In other Berlin news

Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” – fear and paranoia

Martin Scorsese’s latest picture, “Shutter Island,” which also marks the 67-year-old director’s fourth collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, made its Berlin debut on Saturday, according to Reuters DiCaprio stars as U.S. marshall Teddy Daniels in a psychological thriller set on a wind-swept, rugged island that is home to a high security psychiatric hospital. In the story based on a Dennis Lehane novel, he and his partner Chuck are brought in to hunt down a killer who has mysteriously escaped from her cell leaving no trace.

Asked why the movie was not in the main competition line up in Berlin, Scorsese jokingly replied: “What if it didn’t win?” For DiCaprio, Shutter Island was possibly the hardest part he has had to play for Scorsese, along with “The Aviator” in which he portrays the wealthy but increasingly deranged aviator and film maker Howard Hughes. Asked why he kept coming back to Scorsese, he said: “You’d be a fool not to jump at the opportunity to work with somebody who I consider, and many consider being the definitive director or our time. You’d be an idiot.”

Brosnan asks “Why now?” of Polanski’s arrest

Pierce Brosnan said he was shocked when he heard of Roman Polanski’s arrest, but was always confident the director would get his movie “The Ghost Writer” to the big screen despite being in jail and under house arrest.

The actor, who plays a disgraced former prime minister heavily based on Tony Blair in the political thriller, also questioned why the U.S. authorities were pursuing Polanski for a crime he committed more than 30 years ago. “A friend of mine from here in Berlin texted me a message,” Brosnan told reporters at the Berlin film festival, where The Ghost Writer has its world premiere on Friday. Polanski, under house arrest in his Swiss chalet, was unable to attend.

“I was shocked. I was very disappointed and saddened by his arrest,” he added following a press screening where the movie, also starring Ewan McGregor, was applauded.

In a movie based on a novel by Robert Harris, McGregor plays a writer who is hired to knock into shape former Prime Minister Adam Lang’s long and tedious memoirs. Soon after he is hired, Lang, residing in the United States, is accused of war crimes, and in scenes echoing public anger in Britain at Blair’s decision to join the war in Iraq, he is picketed by protesters who blame him for waging war illegally.

Danish director shows ‘toughest’ film in Berlin

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg says his latest film, about two down-and-out brothers haunted by a tragic childhood, is his toughest yet but carries a message of hope. Vinterberg told Reuters that “Submarino,” about ex-convict Nick who tries to reconnect with his brother, a struggling single father and heroin addict, showed people trying to care for one another even when they have sunk to the bottom of society. “It is the toughest movie I have done because it starts really dark and then goes down from that,” Vinterberg said before the film’s world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday. “These are people who do not have anything left and are trying to keep reaching the surface.”

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