september 2019, arsenal cinema

"Souls made great by love and adversity" – Frank Borzage retrospective

Frank Borzage (1894–1962) was described as a “poet of the working class” and an “uncompromising romanticist”. His films focus on romantic love in all its guises and the complexity of human emotions. Depending on the storyline, the spiritual power of love transcends time, space and in some cases even death, creating its own space, in which the laws of physics are suspended. Despite being one of the greatest and most productive classic Hollywood filmmakers, who made films with the biggest stars of his time, Franz Borzage is largely unknown today. He started producing his own films from 1923 onwards and was thus one of the few Hollywood directors to have almost complete control over his films, working for over four decades, from the early era of cinema to the beginning of the decline of the studio system. Borzage started out as an actor and then made over 100 films between 1915 and 1959, which are not all available today, in particular the silent movies.

Our retrospective features 20 films made between 1917 and 1948 as well as several film introductions. The silent films will all be accompanied by pianists.

september 2019, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour – 
Between fiction and documentary: cinematic intersections and bridges

Docudramas, docufiction, performative or fake documentaries, mockumentaries, reenactment, documentary fiction – the ways of describing the hybrid forms that occupy the grey area between documentary and fiction in cinema and television are as diverse as the tradition of such works is long. Even in early cinema there were attempts, of varying guises and amounts of transparency, to blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction, to combine two commonly understood separate forms in an experimental, analytical, distancing, concentrated or reflective manner.

This month's Magical History Tour presents a selection of examples that cross the boundaries of documentary and fiction from the past 100 years.

september 2019, arsenal cinema

Women artists' program

From Septrember 25-29, Arsenal is presenting works made by grant-holders of Berlin’s cultural department’s "Funding program for women artists in film/video" over the past two years. What should be underlined is the event’s open form and the fact that many of the works are still in the process of becoming. A space will be created to discuss the artistic approaches in a joint discussion. The inscription of an artist’s signature in the decisive selection of a medium of expression, the subtle approach to familial and social upheavals, the questioning of ascribed roles, the conscious transgression of traditional narrative forms in the performative exaggeration or the rejection of dramatic form are just some of the themes emerging.

september 2019, transfer

Seven Things that Happened While You Were Sleeping: Reflecting on Traces, Documents and Archives

The archive — traditionally defined as a repository or ordered system of documents — has incessantly played a significant role in the construction of historical knowledge. Manifesting itself in various forms of traces, it remains until today the primary site for storing, retrieving and interpreting the past. But how could the archive account for all the moments that have not been recorded, the moments of which there has not been a physical trace as such?

The 10-week workshop is participatory, discussion-based, multi-disciplinary and open to artists, writers and researchers with interest and/or experience in the subject matter. Sessions will start on October 15 and will take place weekly through December 17 every Tuesday from 6pm to 9pm at silent green Kulturquartier.

arsenal cinema: Splendid Isolation: Hong Kong Cinema 1949–1997

07:00 pm Cinema 1


Da zui xia

Da zui xia Come Drink With Me
King Hu 1966
35 mm OV/EnS 91 min
Courtesy to Celestial Pictures Limited

arsenal cinema: New Arsenal Edition DVD – Specters of Freedom: Cinema and Decolonization

08:00 pm Cinema 2


La zerda et les chants de l’oubli

Deixem-me ao menos subir às palmeiras

*La zerda et les chants de l’oubli Assia Djebar Algeria 1982
DCP OV/EnS 59 min
Deixem-me ao menos subir às palmeiras
Joaquim Lopes Barbosa Mozambique 1972
Digital file OV/EnS 71 min

Catarina Simão, Tobias Hering in person
arsenal cinema: Splendid Isolation: Hong Kong Cinema 1949–1997

09:00 pm Cinema 1


Jin yan zi

Jin yan zi Golden Swallow Chang Cheh 1968
35 mm OV/EnS 104 min
Courtesy to Celestial Pictures Limited