may 2019, arsenal cinema

Commedia all’italiana

A particular form of socio-critical entertainment emerged at the end of the 1950s in Italy: the subversive comedy broke with the gratification and optimism of the genre, instead using satire and precise observation of daily life to reflect the social upheavals of the era. In the 1960s, the commedia all’italiana developed into one of the most important and successful genres of the Italian film industry. The films were not only extremely popular among the public, but also acclaimed at major international festivals, where they won numerous best director, actor and screenplay prizes.

In cooperation with the Italian Cultural Institute we will screen 21 highlights of the genre made between 1958 and 1974 from May 3 - 31. The retrospective will be accompanied by two introductions and two lectures.

may 2019, arsenal cinema

Magical History Tour – 
The Kammerspielfilm

With a concentration on a small number of characters and spaces, a focus on inner conflicts and a clear restricted timeframe, the key components of the “Kammerspiel” film genre that came about in the 1920s appear ascetic. But often a particular sense of drama emerged from the extreme paucity of place, time and plot that was conveyed and intensified by the subjectifying use of light and by a moving camera, which in the protagonists’ immediate vicinity recorded the tiniest changes in gestures and facial expressions. The film movement, which was inspired by the modern stage design ideas Max Reinhardt had implemented from 1906 onwards on a new Berlin stage that was also called Kammerspiele, experienced its first (perhaps the only one in a classical sense) peak at the beginning of the Twenties and marked the transition from Expressionist film forms to realistic trends. Its resonance in film history is varied, ranging from standard reverential homages to earlier examples of the genre to creative variations on it (or individual aspects). Subjective as always, we have brought together a few for this month’s Magical History Tour.

may 2019, arsenal cinema

Mirror – 
A Cairo Cimatheque archive program

The Cimatheque - Alternative Film Center, which opened in Cairo in 2014, provides a space for open discussions about cinema and its history. On offer are screenings, workshops, a library, a lab and an archive, whose stock comprises gifts from renowned cineastes, including Abdel Hamas Said who once ran the Egyptian Cinema Organization, the documentary filmmaker Atteyat El Anoudy, the animation filmmaker Ehab Shaker and the pioneer Nagy Shaker. Apart from documents, manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, reports, diaries and storyboards, the archive holds 35-mm prints and material about the important film works from the region and beyond, including less known treasures of film heritage: ephemeral material, found footage, amateur films and commercial films, newsreels, experimental documentaries or evidence of B-movies and shorts.

The Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre’s archive was created in a context where the public had no access to their moving image history. The constantly growing collection is now freely available. It questions official writing of history and creates a space for other narratives. Thanks to one single film scanner, the archive is currently being digitized and the aim is to place a duplicate at Arsenal. This implies questions: What does it mean when a protected space needs another? How will the duplicate differ from the original (beyond the analogue/digital difference) because of its surroundings? In a series of screenings on May 7, 14 and 28, the Cimatheque’s co-founder Tamer El Said will introduce the archive while discussing these questions.

may 2019, berlinale forum

Cristina Nord appointed as New Head of the Berlinale Forum

Picture of Cristina Nord

The film critic, writer, and curator Cristina Nord will assume the directorship of the Forum section starting on August 1, 2019. Since it was founded in 1971, the Forum has taken place as part of the Berlin International Film Festival, curated and organised independently by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art.

Cristina Nord (born in 1968) served as film editor for the cultural section of the daily “taz. die tageszeitung” in Berlin from 2002 to 2015. Her writing deals with a broad spectrum of film forms from the present and from film history. Alongside her award-winning print media work, Cristina Nord has been active as a lecturer and curator for a variety of institutions, including the Freie Universität Berlin, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and the Duisburger Filmwoche. After moving to the Goethe-Institut in 2015, Cristina Nord was the Brussels-based director of programming focusing on southwestern Europe, where she conceived and realised projects from all cultural sectors, all the while remaining closely associated with film and cinema.

may 2019, arsenal cinema

Happy Birthday, Erika Gregor!

A veritable premiere: On May 26, Erika Gregor is celebrating her birthday with a program of shorts at Arsenal! We are extremely pleased to share this special evening with her and are looking forward to the event to which everyone is warmly invited. As co-founder of the Friends of the German Film Archive (now Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art) and the International Forum of New Cinema, a long-time curator of Arsenal and a member of the Forum’s selection committee, she has shaped the institution in many ways. For well over four decades, she has brought films and filmmakers across borders, continents and other barriers to Berlin, organizing impressive programs and festivals, publishing works, building up a film collection, taking part in political (film) debates and preserving her love for cinema as well as her belief that films can effect long-term change. Her memory (films, festivals, encounters, books and poems) is as phenomenal as her extensive treasure trove of stories is inexhaustible and pointed. The short films of Dorothee Wenner (on our website) give an illuminating and cheerful impression of this, as the birthday evening will surely do on 26. May. Erika Gregor will present a program of short films by Germaine Dulac, Agnès Varda, Anita Thacher, Standish Lawder and Santiago Álvarez. There will also be speeches by Helke Sander and Jutta Brückner. If anyone would like to give Erika Gregor a present, apart from his/her presence, then please make a donation for the acquisition of prints instead of buying flowers. There will be a donations box and Erika Gregor will gladly discuss her list of priorities for the films that could come into question over a glass of wine.

may 2019, living archive


Film Feld Forschung has set itself the goal of using the interior and exterior spaces of silent green for theoretical and practical research into the medium of film. Starting in May, a series of events, workshops and exhibitions will take place, dealing with the materiality of the Earth's film as a medium of memory as an archive. How does the cinema relate to its carrier material and the materiality of what is depicted? What is the physical relationship between the body and the landscape and the image and thus with the viewer and its environment? The focus will be on the concept of permaculture, among other things, for the construction of living spaces that are preserved in the field of tension between observation, productivity and temporality of the earth itself. What role does this assumption play for cinema and its archives? The series begins with an installation of cinematic works by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill, Kerstin Schroedinger and Mareike Bernien.

30.5.–2.6. @ silent green Betonhalle. An Archive außer sich project.

may 2019, transfer

Next Projection Room Tour on May 25

picture of projection room at Arsenal

What do 16mm, 35mm and 70mm actually mean? What is screen masking and what is it used for? How does a dissolve work? And what is actually happening when the image on the screen stops moving and begins to melt? If you’re interested in finding out how films get on to the screen, Arsenal would like to invite you to take a peek behind the scenes on one of our projection room tours. Our projectionist Bodo Pagels will show you round the projection room, tell you all about film formats, projectors and projection techniques, demonstrate how films are fed into the projector and provide a full introduction to the secrets of film projection. He will also be happy to answer any questions you might have about the cinema set-up and will adapt the tour to your wishes and interests as far as possible. The next scheduled tour will take place on Saturday May 25, at 4pm. Please register in advance. 

arsenal cinema: Commedia all’italiana

07:00 pm Cinema 1

I soliti ignoti

I soliti ignoti Big Deal on Madonna Street Mario Monicelli Italy 1958
With Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni, Totò 35 mm OV/EnS 106 min

arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour – 
The Kammerspielfilm

08:00 pm Cinema 2

The African Queen

The African Queen John Huston
USA 1951 With Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn
DCP OV/GeS 105 min

arsenal cinema: Commedia all’italiana

09:00 pm Cinema 1

Divorzio all’italiana

Divorzio all’italiana Divorce Italian Style
Pietro Germi Italy 1962
With Marcello Mastroianni, Stefania Sandrelli, Daniela Rocca
35 mm OV/EnS 105 min