Andreas Reihse, Dalia Neis, Mohamed A. Gawad

Celluloid Corridors: Timehelix
2017

17.2. 19:00 OV Akademie der Künste
18.2. 15:00 OV Arsenal 1

9 min. English.

A-side of an audio-play about cinema: part film-manifesto, part audio-essay, part cinematic-séance, channeled via the voice and words of Cairo-based artist and writer Mohamed A. Gawad, with music, arrangement, and celluloid-splicing from Berlin-based Kreidler-chief, Andreas Reihse.
Shooting through archives across space and time. Spells of silence, ambient hum, celluloid glitch, vocal hybrids: “[…] focusing on the description of photographic film. Robotic echoes whirr away in the background, echoing the original sentiments, but abstracted into machine-like code, speeding up and slowing down as though being mistakenly spooled through a genetically imperfect machinated medium.” (Barry Smethurst)

Production Dalia Neis, Andreas Reihse, Mohamed A. Gawad. Production companies Dalia Neis (Berlin, Germany), Andreas Reihse (Berlin, Germany), Mohamed A. Gawad (Cairo, Egypt). Directors Mohamed A. Gawad, Dalia Neis, Andreas Reihse. Screenplay Mohamed A. Gawad. Music Andreas Reihse. Sound design Andreas Reihse. Sound Mohamed A. Gawad, Andreas Reihse, Dice Miller. With Mohamed A. Gawad, Dalia Neis.

Celluloid Corridors: Sermon
2017

16.2. 21:30 OV Akademie der Künste
17.2. 17:00 OV Arsenal 1

11 min. English.

B-side of an audio-play about cinema: part film-manifesto, part audio-essay, part cinematic-séance, channeled via the voice and words of Berlin/Salford-based FITH co-founder, filmmaker, writer Dalia Neis aka Dice Miller, with music, arrangement, and celluloid-splicing from Berlin-based Kreidler-chief, Andreas Reihse.
Voices summoned from the lucid realms of the technologically-spirited, more-than- human archive: “[…] backed with abstraction of classical instrumentation, with stabs of strings warped into a thousand fragments, brutally interspersed with piercing shrieks before bringing things back to earth with perfectly measured throbbing organic whirrs. Focussing on images, but […] bringing things almost chronologically forward, with the history of film being investigated.” (Barry Smethurst)

Production Dalia Neis, Andreas Reihse, Mohamed A. Gawad. Production companies Dalia Neis (Berlin, Germany), Andreas Reihse (Berlin, Germany), Mohamed A. Gawad (Cairo, Egypt). Directors Dalia Neis, Andreas Reihse, Mohamed A. Gawad. Screenplay Dice Miller. Music Andreas Reihse. Sound Andreas Reihse, Dice Miller. With Dalia Neis, René Schohe.

Celluloid Corridors Remixed

A reel unwinds into a stream of celluloid consciousness, another thread that was extended through another labyrinth in another time. Pulled through lives, places, mediums, histories, and politics, the celluloid thread is paradoxically finite, bookended in a round canister/video box/compact disks/HDD, narrativising chaos, projecting linearity/sanity. Standing in a film archive that attempts to be “living,” relocated between a former crematorium and a neighbouring graveyard, Jose Saramago’s “All the Names” springs to mind, particularly a climactic scene where the protagonist reaches a labyrinthine graveyard; the end station of a long, obsessive, unorthodox search for a mysterious woman. A mystical shepherd has been going around swapping the plates and the tombstones, in an attempt to give the dead an equal chance of being visited/forever lost. The protagonist arrives at a dead/open end. Cinema history starts from here! I am standing on the Crossroads, three days after Memorial Day, where the cinematic portrait of the great Haitian journalist, Jean Dominique, was shown right here at the Cinema. The medium of film is a sacred medium. Like the medium of séance ceremonies, it has the power to invoke the dead, les morts, les esprits, the invisible worlds. For it was the Senegalese filmmaker, Djibril Diop Mambéty who once said: “Cinema is magic in the service of dreams, it is a gift from our ancestors, they struggled and prepared it for us for over three thousand years.” Film canisters have a certain silence to them. In an archive space, they look almost identical in their solid shape and color, to the point where the rows of reels resemble a wall/a passageway. Is it possible that a film dies between that moment and the moment of its premiere? Where a new stage awaits it; loops of resurrections, as it enters the realm of the undead. People speak about the Death of Cinema: students, cinephiles, scholars, the academy, film-goers, the youth. But before we bury this history, before its inevitable death, we need to open up the history of film, with all its lines of flights, with all its unexpected mutations and digressions. Who invented Cinema? Cinema history starts form here! What happened in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and its flourishing in the Hollywood Hills? Hollywood owes its debt to the ancient burial grounds from which it has grown. Approaching the translucent celluloid strip with the naked eye implies seeing it and seeing through it at the same time. A film both points to itself and refers to a larger image. The individual frames reveal images, and between the frames, a context can be retrieved. It’s where the walls of the world become thin, and the crack from the void leaks in. Much like approaching a strand of DNA, it promises that once uncoiled, and with some imagination/investigation, one can access layers of information, stories, and histories that a specific print of film witnessed throughout its life/afterlife. A history of resurrections. I want to be possessed by the goddess(es) of cinema. In the timelessness of the archive mindset, we have the space to speak of the films that watched us. Images can recall their past lives as parts of a continuum before they were extracted, isolated, appropriated/imprisoned. Does a black and white film remember its own original colored existence? We need to continue this superstition and archaic belief that cinema has a soul, a gros bon ange, that cinema has souls, a petit bon ange, and that there exist alchemical reactions that are drawn from the celluloid as it hits the light of the lens, and the unknowable, in the dance till the end of time.

(Dice Miller, Mohamed A. Gawad, Berlin, 2018)

Mohamed A. Gawad is an editor and filmmaker based in Cairo. He is co-founder of Cimatheque and a board member of CIC – Contemporary Image Collective.

Dalia Neis is a writer, filmmaker, and vocalist living in Berlin and Salford. She is currently completing her PhD on cinematic representations of wind and the essay form in Salford. As Dice Miller, she is part of the experimental musical/poetry group, FITH, and is co-founder of Wanda-Portal – an imprint that releases albums and pamphlets that spiral across the cinematic, literary, and sonic spheres.

Andreas Reihse is a Berlin-based musician and artist. Besides being a member of the internationally acclaimed electronic band Kreidler, he has worked for films, plays, performances, and installations. He also curates MOVES, a series of screenings, performances, and talks at Berlin's Image Movement.

Films

Mohamed A. Gawad: 2009: Wogoud (6 min.). 2010: The Time of Thirst (18 min.). 2011: Call Egypt (4 min.). 2012: Lucid Shadows (5 min.). 2015: re : Di d u s ee t hat?! (1 min.). 2017: Betalpha (4 min.), Celluloid Corridors: Timehelix, Celluloid Corridors: Sermon.

Dalia Neis: 2005: Missing Meilich (22 min.). 2008: Goray 1648 (8 min.). 2010: Charles Bronson is Ibn Arabi. 2012: Saints. 2017: Celluloid Corridors: Timehelix, Celluloid Corridors: Sermon.

Andreas Reihse: 1985: Koordination Gehen (3 min.). 2002: Two Drifters (4 min., with Jutta Tränkle). 2012: Volkan, Van, No Moons (8 min, 8 min., 5 min.). 2013: Long Lines Andropov’s Ears (5 min.). 2017: Image Mouvement I-III (15 min.), Celluloid Corridors: Timehelix, Celluloid Corridors: Sermon.

Photos: © Dalia Neis