Berlin Festival Completes Forum Lineup

The Green Fog Still 2 - Publicity-H 2017
Courtesy of Guy Maddin, Galen Johnson and Evan Johnson

New films from art house favorites Guy Maddin, Hong Sang-soo, Sergei Loznitsa and Corneliu Porumboiu are among the highlights of this year's Forum.

Korean art house star Hong Sang-soo will return to Berlin with his latest, Grass, which will debut in the Berlinale's Forum sidebar of cutting-edge cinema.

The Forum lineup, unveiled Thursday, also features new films from Josephine Decker, Guy Maddin, Corneliu Porumboiu and Sergei Loznitsa (My Joy).

Hong's last feature, On the Beach at Night Alone, premiered in competition at Berlin. But the director made his debut in Forum, with The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well back in 1996. Grass finds Hong on familiar ground with a cheerfully melancholic tale about a woman who writes in a cafe, taking inspiration from the conversations she hears around her. Kim Minhee, who won Berlin's best actress Silver Bear last year for On the Beach at Night Alone, stars.

Decker (Thou Wast Mild and Lovely) is in Forum with Madeline’s Madeline, starring Molly Parker and Miranda July. The film heads to Berlin after its world premiere at Sundance. Berlin regular Maddin will present his latest, The Green Fog, in Forum. The work, directed with Maddin's Forbidden Room collaborators Evan and Galen Johnson, was commissioned by the San Francisco International Film Festival for its 60th edition and is a compilation of bits from around 100 San Francisco-set movies and TV shows, woven into a quasi-narrative that pays tribute to Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. Maddin will also screen, in a world premiere, his new feature, Accidence, also co-directed with the Johnson siblings.

Loznitsa, who's appeared in the Cannes competition three times, most recently with A Gentle Creature in 2017, makes his Berlin debut with Victory Day, a documentary look at the crowds that gather at the Soviet War Memorial every year in eastern Berlin on May 9, the anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

Porumboiu's Infinite Football looks at Romania's obsession with "the beautiful game" by focusing on a local official determined to improve the sport of soccer. It's become something of a theme for the Romanian filmmaker at Berlin. He last attended the festival with another soccer doc, The Second Game, in 2014. Porumboiu is best known for his intellectual dramas, including Police, Adjective (2009) and 12:08 East of Bucharest (2006).

Other documentary efforts in this year's Forum include Young Solitude, from French director Claire Simon, which follows the discussions of 10 ordinary students in a Paris suburb; Kristina Konrad's look at the legacy of military dictatorship in Uruguay in the politically charged One or Two Questions; and The Waldheim Waltz, a documentary essay by Ruth Beckermann that focuses on the Nazi past of former U.N. Secretary General and Austrian President Kurt Waldheim.

On the feature side, other highlights include Classical Period, the sophomore effort from U.S. indie director Ted Fendt (Short Stay) and Notes on an Appearance, the feature debut of Ricky D’Ambrose, whose short Six Cents in the Pocket was in Berlin competition back in 2015.

Forum this year will feature two Moroccan dramas, both of which explore gender relations in the African nation. Jahilya by Hicham Lasri looks at the continued misogyny of Moroccan society, while Narjiss Nejjar’s Stateless is a reckoning with the country's history from a female perspective.

The Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 15-Feb. 25.

Full Forum Lineup
14 Apples, dir: Midi Z
Taiwan/Myanmar – World Premiere
Accidence, dirs: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson
Canada – World Premiere
Afrique, La Pensée en Mouvement Part I, dir: Jean-Pierre Bekolo
Senegal – International Premiere
Aggregate, dir: Marie Wilke
Germany – International Premiere
Amiko, dir: Yoko Yamanaka
Japan – International Premiere
An Elephant Sitting Still, dir: Hu Bo
China – World Premiere
Casanova Gene, dir: Luise Donschen
Germany – World Premiere
Classical Period, dir: Ted Fendt
U.S. – World Premiere
Departure, dir: Ludwig Wust
Austria – World Premiere
Die Tomorrow, dir: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
Thailand – International Premiere
Facing the Wind, dir: Meritxell Colell Aparicio
Spain/France/Argentina – World Premiere
Grass, dir: Hong Sang-soo
Korea – World Premiere
In the Realm of Perfection, dir: Julien Faraut
France – World Premiere
Infinite Football, dir: Corneliu Porumboiu
Romania – World Premiere
Inland Sea, dir. Kazuhiro Soda
Japan/USA – World Premiere
Interchange, dirs: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky
Canada – World Premiere
Jamila, dir: Aminatou Echard
France – World Premiere
Stateless, dir: Narjiss Nejjar
Morocco – World Premiere
The Bed, dir: Mónica Lairana
Argentina/Germany/Netherlands/Brazil – World Premiere
Green Fog, dirs: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson
U.S./Canada – World Premiere
Tree, dir: André Gil Mata
Portugal/Bosnia and Herzegovina – World Premiere
The Wolf House, dirs: Joaquín Cocina, Cristobal Leon
Chile – World Premiere
The Weak Ones, dirs: Raúl Rico, Eduardo Giralt Brun
Mexico – World Premiere
Victory Day, dir: Sergei Loznitsa
Germany – World Premiere