Berlinale plays to 'International' crowd

Global financial crisis echoes in Tom Tykwer film

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Film Review: The International

BERLIN -- Tom Tykwer isn't experiencing any Schadenfreude as a result of the global financial crisis.

The world financial meltdown comes at a particularly fortuitous time for Tykwer's "The International," which opens the Berlinale on Thursday. The film's plot, involving corrupt bankers and the shady world of international finance, seems ripped from the headlines.

But at "The International" press conference here, Tykwer said he's getting no pleasure from seeing life imitate art.

"It's horrible what's happening, we all feel that way," the German director said. "The only upside we can see is that maybe (with this film) there will be more awareness of these issues."

Flanked by producer Charles Roven and the film's stars, Clive Owen, Armin Muller-Stahl and Ulrich Thompson, Tykwer fielded questions ranging from "The International's" resemblance to 1970s paranoid thrillers a la "Three Days of Condor" to his own physical resemblance to Owen.

"That's funny, because I got told the same thing with my last film, 'Perfume' (with star Ben Whishaw)," Tykwer said, then joked "whenever I pick a project, its very important that the main character can look like me."