june 2020, arsenal cinema

The next stage is here!

The Arsenal cinema at Potsdamer Platz reopens on July 1st. Alongside our activities on the Internet (arsenal 3), in exhibition space (arsenal 4 at silent green) and outside in the open air (arsenal 5 at HKW), we are very happy to be able to offer a program at our original location after a closure period of three and a half months and once again use our cinemas as a public space for shared experiences. As always, the Andrei Tarkovsky retrospective forms part of this year’s double program for July and August – and yet this is no ordinary summer. The Corona pandemic continues, its effects on social, cultural, and political practices can be clearly felt, and its economic consequences are grave. We are experiencing a veritable turning point – and the future is still unclear, something that will have to be managed and adapted to based on an ongoing process. With this mind, the sort of contemporary cinema practice we offer will have to remain flexible and develop step by step. Our streaming area arsenal 3 will form a fixed part of this process and continue as a “footnote cinema”, with films screened there to supplement the programs showing at Arsenal 1 and 2.

Due to the fragility of the current situation and Arsenal’s economic difficulties based on a lack of revenue, we are starting our cinema operations in reduced form to begin with: four evenings a week (Wednesday to Saturday) at Arsenal 1, with a seating capacity of around 70 due to Corona. You can find the program here. It’s the film series we had to interrupt in March that we are now continuing: alongside the program to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Berlinale Forum, this means primarily the “Black Light” retrospective that Greg de Cuir Jr. curated for last year’s Locarno Film Festival. Our selection of 13 films focused on Black American cinema stretches from 1919 to 1991 and has not lost any of its topicality over the last weeks; on the contrary, in fact.

june 2020, arsenal cinema

Online Tickets

Online tickets for Arsenal screenings avalaible here.

june 2020, startpage

arsenal 5 at HKW

July 16 — August 23 2020

Cinema is a space of opportunity and a place of action, even under the open sky. On six weekends, Kino Arsenal will show film highlights from its archive on the Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s roof terrace. The films take the audience outdoors: They head out to gather pictures in landscapes sacrificed to tourism. They dig up images from the earth and from archives to take them where they tell stories. They observe animals that critically meet our gaze. They cross the desert. And finally, the films explore the interior of HKW as a stage, as a frame of content reference, and as a production location. With films by James Benning, Filipa César, Denis Coté, Thomas Heise, Armin Linke, Maha Maamoun, Hila Peleg, Philip Scheffner, Kidlat Tahimik, Akram Zaatari and many others.

Detailed information will follow shortly

june 2020, arsenal cinema

arsenal 3 – week 13 & 14

How to Reappear*: arsenal 3 enters the final round in its existing form!

On March 13th, we had to close our two cinema halls at Potsdamer Platz. A week later, we already opened arsenal 3, our virtual cinema, to audiences. Since then, we have presented seven programs, each consisting of around 20 films from our collection, as well as the Goethe-Institut’s Latitude festival.

Filmmakers whose works are represented by arsenal distribution have made their films available for online presentation and discussed them with audiences in comprehensive Q&As on jitsi. Thanks to the donations collected, we can now pay out the licensing fees to them – you can continue to donate until 30.6. to ensure that the kitty ends up as full as possible!

All your lively participation and great encouragement have carried us through the last months and we would like to express our deepest gratitude for this, also with respect to the huge learning curve we currently find ourselves in! We’ve always grasped cinema as something that is reinvented with each new program. We’ve also now experienced once again just how big a role collaborative work plays in this process. This applies first and foremost to the filmmakers and our audiences, but also to the production companies, distributors and our partner institutions. We would like to give special thanks here to Filmgalerie 451, who made several titles available to us, as well as silent green Kulturquartier and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt for their support in realizing arsenal 4 and arsenal 5. The exhibition space at silent green and the open-air cinema at HKW make clear how cinema can be in motion as a social and cultural practice.

