june 2017, arsenal cinema

Porous Boundaries: New Paths Through Mexican Film

Few countries in the world have enjoyed such a lengthy filmmaking boom as Mexico. Since the government passed a law in 2005 giving generous tax breaks to film production, there's been a veritable explosion in the number of films being made, accompanied by a wave of new film festivals that have sprung up across the country to both showcase this filmmaking surge and fuel film culture in general. The jump in quantity has gone hand in hand with increasing cinematic finesse, which also hasn't gone unnoticed internationally. Several Mexican directors now call Hollywood their home, while others have made the breakthrough to truly global acclaim.

Apart from the numerous titles shown in recent years at the Berlinale Forum, this cinema has made few inroads into Germany. From June 2-30, the film series "Porous Boundaries: New Paths Through Mexican Film" curated by James Lattimer offers Berlin audiences the unique opportunity to get to know the striking breath and innovation of current Mexican film and discover its unconventional perspectives on the country. It consists of 15 feature-length, medium-length, and short films across 12 programs that have received considerable acclaim and attention on the international festival circuit. The series is screening many of these works in Germany for the very first time and includes established names such as Nicolás Pereda, Natalia Almada, Tatiana Huezo and Pedro González Rubio together with prize-winning emerging talents such as Ricardo Silva, Pablo Chavarría Gutiérrez, and Pablo Escoto. The screenings will be complemented with Q&As with selected filmmakers, with additional context to be provided in introductions by two experts: film scholar, curator, and festival director Gonzalo de Pedro Amatria, whose article on Mexican cinema was published in the Berlinale Forum magazine in 2016, and Eva Sangiorgi, director and founder of the Festival Internacional de Cine de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (FICUNAM) film festival in Mexico City, which has emerged as a significant showcase for local and international cinema alike.

june 2017, arsenal cinema

Three films by Sadao Yamanaka

The Japanese director Sadao Yamanaka made 26 films between 1932 and 1937 when he was drafted. He died on the Manchurian front in 1938, at the age of 29. Today, only three of his films remain but they testify to an exceptional talent and at the same time to an immeasurable and double loss - of films that have disappeared and those that he was no longer able to make. Yamanaka, who was working at a time of innovation in Japanese cinema, can be credited with modernizing the Jidaigeki genre - period dramas set in the Edo period - and freeing it of cliches. He found his material in Japan's folk culture, transforming proud samurais and heroes into vulnerable, multi-faceted characters. He neither glorified nor romanticized the past, but depicted it realistically and from a critical standpoint. He saw his protagonists' conflicts and problems as being contemporary and pilloried the poverty and injustice of feudalism. The style of his action-packed films, which featured acting ensembles, is reminiscent of the poetic realism of French cinema of the 1930s and 40s. Created with deep focus, elegance and ease, the imagery is pervaded by a bleak and melancholy view of the world and humanity.

june 2017, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour – Music in film

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 June's Magical History Tour, we are presenting 13 examples that illustrate how varied the theme of "music in film" is and giving an insight into the significance and function of music in film (and in society) with film scores, portraits of music(ians) and bands, concert films, filmic mise-en-scènes, sampled soundtracks and musicals. We would particularly like to point out the four silent movie events, which will be accompanied by the pianist and composer Eunice Martins. On 15th and 28th June, we will be talking to her about accompanying and composing for silent movies.

june 2017, distribution news

"Akher ayam el madina / In the Last Days of the City"

by Tamer El Said, opens September 7, 2017 accompanied by the Caligari Award tour

Downtown Cairo is an organism that still seems alive back in winter 2009/10, but is becoming increasingly alien even to those born there. Khalid is a filmmaker. He looks at his images over and over again, as if he were waiting for them to produce some sort of meaning. The stories of his protagonists seem to come from somewhere inside him, he seeks points of reference in the outside world. The more he looks for them, the more they seem to disappear; not abruptly though, but in lengthy moments full of tenderness, such as when he bids farewell to his girlfriend who is leaving him, to his ill mother, to friends who have come to the city to premiere their films.

December '16
arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour – The Kammerspielfilm

07:00 pm Cinema 1


Po Sakonu

*Po Sakonu By the Law
Lew Kuleschov USSR 1926
35 mm OV/GeS 75 min

Eunice Martins on piano
arsenal cinema: Public Screening

07:30 pm Cinema 2


Riddles of the Sphinx

*Riddles of the Sphinx
Laura Mulvey, Peter Wollen UK 1976
DCP OV/GeS 91 min

arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour – The Kammerspielfilm

08:30 pm Cinema 1


A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire
Elia Kazan USA 1951 With Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando
35 mm OV 120 min