, truth, rock n' roll, reality and Las Vegas: many new experiences for Rachel. All together she is on cloud nine.
Exceptionally good acting, especially by the main actress and her unofficially wedded husband (the rock guitarist Clyde), Julia Garner and Rory Culkin, but all the others as well, combined with an excellent choice of music make this my personal favorite up to now.

By Olmo Köhler,16
I enjoyed the story a lot. What I liked most was the clashing of these two worlds. One is colourful and loud, the other is slow and religious. It was great to see Rachel in her Mormon dress in the middle of a bunch of modern teenagers. What I found irritating though was that it was really supposed to be an immaculate conception. A great opening film for the festival.

Interview with Julia Garner, main actress in Electrick Children
by Kalvin Schmidt-Rimpler Dinh, 15, Paul Trabhardt, 16, Olmo Köhler, 16 and Samuel Keogh, 16

JJ: Was there a symbolic meaning behind the mother's hypocrisy/double standards toward Rachel's actions?
JG: It's complicated. It's more like a mother-daughter similarity as opposed to being hypocritical, (which is also why the mother helps her in fleeing to Las Vegas).
JJ: Was this your first professional acting experience?
JG: No, this was my first leading role but I've been in other movies before.
JJ: How was it working on this film? Did you enjoy it?
JG: Yes, it was just wonderful and everyone was just great and there was a really nice and safe environment.
JJ: How long did it take to shoot the movie?
JG: It took one month to film and a few months for the editing.
JJ: Did you have contact with the producer before the movie?
JG: No. Funny you should ask, because I did a self-taping, which I sent in on Monday and on Wednesday I was told I got the part.
JJ: Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
JG: Yes, I'm working on three other projects, but I'm not aloud to talk about them.
JJ: What do you like most about the Berlinale?
JG: The city. It's really just a beautiful city.
JJ: Is this your first time abroad?
JG: No, however this is my first time in Europe.

Questions and answers with director Rebecca Thomas after the premiere screening
by Kalvin Schmidt-Rimpler Dinh, 15

JJ: How did you get to know so much about the Mormon community?
RT: I'm a Mormon, raised in Las Vegas. Although this is kind of my own version of fundamentalist Mormonism, it's what I grew up in. When I was an undergraduate I had an opportunity to produce documentary television, so we got to go down to southern Utah and do some work with some of the polygamous colonies down there and I found that they were really nice people and a lot like me. I wanted to portray them humanly.
JJ: Was there a meaning behind the song that made Rachel pregnant?
RT: When I thought of the idea I didn't have the song in mind, and I kept asking all my friends: “What song would get a girl pregnant?” and so I have this list of lots of sexy songs, however this one seemed to fit thematically, because it was about technology and electronics. And I just love the song... so that's why I chose it.
JJ: Does the town you shot in really exist?
RT: It doesn't exist. We actually shot in a little ghost town in southern Utah called Graphton, Utah. It was quite a little adventure for us because we brought the whole crew to the middle of nowhere with no running water, no electricity, no nothing. Plus, lightning struck our set on the second day and I think there was some huge calamity every day, but we just used that to stick together and make a movie.

Lal Gece (Night of Silence)

By Olmo Köhler
"Lal Gece" almost only plays in one room. This was my first experience of a movie of this kind and I must say it is worth watching. The time span of the movie is very short, it only includes the wedding night. Because of this short time the scenes are very long and it seems like ages until something new happens. Nevertheless this movie gives a quite good insight in the emotions and feelings the girl goes through. The director himself recommended this film especially for women.

Interview mit Dilan Aksüt, Hauptdarstellerin in "LalGece"
von Olmo Köhler, 16

JJ: War es dein erster Film?
DA: Ja, "Lal Gece" war mein erster Film.
JJ: Wie lange habt ihr an "Lal Gece" gearbeitet?
DA: Wir haben zwei Jahre an dem ganzen Film gearbeitet, aber das Filmen dauerte insgesamt zwei Wochen.
JJ: Wie stehst du zu dem Thema Zwangsverheiratung?
DA: Es ist natürlich nicht meine Sichtweise und ich vertrete die Zwangsheirat nicht. Im Film ist der Altersunterschied sehr groß und das ist für beide Seiten (Mann und Frau) ein Problem, aber das sind halt Traditionen, denen man sich nicht widersetzen kann. Man ist halt wirklich gezwungen, dem gesellschaftlichen Druck nachzugeben. Es ist wirklich eine schwierige Situation. Diese Gefühle zu beschreiben ist sehr schwierig.
JJ: Kennst du jemanden der zwangsverheiratet wurde?
DA: Ich kenne nur Ältere wie meinen Opa und meine Oma, aber man kann dieses Thema nicht nur auf die Türkei beziehen Zwangsheirat wird an vielen Orten praktiziert.
JJ: Ist in der Türkei dieses Thema häufiger in der Stadt präsent oder eher in den abgeschiedenen Regionen?
DA: Hauptsächlich ist dieses Thema im Osten der Türkei präsent. Häufig aufzufinden ist es in unterentwickelten Dörfern, aber in der Stadt kann es auch vorkommen, wenn es hauptsächlich um Geld geht.
JJ: Gab es ein Casting für den Film?
DA: Nein, für meine Rolle nicht. Ich bin mit dem Regisseur entfernt verwandt. Ich hatte das Drehbuch gelesen und daher wusste ich von der Rolle. Dann habe ich angenommen.
JJ: Ist es dein erstes Mal in Berlin?
DA: Ja, ich bin zum ersten Mal in Berlin.

 

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