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BRONENOSEZ POTEMKIN (Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein, Soviet Union 1925, 1. & 4.5.) For his revolution film, a work commissioned to celebrate the mutiny on the Tsarist warship before Odessa in 1905, Eisenstein chose the structure of the classical tragedy in five acts, each of which he gave a different title to: "Men and Maggots", "Drama on the Deck", "A Dead Man Calls for Justice", "The Odessa Steps", "One against All". The starting point is formed by the sailors on board the Potemkin, who fight back against their harsh treatment and the undignified living conditions on the ship. Following a mutiny, they are able to take command of the craft and drop anchor at Odessa. When the population shows solidarity with the sailors, the authorities intervene and create a bloodbath on the steps of Odessa. But the approaching Black Sea fleet refuses to open fire on the Potemkin. Eisenstein intended the raising of the symbolic red flag, which appears at various points in this black and white film, to be colored in precisely this hue. As it’s well-known that the story of BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN is also a story of spectacular censorship, the belligerent color accentuation was also repressed for decades. We are showing the 2005 restoration of the film by Enno Patalas and Anna Bohn, which moves closer to the Soviet premiere version in various ways (music by Meisel, "original" intertitles, Trotski quote) and thus also allows the flag to flutter in shimmering red. LE MÉPRIS (Contempt, Jean-Luc Godard, France/Italy 1963, 3. & 6.5.) The director of an Odysseus adaptation (Fritz Lang), his dissatisfied producer (Jack Palance), a scriptwriter named Prokosh (Michel Piccoli) who is supposed to rewrite the basic script, and his wife Camille (Brigitte Bardot), who increasingly turns away from him over the course of the film: Godard’s film about filmmaking and the world of cinema revolves around these four protagonists and the shifting relationships, duels, differences, and separations they enter into to. The film harnesses color for dramatic means in impressive fashion: brown, yellow, and green dominate the outdoor shots; red, blue, and white accentuate the interiors, both surrounded by deep blue tones that reflect the sea and the sky. The numerous (color) citations and allusions, doublings and refractions, make the film a document of untiring (self-)reflection. BLUE (Derek Jarman, GB 1993, 5. & 12.5.) "Whoever sees the film", says Jarman, "recognizes that red and yellow wouldn't work. Yellow is the true color of illness. And red is too inflammatory and difficult. Blue always carries hope. It never becomes too maudlin." There follows 72 minutes of blue: the monochrome screen draws the viewer's gaze to the nothingness of the color blue. As he grapples with death, Jarman demonstrates in lasting fashion that the existence of illness needn't be proven by images. The soundtrack includes the sound of the ocean, voices, mainly Jarman's (but also those of John Quentin, Nigel Terry and Tilda Swinton), stories, poems, and dialogs from his life after being infected with AIDS. An artistic legacy, the last words of a great visual narrator who lost his eyesight.IL DESERTO ROSSO (Red Desert, Michelangelo Antonioni, I/F 1964, 7.5. & 9.5.) Giuliana (Monica Vitti) is desperately unhappy in her loveless marriage and is unable to reconnect with her daily life following an accident. She suffers panic attacks and can no longer look after her small son, perceiving her surroundings as being entirely devoid of life. They consist of cold interiors and destroyed industrial complexes. Her impressions turn into apocalyptic visions of decay. The complex use of color for dramatic purposes, broken light, and above all the intense red hues form the color texture of this film about shifts in perception and losing touch with reality. MIES VAILLA MENNEISYYTTÄ(The Man Without a Past, Aki Kaurismäki, Finland/Germany /France 2002, 8. & 15.5.) A man is robbed and beaten to death but miraculously returns to life, albeit having forgotten everything. Without an identity, past or memory, but with a head bandage, he starts a new life in a prefab container inhabited by homeless people and outlaws, protected by the angelic Salvation Army. He plants potatoes, is involved in an absurd bank robbery, and finds love with Irma (Kati Outinen). Following "Juha" (1998), his homage to silent film shot in high contrast black and white, Kaurismaki draws on rich, gleaming colors in this account of solidarity among the excluded and retaining dignity without ever succumbing to sentimentality or giving up on his lightness of touch or stoical nonchalance.NOSFERATU, EINE SYMPHONIE DES GRAUENS (F.W. Murnau, Germany 1921, 11. & 13.5., with a live piano accompaniment by Eunice Martins) Long before the introduction of color film, the pioneers of cinema experimented with color in film: Manual and template colorings, virage (monochrome tinting) and toning (chemical conversion of the film material) added color to early cinema. Murnau's Dracula adaptation is screened in a viraged version, the color dramaturgy of which corresponds to the standard usages of the time: blue colored sequences referred to nocturnal or outdoor scenes, yellow stood for indoor shots, red symbolized danger, fire or also love, while green signified nature. Béla Balász attested that it was above all Murnau's nature scenes that were like a "cold blast of air from the netherworld", which is exactly what the wife of real estate agent Hutter feels when she finds out that her husband must go on a business trip to Transylvania. In the night following Hutter's arrival, both the contract is signed and the true of nature of his business partner revealed. JOHNNY GUITAR (Nicholas Ray, USA 1954, 14. & 16.5.) Green or red kerchiefs on dark black or bright yellow blouses, shimmering purple-red negligees, (pale) red shirts, glowing red cliffs, a colorful night sky – Ray decks out both his protagonists and the spaces and landscapes of his atypical Western in the gently artificial colors of the relatively short-lived Trucolor material. He was not interested in naturalism, but rather consistency and coherence. Alongside the titular former revolver hero Johnny (Sterling Hayden), who now is available as a guitarist for hire, it is his former lover and now affluent saloon owner Vienna (Joan Crawford) who is at the heart of the film, in