September 2013, arsenal cinema

Commissioned by Inge Classen


Very few films are made in Germany without television funding. Film funding rules mean that public service broadcasters set the course of how a film develops significantly. The decisions of TV departments thus play an important role when it comes to whether a film is made or not. In her function as ZDF editor and a long-serving head of the film department at 3sat, Inge Classen insisted over 20 years with all her force that there was a place for cinematographic art funded by television and she gave it regular slots in the program. Passionately and expertly, she also managed to push through difficult topics and unusual aesthetic forms, both in documentaries and features. She promoted auteurs with a particular style, filmmakers with a specific vision of film and thus supported many films that have enriched German cinema in artistic terms. So as to pay homage to Inge Classen's work and merits, now that she has taken early retirement, we are showing four films that came about under her supervision and hint at the variety of her projects. We are very glad that Inge Classen will be our guest to present the films with the directors and others involved such as the editor Bettina Böhler.

SEHNSUCHT(Longing, Valeska Grisebach, G 2006, 5.9.) Ella and Markus have been together almost since childhood. They are married with children. However, on a day trip with the voluntary fire brigade, Markus meets another woman, Rose. He does not know what is happening and a love triangle ensues. Markus loves his wife, but he also loves Rose. This is a big love story set in a small village in Brandenburg and told by amateur actors. They appropriate feelings and words only, and thus never really get totally involved by their roles. The documentary appearance is therefore broken in a complex way: A very special mixture of melodramatic tragedy and precise reality of life.

CHARLOTTE RAMPLING – THE LOOK(Angelina Maccarone, F/G 2011 | 5.9.) The British actress Charlotte Rampling has often caused a sensation with her roles - for example, in Liliana Cavani's "The Night Porter", Nagisa Oshima's "Max, mon amour", or in films by Woody Allen and François Ozon. The fascinating woman with her secretive gaze is at the center of this unusual film portrait that depicts different facets of her personality in nine chapters, using talks with select companions of hers. She talks about age, beauty, taboos, demons and desire with the photographers Peter Lindbergh and Jürgen Teller, the writer Paul Auster and many others but never gives away her secret.

IM SCHATTEN (In the Shadows, Thomas Arslan, G 2010, 6.9.) Trojan (Mišel Matičević) is released from jail and soon begins to plan his next coup. During his preparations to attack an armored cash transport car with an old friend, a former accomplice puts out a contract on him. The laconic professional also has to fend off a corrupt policeman (Uwe Bohm). An exciting crime thriller, a neo film noir in Berlin - real genre cinema that concentrates on the daily life of gangsters, their movements and gestures as well as the skills their work involves without overburdening the characters with personal stories.

UNSER TÄGLICH BROT (Our Daily Bread, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Austria 2005, 6.9.) A plane sprays pesticides over a sunflower field, slaughterhouse scenes, battery farms and monocultures in massive greenhouses - all sites of industrial food production in a world dominated by machines. Monumental spaces, surreal landscapes and bizarre sounds. No interviews, no commentary - a documentary film without one spoken word. In long static takes, framed carefully and composed in symmetrical wide shots, the images follow one after the other in widescreen format and make clear the high-tech character of food production.