Young at Heart – Coming of Age at the Movies
16 Feb 23–26 Feb 23
Retrospective of the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival
On the Berlinale website
In ‘Rebel Without a Cause’, James Dean as Jim Stark said: “If I had one day, when I didn’t have to be all confused, and didn’t have to feel that I was ashamed of everything. If I felt that I belonged someplace, you know? Then …” Those words are as true today as they were in 1955, when Nicholas Ray’s film came out. His movie laid the foundation for the coming-of-age genre. Since then, filmmakers have time and again given the world of young people a cinematic outlet. The films run the gamut of genres, from drama to comedy to horror. But the core questions remain: Who am I? Who do I want to be? Who could I be?
The section breaks new ground by inviting noted film directors, actors, and screenwriters to shape the program line-up. Some 30 filmmakers have chosen their personal favorite “coming of age” film for the Retrospective program. The following directors, screenwriters, and actors have accepted the festival’s invitation to help configure this unusual film series:
Maren Ade, Pedro Almodóvar, Wes Anderson, Juliette Binoche, Lav Diaz, Alice Diop, Ava DuVernay, Nora Fingscheidt, Kateryna Gornostai, Luca Guadagnino, Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, Ethan Hawke, Karoline Herfurth, Niki Karimi, Nadine Labaki, Nadav Lapid, Sergei Loznitsa, Mohammad Rasoulof, Céline Sciamma, Martin Scorsese, Aparna Sen, M. Night Shyamalan, Carla Simón, Abderrahmane Sissako, Kristen Stewart, Tilda Swinton, Wim Wenders, Jasmila Žbanić.
The films of the Retrospective
À nos amours
(‘To Our Loves’), FR, 1983, directed by Maurice Pialat
Selected by Alice Diop
A 16-year-old girl views sex as a way to escape her dysfunctional family. This partially improvised film is a character study of a young Parisian rebel, marking the prize-winning screen debut of Sandrine Bonnaire.
Starring Sandrine Bonnaire, Evelyne Ker, Dominique Besnehard and Maurice Pialat
(‘The Unvanquished’), IN, 1956, directed by Satyajit Ray
Selected by Aparna Sen
A young man’s journey from a village school in Bengal to university in Kolkata, where he discovers a new world. In a film inspired by Italian neo-realism, an individual coming-of-age presages Indian modernization and its path to independence.
Starring Pinaki Sen Gupta, Smaran Ghosal, Kanu Bannerjee and Karuna Bannerjee
De bruit et de fureur
(‘Sound and Fury’), FR, 1988, directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
Selected by Nadav Lapid
A sensitive teenager tries to gain a foothold in a Paris banlieue amidst gang wars and a criminal family. The film is a social grotesquerie that uses lyrical exaggeration and surreal scenes of violence to track youthful sensibilities.
Starring Bruno Cremer, François Négret, Vincent Gasperitsch and Fabienne Babe
El espíritu de la colmena
(‘The Spirit of the Beehive’), ES, 1973, directed by Víctor Erice
Selected by Carla Simón
After seeing the film, a young girl develops an eerie fascination with the monster in the horror classic ‘Frankenstein’. An ambiguous film about childhood fears that masterfully blends reality and imagination onscreen.
Starring Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent and Isabel Tellería
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
USA, 1986, directed by John Hughes
Selected by Nadine Labaki
A school principal tries in vain to put a stop to the antics of a notorious truant. With its generation-specific references, this high school comedy by John Hughes set the benchmark for the genre and gleefully showcased Matthew Broderick’s talents.
Starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara and Jeffrey Jones
(‘The Beauty’), USSR/LTU, 1969, directed by Arūnas Žebriūnas
Selected by Sergei Loznitsa
A six-year-old girl is used to being adored. She has an identity crisis when a new boy in the neighbourhood refuses to idolise her. This sensitive portrait of a youngster does not trivialise childhood distress, but takes it seriously.
Starring Inga Mickytė, Lilija Žadeikytė, Sergejus Martinsonas and Arvydas Samukas
USA, 1993, directed by Harold Ramis
Selected by Nora Fingscheidt
A grouchy TV weatherman ends up in a time loop that keeps him trapped in a small town. His inner transformation, which wins him the sympathy of the locals and the affections of his producer, is as heart-warming as it is funny.
Starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott and Stephen Tobolowsky
Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle
(‘The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser’), FRG, 1974, directed by Werner Herzog
Selected by Mohammad Rasoulof
A drama about young foundling Kaspar Hauser, who resists all attempts to integrate him into the Biedermeier society of the 1830s. In Herzog’s version, lay actor Bruno S. delivers a fascinating portrayal of the romanticised misfit.
Starring Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira and Hans Musäus
Khane-ye doust kojast
(‘Where Is the Friend’s House?’), Iran, 1987, directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Selected by Niki Karimi
Eight-year-old Ahmed is determined to return his best friend’s school notebook so the other boy doesn’t get expelled. But adults keep getting in the way and leading him astray. This Iranian children’s film inexorably exposes the grown-ups' ignorance.
Starring Babek Ahmed Poor, Ahmed Ahmed Poor, Kheda Barech Defaei and Iran Outari
(‘Bag of Rice’), IR/J, 1996, directed by Mohammad-Ali Talebi
Starring Masume Eskandari, Jairan Abadzade, Shirin Bina and Hossain Kalantar
Selected by Tilda Swinton
A young child and her elderly neighbour encounter a host of hurdles buying a bag of rice in the teeming metropolis of Teheran. This formally reductive, yet delightful film features a vivid amateur performance in the child lead.
The Last Picture Show
USA, 1971, directed by Peter Bogdanovich
Selected by M. Night Shyamalan
In small-town Texas at the beginning of the 1950s, two friends deal with the dilemma of growing up. When the local movie theatre shuts down, they are forced to bid farewell to their youth. The film is a bittersweet, beautiful New Hollywood classic.
Starring Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd and Ben Johnson
USA, 1953, directed by Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin
Selected by Wes Anderson
A young runaway roams the beach and amusement park at Coney Island. Filmed from his perspective, the film becomes a dense weave of everyday observation, and a masterpiece of location shooting that powerfully influenced the French New Wave.
Starring Richard Brewster, Winnifred Cushing, Jay Williams and Will Lee
Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng liwanag
(‘Manila in the Claws of Light’), PHL, 1975, directed by Lino Brocka
Selected by Lav Diaz
Searching for his missing girlfriend in the titular teeming metropolis, a rural young fisherman is marginalised and oppressed. But he also discovers solidarity among the poorest of the poor. A milestone social melodrama from the developing world.
Starring Hilda Koronel, Rafael Roco, Jr., Lou Salvador, Jr. and Tommy Abuel
AUS/FR, 1994, directed by P. J. Hogan
Selected by Karoline Herfurth
Zaftig, 22-year-old Muriel Heslop dreams of a fairy prince and a glamorous wedding. She escapes a toxic family situation and finds independence and self-confidence in this wacky romantic comedy enriched with ample irony and oodles of ABBA songs.
Starring Toni Collette, Bill Hunter, Rachel Griffiths and Sophie Lee
Not a Pretty Picture
USA, 1976, directed by Martha Coolidge
Selected by Céline Sciamma
A mix of narrative and documentary about the director’s own date rape in high school. In re-enactments and conversations between the director and the young actors, it reflects on the sequence of events and their life-changing consequences.
Starring Michele Manenti, Jim Carrington, Anne Mundstuk and Martha Coolidge
Now and Then
USA, 1995, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter
Selected by Kristen Stewart
Four successful women reminisce about the summer of 1970, when they became BFFs at the age of 12. A nostalgic trip down memory lane, featuring relative newcomers like Christina Ricci alongside established stars like Melanie Griffith and Demi Moore.
Starring Christina Ricci, Rosie O’Donnell, Thora Birch and Melanie Griffith
Prima della rivoluzione
(‘Before the Revolution’), IT, 1964, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Selected by Martin Scorsese
In 1962 Parma, a well-heeled young man flirts with Marxism and sleeps with his aunt. With intense dialogue and moody black-and-white images, this essayistic-experimental film evokes the emotional landscape before the upheavals of the late sixties.
Starring Adriana Asti, Francesco Barilli, Allen Midgette and Morando Morandini
Rebel Without a Cause
USA, 1955, directed by Nicholas Ray
Selected by Wim Wenders
In Los Angeles, a 17-year-old is at odds with his parents and at violent loggerheads with a teenage clique. Seeking a path forward in life, he is helped by love. The film made James Dean immortal and inspired countless teen movies around the world.
