august 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.

august 2018, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour - Montage

Montage belongs to the most important tools in cinema and is largely unique to the medium. Montage structures space and time, creating continuities and breaks and generating dynamism and rhythm. Soviet avant-garde filmmakers already recognized and tested the effectiveness of montage at an early stage. The cinematic language that birthed an entire style and affects our viewing habits to this day was also learned in Hollywood: the découpage classique, which evokes a fluid continuity of movement and gives the impression of a light, effortlessly flowing narrative with a minimum of fuss. Examples of cross-cutting, match or jump cuts, invisible, jagged, dialectical, or associative editing styles all come together in August’s Magical History Tour to give an impression of the myriad forms and strategies relating to montage which span different eras and regions.

august 2018, arsenal cinema

70 mm: 2001: A Space Odyssey

As announced earlier, we would like to pay tribute to the renaissance in the 70mm format – the technical possibilities of the projection room in Arsenal 1 make it possible – and show films in large-image format. After Christopher Nolan’s DUNKIRK got the ball rolling in June, we are showing - in line with the montage theme of August’s Magical History Tour - Stanley Kubrick’s bold space opera 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (GB/USA 1968) on August 22. & 27. The 70mm print of the film was struck from the original negative and presented by Nolan as part of Cannes Classics to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of its world premiere. “This is a true photochemical film recreation. There are no digital tricks, remastered effects, or revisionist edits. This is the unrestored film – that recreates the cinematic event that audiences experienced fifty years ago.” (Nolan)

august 2018, transfer

Autumn School for Teachers: Showing and Telling in Film

The first ever Autumn School for teachers takes place from 11.–13.10. and is entitled “Showing and Telling in Film”. The further training program unites film analysis and practice, presents different teaching methods, and offers an in-depth look at forms of film narration and documentation. The Autumn School was conceived by film educators and scholars Bettina Henzler and Stefanie Schlüter, who will be carrying out the program together with film director and historian Brigitta Wagner.


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: Georgian Cinema - 
From the Arsenal Collection

07:00 pm Cinema 1


*Ubedureba The Disaster Gela Kandelaki USSR 1979
35 mm Georgian OV/GeS 82 min

Gela Kandelaki in person
arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour - Cinema in the Plural

07:30 pm Cinema 2

The Party: Nature Morte

*The Party: Nature Morte
Cynthia Beatt Germany 1991 With Tilda Swinton
16 mm OV/GeS 92 min

arsenal cinema: Georgian Cinema - 
From the Arsenal Collection

09:15 pm Cinema 1

Iko shashvi mgalobeli

*Iko shashvi mgalobeli There Once Was a Singing Blackbird
Otar Iosseliani USSR 1970
35 mm Georgian OV/GeS 85 min

Gela Kandelaki in person