BERLINALE 67 was a quiet (R)EVOLUTION that pulled cinema, if not into the global avant-garde. then close to the bearing edge...
...while placing female directors with feminine sensibilities into the spotlight...
...even as international star wattage...
...was so low that the festival promoters placed George Clooney’s face on posters as compensation.
But within the calm from the blind of flash bulbs capturing the global star a quiet (R)evolution took place at Berlinale 67 that might have been overlooked if there was more buzz. The (R)evolution is the very one that I have been tracking since 2010 for Huffington Post: the ascent into the Third space of the hieros gamos.
The auteurs competing for the Golden Bear at Berlinale 67 provided textbook examples of how it is done. Not by formula, but by form: building dramatic tension through finding innovative ways of trans-porting the inner struggle between opposites to the outer environment.
This was about introducing a new and exciting theme of the TRANS-GENDER. The most obvious example introduced a new global star, Daniela Vega...
... which gave BERLINALE 67 its greatest buzz — Una Mujer Fantastica from Chile, which won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay (below).
The transgender theme was also the star of The Party in which director/writer Sally Potter utilized the device of the missing enigmatic transgendered centerpiece in her virtuoso ensemble piece performed in real time at a house party in which a hidden pistol was the uninvited guest.
The Party rammed home the double meaning of its title sending up the hypocrisy of English politics that perceived BREXIT even as it was filming during the historic referendum.
El Bar was another brilliant ensemble piece set within the confines of a Madrid bar...
...and its underground sewer that served as the allegorical passageway into a triumphant conclusion: the descent and resurrection of the ancient Venus, depicted by the film’s star Blanca Suarez whose character trans-ported from blanca/white to negro/black, signifying the two faces of Venus, as Morning and Evening Star.
The new film from Romanian director Călin Peter Netzer, Berlinale 63. Golden Bear winner for Child’s Pose, went deep into a codependent relationship and its resurrection, as portrayed in this elegant film poster.
Ana mon amour was made particularly fascinating by the role cigarettes played (see film still below) as the Third character in a study of transformation introduced by a discussion of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch.
Berlinale 67 also established, with little fanfare, the most erotic scene in recent film memory in Marcelo Gomes’ Joaquim, a Brazilian-Portuguese production starring Julio Machado and Isabél Zuua.
And not to mention the primal feminine appearing in the form of the dreadlocked figure of director Alain Gomis, winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize for Félicité, a stunning homage to black beauty.
Clearly, as seen from the press seat in BERLINALE 67, the (R)EVOLUTION is underway in global cinema on two fronts that are interrelated: the resurrection of the divine feminine and the transgender protagonist as the icon of a newfound equality between gender opposites.
Dr. Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a Kultureindustrie Theorist and Cultural Critic finishing up a decade long journey around the globe seeking past and present images of the hieros gamos.
All images in this posting are copyright Lisa Paul Streitfeld unless otherwise noted. Film Stills courtesy of 67 Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin.