A filmmaker, writer, poet, theater director, essayist, painter and actor, Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975) was one of the most multifaceted, prolific, influential and radical artists and intellectuals of the 20th century. His films, novels and essays marked turning points and set standards in post-war Europe, provoking and polarizing, triggering scandal and controversy and social debate. His works have now entered film, or literary, history without ever being pigeonholed. Pasolini was and remains singular. His whole life, he refused to adhere to artistic, political or societal conventions; he was contradictory, uncompromising, pugnacious and incredibly productive. Between his groundbreaking debut ACCATTONE (1961) and his violent death at the end of 1975, shortly after finishing his last film SALÒ, he shot over 20 feature and documentary films of different forms and lengths in rapid succession. His films focus on the edges of society and the subproletariat, they re-visit the Greek myths and the Gospel according to St Matthew for example, explore themes such as sexuality and death, Catholicism and Marxism; his thought centers on philosophical, political or social questions.
The city of Rome also plays a decisive role in many of the films, as it did in Pasolini's life. An extensive exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau called "Pasolini Roma" will explore this interdependency from 11.9 to the beginning of next year. It is in this context that we are presenting a full retrospective of Pasolini's films at Arsenal opening on September 13.
In the 1970s, Margaret Raspé, a painter, performance artist and filmmaker, shot the now legendary "films with the camera helmet":
"… with a camera helmet on the head: painting and filming at the same time. The instrumentalized eye disintegrates the orientation… I am split: on the one hand physically relaxed, with my actionistically detached painting hand, on the other hand I am a rational and concentrated observer looking through the camera's viewfinder…" (MR). Raspé was influenced by the Action Art and the Fluxus movements of the 1960s and had close links to the Vienna avant-garde. However, the impetus for her unusual use of the camera came from elsewhere. It can (literally) be seen in connection to the political debates of the time on reproductive labour. Raspé's first film "with the camera helmet" – SCHWEINESCHNITZEL (FRG 1971) – shows the daily working procedure necessary to prepare this, from the perspective of the cook. Simultaneously cooking, washing up, gutting animals and whipping cream, and working in an artistic way: Raspé studied art from 1954 to 1957 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at the Institute of Fine Arts in Berlin. "SCHWEINESCHNITZEL was made in 1971 after I had thought long and hard about aggression in the kitchen."
The program curated by Madeleine Bernstorff, Karola Gramann, Heide Schlüpmann (Kinothek Asta Nielsen e.V.) in conjunction with Gunter Deller shows Raspé's films in different contexts from September 18-21 with Margaret Raspé being present on all four evenings.
The connection between music and film goes back to the very beginnings of cinematography. Apart from film narrators, musical accompaniment of early films was an integral part of the film experience, an exciting relationship that has remained till today.
In this month's Magical History Tour we use various examples to present positions within the huge discipline of "Music in Film" and offer an insight into the meaning and function of music in film with (original) compositions, portraits of musicians and concert films.
arsenal distribution is releasing STO SPITI (AT HOME) by Athanasios Karanikolas on September 4.
The film, which premiered in this year's Forum programme, tells of Nadja, who for many years has worked as a housekeeper for an upper class Greek couple and their daughter. She’s allowed to feel like part of the family. When she’s diagnosed with a serious illness, and the man of the house runs into financial difficulties due to the economic crisis, Nadja loses her job. Yet she shows no external sign of how these two traumatic events have affected her. A film of dazzling light. The misery is not apparent in the images. It’s summer, the air shimmers, the sea sparkles. Only gradually is the set-up revealed: clear distinctions exist between top and bottom, domestic and foreign, those with and those without health insurance. Yet for Nadja class is not even a question, just as she does not fight for her rights. She keeps a tight hold on her feelings, insisting not on her job but on her emotional ties. Stylised, yet with the real world in its sights, the film draws on elegant CinemaScope images and depictions of space to tell the story of a quiet heroine feeling the social chill in the style of a tender melodrama. No big close-ups, no big emotional outbursts, still great cinema. (Birgit Kohler)
Olle Henry Ulrich Weiß GDR 1983
With Michael Gwisdek 35 mm 101 min