REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (Nicholas Ray, USA 1955, 1. & 6.8.) is a central work of the "juvenile delinquency" genre, the American antecedent to Germany's Halbstarken films. The gangster movies of the 1930s and film noir form the formal godfathers to Ray’s classic, which was based on comprehensive research conducted in the archives of juvenile detention centers and police stations. The latter is where the three young protagonists Judy, John, and Jim (James Dean) meet one night, before getting ground down by fatal gang rituals, helpless parents, and disinterested police.
LOS OLVIDADOS (Luis Buñuel, Mexico 1950, 2. & 5.8.) The living conditions of the youth gang that surround the aggressive, treacherous Jaidbo, his younger friend Pedro and the latter’s overwhelmed mother are totally desolate. Their dwellings on the drab outskirts of Mexico City are run down and interpersonal relations are dysfunctional at best. The daily battle for survival extends from theft and violence all the way to murder. Buñuel shows the raw rebellion of the younger generation in unflinching, inexorable fashion.
SEDMIKRÁSKY (Daisies, Věra Chytilová, Czechoslovakia 1966, 3. & 8.8.) Bored and inseparable, Marie I and II decide to lead a "perverted" life in face of the world's moral depravity. They go out for dinner with men and then leave them to foot the bill, organize a banquet with pieces of meat cut out of magazines, set paper garlands on fire, and lay the room to waste where a sumptuous buffet has been laid out: an anarchical and debauched feast of destruction that goes against all norms.
IKIRU (Akira Kurosawa, Japan 1952, 4. & 13.8.) Watanabe (Takashi Shimura), a lowly civil servant about to retire, discovers that he has terminal cancer. Realizing that he’s wasted his life working in administration, he takes on the bureaucratic apparatus in an attempt to “truly live for once”, his goal being to make sure a swamp is drained and a children’s playground is set up there. The film ends with a genuinely visionary image: the old rebel sitting on a swing and singing as the snow gently falls.
THE GRADUATE (Mike Nichols, USA 1967, 9. & 16.8.) After graduating from college with honors, Ben (Dustin Hoffman) and his career prospects seem to sink into a Bermuda triangle of lethargy, latent resistance, and a lack of autonomy. When he falls in love with the daughter of his motherly lover Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), he is catapulted into the role of the accidental rebel, which eventually ushers in a fast-paced showdown and an ambiguous ending set to Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”.
JEUNE FEMME (Montparnasse Bienvenüe, Léonor Serraille, France/Belgium 2017, 10. & 20.8.) “Paula feels like bashing her head against a wall. Her relationship with a photographer is ending, she has no contact with her mother, and even her best friend has had enough of her chaotic ways. Without either an apartment or money and with only her cat for company, she tries to make ends meet in the big city. This elliptically narrated feature debut lines up scene after scene alongside one another at breakneck speed, each of them with stirring leading actress Laetitia Dosch at their heart.” (Birgit Kohler)
LES QUATRE CENTS COUPS (The 400 Blows, François Truffaut, France 1958, 11. & 19.8.) Inspired by his own life, Truffaut tells the story of the twelve-year-old Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), who grows up in poverty and without love. After a series of fanciful tales and small-scale thefts, he ends up in a correctional facility. Escape attempts of all kinds pervade this early Nouvelle Vague film, with the final one ending at the open sea – the place of Antoine’s longing.
I PUGNI IN TASCA (Fists in the Pocket, Marco Bellocchio, Italy 1965, 12. & 28.8.) A furious debut and nothing less than a head-on attack on Italian postwar society that dissects the family as the nucleus of social and societal wrongs. A widowed mother lives with her four children in an upper middle class villa, their life determined by narcissism, inertia, and melancholy. Alessandro’s (Lou Castel) attempts to break out of the repressive structures soon take on grotesquely destructive dimensions
PUTJOWKA W SHISN (Road to Life, Nikolai Ekk, USSR 1931, 13. & 20.8.) The film makes historical reference to the so-called “besprisorni” (“waifs”) - some seven million children orphaned by civil war and famine who roamed through the Soviet Union in the early 1920s. A group of young homeless kids - played by non-professional actors – wander through Moscow fighting and stealing. Sergeev, a social worker and Party loyalist, tries to instill in them the ideal of the hard-working, disciplined, and athletic Soviet citizen, despite numerous setbacks along the way.
