Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am lucky enough to be in Berlin during the Berlinale, the annual film festival. It turns out to be a pretty big deal, and while I was initially skeptical, I have bought into the whole thing, and we've bought tickets to see five different movies. So far, I've just seen two, but they were both pretty good:
  • Summer Wars is an anime about a boy who is paid to be the popular girl's boyfriend during a family reunion. During this reunion, hackers compromise the all-encompassing Google-like network called Oz, and wreck havoc. The nerdy main character has to rescue the world. I thought this movie was pretty good. I guess I like anime a lot more when it's not in the fantasy genre, my least favorite genre. Of course it contains its moments that are cringe-inducing in their cutsiness, but I think that's par for the course. Best part? The artificial intelligence behind the virus came out of "a Pittsburgh robotics laboratory." Wonder where that could be?!
  • Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll was a biopic about Ian Dury, the singer/songwriter for some punk/new wave bands like The Blockheads. Actually I thought I was going to see a documentary, but that idea was dispelled about fifteen seconds into the movie. Also, I didn't know anything about Ian Dury. I'd maybe heard the song Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll once or twice in my life. But still, it turned out to be a pretty good movie. Ian had polio as a child, so a lot of the movie is kind of about his struggles as a kid, and the parallel struggles of his son's life, since he, you know, has a father who is largely absent. Best part? This movie contains the actors from The Office (U.K.) who play Gareth Keenan and Chris Finch!
All that, and three more movies to see by Sunday. I'm pretty pumped. The only funny thing is that the Berlinale has some of the worst lines I have ever seen in my life. They are both long and completely disorganized. Like any true American, I love and respect lines. I guess when the line philosophies of dozens of nations come together in one city, it's pretty much a recipe for disaster. People love complaining about roped-off lines and how they make you feel like cattle, but at least you know where you stand, to use a pun.

Also, new Sick Ridiculous song Duckles Chuckles. Please check it out!

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