august 2019, arsenal cinema

Film and Book Presentation: PARADISE

Every day, 25-year-old primary school teacher Hanieh travels to work on the outskirts of Tehran. Her attempts to be reassigned to a different school ends up as a bureaucratic nightmare. She also feels her private life is going nowhere and feels just as detached when dealing with her pupils, to whom she must teach rules of behavior she herself does not believe in. MA DAR BEHESHT/PARADISE (Iran/Germany 2015) ist Sina Ataeian Dena’s first feature, which he shot over several years in Iran without permits and on a minimal budget. The film material was then brought out of the country and edited in Babelsberg. The “Paradise Handbook. Handbuch subversiver Strategien eines Films aus dem Iran” published afterwards uses individual scenes to give a breakdown of how the shoot got around the censors’ restrictions. Screening attended by Sina Ataeian Dena. (al) (27.8.)

august 2019, arsenal cinema

Retrospective Andrei Tarkovsky

The summer Tarkovsky retrospective is a tradition that has grown dear both to us and our audiences for 30 years now. In August, we are showing the seven feature films and one mid-length graduation film by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932–1986), whose monumental oeuvre exudes a lasting fascination.

august 2019, arsenal cinema

Female Film Noir Pioneers –
 Muriel Box, Edith Carlmar, Bodil Ipsen, Ida Lupino, Wendy Toye

The 1940s and 1950s experienced a blossoming in female filmmaking worldwide, with numerous female filmmakers starting their directorial careers in the film noir genre. This program brings together 13 features and three shorts by five film noir pioneers: Muriel Box (United Kingdom), Edith Carlmar (Norway), Bodil Ipsen (Denmark), Ida Lupino (USA), and Wendy Toye (United Kingdom).

Often subtly subverting the rules of the genre, these filmmakers created enduringly fascinating films that carry an individual signature and often pursue matters of feminism. Alongside the focus on their film noir works, the program also includes selected works from other genres, primarily the comedy, but also the spy film and war movie, which emphasize these filmmakers’ directorial versatility.

The series examines a chapter in female filmmaking that has thus far gone largely unwritten and throws up several mysteries: with the exception of Lupino (who made films between 1949 and 1966), the directorial careers of the other four filmmakers lasted almost exactly ten years before abruptly ending. From an archival point of view too, accessing their respective oeuvres is no easy task: several films from the filmographies of Carlmar, Ipsen, Box, and Toyes, including ones very much relevant for this program, are unable to even be shown in digitally restored form. Toyes’ feature debut, for example, the thriller The Teckman Mystery (1954), would have been a central film for this program, but there is no screenable print of it available worldwide; the same applies to Muriel Box’’s only film noir Eyewitness (1956). This series is thus also to be grasped as providing the impetus for a more comprehensive rediscovery of these cinema pioneers.