As always, the Arsenal Cinema will be screening a selection of this year's Forum titles over the coming week: AUS EINEM JAHR DER NICHTEREIGNISSE (FROM A YEAR OF NON-EVENTS) by Ann Carolin Renninger and René Frölke, CASA ROSHELL by Camila José Donoso, FOR AHKEEM by Jeremy S. Levine and Landon van Soest, MOTHERLAND by Ramona S. Diaz, MZIS QALAQI (CITY OF THE SUN) by Rati Oneli and NEWTON by Amit V Masurkar.
EL MAR LA MAR by Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki receives this year's Caligari Award. The jury members were Sarah Adam (B-Movie e.V, Hamburg-St.Pauli), Fiona Berg (Kommunales Kino Weiterstadt) and Julia Teichmann (FILMDIENST).
Here is what they said: "The journey leads through the desert, a wasteland. Lying there like flotsam on a beach: a backpack, banknotes, an identity card, a name – the only name in EL MAR LA MAR. The voices that we hear are without bodies; are incorporeal. They tell of the sun, of the heat, of the beauty, of natural catastrophes. They tell of death, of hardship, of pain, and of survival. The endless expanse of the Sonoran Desert stretching between the United States and Mexico.
Light and shadows, space and time; the tracks in the sand and the objets trouvés unbalance our sense of time and place, converting the film into a physical experience. Migration, refuge, and politics: in the form of an audiovisual experiment, the two directors get straight to the heart of existential questions. The journey leads through the desert."
Fernando Birri’s ORG (Italy 1967–1978) is a monstrous film, extremely rarely screened since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 1979. After a 1991 retrospective of his films at Arsenal, Birri left behind a print of the nearly three-hour work in our archive. Only one more print is known to exist in the world.
As part of the project "Living Archive – Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice" the group "Entuziazm" (Michael Baute, Volker Pantenburg, Stefan Pethke) came across Birri’s film in Arsenal’s archive in 2011 and decided to look into it further. It was then digitized and new subtitles were provided.
The new version will be shown as part of the Forum program of this year’s Berlinale. arsenal edition will also release a DVD of ORG featuring additional material in February.
Since cinema began, part of the fascination of the moving image has stemmed from the way in which the bodies of the people acting on the screen are represented: it’s no coincidence that the first ever film footage shows contented workers, men exercising or boisterous children. It wasn’t long before Méliès extended these short documentary scenes by adding cinematic (corporeal) experiments of a fantastical or dramatic nature: images of elegant dancers that disappear as if by magic, images of headless skeletons on the prowl or of heads that inflate like balloons and explode. With these two poles as a starting point, the staging of bodies (and body parts) in film went on to become a fundamental means of cinematic expression whose diverse manifestations have had a substantial effect on how we think about human physiology.
This month's Magical History Tour presents notable images of the body from 80 years of film history, showing the special physical presence exuded by bodies of longing, objects of projection, foreign or collective bodies, the reanimated and corporeal hybrids.
*Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Chantal Akerman Belgium/France 1975 DCP OV/EnS 202 min
Martha Rainer Werner Fassbinder
FRG 1974 35 mm 116 min
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington USA 1939
With James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold
35 mm OV/GeS 125 min
Preserved by the Library of Congress