Berlin Fest Adds World Premiere of Martin Scorsese's 'New York Review of Books' Doc

Martin Scorsese Horizontal - H 2013
AP Images

Martin Scorsese Horizontal - H 2013

UPDATED: In an unprecedented move, season two of "House of Cards" also gets a special gala as the Berlinale unveils its full program.

Martin Scorsese's new, as yet untitled, documentary on the history of the New York Review of Books will get its first, work-in-progress screening at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. It will screen at the end of the Berlin festival, which runs Feb. 6-16.

The documentary, co-directed by David Tedeschi, Scorsese's editor on music docs George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011) and Rolling Stones concert film Shine A Light (2008) will have its world premiere in Berlin, organizers said Tuesday in unveiling the final additions to the lineup.

Shine a Light opened the 2008 Berlin festival.

In another surprise announcement, Berlin said it would screen the first two episodes of season two of Netflix's Emmy-winning original series House of Cards as a Berlinale special gala. Giving the red carpet pride of place to a TV series, much less a U.S. one, is a rarity for the Berlin festival, but is in sync with the event's more mainstream, Hollywood-friendly approach this year. The first two episodes of season two of House of Cards will screen on Feb. 16 in their German premiere. Netflix will put the entire second season online in the U.S. and elsewhere on Feb. 14. In German-speaking Europe, House of Cards is carried over 21st Century Fox's Sky Deutschland. That will remain the case after Netflix' launch in Germany, which is expected later this year.

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The Berlin Film Festival, for years a byword for extreme art-house and politically challenging drama, is giving the nod to mainstream Hollywood (or at least mainstream indies) with its 2014 lineup, which promises an A-list of red carpet luminaries, including George Clooney, Forest Whitaker, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Ethan Hawke and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, a star-studded affair whose ensemble cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Lea Seydoux and Saoirse Ronan, opens this year's Berlin Film Festival, Feb. 6 in its world premiere. Clooney's historic drama The Monuments Men, featuring Damon, Murray, Cate Blanchett and Jean Dujardin among its cast, will screen out of competition Saturday, Feb. 8. Richard Linklater's Sundance hit Boyhood, starring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, will travel from Park City to Berlin for its international, in competition, premiere.

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Berlin Festival director Dieter Kosslick acknowledged the importance of star power at this year's event when he summed up the main message of the festival as: "George Clooney is coming!"

Joked Kosslick: "That's very important, for the whole country. The entire Berlinale is one big G-spot."

Further boosting Berlin's star wattage is David O. Russell's Oscar front-runner American Hustle, featuring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and Bradley Cooper, which will screen in an out-of-competition slot at the festival, and Snowpiercer, the sci-fi comicbook adaptation from Korean genre master Boong Joon-ho (The Host) that features Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Korean stars Song Kang-ho and Ko Asung. It will get a special gala screening in Berlin's Forum sidebar.

Art-house dramas, however, still dominate Berlin's competition lineup, suggesting this could be a rare year where Berlin pleases both the autographs hunters and the critics. Titles to watch in the official selection include Aloft, the English-language debut from Claudia Llosa, who won the Berlin Golden Bear in 2009 with The Milk of Sorrow; Inbetween Worlds, the sophomore effort from German director Feo Aladag (who impressed with her debut When We Leave); Two Men in Town from French director Rachid Bouchareb (London River) featuring Forest Whitaker, Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel; and Norwegian feature In Order of Disappearance with Stellan Skarsgard and Bruno Ganz and directed by Hans Petter Moland, whose A Somewhat Gentle Man was a sleeper hit of the 2010 festival.

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But, as is often the case in Berlin, much of the action will be out of competition, with titles including Pascal Chaumeil's A Long Way Down starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots; the Australian omnibus feature The Turning featuring Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and David Wenham; and the directors' cut of the Lars von Trier's hotly-anticipated Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1 all celebrating world premieres and Beauty and the Beast, a retelling of the classic French fairytale by Brotherhood of the Wolf director Christophe Gans, featuring French stars Vincent Cassel and Seydoux, getting an out of competition slot for its international premiere.