Instead of the arsenal 3 Q&As that took place at the end of each program, we would like to bring things to a close by inviting you all to a big joint wrap-up session: visit us on jitsi on June 30th and tell us your experiences with arsenal 3. We’d like to know whether your idea of cinema has changed over the last weeks and months, what you liked or disliked about our programs, and what you think the next stage for arsenal 3 might look like

For the next stage is coming: from July 1st, we’ll be reopening arsenal 1 and 2 bit by bit and arsenal 3 will continue to exist, but will have to reinvent itself. At the moment, we’re working on what relationship our virtual cinema auditorium can have with the analogue ones. In any case, we won’t be able to offer the program on a donation basis in the future, but would like to keep payment options as affordable as possible!

And now on to the program for weeks 13 & 14: seldom have our own (and vulnerable) bodies been felt so clearly in relationship to cinema as they have been in the last months, whether via presence or absence, being alone or part of a collective. We are therefore dedicating our last program to exactly this theme. It was inspired by a small book entitled “How to disappear” first published in 2013 as part of the “Kayfa ta (How to …)” series edited by Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis. The text it contains by author Haytham El-Wardany is based on the experience of the invisible listener: usually only the person speaking can be seen.

This doesn’t just apply to video conferences. The arsenal 3 audience were not visible to us. They were simultaneously there and not there, like a spirit, a memory from the past or a voice from the future.

In 2010, Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri showed a film at Forum Expanded for the first time that was shot and edited live in arsenal 2 while being screened in arsenal 1 (The Meaning of Everything). The artist duo didn’t appear for the Q&A after the screening. The audience never found out that they were actually attending an act of performative production. In 2018, a second film of the same type was brought to the screen: AN UNTIMELY FILM FOR EVERYONE AND NO ONE. This time, Ayreen and Rene appeared for the Q&A after the screening without letting on that the film had been made directly beforehand in the room next door. It was only in 2020, following the screening of BORN OF THE ***. ON ZARATHUSTRA’S GOING UNDER FROM CAIRO TO ORAN, that this most particular form of production was revealed, followed by a further screening in silent green where production and editing took place in full sight above the heads of the audience in the gallery of the Kuppelhalle, while the film was being shown on the screen at the same time.

With the two-part screening of AN UNTIMELY FILM FOR EVERYONE AND NO ONE (which also features philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy) at arsenal 3, we are taking one of the films created in this way out of the world of the ephemeral and presenting it to an invisible audience. To accompany it, we are showing the first five parts of the duo’s new film CONTAGIOUS NEW YORK, which they are currently producing on the edge of Manhattan. The audience and artists can then still get together for a Q&A on jitsi.

In addition, we are showing a program in which a queer performer speaks through his film images (ESCAPE FROM THE RENTED ISLAND: THE LOST PARADISE OF JACK SMITH), an invisible suicide travels the world’s realm of shades (SUICIDE), film characters can’t die (CRASH SITE: MY NEVER ENDING BURIAL PLOT), the voices of long-dead prisoners can be heard on shellac records (HALFMOON FILES) or colonial resistance appears behind the images and in sounds (LA ZERDA ET LES CHANTS DE L’OUBLI). “And for those who suffer from invisibility, the camera would be their weapon.” is how Elias Sanbar is quoted in the announcement for OFF FRAME AKA REVOLUTION UNTIL VICTORY.

The absent speak through images, sounds, objects, and bodies and thus manifest their absence. They can be spirits or projections. They can be those silenced by political power, by disease and death, by separation. They are simultaneously there and not there. And to round things off, we’re screening a new beginning that also shows the audience: In POR PRIMERA VEZ by Santiago Álvarez.

: Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre Presents: 
Atteyat Al Abnoudy

08:00 pm Cinema 2

Into the Depth

Seas of Thirst

Into the Depth Egypt 1979
Digital file OV/EnS 39 min
Seas of Thirst Egypt 1980
Digital file OV/EnS 44 min

Inroduced by Tamer El Said
arsenal cinema: Female Film Noir Pioneers –
 Muriel Box, Edith Carlmar, Bodil Ipsen, Ida Lupino, Wendy Toye

08:30 pm Cinema 1

The Hitch-Hiker

The Hitch-Hiker Ida Lupino USA 1953
35 mm OV 71 min
Preserved by the Library of Congress