february 2020, arsenal cinema

50th Forum

The Berlinale Forum is 50: This offers a good opportunity to look back on it as well as to think about what the future might hold. By re-screening films shown in 1971, we will remember the Forum’s first year. Some of the films (such as W.R. – MISTERIJE ORGANIZMA by Dušan Makavejev) have attained cult status whereas others – like ICH-AUSSEN-OBJEKTE by Klaus Bessau - have almost been forgotten. In this case, there is no print left, only a very fragile original negative at risk of being damaged if run through a projector. The material of film – it becomes clear with retrospect – has a temporality. Loss and damage can only be prevented by continuous archival conservation and preservation work, such as that carried out by the Berlinale Forum and the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art.

february 2020, arsenal cinema

15th Forum Expanded
 – Part of the Problem

The Berlinale Forum is 50 and Forum Expanded is 15. The new decade has begun at a time when we are often speechless and yet it seems all the more necessary to find clear words. What does this mean for a program such as Forum Expanded? How does a time like this change the curatorial perspective? What do we expect from the works that we select? A film program is more than the sum of individual works. It creates connections, refers to the outside. Short film programs, where works are shown in succession, and film exhibitions, where works are shown next to each other, can make this all the more palpable. This is not new, but it seems to be more important than ever. Writing about the way victims of far-right violence are often considered individually, Nanna Heidenreich wrote the following Facebook post: “It is not - and this is important - about ‘everyone’ but there is a structure. We have to examine this.” The program’s selected works explore different subjects, including migration, racism, sexism, state violence, capitalism, colonialism, extractivism, the climate emergency, fear of the future, loss of history and much more. However, they all refer to themselves not as separate entities but as part of a larger structural system.

february 2020, arsenal cinema

Forum 50 continues in March

The Berlinale Forum is taking place for the 50th time this year and we are celebrating! During the Berlinale and in March, all the films that were shown in 1971 will be screened again. This will provide an insight into an era full of upheavals for society and culture and offer the opportunity to examine the films’ relevance today. When Ulrich and Erika Gregor and their co-founders set up the International Forum of Young Cinema, they had a clear sense of the radical changes in cinema, the sociopolitical situation and the necessity of keeping alive film history. Films from countries not yet on the global radar of cinema premiered here, as did films that experimented with form or others without narratives. From the start, no distinction was made between documentary and fictional films; older and re-discovered films stood side by side with films with a political message. Already known classics made references to utopias and cinematic traditions. A large part of the first Forum program comprised works of artistic innovation and political agitation. Many saw themselves as providing “counter-information” to the mainstream media, for example with regard to the Civil Rights Movement or the protests against the Vietnam War. In films that explored (neo-)colonialism and exploitation in South America and Africa, the camera was a tool of the class struggle.

Some of the films we are screening are part of our own collection. Since the very beginning, it has been our policy to preserve and make accessible films with German subtitles to a broader public outside of the festival context. Others were located in various archives all over the world, which brought to light many problems related to the preservation of non-mainstream films: In many cases, only poor quality prints could be found. Four films can not be screened - either because no copy could be found or for legal reasons: No pincha (Tobias Engel, René Lefort, Gilbert Igel, France 1970), Argentina, mayo 1969 (Director’s collective Realizadores de Mayo, Argentina 1969), Purple Pütt (Claudio Hofmann, FRG 1971) and Olimpia agli amici (Adriano Aprà, Italy 1970). The Harun Farocki Institute will present LEAVE ME ALONE by Gerhard Theuring.

february 2020, berlinale forum

O.K. in the Forum Anniversary Programme

In 1970, the German entry to the Competition split the Berlinale: the black-and-white film O.K., directed by Michael Verhoeven and produced by Rob Houwer. Most of the members of the jury perceived it to be anti-American.

A major controversy flared up and the Berlinale ended without awarding the Bears. O.K. now returns to Berlin in 2020 as the official closing film of the Berlinale Forum’s anniversary programme.

arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour
 – Color in Film

07:30 pm Cinema 2


Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
F. W. Murnau Germany 1921 35 mm 94 min

Eunice Martins on piano
arsenal cinema: Berlin Premiere: LA FLOR

08:00 pm Cinema 1


La Flor – Kapitel 3, Akt 2

La Flor – Chapter 3, Act 2 Mariano Llinás
Argentina 2018 DCP OV/EnS 105 min