"It is easy to be pessimistic, and to feel like a victim, but we need films that inspire us to go out and change things for the better. We have plenty of tragedy in real life in this part of the world; we don't need films to reinforce an already pervasive sense of despair."
Here is something we know about the coming year: It is going to be crucial for the future of Iran, the region and American interests in the Middle East. In assessing what the Iranian regime's behavior will be in the near future, the best guide is how it has behaved in the past.
There is good reason to honor the EU for its most lasting accomplishment: a continent at peace. Bravo to the Nobel committee for its choice. But the EU is sending mixed messages Iran, a country as much a threat today to international peace as any.
To say that the 75-minute documentary radically changed my viewpoint on some modern-day dogmas would be an understatement and all the while managing to make me laugh, cry and relish in the wonder of Panahi's world
If the end of the world or your final film? is when you say what you really mean, perhaps with The Turin Horse, Béla Tarr is giving the last laugh to the Gypsies of his state-seized debut film (shot at age 16) and delivering a stone-cold classic.
In cinematic circles, it is said that the Toronto International Film Festival is second only to Cannes. But in terms of numbers of films presented, industry connections and stars attending, I would say it's too close to call.
When I got up to bid Khan adieu, he insisted "have a seat, I would like to ask you a couple of questions. Do you have the time?" Of course I did, for the greatest star in the firmament of Indian cinema!
One way for us to travel and experience what our fellow human beings are going through, is through cinema. And the Berlinale film highlights these kinds of films better than the Oscars or Golden Globes.