October 2021, arsenal cinema

The Last City

THE LAST CITY, 2020

An archeologist and a weapons designer who knew each other in a former life as a filmmaker and a psychoanalyst meet at an archeological excavation site in the Negev Desert and begin discussing love and war; a conversation they continue in the Israeli city of Be’er Sheva. The film then proceeds with changing actors in changing roles; a round dance that takes us to the cities of Athens, Berlin, Hong Kong, and São Paulo. The characters include an old artist who meets his younger self, a mother who lives with her two grown sons (a priest and a policeman), a Chinese woman and a Japanese woman, a curator and a cosmologist. Their dialogues deal with now-obsolete social taboos, generational conflict, war guilt, and cosmological musings. The architecture of each of the five cities serves as the third participant in the protagonists' dialogues, and completes their philosophical and metaphysical journeys. (PYM Film) To coincide with the theatrical premiere of the film DIE LETZTE STADT (2020) by Heinz Emigholz, we are showing both the English and German language versions, supplemented by two further films by the director: In STREETSCAPES (2017), we dive into the former lives of two characters who we know from DIE LETZTE STADT, back when one was still a filmmaker (John Erdman) and the other a psychoanalyst (Jonathan Perel). In and in front of buildings by Julio Vilamajó, Eladio Dieste, and finally Arno Brandlhuber, they discuss artistic blockages, creative powers, and the mediating effect of the camera. The film is based on a five-day analytical marathon that Emigholz undertook with trauma specialist Zohar Rubinstein. In DER ZYNISCHE KÖRPER (1991), Emigholz was already examining life processes and creative crises as well as the diverse relationships between eternally-minded architectures and the finite lifetime of the human body. Five people leaf through the notebooks of a deceased publisher’s editor who was their friend: a writer, a photographer, an architect (John Erdman), a graphic artist, and a translator. (21., 23., 26. & 29.10., screenings attended by Heinz Emigholz)