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"For us, Clemens Klopfenstein is the independent filmmaker par excellence – creative, temperamental, fanciful, humorous, open to experimentation. A auteur who refuses to compromise in any way or to follow any recipe for commercial success and who develops instead new, fresh impulses again and again from his surroundings, his experience, his contact with friends and his engagement with the medium of film; also from his reaction to landscapes, milieus, and environments. The joy of adventure and the exploration of the foreign/exotic, but also the ironic, self-critical observation of the close-by, the familiar and the well known are Klopfenstein’s basic motifs. And there’s always a level of irony in his work, of ambiguity, of playing around with nuance. Klopfenstein’s films, which are located in the border region between fiction and documentary, could easily dispense with a conventionally narrated plotline, but he actually uses the narrative as a tool, as a thread upon which he can string together pearls, episodes, spontaneous ideas or improvisations." (Ulrich Gregor)

Painter, writer, photographer and filmmaker Clemens Klopfenstein (*1944) has had special links to Arsenal for many years now. Since 1979, he has shown several films at the Berlinale Forum and been our guest at the Arsenal cinema on various occasions, his films are distributed in Germany by arsenal distribution. A selection of his cinema oeuvre can be seen as an online summer special at arsenal 3 for an exceptional two months from July 1st to August 31st: the “night films” GESCHICHTE DER NACHT (Switzerland/West Germany 1978), TRANSES – REITER AUF DEM TOTEN PFERD (Switzerland 1979–82) and DAS SCHLESISCHE TOR (West Germany 1982), the “Bern trilogy”  E NACHTLANG FÜÜRLAND (Clemens Klopfenstein, Remo Legnazzi, Switzerland 1981), FÜÜRLAND 2 (Clemens Klopfenstein, Remo Legnazzi, Switzerland 1992) and DAS SCHWEIGEN DER MÄNNER (CH 1997, and Die Vogelpredigt oder das Schreien der Mönche (Switzerland/Italy 2005). The program will be accompanied by a conversation with Clemens Klopfenstein on our YouTube channel on August 19th at 6pm. (hjf)

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media