Starring James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo and Jim Backus
(‘Sugar Cane Alley’), FR, 1983, directed by Euzhan Palcy
Selected by Ava DuVernay
The life of privation of Martinique’s Black population under French colonial rule, seen from the point of view of a young man. The Martinican director’s film version of the eponymous book won a host of awards.
Starring Garry Cadenat, Darling Légitimus, Douta Seck and Joby Bernabé
USA, 1983, directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Selected by Ethan Hawke
Two very different brothers are reunited amidst youth gang fighting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. An update of the teen film genre, shot in retro black-and-white with a stellar cast of young stars, the movie attained contemporary pop culture appeal.
Starring Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Vincent Spano and Diane Lane
Sans toit ni loi
(‘Vagabond’), FR, 1985, directed by Agnès Varda
Selected by Maren Ade
After a young vagabond freezes to death, chance acquaintances reminisce about their encounters with her. Inspired by Orson Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’, Agnès Varda paints a fictive-documentary portrait of a young person on the margins of society.
Starring Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Méril, Stéphane Freiss and Yolande Moreau
(‘Daisies’), Czechoslovakia, 1966, directed by Věra Chytilová
Selected by Jasmila Žbanić
Two friends fleece older gentlemen and go on a spree. This experimental film, banned for a time, was a milestone of the Czechoslovak New Wave. With its razzmatazz collage of women in revolt, it is also a celebration of the visual variety of cinema.
Starring Ivana Karbanová, Jitka Cerhová, Marie Češková and Jiřina Myšková
Seishun zankoku monogatari
(‘Cruel Story of Youth’), J, 1960, directed by Nagisa Ōshima
Selected by Luca Guadagnino
The story of a fatal amour fou between two desperate outsiders, set during the 1960 student protest in Tokyo. This gaudy, violence-laden pop melodrama was the starting signal for a “new wave” in Japanese cinema.
Starring Yūsuke Kawazu, Miyuki Kuwano, Yoshiko Kuga and Jun Hamamura
Splendor in the Grass
USA, 1961, directed by Elia Kazan
Selected by Pedro Almodóvar
In 1928 Kansas, young love collides with the class divide and puritan morals. The film is considered a key work in the “teen angst” genre, with Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty bringing a captivating emotional authenticity to their roles.
Starring Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle and Audrey Christie
(‘Typhoon Club’), J, 1985, directed by Shinji Sōmai
Selected by Ryūsuke Hamaguchi
As a typhoon rages outside a school near Tokyo, inside a tragedy unfolds. In an escalating series of episodes, this school drama depicts erotic experiences and emotional confrontations among the pupils.
Starring Yuichi Mikami, Yūki Kudō, Tomokazu Miura and Toshiyuki Matsunaga
SEN, 1973, directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty
Selected by Abderrahmane Sissako
A young couple in Dakar dreams of getting to Paris. They engage in a series of risky adventures to try and raise money for the trip. A modern, post-colonial film from Senegal that imaginatively caricatures a mind-set still hanging on colonial norms.
Starring Magaye Niang, Mareme Niang, Christophe Colomb and Moustapha Toure
Trois couleurs: Bleu
(‘Three Colors: Blue’), FR/PL/CH, 1993, directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski
Selected by Juliette Binoche
After the accidental death of her husband and daughter, a young woman seeks solace and anonymity in Paris before facing up to her responsibilities. Lead Juliette Binoche garnered Best Actor in Venice for her haunting portrayal in this powerful drama.
Starring Juliette Binoche, Benoît Régent, Florence Pernel and Charlotte Véry
The Virgin Suicides
USA, 1999, directed by Sofia Coppola
Selected by Kateryna Gornostai
A melancholy look back at the five teenage sisters who all committed suicide in the 1970s because they saw no other way out of their parents’ strict household regimen. An enchanting cinematic rendering of a “spring awakening” that ends in tragedy.
Starring James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett
The team of the Retrospective
Director of the Retrospective, Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kinemathek: Rainer Rother
Retrospective Curatorial Board: Rainer Rother, Annika Haupts
Programme Coordinator: Annika Haupts
Festival Coordinator: Anke Hartwig
Festival Manager: Christin Meyer
Press: Silke Lehmann
Author: Jörg Schöning
Editor: Julian Born
Translator: Rebecca M. Stuart
Film Print Coordinator: Steffen Vogt
Print Quality Control: Olaf Saeger
Subtitling Coordinator: Noémie Causse
Cinema House Managers: Sophie Aimée Hartleib, Anna Kokenge, Moritz Maul, Paula Ziegler