Kelly Reichardt (*1964) is arguably the most important independent filmmaker working in the US at the moment and one of contemporary American cinema’s most distinctive voices. Her films are about being on the move, about people setting out, losing their way, or looking for something. They interrogate their country, its myths, its everyday routines, its suburbs, and its nature, and are usually characterized by a deliberately minimalist directorial style. Nearly all of them are set in the landscape of the state of Oregon and were created in collaboration with writer Jon Raymond. Aside from this regional anchoring, they address many more far-reaching concerns, with their characters’ stories always alluding to existential states, social orders, and crises within society, without being ostensibly political. To coincide with the restoration of her largely overlooked feature debut RIVER OF GRASS (1994), we are showing Kelly Reichardt’s first five films in a short retrospective from May 1-5.
"Who do you make your films for anyway? Who sees them anyway?" It's these questions which Iranian director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’s protagonists repeatedly address to camera and which have become a leitmotif of sorts for her filmmaking work. For over three decades, she's painted a precise picture of her country in both features and documentaries and established herself in the process as one of the most important influential directors in post-revolution Iranian cinema. Her films are shown at major international film festivals and awarded prizes, but also have successful theatrical runs in Iran.
From May 6-24, we are showing a retrospective of eight of her features and documentaries and are very happy to be able to welcome Rakshan Bani-Etemad as our guest at Arsenal on May 6th and 7th.
The introduction of color film in the mid-1930s and the resulting developments in this area are some of the most significant aesthetic innovations in cinematography. Color in film is an important component of image composition and dramatic structuring, as well as of fundamental significance for the perception of film. With our selection of 16 films, including features, essay films and documentaries, examples of hand-colored and tinted silent films, and films shot on different color formats, we provide a glimpse of the range of approaches used with respect to color in film and the space that lies between obvious narrative connection and the autonomous use of color.
arsenal distribution is releasing QUEEN OF EARTH by Alex Ross Perry on May 5. The film had its world premiere in the 2015 Forum and screened at numerous international film festival subsequently.
It tells of Catherine and Virginia who are best friends. Last year, Virginia wasn’t doing well, while it’s Catherine who’s struggling this year. Virginia’s parents own a lakeside cabin, the perfect place for a week of mutual wound licking. Sun pours in through the windows, framing the cool green of the trees outside. But this isn’t the refuge it seems and it’s not just the music that awakens the menace in the images. The ripples across the lake and the wan sunlight offer little comfort, to say nothing of the picture of a skull lying forgotten in a cupboard. Last year’s events keep crashing in upon the present, things weren’t good then and they aren’t better now. When the two women confide in one another, it’s like two separate monologues, the camera gliding between their strained faces as if they were one and the same. They otherwise stick to wry barbs, each criticizing the other’s privilege as they still cling on to their bond. As salad leaves wilt, men come and go, and tension gives way to hostility, what even remains of this friendship? Dark-ringed eyes alight with rage, a stream of quiet bile, one face cut into another, two true Queens of Earth. (James Lattimer)
*Bronenosez Potemkin Battleship Potemkin
Sergei Eisenstein USSR 1925
Restored versiom from 2005 Music: Edmund Meisel
35 mm OV/GeS 70 min
Meek's Cutoff USA 2010
With Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood,
Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano
35 mm OV/GeS 104 min