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Gay marriage problems, suicide and a mechanical heart at Berlin Film Festival

Gay marriage problems, suicide and a mechanical heart at Berlin Film Festival
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Competing in the Panorama category dedicated to independent and arthouse films, ‘Love Is Strange’ has opened at the Berlin Film Festival.

Veteran actors John Lithgow and Alfred Molina star in this dramatic comedy about a gay couple forced to live apart shortly after taking their long-overdue marriage vows.

“It is wonderful to come and represent and promote a film that I am so proud of, this is ‘Love is Strange’ and we all just love it, the whole group,” said John Lithgow.

After 39 years together, Ben and George are finally able to get married. One of the consequences, however, is that George gets fired as a music teacher at a Catholic school. The couple suddenly find they can’t afford the mortgage on their small New York flat and have to sell. They turn to family and friends for help.

Premiered at the Sundance festival last year, ‘Love is Strange’ received a standing ovation.

Also running out of competition is the adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel ‘A Long Way Down’, a dark comedy about an unlikely pact between four strangers who meet on a London rooftop with the intention of committing suicide.

It’s not the first time one of Hornby’s best-sellers has been adapted to the silver screen.

“I think that we always use the wrong terminology because people talk about books being turned into films and actually the book doesn’t turn into a film, the book stays in the book shelf and the film is something else,” said the author.

After dissuading each other from jumping off the building, the four form an emotional support group, and through a string of events, they somehow become media celebrities.

Starring Pierce Brosnan, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette and Aaron Paul, the film has received mixed reviews. It is due out in cinemas next month.

And finally, competing in the Generation category dedicated to children and young people’s movies, ‘The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart’ is the story of Jack, who was born in Edinburgh on the coldest day ever.

When his heart stops beating because of the cold, Doctor Madeleine saves him by replacing it with a mechanical clock. Jack’s fragile heart means he must never get angry or excited, and crucially, he must never fall in love. But one day he meets beautiful street singer Miss Acacia, voiced by Olivia Ruiz.

The film is based on an album and illustrated novel by Mathias Malzieu, leader of the French band Dionysos.

“We wanted to remain faithful to the spirit of the concept. We had to take liberties, because otherwise the film would have been too long, four or five hours long, and also because we didn’t just want to sum up the book or the album in a movie,” said Mathias Malzieu.

Co-produced by Luc Besson, ‘The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart’ is out now.