The Primal Scene – Films and Texts by Christine Noll Brinkmann

(1) DIE URSZENE (2) EIN HALBES LEBEN (3) EMPATHIE

This DVD and book package marks the start of a series dedicated to reexamining German experimental and underground film and returning it to its original glory. "The only term more perfidious than 'avant-garde' is the adjective 'experimental'", wrote Heinz Emigholz, who started up the "Experimental Film Design" class at the Berlin University of the Arts in 1993. Christine Noll Brinckmann makes use of this quote in what still remains the only attempt to provide an overview of the history of experimental film in Germany. Her text "Experimental Film 1920–1990: Collective Movements and Solitary Thrusts", which appeared in the History of German Film in 1993, is framed by quotes which try to describe an type of cinema that has been notable by its absence from film history’s hegemonic approach. In 1989, film critic Dietrich Kuhlbrodt characterized it as "a precocial bird – a type of cinema existing alongside the cinema." Historically, experimental cinema has, at times, been either a hiding place or a place to be banished to. Today, it seems to have become a new, unchartered territory in the domain of the visual arts in the same way that experimental film has also found an often-problematic place there.

The arsenal edition has taken on the task of starting new discussions and helping experimental film to get back on its feet. And that in three languages: the language of film, that of the idea, and in the language of empathy.
Christine Noll Brinckmann has mastered all three. Her background as a filmmaker, spectator, scholar, and author mean that the publication of her films and texts form a highly appropriate start to a series intended to rewrite history through the reception of films.
DIE URSZENE / THE PRIMAL SCENE (1981) is a cinematic commentary on the feminist critique of Hollywood, DRESS REHEARSAL AND KAROLA 2 (1981) is a homage to the underground star Kenneth Anger, and DER FATER / THE FATHER (1989) a investigation of German colonial history shot as a home moves.

The package also includes contributions by Stan Brakhage, Robin Curtis, Vinzenz Hediger, Maria Morata, Heide Schlüpmann, Alexandra Schneider, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and Katharina Sykora.
The DVD contains the films mentioned above, two texts by Christine Noll Brinckmann, and the films discussed in the texts, STILL LIFE (Jenny Okun GB 1976) and CASTA DIVA (1st episode, Eric de Kuyper, NL 1982)

Supported by the Berlin Cultural Administration – Artists’ Program
ISBN 978-3-927876-25-5
Distributed in USA & Canada by Gartenberg Enterprises