DER SUBJEKTIVE FAKTOR (The Subjective Factor, Helke Sander, West Germany 1981, 14. & 29.8.) West Berlin, 1967 to 1970: In a mixture of fictional scenes and documentary footage, which incorporate personal experiences and observations and thus emphasis the subjectivity of what’s being depicted, Sander shows the development of the young Anni and her engagement within the student movement and the new women’s movement. “I’m interested in the relationships between movements already institutionalized, as it were, and are thus a power factor, as well as the possibilities of the individual.” (Helke Sander)
GERTRUD (Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark 1964, 23.8.) Denmark at the turn of the century: in search of unconditional love, the upper-middleclass Gertrud leaves her husband, renounces her childhood friend, and also turns her back on her lover. She chooses solitude because her respective men – in line with convention – only afford her a role alongside their own professional ambitions. The radicalism of her decision is entirely in line with the pared-down aesthetic of Dreyer’s final work.
GESCHICHTEN VOM KÜBELKIND (Stories of the Dumpster Kid, Ula Stöckl/Edgar Reitz, West Germany 1971, 17. & 31.8.) Always decked out in a red dress and stockings, she looks at everything with curiosity, asks one too many questions and takes what she wants: the Dumpster Kid (Kristine de Loup). A series of 22 short films shows the non-conformist foundling – grown from a placenta and discovered in a hospital trashcan – being found foster parents or integrated into society, going to school or church. A cineaste revolution in every sense.
CHEMI BEDNIERI OJAKHI (My Happy Family, Nana & Simon, Georgia/Gemany 2017, 18. & 29.8.) An act of liberation: on her 52nd birthday, Manana announces that she’s moving out, trading in the multi-generational home consisting of husband, parents, siblings, and children for an apartment of her own. As calm as she is insistent and positively revolutionary by Georgian standards, the silent rebel extricates herself from turbulent family structures, traditional roles that seem set in stone, an apparently inescapable “running system”.
JAHRGANG 45 (Jürgen Böttcher, East Germany 1966, 19. & 25.8.) After a brief marriage, the young Li, who works as a nurse at a maternity ward, and her car mechanic husband Al, have grown apart. Divorce proceedings have begun. Following a diffuse urge for freedom and the longing for a different life, Al drifts through East Berlin, sits in music pubs, meets his motor biking pals, goes to work, isolates himself, and demands space. A rebellion on a small scale, yet a serious and emphatic one nonetheless. The short BARFUSS UND OHNE HUT (Jürgen Böttcher, East Germany 1964,15. & 16.11.) will be shown beforehand: impressions of young people in summer at the Baltic sea – a film whose playful lightness of touch was seen as a provocation.
NORRTULLSLIGAN (The Nurtull Gang, Per Lindberg, Sweden 1923, 21. & 24.8., with a live piano accompaniment by Eunice Martins) Pegg, Baby, Eva, and Emmy form the titular gang of unmarried women, who live together in a highly unconventional set-up for Sweden of the time, as they attempt to stand up to a world dominated by men and eventually spark off a strike. Based on a novel by writer and journalist Elin Wägner, Per Lindberg creates an enjoyable, emancipatory comedy of manners.
SEISHUN ZANKOKU MONOGATARI (Naked Youth, Nagisa Oshima, Japan 1960, 22. & 30.8.) In his second film, Nagisa Oshima, most important representative and enfant terrible of the Japanese Nouvelle Vague, sets himself apart from established Japanese cinema in radical, piercing, and harsh fashion. The protagonists of the film, student Kiyoshi and high school girl Miyuki, distance themselves from their parents, the police, and traditions in much the same way. The young couple earn their money with petty crime but soon drift into proper criminality.
RUMBLE FISH (Francis Ford Coppola, USA 1983, 23. & 26.8.) A highly stylized, dark, and timeless examination of the emotional state of alienated and lost youths: Conceived to go with his earlier film "The Outsiders", RUMBLE FISH is about two young brothers - the younger aggressive and naïve gang leader Rusty (Matt Dillon) and the melancholy Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), who become trapped in the roles defined by youth culture in a way that is increasingly self-destructive.
MALENKAJA VERA (Little Vera, Vasili Pichul, USSR 1988, 27. & 30.8.) Gray industrial complexes, dismal high-rises, and derelict wastelands are the setting in which the younger generation seek to find themselves while in constant conflict with parents and authority as the Soviet Union teeters on the brink of collapse. 17-year-old Vera draws on all her power and some drastic measures to escape the confines of her home, the career path as a switchboard operator chosen for her, and state control. When she brings her boyfriend back home, the situation spins out of control. (mg)