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february 2018, living archive

"Archive außer sich": A New Arsenal Project

A long-term series entitled “Archive außer sich”, featuring research, event and exhibition projects, examines film heritage and its archives. At its basis is an idea from Living Archive: Research, digitalization and restoration of archives are part of an artistic, curatorial and/or academic practice.

What is a film archive today? What does the public expect from an archive and what present and future can archival constellations form? What new forms of navigation, including speculative ones, can be developed? Archives are laboratories for critical reflection in the “heritage” category, e.g. in relation to a past of colonialism and immigration or to political and aesthetic movements. Apart from yielding returns with regard to film history and theory, the project intends to contribute to the development of new prospects in cultural policy concerning film. Participating institutions: Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Film – Feld – Forschung gGmbH, Harun Farocki Institut, SAVVY Contemporary, pong GmbH, the “Film culture: Archiving, Programming, Presentation” MA program at Frankfurt’s Goethe University and the Seminar for Film Studies at FU Berlin.

The first events take place on 22nd February as part of the Forum Expanded event “Think Film No. 6 – Archival Constellations“.

february 2018, living archive

Filmmakers' Choice

The next Filmmakers' Choice will be presented by Eleonore de Montesquiou on February 28.

Jean Renoir once said that "the art of cinema is to approach the truth of the people." In my film, OLGA & OLGA (2017) I wanted to know what feminism, love and freedom meant for two friends in the Soviet Union. In Márta Mészáros' feature film ÖRÖKBEFOGADÁS (Adoption, 1974), women assert themselves against their parents, teachers and lovers. The short film HISTOIRE D’UNE FEMME (2005) by Karim Souaki documents the life of an elderly woman in Tunis on the margins of society. All three films try to approach the living conditions of women in their social environment from different cultural perspectives.

january 2018, living archive

Vaginal Davis presents Rising Stars, Falling Stars – Sweet 16 mm Never Been Kissed

Rising Stars, Falling Stars … Since 2007 at Arsenal and 2016 at silent green, Vaginal Davis has presented her finds from our archive over 100 times, always wearing a different dress, singing, dancing, reciting texts and hosting a post-screening drinks session with her co-curator, the pianist Daniel Hendrickson.

On January 12, we will reach to the stars with them for the last time when they show A. Edward Sutherland's EVERY DAY’S A HOLIDAY (1937), starring Mae West as a con artist, Louis Armstrong playing himself and five musketeers.

december 2017, living archive

Filmmakers' Choice on December 21

When mermaids circle the night and dreams become more intense: 21.12. Le jour le plus court. The winter solstice. International Short Film Day. A celebration of the short form - both here and worldwide. Today, the night still stands over the day. In three days, there will be a white Christmas (WHITE CHRISTMAS, Harun Farocki, 1968). Sometimes I wish I could summon a family of goblins to my bed – God (THE VOICE OF GOD, Bernd Lützeler, 2012) knocks at the door. A triad can be heard. The miracle (LA REPRISE DU TRAVAIL AUX USINES WONDER, 1968) leads us through the night, which tells of mermaids (THE NATURAL LIFE OF MERMAIDS, Isabell Spengler, 2004). The jungle takes over the role of director - casting light (LIGHTS, Mary Menken, 1964) on shadow (SCHATTENFILM – DIE FRAU MIT DEN ZWEI KÖPFEN, Shuji Terayama, 1977). At the end of the evening, an ephemeral structure has been created, an imaginary conversation between ideas and the long past. (presented by Maike Mia Höhne)

october 2017, living archive

Filmmakers' Choice – Odyssey and Cosmic Resonance

On October 16, we are repeating the program curated by Lucile Desamory for June that had to be cancelled due to technical problems. In Luc Moullet's LA CABALE DES OURSINS (France 1992), abandoned strip mines appear next to volcanoes and pyramids. The director-cum-pataphysical cartographer creates a wasteland of the secret paths through his childhood memories. Opinions as to what is considered a historical monument, a magnificent natural landscape or industrial waste vary. I'm interested in the moment when the shift occurs, the "in-between" and its emotional consequences. CORPUS CALLOSUM (Michael Snow, Canada 2001) combines the realism of a normal metamorphosis in credible "real" inner spaces with "impossible" changes of form. In both films, the shift is a physical place, a fissure: a place of entrancement. Both films take the viewers to the equilibrium point between shifting modes of perception.

october 2017, living archive

Public Screening

On October 12 we are presenting another public screening with two films by Hungarian director Judit Elek: After writing a script about the sham trials held against the Jacobins in Hungary, Judit Elek was handed an unofficial ban at the start of the 70s and was unable to shoot any features for a period of eight years. During this time, she made ISTENMEZEJEN, EIN UNGARISCHES DORF (Hungary 1974) and EINFACHE GESCHICHTE (Hungary 1975), the impressive documentary portrait of two girls named Ilonka and Marika, who have to decide various between working in the fields and school and between marriage and moving to the city, without actually being able to take the decision themselves. The two-part long-term documentary was shot in a small village in the northeast of Hungary, where men and boys work in a mine and young girls are married off at fifteen years of age. Not even the birds manage to fly away from here, but are rather caught again and again, as the opening scene of the second part shows.