march 2018, arsenal cinema

Splendid Isolation: Hong Kong Cinema 1949–1997

An exceptional cinematic movement of unrivaled creative force and imagination developed in post-war Hong Kong, which at the time was still a Crown colony. At the beginning, the industry latched onto Hollywood genre models but also to the pre-war cinema of Shanghai, producing adaptations of classical operas, modernist melodramas and popular martial arts films. These were the cornerstones of a unique and differentiated genre and star system that engendered screen legends from Linda Lin Dai to Chow Yun Fat. “Splendid Isolation” traces a line from the little-known early era of Hong Kong cinema, via the popular genre films and auteur works of the 1970s and ’80s that garnered great ac-claim at international festivals, to the offshoots of the 1990s, which became part of the broader Chinese film production after the colony’s handover in 1997. Though the cinema of the city state was associated through personal and institutional continuities with Chinese filmmaking of the pre-war era, until the 1970s it was as cut off from the Chinese mainland as it was from cinema markets outside of Asia. This gradually began to change with the international success of martial arts films and the first films of the New Wave at the end of the 1970s. Despite the efforts of certain distributors, the visually impressive films of the late 1980s and 90s could often only be seen at festivals in Germany and still await a comprehensive rediscovery. This program gives a unique insight into Hong Kong’s multi-faceted cinema, presenting the films from archives all over the world in their original 35-mm format. It includes classics as well as largely forgotten gems. We are particularly pleased to welcome Hong Kong star director Ann Hui. This programme is curated by The Canine Condition (Lukas Foerster, Nikolaus Perneczky, Fabian Tietke, Cecilia Valenti) in cooperation with Lorenzo Berardelli.

march 2018, arsenal cinema

DAAD grant holder Pelin Esmer is our guest

The Turkish filmmaker Pelin Esmer (*1972) is currently the guest of the DAAD's Berlin artist-in-residence program. She has made five films, functioning as screenplay writer, producer and editor. Whether making documentaries or fiction films, she always explores the situation in Turkey today.

We are showing three of her films on March 20/21: IŞE YARAR BIR ŞEY (Something Useful, 2017), OYUN (The Play, 2005) und 11’E 10 KALA (10 to 11, 2009).

march 2018, arsenal cinema

Time and memory: The cinema of Terence Davies

Time and memory are central elements of Terence Davies’ films. The British director was born in 1945, the youngest of 10 children. His childhood was overshadowed by his father’s violence and a repressive form of Catholicism. His understanding that he was gay was associated with feelings of shame and guilt. His works explore these experiences, from the early very autobiographical films to his later literary adaptations. The past and present are tied together in a unique fashion and the characteristics of memory, which is fragmentary and erratic, connected to emotions, music and individual people, are accommodated. Davies does not talk about the life of his protagonists as a chronological sequence of events but more as a thickly-woven rug of dreams and needs, encounters and disappointments. Caught up as they are in their own lives, the protagonists cannot escape their past, just as Davies’ films are not interested in linear narration. Long, still shots, associative montage and flowing transitions provide the aesthetic equivalence of this specific form of of exploring time.

Arsenal will show all eight of Terence Davies’ feature films between March 29 and April 9.

march 2018, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour – 
Two become one

It is well known that most films are the result of a creative group process. March’s Magical History Tour focuses on the smallest possible community in the cinematic creation process: A creative team of two that often works closely together over years and decades to create a characteristic body of work which bears the mark of both members.

february 2018, on tour

New Arsenal Edition DVD – Specters of Freedom: Cinema and Decolonization

Arsenal Edition is releasing its 12th DVD in March, the compilation “Specters of Freedom: Cinema and Decolonization” which comprises four films from Arsenal’s collection: MONANGAMBEEE (Sarah Maldoror, 1969), MUEDA; MEMÒRIA E MASSACRE (Ruy Guerra, 1979), LA ZERDA ET LES CHANTS DE L’OUBLI (Assia Djebar, 1982) and REASSEMBLAGE (Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1982), as well as two milestones of Mozambican cinema, ESTAS SÃO AS ARMAS (Murilo Salles, 1978) and DEIXEM-ME AO MENOS SUBIR ÀS PALMEIRAS (Joaquim L. Barbosa, 1972). It is the first time that these will be available on DVD. The edition is pertinent today, as a multi-faceted contribution to the aesthetics of resistance against colonial violence. The Goethe Institute has supported the release, on which Filmgalerie 451 cooperated.

We will show the films by Assia Djebar and Joaquim L. Barbosa at the DVD presentation on March 2nd.

arsenal cinema: Márta Mészáros Retrospective

07:30 pm Cinema 1


Örökbefogadás Adoption
Hungary 1975 35 mm OV/EnS 88 min

arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour – The Voice, Language and Speaking in Film

08:00 pm Cinema 2


*Beeswax Andrew Bujalski
USA 2009 35 mm OV/GeS 100 min

arsenal cinema: Márta Mészáros Retrospective

09:00 pm Cinema 1

Kilenc hónap

Kilenc hónap Nine Months
Hungary 1976 35 mm OV/GeS 95 min