february 2019, arsenal cinema

The Total Filmmaker: Jerry Lewis

Ever since as a five-year-old, Jerry Lewis stood on stage for the first time and made the audience laugh by bumping into a stage light and making it explode it was clear what lay ahead for him: That he would have to stumble, slip and fall for the rest of his life. His fortunate encounter with Dean Martin at the age of 19 led to a breakthrough. The two worked together for 10 years and made 16 films on top of their stage shows before parting ways. Jerry Lewis had already developed his iconic image by then: Next to the good-looking and cool Dean Martin, he came across as a childish and innocent being, who couldn’t but help crazily trigger disasters with his sheer presence. His performances in which something unexpected and suppressed would burst out, were characterized by a style that combined mimicry, body language and pitch with obsessive intensity. The abrupt changes of voice and ways of speaking, of behavior and body language correspond to reproductions and changes of personality; in his films he often embodies several characters, transforming himself into another with the help of a drink for example. His films are more than a sheer succession of often absurd gags: Not infrequently do they slide into pure farce, exhibit satirical observations of show business and the cult of stars and expose the character of illusion. His idiosyncratic and original use of sound, color and decor earned Jerry Lewis the admiration of French critics in particular. In 1960, the “total filmmaker” was born after he started staging himself and decided to keep full artistic control in his hands by writing, producing and directing the films in which he played. Before and after the Berlinale, we will be showing a small selection of films starring and sometimes directed by Jerry Lewis.

february 2019, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour
 – Breaks in the History of Film

Moments of change, upheaval and crisis in film history form the focus of the Magical History Tour in February. We are will present examples directly related to or influenced by technical, economic, social and political ruptures, as well as films in which specific breaks resonated only with a delay.

Obvious cinematic reflections of far-reaching events are shown alongside works whose reflections of past crises are revealed only at second sight. Once again, viewing the history of film at its interfaces and dawns of new epochs allows one to regard it not as a continuous line of development obliged to an alleged "belief in progress," but as a network of discontinuities and ruptures that can be read in very different ways and is tied into a cultural field of tension influenced by the most various factors.

january 2019, edition

New DVD releases: "Havarie", "Revision" and "And-ek ghes..."

Still from Havarie

After the THE HALFMOON FILES and DER TAG DES SPATZEN, we’re very pleased to release three further DVDs featuring films by Philip Scheffner, in cooperation with Filmgalerie 451: HAVARIE (2016), AND-EK GHES … (2016) and REVISION (2012). In his works, Scheffner has developed his very own style of political reasoning, which redefines what is and is not visible. He creates visual and auditory spaces, interweaving stories and conducting investigations whose points of connection remain open.

arsenal cinema: Filmspotting: Exploring the Deutschen Kinemathek’s film archive

07:00 pm Cinema 1


Im Land meiner Eltern

*Im Land meiner Eltern Jeanine Meerapfel FRG 1981
DCP 88 min

Jeanine Meerapfel in person
arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour: Land in sight – landscapes in film

08:00 pm Cinema 2


11 x 14

11 x 14 James Benning USA 1977
35 mm without dialogue 82 min