Here's the second report from this year's Berlin Film Festival by our man in the lederhosen, Stephen Dalton...

It’s the end of a bitingly cold weekend here in Berlin, where the 2008 Berlinale Film Festival has just closed its doors for another year. Among the glittering gongs handed out at Saturday’s prize-giving ceremony was a special Silver Bear honouring Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood for his soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson’s THERE WILL BE BLOOD. A fitting finale to a film festival where rock stars have hogged the headlines.


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There's a moment during CSNY: Déjà Vu, Neil Young's document of the supergroup's 2006 Freedom Of Speech tour, when one furious ticket holder outside the Philips Arena, Atlanta spits: "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young can suck my fucking dick!"


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Stephen Dalton brings you his first report from this year's Berlin Film Festival...

Guten Tag from the 2008 Berlin film festival, which is already shaping up to be more like a gathering of gold-plated Glastonbury headliners than movie makers and shakers. The ROLLING STONES have stopped the traffic, NEIL YOUNG has bashed George Bush and PATTI SMITH strummed her guitar during the press conference for her new film.


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The nominations are just in for the 2008 Oscars, so here’s my first impressions of what’s what in the major categories. It’s no great shock to see No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood leading the field (8 nominations a piece), but there’s certainly a few surprises…

Here, anyway, are the nominations in the main categories.


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I'd say the key moment in Cloverfield -- just the very monster movie the post-9/11 world has been crying out for -- occurs while a giant creature of unknown origin lays spectacular waste to New York City, and one of the characters screams: "I AM SEEING THIS SHIT RIGHT NOW!"


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Just as I started writing this blog, an email pinged into my inbox to let me know that Juno has now taken $60 million at the US box office and kept the Nic Cage blockbuster National Treasure 2 off the top spot.


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Watching TV over the Christmas and New Year period, chances are you might have caught Johnny Depp in a number of films. I'm pretty sure I spotted all three Pirates Of The Caribbean movies spread out across various terrestrial and satellite channels, plus the overlooked Secret Window and -- a personal favourite -- Finding Neverland, a very moving take on the relationship between author JM Barrie and the children who inspired him to write Peter Pan.

In a way, these films are emblematic of the Depp's dualistic approach to his movies. In Pirates, he's performing; in Window and Neverland, he's acting.


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It occurred to me, as I stumbled somewhat exhausted out of last night's screening of Paul Thomas Anderson's epic movie about oil, greed and murder, that both this film and The Assassination Of Jesse James seem to be a return to the kind of filmmaking not seen since Heaven's Gate.


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While John and Farah were riffing it up at Led Zeppelin last night, I went to see Ridley Scott's latest and, presumably, Final Cut of Blade Runner, one of my favourite films. For a cold and drizzly Monday night viewing at the Screen On The Green in Islington, it was remarkably busy -- unsurprisingly, the audience conspicuously all male, pretty much all of them, like me, glued to the screen.


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You may have noticed that the big movie for this Christmas period is The Golden Compass, a $90 million adaptation of the first volume of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

It's got talking bears, witches on broomsticks and Nicole Kidman, as the film's villain, Mrs Coulter. It's the best performance in a film that has many surprisingly smart casting choices (Tom Courtenay, Daniel Craig, Jim Carter, Derek Jacobi), despite its rather hamfisted handling of the source material.


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"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye": Cosimo Matassa 1926-2014


Among my post last week, I received a nice care package from Ace Records that included one quite weird Duke Ellington album ("My People"); Volume 3 of their "Where Country Meets Soul" series (I cannot recommend Ralph ''Soul'' Jackson's version of ''Jambalaya'' highly enough); and, maybe best of...