The Grandmaster opens Berlin Film Festival

Martial arts drama heads up the action.

by Jennie Kermode

The 63rd Berlin Film Festival kicked off yesterday with a screening of Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster, which stars Tony Leung as Ip Man, the kung fu expert who trained Bruce Lee. Melding historical events of the last century with the trappings of a traditional morality tale, the film was introduced by its director as an atempt to look beneath the skin of martial arts. It leads a strong line-up set to unfold over the next two weeks.

Competition films this year include Gus Van Sant's tale of big business and environmentalism, Promised Land, Steven Soderbergh's disquieting pharmacological adventure Side Effects and George Sluizer's romantic drama Dark Blood, which features the last ever performance by River Phoenix. There's also excitement about the latest work from Jafar Panahi, Closed Curtain, which - like This Is Not A Film - has been made in defiance of a ban imposed by the Iranian authorities.

This edition of the festival has a special section devoted to culinary cinema, with treats from around the world including the latest collection of Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno shorts, while a strong indigenous cinema strand includes Ten Canoes, On The Ice and Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner.

Share this with others on...
News

Piano lessons Ethan Hawke and Seymour Bernstein in conversation on Seymour: An Introduction.

The Two Faces Of January New York première On the red carpet with Hossein Amini, Kirsten Dunst, Emma Ostilly and Eamonn Bowles.

Season of mists Markus Blunder on working with Sophie Lowe and Maximilian Harnisch in Autumn Blood.

Making Tracks John Curran on working with Mia Wasikowska, dogs and camels in Tracks.

Denzel receives Donostia Washington on the red carpet at San Sebastián

More news and features

We're bringing you news and reviews direct from the San Sebastian Film Festival, which opens with The Equalizer.



We've got a lot of exciting coverage coming up, including the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, GrimmFest, the London Film Festival and the New York Film Festival.



We still have reviews coming in from the Deauville Festival of American Cinema and Frightfest.



Read our full for other recent coverage.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

Win a copy of The Hypnotist and some terrific A Walk Among The Tombstones merchandise in our latest .