November 2013, arsenal cinema

How Film Writes History Differently Frieda Grafe – 30 Films (3)

ANATOMIE D'UN RAPPORT, 1976

The third and final part of the retrospective of Frieda Grafe's 30 favorite films began at the end of October and continues from November 1–3. The first evening brings together Jean Renoir and Chantal Akerman and thus confronts two variants of the auteur film. Sternberg meets Rossellini on the second evening, each with a film from the early 50s. Two social microcosms coalesce in places that have been forgotten by history - a hazy volcano in southern Italy and a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, places that belong to two countries that just a few years earlier formed part of the fascist Axis alliance. On the final evening, Moullet's oppressive anatomy of a relationship rubs up against the liberating colors of Hawks, who makes "not even the slightest effort to maintain realism."

BOUDU SAUVE DES EAUX (Boudu Saved from Drowning, Jean Renoir, France 1932, with an introduction by Florian Schneider, 1.11.) "The Nouvelle Vague directors filmed Paris of the late 1950s and 60s like Renoir had filmed it in the 30s in BOUDU SAUVE DES EAUX," Frieda Grafe wrote. The comedy was the first film that enabled Renoir to finally break free from the reputation of merely being the son of his father.

NEWS FROM HOME (Chantal Akerman, F/B/FRG 1976, With an introduction by Kathrin Rothemund, 1.11.) Frieda Grafe asked herself whether the essay film was the auteur film of the documentary genre. "Does that also mean that essay films are the last battles? Or were they perhaps the beginning of film criticism? With methods specific to the cinema?" This film is Akerman's essayistic idea of life in New York and her long-distance relationship with her mother.

ANATAHAN (Josef von Sternberg, Japan 1953, With an introduction by Ute Holl, 2.11.) Frieda Grafe: "In ANATAHAN, Sternberg took his disdain for language to the extreme. (...) Only an associative text, narrated by Sternberg himself, comments in English what is happening on the screen." The film prompted Ute Holl to ask the question: "What happens when men create texts or make films about violence and rape and catch themselves, mea culpa, listen here, implying it happened and should be so understood because the woman wanted it?"

VIAGGIO IN ITALIA (Journey to Italy, Roberto Rossellini, Italy 1954, With an introduction by Aryan Kaganof, 2.11.) Frieda Grafe: "We are so used to being fed stories in which everything happens that when something unmotivated appears on the screen, like at the end of Rossellini's VIAGGIO IN ITALIA, it immediately equates a miracle."

ANATOMIE D'UN RAPPORT (Anatomy of a Relationship, Luc Moullet & Antonietta Pizzorno, France 1976, With an introduction by Volker Pantenburg, 3.11.) "It does not suffice to merely see in ANATOMIE D’UN RAPPORT the ratio between documentary and fiction. Rather, it makes sense in this case to perceive the boundaries as suspended," Frieda Grafe wrote about Moullet's examination of a couple's relationship.

GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (Howard Hawks, USA 1953, With an introduction by Diedrich Diederichsen, 3.11.) Diedrich Diederichsen: "Rarely has a film better succeeded in better deconstructing not only the definition of merit, the idea of individual and inimitable personality and finally the ideology of gender difference, sexual orientation and their nature." (ab, ma, hk)

"How film writes history differently / Frieda Grafe – 30 Films" is a Max Annas, Annett Busch and Henriette Gunkel project financed by the Capital Cultural Fund. In cooperation with Brinkmann and Bose Verlag and Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art.