The latest “Unknown Pleasures” film festival has recently been held on January 1-16, 2013 in Berlin. This particular festival is devoted to Independent U.S. cinema, and usually shows movies that are..well, unknown to general audience.
The Unknown Pleasures film festival is reportedly is being sponsored by the US Embassy and Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus.
German film critic, film exhibitions and programs curator, Beatrice Behn says “Unknown Pleasures” film fest is precisely the kind of film that is not taking place a lot at German cinemas.
“Unkown Pleasures is a local Berlin film festival focusing on American Independent film, and it is extremely important that this platform exists,” Behn told BZFilm in an interview.
Behn, who is also the director of German International Comedy Film Festival, said that “Unknown Pleasures” really fills a gap for Indie artists that hardly have a chance to make their film seen outside of the United States.
Further commenting on the fact that Germany has the so-called obsession with dubbing foreign movies, Behn said it negatively affects independent filmmakers.
“Dubbing does not necessarily kills a foreign film, but but it makes life much harder for Indie films as it involves extra costs which many cannot afford,” she said. ”
“The affinity of Germans to dub has grown historically and is due to the fact that for the longest time most Germans did not have sufficient enough English language skills,” Behn explained.
She added that it is much more comfortable to have a dubbed version as reading subtitles is work and takes away from the overall film experience.
“However, in recent years, more and more initiatives pleading for “Originalton” (original version with subtitles) and things are beginning to change,” she noted. “Many cinemas now show at least some films in their original versions.”
Speaking of the International Comedy Film festival this year, Behn said she expects it to be entertaining.
“I expect that entertainment to derive from other sources than misogyny (many films still have women as the butt of the joke), slap stick or being derogatory towards others,” she noted.
“What we are looking for are intelligent, transgressive films that use the power of comedy and laughter to transcend the standards.”
Lastly, Behn spoke why she lists John Waters’ cult film “Pink Flamingos” as one of her favorite films.
“Waters is the master of transgression. Yes, the film might be called disgusting, but I call it revolutionary, especially as it puts the viewer in a very unique situation to laugh at what happens onscreen in order to be able to create distance from what is happening,” she explained.
“Even today I do not know anyone else who has used and mastered the power of disgust in such a splendid way,” Behn admitted. “Pink Flamingo is a true indie film. I admire film makers who dare to give their all for their work and stand their ground no matter what”.
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