Berlinale press office in Web tete-a-tete

Journalist attacks department on Spiegel Online

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BERLIN -- A nasty posting by film journalist Wolfgang Hobel of Spiegel Online attacking the Berlinale press office has given the Berlin International Film Festival its first online scandal.

"The hardest, meanest, most unhelpful press department in the world ... with maximum unfriendliness and Prussian administrative crabbiness," Hobel wrote before comparing employees at the press office with the single mother Katie, played by Alexandra Lamy in Francois Ozon's "Ricky."

"(Katie) is as bitchy, frustrated and overwhelmed as the ladies in the Berlinale press office but at least she appears to enjoy sex," he wrote.

The blog entry immediately sparked an online backlash, including an entry from one contributor with the comment "Looks like someone didn't get his ticket for the opening party." Hobel, in fact, did ask for an opening party invite on the day of the event and did not receive one.

But "the ladies" at the press office are taking it all in stride.

"Since that absurd post, we've been flooded with messages of support," press head Frauke Greiner told The Hollywood Reporter.

Another press office employee was more blunt: "I think Mr. Hobel's issue are with his parents, not with us."
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