May 2012, arsenal cinema

The Face as an Event

THE ELEPHANT MAN, 1980

In May and June, Mona Körte and her colleagues from the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin (ZfL) will present a series of films on the theme "The Face as an Event. Facial Semantics in Film" and thus provide an accompaniment to a seminar being held at the TU Berlin. "The medium of film accentuates the face as a surface rich in events. It explores the face as a location, as a thing without a body, but also engages with the parts of it that "speak" most clearly: the skin and the eyes, the cheeks and the forehead, the mouth, nose and ears. Something occurs when the close-up and the face as a subject come together: it is here that relationships between "visualization, technology, knowledge, representation and entertainment" (Tom Gunning) are called into being, whereby the ways in which these different elements refer to one another is unclear within a cultural historical framework. The medium of film exposes uncertainties in the previous understanding of visual culture by drawing new facets from the standard physiognomic perception and the oppositions of surface and depth, interior and exterior and man and monster. In the process, the face appears less as a natural or divine apparition, but rather as a composite, destroyed or mystified one, somewhere between silent film and the horror film, between the close up and animation techniques" (Mona Körte)

"Creature of Clay" is the title of Mona Körte's (ZfL) introduction to Paul Wegener's DER GOLEM, WIE ER IN DIE WELT KAM (Germany 1920, May 10, piano accompaniment by Eunice Martins). Margarete Vöhringer (ZfL) discusses "Masks and the Medium" with regards to Dziga Vertov's TSCHELOWJEK S KINOAPPARATOM (The Man with the Movie Camera, USSR 1929, May 24). Uta Kornmeier (ZfL) gives an introduction to THE ELEPHANT MAN (David Lynch, USA 1980, May 31) on the subject of "Facial Deformity as an Attraction". In stringent black and white compositions, Lynch carefully approaches the life of a man who is exhibited at fairs at the end of the 19th Century due to his abnormal deformities in the head and body.

The film series – in collaboration with the Zfl – will be continued in June.

arsenal cinema: The Face as an Event

07:00 pm Cinema 2


The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man David Lynch USA 1980

35 mm OV 123 min

Introduced by Uta Kornmeier
arsenal cinema: 50 Years of the Oberhausen Manifesto

07:15 pm Cinema 1


Schonzeit für Füchse

*Schonzeit für Füchse Peter Schamoni BRD 1966

35 mm GV 92 min

arsenal cinema: 50 Years of the Oberhausen Manifesto

09:00 pm Cinema 1


Abschied von gestern

Abschied von gestern Alexander Kluge West Germany 1966

35 mm GV 88 min