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An eerie mystery, "Winter Sleepers," is the potent opening feature tonight for the third annual Berlin & Beyond festival of new movies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Also among the 19 features in this year's festival at the Castro Theatre is a newly reconstructed print of F.W. Murnau 's classic 1925 silent film, "Faust," with a live spoken translation and accompaniment by Dennis James on the Castro's Wurlitzer organ. It's scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday.

Dress warmly for "Winter Sleepers." Director Tom Tykwer 's haunting story is set in deep winter at a Bavarian ski resort where the lives of five people connect around a freak car accident involving a young girl. Each character is revealed in turn as something other than what the surface would indicate. There are sexy sequences, but they advance a view of humanity as cold as the cloak of snow outside. Tykwer ("Deadly Maria") will be on hand to discuss his work. "Winter Sleepers" screens at 8 p.m., after a 6 p.m. opening-night party. A series of new German short films follows at 10:45.

An eerie mystery, "Winter Sleepers," is the potent opening feature tonight for the third annual Berlin & Beyond festival of new movies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Also among the 19 features in this year's festival at the Castro Theatre is a newly reconstructed print of F.W. Murnau 's classic 1925 silent film, "Faust," with a live spoken translation and accompaniment by Dennis James on the Castro's Wurlitzer organ. It's scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday.

Dress warmly for "Winter Sleepers." Director Tom Tykwer 's haunting story is set in deep winter at a Bavarian ski resort where the lives of five people connect around a freak car accident involving a young girl. Each character is revealed in turn as something other than what the surface would indicate. There are sexy sequences, but they advance a view of humanity as cold as the cloak of snow outside. Tykwer ("Deadly Maria") will be on hand to discuss his work. "Winter Sleepers" screens at 8 p.m., after a 6 p.m. opening-night party. A series of new German short films follows at 10:45.

It is not clear what went on in this mountain retreat for the rich, but Stone’s performance keeps you watching. Plus: John Cleese returns to the BBC in Hold the Sunset

B rrr, it looks cold in Summit, Utah. It is a mountain resort for rich people, so there is snow, obviously, and the icy heart of capitalism, but Steven Soderbergh turns down the thermostat even further with a flinty blue and grey palette for Mosaic (17 February, Sky Atlantic). It is enough to make you reach for a cardigan. A woman called Olivia has been murdered and it is not looking good for Joel, a young man soon revealed as her handyman/lodger(/lover?). Mosaic opens with a police officer running through the mounting evidence against him in a creepy Shining-style hotel corridor. It does not look very official.

We jump back four years. Olivia Lake (Sharon Stone), a successful and wealthy children’s author, is hosting a fundraising party, attended by her rich neighbours, to raise money for her children’s arts charity, Mosaic. It is here that she meets Joel Hurley, an aspiring comic book artist, who is manning the bar. “Pour me something tall and muscular,” she instructs him. Then, to her gay best friend and prowling-partner JC (Paul Reubens, AKA Pee-wee Herman), she adds: “A lesser-nuanced host might have said ‘stiff’.”




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