A little-seen alternative to Tropa de Elite, screening in the Panorama program, charmed me on Friday night: Another Love Story (Maré, nossa historia de amor), directed by Lúcia Murat, retells Romeo and Juliet as baile-funk-infused musical set in Rio. The heroes here are fresh-faced kids caught in the crossfire between drug dealers and corrupt police, and a kind NGO worker takes the role of Shakespeare's Friar Lawrence. When Tropa De Elite's BOPE squad shows up, they are a source of fear and danger. Without whitewashing the situation in the favelas, Another Love Story plays like a colorful, sexy combination of West Side Story and City of God with a dash of Black Orpheus.
I saw six more films before the festival came to an end: Michel Gondry's celebration of lo-fi cinema Be Kind Rewind, opening this week (Marcy reviewed), the laughable Beautiful, scripted by Kim Ki-Duk, and the fine New German Film documentary Gegenschuss - Aufbruch der Filmmacher, in which Dominik Wessely traces the rise and fall of Filmverlag der Autoren, the collective that distributed milestone films by Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and others.
The final day of the Berlinale is reserved for repeats screened for the general public, but I greedily snatched a few more tickets from their eager hands to catch up with three films I'd missed during the mad rush of the festival proper. Lake Tahoe, Fernando Eimcke's follow-up to Duck Season, is a wry comedy told in steady shots that seem, at first, to be more interested in location (nowhere near Lake Tahoe) than in the characters that traverse them on foot, car, or bicycle. Slowly, something like a story develops as Juan (Deigo Catano) tries to repair a car he wrecked offscreen. For a while, Lake Tahoe feels like watching somebody play a particularly frustrating 2-D adventure game (imagine Day of the Tentacle programmed by Jim Jarmusch). A little too late, an undercurrent of grief is revealed.