january 2019, arsenal cinema

Following the sun – Mikhail Kalik retrospective

Between 1961 and 1968, Soviet-Jewish filmmaker Mikhail Kalik (born in 1927) directed three films whose originality, humanity and highly personal filmic language render them the finest examples of the cinema of the Soviet Thaw. Like Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov and Marlen Khutsiev, he was considered one of the great talents of the early 1960s. The son of a famous theater actor, he was one of the first Jewish students to be accepted by the Moscow Film School (VGIK). In 1951, he fell victim to the “anti-cosmopolitan” campaign and was sent to the gulag. Only after Stalin’s death was he able to continue his studies, shooting his first films in Soviet Moldova. One of his closest collaborators was the composer Mikael Tariverdiev who remains known for his innovative and experimental, yet accessible, film scores. In 1971, a new wave of anti-Semitism prompted Kalik to emigrate to Israel, where he became known by the name Moshe (Moses in Hebrew). In the USSR, people were forbidden to write about him and his name was removed from the list of VGIK graduates. Between 1971 and his death in 2017, he made only three more films. However, he did live to see himself and his films rehabilitated in Russia. Our program, which brings together prints from Gosfilmofond and the Jerusalem Cinematheque, presents the works of a great director whose rediscovery is long overdue.

january 2019, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour
 – Staging spaces

Between landmarks and moments of confusion – this month's Magical History Tour invites the audience on a journey through spaces that are significant, staged, narrative and social. Each film takes place in a defined space, whose construction is of great importance for the film's impact on the viewer. The variously arranged spaces not only allow for the marking of different styles (naturalism or artificiality) but also evoke moods and feelings (of vastness or confinement) in a cinematic manner. We are showing films in which space plays a particular role, for either the plot or the protagonists' expression of feelings.

january 2019, arsenal cinema

70 mm: VERTIGO

Our ongoing series of 70-mm screenings, begins with a film that was the first to be presented in analogue big film format at the new Arsenal on Potsdamer Platz almost 18 years ago. The eponymous VERTIGO of Alfred Hitchcock’s much interpreted main work takes grip of the viewer right from Saul Bass’ opening sequence: The policeman Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart) almost falls to his death during a manhunt over the roofs of San Francisco. His colleague dies trying to help him. Traumatized, consumed by guilt and now scared of heights, Scottie leaves the service and becomes a private detective. When a friend asks him to shadow his wife Madeleine (Kim Novak), he is sucked into a whirlpool of love, obsession, deceit and phantasm. (27. & 31.1.)

january 2019, berlinale forum

Forum 2019: Risk Before Perfection

Still from MS SLAVIC 7

Arsenal is putting on the Forum as part of the Berlinale for the 49th time. The main programme consists of 39 films, 31 of which world premieres. This year’s Special Screenings are entitled “Archival Constellations” and will be announced in a second press release.

The Forum 2019 main programme doesn’t consider itself some sort of ‘best of’ list, but rather gathers together a selection of films that try things out, take a stance and refuse to compromise. Some look back at the history of the 20th century, while others focus on what’s to come, even as they remain anchored in the here and now. Numerous films take the written word as their starting point, drawing on or making explicit reference to literature or working with letters, poems and other writings.

january 2019, berlinale forum

14. Forum Expanded: ANTIKINO (The Siren’s Echo Chamber)

At a time when moving images are ubiquitous, transgressing media boundaries, if we can even still call it that, is defined by other parameters. Tensions between mainstream and underground, narrative cinema and avant-garde, art and cinema seem largely to have been dissolved. Today, the overriding questions are more and more about the relation of images to the real.

The 14th Forum Expanded is showing 30 short and long films, 17 installation works, and a performance that point to life outside the echo chamber that we find ourselves in, and not just in social media.

arsenal cinema: AFRIKAMERA 2018: The Horn of Africa

03:00 pm Cinema 1

Supa Modo

Supa Modo Likarion Wainaina
Kenya/Germany 2018
DCP OV/EnS 74 min

arsenal cinema: The Cinema I care about is at the level of poetry

04:30 pm Cinema 2

Three Portrait Sketches

Portrait of Ga

Happy Bees

Where I Am Is Here


Colour Poems


Garden Pieces

Three Portrait Sketches Margaret Tait UK 1951 16 mm 10 min
*Portrait of Ga Margaret Tait UK 1952 16 mm 4 min
Happy Bees Margaret Tait UK 1955 16 mm 17 min
*Where I Am Is Here Margaret Tait UK 1964 16 mm 35 mn
*Aerial Margaret Tait UK 1974 without dialogue 16 mm 4 min
*Colour Poems Margaret Tait UK 1974 16 mm 12 min
Tailpiece Margaret Tait UK 1976 16 mm 9 min
*Garden Pieces Margaret Tait UK 1998 16 mm 12 min

arsenal cinema: AFRIKAMERA 2018: The Horn of Africa

05:00 pm Cinema 1

Tunisia Factory

Tunisia Factory Short film program
Tunisia/France 2018
DCP OV/EnS 60 min

arsenal cinema: AFRIKAMERA 2018: The Horn of Africa

06:30 pm Cinema 1

Sudan Shorts Kurzfilmprogramm

Sudan Shorts Short Film Program
Sudan 2015–2017
Digital file OV/EnS approx. 70 min

arsenal cinema: The Cinema I care about is at the level of poetry

07:00 pm Cinema 2


Blue Black Permanent

Calypso Margaret Tait UK1955
35 mm 4 min
Blue Black Permanent Margaret Tait UK 1992
35 mm OV 84 min

Presented by Ute Aurand
arsenal cinema: AFRIKAMERA 2018: The Horn of Africa

08:30 pm Cinema 1

Five Fingers for Marseilles

Five Fingers for Marseilles
Michael Matthews South Africa 2017
Blu-ray OV/EnS 120 min