The French camerawoman Sophie Maintigneux, who has lived in Berlin since 1988, is one of the most renowned and productive in Europe. During the course of her career, she has marked about 70 films with her composition and visual style, winning many awards. She has worked with Eric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard, Michael Klier, Rudolf Thome, Marcel Gisler, Jan Schütte, Philipp Gröning, Helga Reidemeister and many others, but often chooses projects by less well-known filmmakers. For many years, she taught at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin and other film schools and since 2011 she has been Professor for Artistic Cinematography at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. She has been behind the camera on both fiction films and documentaries and her extensive body of work is very diverse. It attests to a penchant for artistic and thematic challenges and is based on a combination of creative curiosity and longstanding experience.
From April 17-30, the Arsenal is showcasing Sophie Maintigneux's camera work with four feature films and five documentaries made between 1986 and 2013. We are very pleased to announce that she will be our guest for the opening weekend.
FilmPolska, the largest festival of Polish cinema in Germany, is celebrating its 10th birthday from April 22-29. Among the many guests of this anniversary edition will be the two cameramen Krzysztof Ptak and Arkadiusz Tomiak, whom we welcome to Arsenal as part of the festival's traditional focus on the camera.
The Lebanese filmmaker Eliane Raheb (*1972) is currently the guest of the DAAD's Berlin artist-in-residence program. On April 20 and 22 she will present some of her works at Arsenal cinema. Her documentaries - in which she always involves herself - are outright political, investigative and intrepid. SUICIDE (2003) is about Lebanese volunteers who fought in Iraq for Saddam Hussein's regime. SO NEAR YET SO FAR (2002) visits children in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt who dream about fighting actively for the Palestinian Intifada. In SLEEPLESS NIGHTS (2012), Raheb - in a climate of state-ordered collective forgetting - brings together the perpetrators and victims of Lebanon's civil war: a secret services officer of the Christian militia who has openly admitted his guilt, and the mother of a communist fighter who disappeared in 1982 at the age of 15, who is unflustered as she makes public her pain.
One cannot imagine film without landscapes. The scenery is as variegated as the potential and functions of these topographies are comprehensive and diverse: Landscapes in films tell stories, express moods, can play the lead, become psychic landscapes or places of longing. They are symbolic foils, islands of stasis within the frequently breakneck flow of the plot. Landscapes are "the freest element of film, the least burdened with servile, narrative tasks, and the most flexible in conveying moods, emotional states, and spiritual experiences" (Sergei Eisenstein). Since the beginning of cinematography, film has made prolific use of this mutable vehicle for conveying ideas: Early screen images of both exotic foreign locations and the native countryside quickly merged into genre films with an intensive use of landscapes. And yet even outside of this genre, a broad panorama of landscapes has opened up in the areas of documentary, fiction, and experimental filmmaking which we shall examine in a series of 13 films in April.
In the coming school term, the first Arsenal Film Studios – one-week-long film education workshops – will take place at schools in the Berlin districts of Kreuzberg, Adlershof and Pankow. Anna Faroqhi, Haim Peretz, Ute Aurand, Robert Beavers, Eunice Martins and Stefanie Schlüter will develop film projects on the theme of light with the participating children and youths. The works will then be presented at Arsenal.
Die dünnen Mädchen Maria Teresa Camoglio Germany 2009
35 mm 95 min
* Tabu – A Story of the South Seas
Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau USA 1930
35 mm English Intertitles 91 min