Film Scouts Diaries

1997 Berlin Film Festival Diaries
Report #6 (February 24)

by Marcia Pally

Berlin, February 24. 1997

You gotta have a club. The world is too big; to survive, you gotta have a group of your own. It's the function of religion, tribes, and networking: they keep people from walking the earth suspicious of everyone. Of course in-groups create out-groups - those one must be suspicious of - which has created a few wars. But if God had meant us to have a perfect survival system, He would have made us amoebas and given us mitosis instead of sex. Are you ready to give up sex for peace? It is the only valid test of politically-correct-liberal-left-pacifist-anti-fur-vegetarianism.

Clubism is the way of the universe. Look at "Mars Attacks": creepy-looking Martians want to blow our heads off. Look at "Romeo and Julia" - and with Baz Luhrman's update you can only look, for the mise-en-scènes are outrageously great, the language a mess. One needs a home base. So explained a lesbian friend of mine after the "Romeo"" screening. Life is so much easier gay than straight: you arrive in a new town, call up the local gay group and instantly have a community. What do straight people do - pick up strangers in bars. No wonder there is so much promiscuity and divorce. Had the Capulets and Montagues had a local gay group, they wouldn't have had to be Capulets and Montagues, and those pretty teenagers would still be rolling in the hay. At least Leonardo DiCaprio could be rolling with me. Or Claire Danes could, for that matter. By the way, a man finally did offer to meet me in New York, but only for tips on buying electronic equipment cheap.

With good reason, as you see, I've given up on clubs based on the body and switched to the spirit. For the Sabbath, I went to the Pestalozzistrasse Synagogue. I am so glad the Jewish world isn't too big (don't get any funny ideas about an upside to the Holocaust). After services, a woman, her daughter and year-old granddaughter invited me to their home for the Sabbath meal. Instant community. And they didn't care that I'm not as cute or feminine as Claire Danes. Or DiCaprio, for that matter. If you read, this: thank you.

* * *

As it is the end of the Berlinale and my last column, I have a few prizes to suggest: The Larry Flynt Award for Best Attempted Pornography goes to "Viva Erotica" and Worst Attempted Pornography to "Le Jour et La Nuit"; the Dr. Zhivago prize for lovers you wished never met: "In Love and War"; The Jaye Davidson Award for Best Transvestism: "Romeo and Julia"; for Worst Transvestism: "Mars Attacks"; Most Predictable Title: "Mother and Son"; Least Predictable Title: "I was a Jewish Sex Worker"; Most Looked-forward-to Sequel: "I Was the Teenage Mother of a Jewish Sex Worker"; Best Men's Clothes: "Cavafy": Best Men Without Clothes: "Cavafy"; Best Hats: "Lucie Aubrac"; Best Food: "Das Leben ist eine Baustellung", which teaches you how to play Mashed Potato Golf: flatten your potatoes around the plate, make a little hole at one end and with your knife try to hit your peas into the hole. First prize is a trip to N.Y. where you can buy electronic equipment cheap.

Previous Installment

Back to Berlin Film Festival Diaries

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.