Judging this year's competition line up will be an international jury headed by former Focus Features CEO, and multi-Oscar nominee, James Schamus. He will be joined on the Berlin jury by two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, Skyfall producer Barbara Broccoli, French director Michel Gondry, Danish actress Trine Dyrholm (In a Better World). Francis Ha star Greta Gerwig, Iranian filmmaker and painter Mitra Farahani and Hong Kong action star Tony Leung.

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Michel Gondry's Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?, a documentary of his impressions from a series of talks with American linguist Noam Chomsky, is among the titles rounding out the Panorama Documentary section during the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival.

Outside the main competition, features selected to participate in the Panorama sidebar this year were Ira Sachs' Love Is Strange, which stars John Lithgow, Alfred Molina and Marisa Tomei; The Better Angels, A.J. Edwards' look at Abraham Lincoln's childhood, which stars Diane Kruger, Jason Clarke and Wes Bentley; and Saar Klein's Things People Do, a crime drama featuring Bentley, True Blood star Sam Trammell and Brit actor Jason Isaacs. This will be Sachs third film to screen in Berlin's Panorama following Keep the Lights on (2012) and Forty Shades of Blue (2005).

Jalil Lespert’s biopic Yves Saint Laurent will open the Panorama Special program Feb. 7.

Other high-profile titles in Berlin's lineup include Cesar Chavez, the biopic of the legendary civil-rights activist and labor organizer from director Diego Luna that stars Michael Pena, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich; and Cathedrals of Culture, Wim Wenders' 3D documentary project that features films by Robert Redford, Michael Glawogger, Michael Madsen, Margreth Olin and Karim Ainouz.

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French drama In the Courtyard, starring Catherine Deneuve and directed by Pierre Salvadori (Beautiful Lies), will have its world premiere in Berlin in a special screening, as will Diplomacy, the latest from Oscar-winning German director Volker Schlondorff (The Tin Drum) and Someone You Love, a drama from Denmark's Pernille Fischer Christensen (A Family) which features Mikael Persbrandt (The Hobbit) and Trine Dyrholm (In a Better World). Schlondorff's Baal, his black-and-white film of a 1969 German theater production featuring the acting talents of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Sigi Graue and Margarethe von Trotta, will get a special screening in Berlin this year.

Another Scandinavian title, the Swedish hit The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared from director Felix Herngren, will have its German premiere in Berlin. The adaptation of the global bestseller from Jonas Jonasson has already earned some $20 million in Scandinavia alone.

Three German titles have been added to Berlin's competition lineup:They join the previously announced The Beloved Sisters from director Dominik Graf. It's been years since four German films have competed for the Golden Bear in Berlin.

Famed Oscar-winning documentary film maker Errol Morris will return to the Berlin festival with The Unknown Known, his one-on-one look at former U.S. defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The 64th Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 6-Feb. 16.

Here is the complete Berlin competition lineup:

The Grand Budapest Hotel (opening film)
By Wes Anderson?
World premiere

By Yann Demange?
World premiere

By Claudia Llosa
World premiere

Beloved Sisters
By Dominik Graf
World premiere

Black Coal, Thin Ice
By Yinan Diao
World Premiere

Blind Massage
By Ye Lou
World Premiere

By Richard Linklater
International Premiere

History of Fear
By Benjamin Naishtat
World Premiere

Inbetween Worlds
By Feo Aladag
World Premiere

In Order of Disappearance
By Hans Petter Moland
World Premiere

By Edward Berger
World Premiere

Life of Riley?
By Alain Resnais
World premiere

By Sudabeh Mortezai
World Premiere

No Man’s Land
By Hao Ning
International Premiere

Praia do Futuro
By Karim Ainouz
World Premiere

By Yannis Economides
World premiere

The Little House
By Yoji Yamada
International Premiere

The Stations of the Cross
By Dietrich Bruggemann
World Premiere

The Third Side of the River
By Celina Murga
World Premiere

Two Men in Town
By Rachid Bouchareb
World Premiere