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july 2017, arsenal cinema

A Tribute to Valeska Gert

Dancer, actress, cabaret star, bar owner, and book author Valeska Gert (1892–1978) was "one of the most influential artists of the modern era" (Wolfgang Müller), whose interdisciplinary grasp of art and disdain for standard boundaries were way of ahead of their time. Valeska Gert celebrated her biggest successes in the Berlin of the Weimer Republic. By creating a blend of dance, pantomime, and acting which she referred to as "grotesque dance", she produced what Kurt Tucholsky described as "likely the most impudent of things ever to be done on stage". She danced such themes as "baby", "death", "political assembly", "nervousness" and the everyday professional life of a prostitute in "Canaille": "As I didn't love the citizen, I danced the roles of those he felt contempt for, the whores, the procuresses, those on the slide, those at the bottom." ("Mein Weg", 1931). Her anti-bourgeois lack of inhibition and the wildness of the musical dance numbers she performed polarized audiences and took Valeska Gert all the way to the big international stages. As a Jewish avant-garde artist, she became unable to perform on stage after the National Socialists came to power and emigrated to the US in 1939, where she created a meeting point for New York bohemians in the form of the "Beggar Bar". After returning to Berlin in 1949, her cabaret bar "Hexenküche" was unable to replicate her previous successes and she withdraw to the island of Sylt in the 1950s, where she ran the "Ziegenstall" bar until her death.

From July 6-27, we are showing a selection of the films Valeska Gert appeared in between 1925 and 1976. Although she usually only appeared in supporting roles, her expressive appearances, in which she always conveys an image of the independent woman, left a profound impression on the films.

july 2017, arsenal cinema

Creative Visions – Hong Kong Cinema 1997–2017

Made in Hong Kong – a label that refers to films that work in a field rich with (film) history and resonance, mining the points where action and auteur cinema, the power of innovation and genre, wild rawness and technical perfection are renegotiated again and again. On the 20th anniversary of the handover of the former British crown colony to China, the ten films from the last two decades that make up "Creative Visions" provide an opportunity for audiences to grasp the hugely varied approaches employed by Hong Kong cinema and enjoy its full versatility, complexity, and dynamism.

Running from July 14th until August 3rd, the program presents works both by major internationally renowned directors as well as promising debut films and forges a path between thrillers, melodramas, action films, sports dramas, and triad shootouts – all of them equally snapshots of a city and its inhabitants gripped by changing times and shifting social and political circumstances.

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.

june 2017, transfer

Analog Workshop

The more we are dedicated to preserving, rediscovering, and revitalizing archival films, the more we have to make sure that there is enough competence in dealing with analog film material in the future.

For this reason we are offering a six-day analog workshop for the first time from August 18-23. Arsenal members and partners will accompany the participants through the entire process: from producing a 16mm film, to digitizing it, then on to projecting it in the cinema, with added insights into archiving and caring for prints. The last day will involve a tour of the archive.

The workshop will delve into the various working areas, covering the basics with equal parts theory and practice. Starting in 2019 the Arsenal will be offering extended workshops in the specific areas.

june 2017, transfer

Arsenal Summer School: Curating the Archive

This year's Summer School takes place from August 24-26 at silent green Kulturquartier and the Arsenal cinema. Entitled "ONE PLUS ONE. Curating the Archive", it is focussing on questions of digitizing, restoring, and long-term archiving which are currently topics of great concern for the Arsenal.

Time is running short, since analog films are already threatened with disintegration, and the costs are so great that as a rule financing first has to be found for every effort. Despite the pressure to act quickly, we should not overlook that collective memory also contributes to how we engage with film history in the long term. Films live on in the memories of those who have seen them. The way that a film gets burned into memory is closely linked with the conditions of its reception. When, how, and under what conditions was a film seen? What other films or film events framed the screening?

One Plus One: The Summer School 2017 assumes that an archival film can only have significance in relation to the present, and cannot be remembered separately from the concrete situation of its presentation. The contributions and workshops are about the practice of curating. How do I create spaces for perceiving archival films, in which film history can become an experience of the present? How can exhibition and screening practice contribute to the formation of memory and thus to the processes of archiving?

July '17
Sunday, July 23 2017
arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour - 
City Symphonies

07:00 pm Cinema 2

Los Angeles Plays Itself

*Los Angeles Plays Itself
Thom Andersen USA 2003
DCP OV 170 min

arsenal cinema: A Tribute to Valeska Gert

07:30 pm Cinema 1

Die 3-Groschen-Oper

*Die 3-Groschen-Oper G.W. Pabst Germany 1931
35 mm 112 min