If Sundance signals the annual launch of American indie cinema's new product line, the 63-year-old Berlin Film Festival (February 7-17) offers the year's first major look at what the rest of the world has to offer. In addition to the 19-film official competition — this year presided over by jury president Wong Kar-wai — there are two even larger "parallel" sections (the Panorama and Forum), an expansive sidebar of movies for family audiences (dubbed "Generation"), and a program devoted to "culinary cinema," Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick being as much a foodie as he is a cinephile. The opening night selection there: Mussels in Love, a wry and surprisingly absorbing Dutch documentary about the farming of the titular shellfish, including graphic slow-motion close-ups of the mussel reproductive cycle — images that put only a mild damper on the excellent post-screening dinner prepared by two-star Michelin... More >>>