july 2019, arsenal cinema

Female Film Noir Pioneers –
 Muriel Box, Edith Carlmar, Bodil Ipsen, Ida Lupino, Wendy Toye

The 1940s and 1950s experienced a blossoming in female filmmaking worldwide, with numerous female filmmakers starting their directorial careers in the film noir genre. This program brings together 13 features and three shorts by five film noir pioneers: Muriel Box (United Kingdom), Edith Carlmar (Norway), Bodil Ipsen (Denmark), Ida Lupino (USA), and Wendy Toye (United Kingdom).

Often subtly subverting the rules of the genre, these filmmakers created enduringly fascinating films that carry an individual signature and often pursue matters of feminism. Alongside the focus on their film noir works, the program also includes selected works from other genres, primarily the comedy, but also the spy film and war movie, which emphasize these filmmakers’ directorial versatility.

The series examines a chapter in female filmmaking that has thus far gone largely unwritten and throws up several mysteries: with the exception of Lupino (who made films between 1949 and 1966), the directorial careers of the other four filmmakers lasted almost exactly ten years before abruptly ending. From an archival point of view too, accessing their respective oeuvres is no easy task: several films from the filmographies of Carlmar, Ipsen, Box, and Toyes, including ones very much relevant for this program, are unable to even be shown in digitally restored form. Toyes’ feature debut, for example, the thriller The Teckman Mystery (1954), would have been a central film for this program, but there is no screenable print of it available worldwide; the same applies to Muriel Box’’s only film noir Eyewitness (1956). This series is thus also to be grasped as providing the impetus for a more comprehensive rediscovery of these cinema pioneers.

july 2019, arsenal cinema

Berlin Premiere: "La flor"

LA FLOR (The Flower, Mariano Llinás, Argentina 2018) is an outstanding contemporary film project: a director and his four actresses play around with cinema, with their playful urges knowing no bounds. They create fantastical spaces and couldn’t care less about sense, logic, and dramatic structure, even forgetting time in the process. Film history is their adventure playground, where they spent over ten years completing a nearly 14-hour work. Yet one can hardly speak of a closed story. LA FLOR is an open work in the very best sense, continually sprouting new images and blossoming afresh, a wander through genre cinema, divided into three chapters, six episodes, and eight acts.

Mariano Llinás from the El Pampero Cine film collective and the acting troop Piel de Lava invite the audience to follow their intertwining narratives, which sometimes cross, but equally digress or simply peter out completely. A B-movie doesn’t necessarily have to end in a thundering showdown. The numerous voiceovers in the spy thriller contradict one another and deliberately lead the viewer up the garden path, while the images keep a further version of the story ready. Musical intermezzi recall the classic screenings of the magnificent cinema palaces of the 30s and 40s. The acting also involves a certain seriousness, which actresses Elisa Carricajo, Pilar Gamboa, Valeria Correa, and Laura Paredes perform with beautiful dedication, reflecting in the process both on their own roles as actress well as more traditional ones. While the work and its actresses are permanently reinventing themselves and shifting locations, one can practically see oneself watching and marveling.

LA FLOR was received enthusiastically at numerous festivals. Now Arsenal is showing the work as a Berlin premiere in compact form across three evenings (July 12 - 14), followed by screenings of the individual acts.

july 2019, arsenal cinema

Two or Three Things I Know About Latin America

The porous and shifting understanding of film forms in Latin America has continually blended with other unstable categories such as “avant-garde,” “experimental,” “militant,” “documentary,” and “Third Cinema.” Glauber Rocha, filmmaker and theorist of the cinema novo, wrote in a 1971 manifesto that “a work of revolutionary art should not only act in an immediately political way, but should also promote philosophical speculation, thus create an aesthetic of eternal human movement towards cosmic integration.” What sort of cinema might complete this tall order remained (and remains) an open question.

Exploring the extensive collection of Latin American films in Arsenal’s archives, this five-part program is cross-pollinated with selections from Ism, Ism, Ism, Jesse Lerner and Luciano Piazza's previous curatorial collaboration. It aims to respond to Rocha’s call, offering some possible paths to a revolutionary, speculative cinema of “cosmic integration,” in some of its more expansive, militant, psychedelic, ironic, playful, formalist, and contemplative modes. (July 10-16)

july 2019, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour
 – Color in Film

The introduction of color film in the mid-1930s and subsequent developments in this area are some of the most significant aesthetic innovations in cinematography. Color in film is an important component of image composition and dramatic structuring, as well as of fundamental significance for the perception of film.

Across 13 films, this month's Magical History Tour takes a look at the range of approaches applied to color and the different ways it can be used, running the whole gamut between obvious narrative connection and autonomy.

arsenal cinema: Serial Germany

02:30 pm Cinema 1


Über Barbarossaplatz

Übern Barbarossaplatz Jan Bonny Germany 2017
Digital file approx. 90 min
Admission free

arsenal cinema: Serial Germany

04:00 pm Cinema 1


Serial Improvisation

Serial Improvisation
Discussion with Jan Bonny and Alex Wissel,
Moderated by Nicolas Wackerbath
In German
Admission free

arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour
 – Painting in Motion

07:00 pm Cinema 2


An American in Paris

An American in Paris Vincente Minnelli USA 1951
With Leslie Caron, Gene Kelly
DCP OV/GeS 108 min

arsenal cinema: Retrospective: Pascale Ferran

07:30 pm Cinema 1


Lady Chatterley

Lady Chatterley Pascale Ferran Belgium/France 2006
With Marina Hands, Jean-Louis Coulloc’h, Hippolyte Girardot
35 mm OV/GeS 161 min