“There is no place like a cinema to pay attention to time!” – James Benning’s answer to the question of what predestines his film TWENTY CIGARETTES for a cinema screening doubles up as the motto of the Magical History Tour in February. The focus here is less on the editing phenomenon of “film time” than on showing four entirely specific cinematic representations of time and temporality in themselves. In these four films, what is prosaically referred to film jargon compendiums as natural, real or plot time becomes the starting point for impressive experiments in showing time and allowing it to be experienced, whether in more playful or more complex fashion. They are films that give themselves, their characters and thus also the audience time (and space), thus opening up an unusual degree of concentration and spaces of perception. To continue the metaphor: take the time for these films, all of which were presented at the Berlinale Forum and have been distributed by Arsenal ever since.
Aside from how they relate to the program, the screenings of WAVELENGTH und CHRONIK DER ANNA MAGDALENA BACH are also an opportunity for us to pay tribute to Michael Snow and Jean-Marie Straub, both of whom died recently. We will miss their important voices. (Milena Gregor)