Law, Dench in Sally Potter film at Berlin fest
Sun Feb 8, 10:13 am ET

BERLIN – British director Sally Potter cast Jude Law as a cross-dressing supermodel and Judi Dench as a hard-biting fashion critic in her minimalist account of a disastrous week at a fashion house, "Rage," which made its debut Sunday at the Berlin film festival.

"Rage," which also features Steve Buscemi as a grizzled photographer and Eddie Izzard as a business mogul, shows a succession of behind-the-scenes interviews by a fictitious young blogger as a new show descends into chaos.

Potter, whose previous films include "Yes" and "Orlando," filmed her cast in front of a plain colored background — leaving viewers to piece together events from the interviews and soundtrack.

"It was about trying to make the most simple, skeletal ... form in order to tell a story through the amazing complexity and variety of the human face," Potter said at a news conference. "It's about a kind of naked storytelling ... set in an industry that's about clothes and appearance."

Law plays "Minx," an American model pretending to be a Russian. "For it to be a man pretending to be a woman pretending to be Russian" was more interesting, Potter said. "It was about layers and layers and layers."

The director said the actors never met each other during the filming. But Buscemi said that Potter was "a great listener — it didn't feel like I was acting alone."

Also showing at the festival Sunday was "Mammoth," from Swedish director Lukas Moodysson, starring Gael Garcia Bernal as a successful Web site creator.

Both films are among the 18 contenders for the top Golden Bear award in Berlin, the first of the year's major European festivals. The winner will be announced Feb. 14.


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