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Film Festival: Berlin & Beyond 

Wednesday, Jan 13 2016
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German films often have the "It's good for you!" stigma associated with foreign films to a degree rivaled only by Swedish cinema —though even Ingmar Bergman made the occasional comedy. And while the 20th Berlin & Beyond Festival definitely has some entries that are edifying and stuff, it also has some offerings that are just plain entertaining. Case in point is the big opening night to-do, Baran bo Odar's blockbuster cyber-thrillerWho Am I – No System is Safe, which by all accounts will sate your fix for literate and occasionally mask-heavy hacker intrigue until the next season of Mr. Robot.Star Tom Schilling will be present for this and for a screening of 2014's A Coffee In Berlin (Oh Boy). Also of no small interest is Gerhard Ertl and Sabine Hiebler's Chucks, which follows flame-haired punk rock girl Mae (Anna Posch) as she tests the boundaries of existence on the street of Vienna. Bringing things closer to home is Nicholas Steiner's documentary Above and Below, which studies a group of people living outside of society in the Western United States, such as the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah (complete with spacesuits), or eking out an existence in the flood tunnels under Las Vegas. Sometimes "beyond" is below.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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