whose establishment he turns up (again) one day. The obstacles in the way of their reconnection are a jealous rival, a dogged competitor, an angry lynch mob, a burning saloon and an unconventional shoot out. TOUKI BOUKI (Djibril Diop Mambéty, Senegal 1973, 16. & 19.5.) A young Senegalese couple dreams of a better future in Paris. After overcoming a multitude of barriers however, they have to admit that life in France is only linked to a vague hope unlikely ever to be fulfilled. Djibril Diop Mambéty's experimental feature debut, shot in the lurid colors of the 1970s, is at once a road movie, an episode film, an initiation, and a satire. The borders between reality and imagination, documentary and fantasy are blurred. A milestone in the history of African cinema.SPIELBANK-AFFÄRE (Arthur Pohl, East Germany/Sweden 1957, Color version: 17. & 26.5., Black and white version: 30.5.) At the end of the 50s, a covert East / West Germany coproduction was made an ideological example of by way of color. This crime thriller of opulent visual appeal and locations about the machinations in a West German casino failed to pass the East Germany censors: it was said that neither the party lines was adequately communicated, nor were there enough representatives of the working class in the film, with West Germany being anyway shown as far too colorful. As a result, the film was only screened in East Germany in a black and white version. We are presenting both versions of the film, which was released in the West under the title of PARKPLATZ ZUR GROSSEN SEHNSUCHT. At the heart of the film is a dodgy lawyer, who attempts to use fake tokens and the support of an unknowing young woman in order to ruin a spa town casino.LOLA(R.W. Fassbinder, West Germany 1981, 17. & 20.5.) West Germany in 1957: the economy is flourishing in a small town in Northern Bavaria, where business deals are best negotiated in the local brothel. The new head of the buildings department would like to expose the town's corrupt dealings, but cannot maintain his position of moral superiority after he falls in love with prostitute Lola. The third, garish-parodic part of an examination of West German postwar society resembles a dialog between the colors red and blue (man/woman, passion/order, inside/outside) that at first clash in seemingly irreconcilable fashion. This color order is abandoned only once a budding relationship begins between the upstanding building department head and Lola. ONE WAY BOOGIE WOOGIE / 27 YEARS LATER (James Benning, USA 2005, 18. & 31.5.) A film about memory and aging – also that of colors. In 1977, Benning shot ONE WAY BOOGIE WOOGIE, which consists of 60 one-minute shots of urban industrial areas in his hometown of Milwaukee. In order to capture the changes that took place since then, he returned to the old locations for 27 YEARS LATER, where he also met the people from back then. Aside from a few new structures that could be put down to urban planning and several torn-down buildings, the images show a surprising degree of similarity. The clearest difference between the footage thus lies in the different materials upon which they were short: the earlier film, shot on Ektachrome Commercial Kodak 7252 (a fine grain reversal film) conveys a rich spectrum of color, while the color quality of the 2004 footage (Kodak 7245) is marked by a coolness, clarity and realism, which gives the film a contemporary feel. TO CATCH A THIEF (Alfred Hitchcock, USA 1955, 21. & 23.5.) A (picture postcard) dream in pastel colors – in the first minutes of the film, Hitchcock already reveals the pleasingly stereotypical color spectrum of the springtime Côte d'Azur and later runs through it from A to Z in the protagonists' wardrobes (costumes: Edith Head): light blue, pale pink, lime green, a touch of grey. The only jarring element is the threatening veil of green tones that descends at night, through which the black cat darts over the roofs of Nice, followed by a feared jewel thief, who clears out the jewelry coffers of all the glitterati spending their holidays on the French Rivera. Entirely for his own protection, former jewel thief Robie (Cary Grant) has made it his task to catch him, while being ogled all the while by the initially skeptical heiress Frances (Grace Kelly). A Technicolor celebration and a tension-filled parody, with the standard innuendo intact: "What do you say?" – "My only comment would be highly censorable."FAR FROM HEAVEN (Todd Haynes, USA 2002, 22. & 25.5.) A subtle homage to Douglas Sirk and an impressive symbiosis of great visual elegance and the desire for confrontation at a thematic level in the form of a stylistically adept melodrama: The marital life of an American couple begins to crumble when the husband gives in to his homosexual predisposition and the wife starts an affair with an African-American man. The repressive iron grip of convention stands in stark contrast to the emotional longings of the protagonists.DUOLUO TIANSHI (Fallen Angels, Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong 1996, 27. & 29.5.) Directionless, with no history to rely on and an uncertain future, a young contract killer, his ex-girlfriend and agent Punkie, a mute small time criminal, and the garrulous Cherry roam through the nocturnal neon undergrowth of the vast metropolis of Hong Kong. When their paths cross, the hectic propulsion of the city seems to stand still for a moment and its brash lights seems to be slightly dimmed – moments in which the city and its inhabitants seem to dissolve, enveloped in a milky, out of focus cloud of color, some times more green, sometimes distantly reminiscent of red – colors as an echo, second hand colors. HEAVEN CAN WAIT(Ernst Lubitsch, USA 1943, 28., 29. & 31.5.) In the best case, the American moral censors allowed to themselves to be led up the garden path by the friendly voiceover, which innocently introduces the film as a romantic comedy. To every one else, Lubitsch's penultimate work and only film in color presents itself as a veritable firework of irony laced with innuendo, gifted with elegantly directed performances, and a lush Technicolor dramatic color scheme, which frequently underlines the film's subversive nuances. Following his death, an irredeemable playboy (Don Ameche) requests entrance to hell following his numerous adulterous missteps. In the company of the devil (a gentleman of the old school), his life passes before his eyes. (mg)

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