It all began with the “Film Retrospective in 99 Films”. The old Arsenal cinema in Schöneberg had barely opened when the first film history anthology series was presented. This was followed by the “Story of Film in 150 Films” (the 80s), the “Story of Film in 365 Films or As Many Films as the Year Has Days” (90s) and finally the ongoing Magical History Tour at Arsenal 2 at Potsdamer Platz. This is where a canon put forward by Arsenal has been shown, questioned and expanded. When our small cinema had to stay closed after the lockdown, the Magical History Tour initially became homeless. In January 2023, it finally gets going again, to be held in condensed form on weekends, providing a typically subjective film history series that takes its bearings from the comprehensive holdings of the Arsenal archive and the films central to our institution.
We are presenting a seasonally-minded special edition of the series, which is less about launching a new program than bringing a difficult (cinema) year to a close with a brilliant collection of film historical gems: infectious comedies, song-and-dance extravaganzas, captivating worlds in color and black and white. The deliberately eclectic selection is based on audience requests and the Arsenal staff’s all-time favorites and is an invitation to attend a set of nights at the movies that will be cheerful, breathtaking or contemplative in equal measure. (Milena Gregor)