As the resistance against Franco's dictatorship grew, a "different" Spain appeared on the screen. The mainstream and underground films in the archive of the Arsenal show this era from a perspective that was critical of the system and aesthetically subversive. Many of them, such as the alternative newsreels NOTICIARI DE BARCELONA (19.6.), the experimental film NO COMPTEU AMB ELS DITS (22.6.) by Pere Portabella and 52 DOMINGOS (20.6.), Llorenç Soler's documentary about young bullfighters, are from Barcelona. Iñaki Nuñez's TOQUE DE QUEDA (19.6.) about the Basque resistance fighter Marta and Francesc Bellmunt’s documentary about the banned theatrical satire LA TORNA (22.6.) by Albert Boadella and Els Joglars take action against the prohibitions, arrests and executions of the 1970s. Jaime Camino's LA VIEJA MEMORIA (19.6.) provides a revision of the history of the Spanish Civil War. While Jaime Chavarrí sets up a monument to the writer Federico García Lorca, who was murdered in 1936, with A UN DIOS DESCONOCIDO (20.6.).
In cooperation with the Bundesverband kommunale Filmarbeit e.V. and Instituto Cervantes Berlin.
The Arsenal is turning 50! We have a month-long festival planned with film programs, sound works, exhibitions, performances, discussions and introductory events. Five new DVDs with 23 digitized films will be presented (with more to come), and we’re celebrating the premieres of new prints of old films, book projects, films and installations. 37 artists, filmmakers, performers, musicians, curators, and scholars, as well as four Goethe Institute awardees from India, South Africa, Jordan, and Brazil, pursued one goal over two years: to burrow into a film archive that weighs 56,331.3 kilograms and contains at least as much material in written and oral records. At first glance, it seemed as if there were no way to access it at all. But in the end, the process of digging all that up did more than just give new life to the 1,100 films viewed. The research process provided entry into new artistic and scholarly productions, which extend well beyond the cinema. This resulted in video works, performances, installations, sound works, and research projects.
The closing festival of the Living Archive project will present the results while at the same time examining the institution’s history and the present. Living Archive is a sign of what the Arsenal has been known for over its 50 years: creating something new from the connection between the historical and the present.
June 4 to 30, 2013 at Kino Arsenal & June 6 to 23, 2013 at KW Institute for Contemporary Art. A festival pass is available at the box office for 50 Euros as well as a catalogue with texts by all participants.
Engaging cinema … questions our relationship to past political film projects and the possibilities to screen these anew, to view them and place them in new geopolitical and cinematographic networks. KYA HUA IS SHAHAR KO? (What Has Happened to this City?, Deepa Dhanraj) is being presented as a DVD with additional research material (19.6., Deepa Dhanraj is our guest). The feminist works of the film collective Yugantar (1980–83, India) provide the starting point for an open seminar (20.–21.6., KW) on collective political film projects. With Claudia von Aleman (requested), Cinenova (Karolin Meunier, Sandra Schäfer, Kerstin Schroedinger), cinéma copains (Minze Tummescheidt, Arne Hector), Manuela Schininá and Madeleine Bernstorff.
"Arsenal isn't just an organization, it's an organism." (Naum Kleemann)
The Cuban short film POR PRIMERA VEZ by Octavio Cortázar attests to a particular film educational initiative: after a law was passed to found the ICAIC, the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry, the story of new Cuban filmmaking began on March 24, 1959, shortly after the victory of the revolution. This initiative included the government creating a “cine móvil” to promote "audiovisual literacy", the goal being to bring cinema to the most remote areas of the island.
We see how the mobile cinema enables the residents of a remote mountain village to see a film for the very first time. The film they watch is Chaplin's "Modern Times". They are asked beforehand how they imagine cinema to be. "CINEMA is FILM", is how one boy puts it, while two women reply that, "it must be something important if you're so interested in it. It must be some sort of party, I'd like to see it to find out what it is."
POR PRIMERA VEZ was digitized as a part of the Living Archive project. With the support of the Berlin Capital Cultural Fund, we were also to acquire a restored print and digital version of another film about revolution to coincide with our 50th anniversary: ARSENAL, which gave our institution its name. Alexander Dovzhenko’s third feature pays homage to the uprising at the "Arsenal" weapon's factory in Kiev in 1918 during the January Rebellion against the bourgeois nationalist government of Ukraine. We are showing both films at the birthday celebration and grand opening of Living Archive on June 4.
To celebrate our upcoming 50th birthday and the "re-launch" that Ellen Blumenstein, new head curator of KW – Institute for Contemporary Art, will be introducing there as her first project, we are happy to be able to announce the start of a new cooperation. Arsenal is setting up a screening room at the KW’s "Studiolo", where visitors can watch a selection of film and video work. We are starting with a selection of films viewed and digitalized as part of the Living Archive Project as well as a program put together specially for the KW re-launch. At the same time, KW will also be opening up a permanent presence in the Arsenal foyer in the form of a display case. At present, a work by Nedko Solakov can be seen.
An event by Medienboard and MEDIA Antenne Berlin-Brandenburg, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, ART:FILM by CineMart/IFFR&CPH:DOX and Arsenal
Cincuenta y dos domingos 52 Sundays
Llorenç Soler 1970
16 mm OV/GeS 42 min
Ocaña, retrat intermittent Ocaña, an Intermittent Portrait
Ventura Pons 1978
35 mm OV/GeS 82 min
A un dios desconocido Jaime Chávarri 1978
35 mm OV/GeS 107 min