july 2018, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour: Cinematic Strolls, Flaneurs in Film

Edgar Allen Poe describes the flaneur as a man amid the masses, absorbed by the city around him. Charles Baudelaire celebrates the flaneur's ability to retain his anonymity in urban space and stay an individualist. For his part, Walter Benjamin liberates the flaneur from the widely-cited tortoise metaphor, a being linked only to posing and attitude, characterizing him instead as the “central figure of the modern era”, a highly sensitive soul capable of deciphering the city, wandering the streets, and viewing the urban surroundings with the same mixture of attraction and repellence with which he himself is also seen. An archetype key to the literature of the last two centuries, the flaneur has also echoed through film history since the 1920s in a variety of different forms. In July, the Magical History Tour presents the first generation of city wanderers and those that followed them both before the camera and behind it, expanding the concept to encompass its female equivalent and bringing together ambling documentary and essayistic works – meandering strolls through urban spaces, decelerated observations and conquests of urban structures, explorations of the streets and the crowds that populate them, and reflections on the conditions of modern existence.

july 2018, arsenal cinema

Retrospective Andrei Tarkowsky

The summer Tarkovsky retrospective is a tradition that has grown dear both to us and our audiences for 30 years now. In July and August, we are showing the seven feature films and one mid-length graduation film by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932–1986), whose monumental oeuvre exudes a lasting fascination.

july 2018, arsenal cinema

„To risk everything to express it all“ – John Cassavetes

Thanks to the uncompromising nature of his oeuvre, John Cassavetes (1929-1989) is regarded as one of the founding lights of American independent filmmaking and set lasting standards with his consistent disdain for artistic restrictions. It was at a workshop for unemployed actors in 1956 that Cassavetes developed his ideas on filmmaking as a group endeavor. This produced his first film SHADOWS in turn, which was improvised and made on a tiny budget, yet opened up the doors of Hollywood to him nonetheless, although his attempts to assert his working methods and aesthetic ideas in the studio system led to disappointment. As a result, Cassavetes set up his own production company and consistently positioned himself outside the orbit of Hollywood. Working in close, steady group contexts became a central aspect of Cassavetes’s method, who preferred to work with a fixed ensemble of actors – mainly Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara, and Seymour Cassel, to say nothing of Gena Rowlands, who he married in 1954. His cinema lives from their total physical commitment to their roles and their unconditional openness to personal fears, yearnings, and insecurities, creating a cinema of intensity and of the unflinching dissection of feelings. His stories are just as incalculable, hard to grasp, and erratic, with excesses and eruptions taking the place of predictable narratives. Uninterested in crafting traditionally beautiful images, his films resist standard patterns of seeing and are entirely constructed around people, focused on their faces and bodies. Cassavetes often earned the necessary money to make his films by acting in other directors’ films. There too, he often sought out the boundaries and explored the extreme states of human behavior, often playing bad guys, while also shining in quieter roles.

We are showing all of Cassavetes’ films on 35mm prints together with a selection of his work as an actor.

june 2018, berlinale forum

The Arsenal Board of Directors to Take On the Interim Leadership of the 2019 Forum

The board of directors of Arsenal, which consists of Milena Gregor, Birgit Kohler and Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, is to take on the interim leadership of the 2019 Forum. With the support of the long-standing team, the three of them will carry out the leadership tasks for the 2019 Forum and thus also further emphasise the constitutive connection between Arsenal and the Forum.

arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour – Manifestos and Pamphlets 

07:30 pm Cinema 2


Es Ulrich Schamoni FRG 1966
35 mm 86 min

arsenal cinema: Creative Visions – Hong Kong Cinema 1997–2017

08:00 pm Cinema 1

Hold You Tight

Hold You Tight Stanley Kwan 1998
35 mm OV/EnS 93 min

Stanley Kwan in person