december 2018, arsenal cinema

Leo McCarey Retrospective

Leo McCarey (1896–1969) was one of Hollywood’s most successful directors in the 30s and 40s, drawing on his great talent for comic and timing and a predilection for improvisation to make some of the most beautiful films of the classical Hollywood era, a unique blend of emotion, humor, vitality, and humanity. Yet despite this success and the admiration of such directorial colleagues as Frank Capra, Jean Eustache, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Ernst Lubitsch, Jean Renoir, Alain Resnais, and François Truffaut, Leo McCarey is almost unknown today. From December 6 - 30, ee are showing a selection of his comprehensive oeuvre in collaboration with the Locarno Film Festival.


december 2018, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour - Theatre and Film

The relationship between film and theater oscillates between proximity and distance, inspiration and emancipation. Despite all thoughts of competition, the need for aesthetic and formal independence and the vehement refusal of particular artistic traditions – all aspects which characterized the relationship between film and theater at the beginning of the 20th century – the theatre offers a pool of subjects, models and forms as comprehensive as it is complex, via which the older medium repeatedly inscribes itself within film history. Approaching this relationship from the other way around, film also plays no small part in the "myth of theater" and has opened up long-concealed theatrical spaces and dynamics to the (theater) audience.

We have collected several examples of the diverse connections between theater and film in this month's Magical History Tour, which span various different film historical periods, genres and styles. They draw on the wide-ranging potential of theater within cinema – theater as a source of inspiration or a microcosm, bringing together life and the stage and fiction and reality, blurring boundaries whilst also sometimes seeming to mirror the very world itself.

december 2018, living archive

Vaginal Davis presents Contemporary Vinegar Syndrome followed by Late Night Fermentation Salon by Wu Tsang

“It’s unclear whether the longing for a white Christmas is now being taken seriously, or whether it’s supposed to be denounced.” (Harun Farocki): On December 16, Vaginal Davis and Daniel Hendrickson present the agit-prop short WHITE CHRISTMAS (West Germany 1968) together with Michael Curtiz’s musical of the same name (USA 1954). While Farocki juxtaposes Bing Crosby’s mawkish Christmas song with footage of the Vietnam War, Michael Curtiz’ classic tells the story of two former war comrades who have now become a successful Broadway duo. They have to help their former general out of a jam. His hotel is chronically under-booked, with a Christmas show supposed to get business going again.


What’s special this time round: Contemporary Vinegar Syndrome is taking place at the Gropius Bau at the invitation of Wu Tsang, In House: Artist in Residence 2018! After the screening, Wu Tsang and Liz Rosenfeld will receive guests at their late-night fermentation salon with cocktails and other specialties. As always, we look forward to seeing members of the Arsenal Freundeskreis and those who maybe want to join!

november 2018, berlinale forum

Cinema Release: "Yours in Sisterhood"

arsenal distribution is releasing YOURS IN SISTERHOOD by Irene Lusztig as of December 6, another film which premiered at this year's Forum.

Irene Lusztig’s documentary set-up succeeds in bringing a wealth of experiences from an earlier generation of the feminist movement into a complex dialogue with the present: In the film women from all walks of life read out and comment upon letters originally sent to the liberal feminist magazine “Ms.” in the 70s in a range of everyday locations across the US.

arsenal cinema: 9. ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

07:00 pm Cinema 2

Mein Paradies

Mein Paradies My Paradise Ekrem Heydo
Germany/Kurdistan-Syria 2016
DCP OV/GeS 104 min

Followed by a discussion with Ekrem Heydo
arsenal cinema: 9. ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

07:30 pm Cinema 1

Mayyel Ya Ghzayyel

Mayyel Ya Ghzayyel Those Who Remain
Eliane Raheb Lebanon 2016
DCP OV/EnS 95 min

Followed by a discussion with Eliane Raheb
arsenal cinema: 9. ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

09:15 pm Cinema 2

A Drowning Man


Land of our Fathers


Law of the Lamb

Short film program Unknown Distance
A Drowning Man Mahdi Fleifel
Denmark/UK/Greece 2017 DCP OV/EnS 15 min
Fifteen Sameh Alaa Egypt/Belgium 2017
DCP OV/EnS 11 min
Land of our Fathers Ulaa Salim
Jordan/Denmark 2017 DCP OV/EnS 29 min
Bonboné Rakan Mayasi Palestine/Lebanon 2017
DCP OV/EnS 15 min
Law of the Lamb Lotfi Achour Tunisia/F 2016
DCP OV/EnS 15 min

arsenal cinema: 9. ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

09:30 pm Cinema 1

Vent du Nord

Vent du Nord Northern Wind Walid Mattar
Belgium/France/Tunisia 2017
DCP OV/EnS 89 min