july 2020, arsenal cinema

Black Light

The retrospective Black Light of the Locarno Film Festival, curated by Greg de Cuir Jr., which had to be interrupted in March, continues with a selection of 13 films, focusing mainly on those from the US made between the 1910s and 1991. Given the huge quantity and variety of films that explore being black, this selection only offers a rudimentary insight and should be understood as an open suggestion. To what extent can films made in very different contexts be summed up under one heading? “Black cinema can not just be limited to a definition of who is behind or in front of the camera,” says de Cuir. This program is about finding common forms of experiences, but also exploring divisions and issues with regard to racism, self-empowerment and representation. We are very pleased that Greg de Cuir Jr will be with us on the first two evenings of our program. On the second, he will talk with the filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson who is currently a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. “I tried to position this as a retrospective that would be thematic but also geographical in a sense, or at least very international. (…)The first framework was the 20th century. I wanted it to be a retrospective that looks back like a true retrospective and I wanted it to focus on the 20th century for that reason. (...) I didn’t want to focus on Africa because for me, that is a different retrospective that requires a different approach, tools, criteria and ethics. I wanted to focus on what happened after Africa, after people were forced to leave and were situated in different nations and contexts to survive and flourish. What are those situations and what do they look like in film culture across the 20th century? That was the focus. (...) I would say I wanted to do a wide variety of directors that are coming from different nations, different races, different religions, different genders, different ethnicities, who all have in common this investigation and elaboration, this celebration of black cultures and black peoples on screen.(…) I would say that I wanted to bring a sort of survey of the different decades to try to show a little bit of what’s happening in as many decades as possible. (...)”(Greg de Cuir Jr in mubi.com/notebook)”

july 2020, arsenal cinema

Forum 50

The Berlinale Forum is taking place for the 50th time this year and we are celebrating! 21 programs were shown during this year's festival, 22 more were to be presented in March in the Arsenal. Forum 50 will continue in July and August with a selection of five films. This will provide an insight into an era full of upheavals for society and culture and offer the opportunity to examine the films’ relevance today. When Ulrich and Erika Gregor and their co-founders set up the International Forum of Young Cinema, they had a clear sense of the radical changes in cinema, the sociopolitical situation and the necessity of keeping alive film history. Films from countries not yet on the global radar of cinema premiered here, as did films that experimented with form or others without narratives. From the start, no distinction was made between documentary and fictional films; older and re-discovered films stood side by side with films with a political message. Already known classics made references to utopias and cinematic traditions. A large part of the first Forum program comprised works of artistic innovation and political agitation. Many saw themselves as providing “counter-information” to the mainstream media, for example with regard to the Civil Rights Movement or the protests against the Vietnam War. In films that explored (neo-)colonialism and exploitation in South America and Africa, the camera was a tool of the class struggle. Some of the films we are screening are part of our own collection. Since the very beginning, it has been our policy to preserve and make accessible films with German subtitles to a broader public outside of the festival context.

june 2020, arsenal cinema

Online Tickets

Online tickets for Arsenal screenings avalaible here.