Berlinale Blog #4 Midnight Special

Midnight Special;
Photo: Morten Vejlgaard Just

Morten doesn’t know what to believe – on a day that’s one long night.

It was night all day yesterday. First in the mezzanine at the big Berlinale Palast, where I watched Michael Shannon and his son head off into the night in Midnight Special. The straightforward story of a father bent on protecting his son. Under junior’s inscrutable blue diving goggles lies a power which the FBI fear as a weapon, whilst a cult of fanatical zealots hail the boy as the next messiah. And everyone chases him through the night.

I like this one, I’m thinking as I briefly leave the night to hear Jack Nichols elucidate his film at the press conference. It’s a personal movie, he explains. He himself was on the verge of losing his own son, which he has now worked into a sort of “E.T. meets X-Files". Twelve hours later, people are still discussing the film of the day, while I have long since vanished back into the night, to the Finnish party, traditionally held in a church with incredibly high ceilings and . . . a disco ball.

Just the right place to talk about what might well be a messiah movie. There are plenty of different opinions on the matter – and on the question of whether Midnight Special could win the Golden Bear. I don’t know what to believe. Maybe the answer lies somewhere deep down at the bottom of the free drinks? Or up there beneath the disco ball? The only thing I know for sure is tonight is something very special.