october 2017, arsenal cinema

Georgian Cinema - 
From the Arsenal Collection

For many years now, Arsenal has maintained a close, special relationship with Georgian filmmaking. Since Erika and Ulrich Gregor, founders and long-time heads of Arsenal, were able to see films from Georgia on their visits to Moscow, Georgian films have regularly formed part of the programs of both the Arsenal cinema and the Forum. This enduring interest in Georgian cinema means that Arsenal's collection of around 130 Georgian films is now the second biggest collection in the world outside of the country itself following the Russian state film archive Gosfilmofond and thus plays an important role in preserving Georgian film history.

october 2017, arsenal cinema

Harun Farocki: Year by Year / Side by Side (2)

The 80s were a hugely productive decade in Harun Farocki's work as a filmmaker and author: productions for television, a feature film for the cinema, written pieces for "Filmkritik" magazine. One reason for this great productivity was his friendly collaboration with Werner Dütsch, who worked as the commissioning editor at WDR in Cologne and commissioned work from numerous auteur filmmakers of the time, thus enabling independent documentary film to survive. In parallel to his documentary political films from the 60s and 70s onwards, Farocki’s work in the early 80s showed an increased interest in the image itself, as he sought to move away from analysis based on image agitation. It wasn't just in economic terms that the 80s were a demanding decade for him, as they were also marked by his attempts to tap into new visual horizons. His collaboration with Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, who he had already met at a lecture given by Straub at the dffb in 1966, played an important part in the latter of these tendencies. It was here that Farocki dedicated himself to the image of the feature film as a possible canvas for a form of narrative cinema that set itself against that of Hollywood. His interest in narrative cinema can already be observed in his short films from the 60s and 70s and later intensified in his decade-spanning collaboration and friendship with Christian Petzold, who began studying at the dffb in 1988. His experiences with producing his own feature in the mid-80s led him, however, to the decision to turn his attention to the essay film and, from the mid-90s onwards, to film installations in exhibition spaces.

october 2017, arsenal cinema

Female Gazes from Georgia - Contemporary Documentaries

Europe often has a rather vague image of Georgia, even if the country has been increasingly present of late: Georgian films and books, Georgia as the guest of honor at the 2018 Frankfurt Bookfair or as a tourist destination have all meant that the country has increasingly entered the spotlight. The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung is taking part in this year’s Year of German-Georgian friendship with a series of documentary films by female directors from Georgia. This documentary focus shows us sections of this country in the South Caucasus on the edge of Europe without any need for clichés. The film and discussion series presents documentaries which approach everyday life in Georgia with their own aesthetic style and original journalistic research. The films reflect the ongoing upheaval in the Caucasian country since 1989, which creates a modern image of itself as it searches for its place between East and West.