Two DVDs

Riki Kalbe – 15 Films

Riki Kalbe was a filmmaker and photographer. She loved tangible objects and discovered whole metaphorical universes within them, she invented the feminist hacker and thus anticipated reality, she explored stories of the everyday and the question of how different things can be remembered and was dedicated to remembering that which disappears due to remembrance itself. She died in 2002; between 1976 and 1998, she made 15 films, some in collaboration with others and others by herself. Her films were most recently shown at the Arsenal cinema in 2006 to coincide with an exhibition of her photos. She put her entire cinematic oeuvre in the hands of Arsenal as well as other materials. Riki Kalbe wasn’t just a collector of story and images, a photographer and filmmaker, she also made many other connections: she had friendly links to many people who made films or art and wrote, whether in East or West Berlin or elsewhere, providing support, sharing projects and ideas, and accompanying them on their way.

The project: the digitization of her films and their release together with a small book continuing a detailed filmography and a text on feminism, comradeship, genealogies and generations in the context of German (contemporary) history.

The films: Im Prinzip haben wir nichts gegen Mädchen (West Germany 1976, 16mm, 13min), Der letzte Kuss (West Germany 1977, 16mm, 25min), Hexenschuss (West Germany 1979, 16mm, 30min), Die optische Industriegesellschaft oder darf's ein Viertel Pfund mehr sein? (West Germany 1983, 16mm, 47min), Bodenproben (West Germany 1987, 16mm, 31min), Ohne Nachtigallen (together with Bettina von Arnim, West Germany 1987, 16mm, 28min), Knoten Sonnborn (West Germany 1988, 16mm, 47min), Kamen Süd (together with Barbara Kasper, West Germany 1989, 16mm, 7min), Zwei zu Eins (Germany 1991, 16mm, 3min), Von der Reichskanzlei bis Paraguay (together with Barbara Kasper, Germany 1992, 7min), Denkmalpflege (Germany 1993, 35mm, 7min), Fußvolk (Germany 1994, 35mm, 4min), Berliner Luft (together with Barbara Kasper, Gemrany 1996, 35mm, 7min), Der Horizont (Germany 1996, 35mm, 4min), Ein Gleiches (Germany 1998, 35mm, 3min).

DVD Riki Kalbe – 15 Films

"The Halfmoon Files" and "Day of the Sparrow" by Philip Scheffner


Filmmaker, video and sound artist Philip Scheffner’s multi-award winning films create a totally unique form of political thought. Comprehensively researched, whilst avoiding the standard structures utilized for talking presentations of previously gathered knowledge, they create a complex set of mental, visual and aural spaces, a locus for sensory perception. Scheffner weaves together stories, turns his material into a protagonist of equal standing, allows this material to determine his films’ dramatic structure, posits he himself as a filmmaker as material too and conducts a search for clues whose points of intersection remain pointedly open. He breathes life into images and sounds and redefines their relationship over and over again. 

Scheffner was a member of the interdisciplinary project Botschaft e.V. and part of the Berlin authors’ group and production company dogfilm from 1991–1999. In 2001, he founded the production company pong together with Merle Kröger, a platform “for film, text, sound and everything in-between”.

The double DVD release Philip Scheffner / THE HALFMOON FILES & DER TAG DES SPATZENcontains Scheffner’s first two feature-length films. Both multi-award winning films received their premiere at the Berlinale Forum and are in the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art distribution range.

THE HALFMOON FILES (Germany 2007, 87 min) follows the trail of the “Half Moon Camp“ in Wünsdorf near Berlin, uncovering images and sounds like a game of memory. The film’s starting point is the sound recording of an Indian colonial soldier who was incarcerated in the prisoner of war camp during the First World War. The crackling sound of this shellac record, which is stored in the sound archive of the Berlin Humboldt University’s Helmholz Centre, comes to soundtrack a series of ghosts from the past, whose presence in our present is made both audible and visible by the film.

DER TAG DES SPATZEN (The Day of the Sparrow, Germany 2010, 100 min)  is a political nature film about a country where the line between war and peace has become blurred. Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, November 14th 2005: a sparrow is shot and killed after knocking down 23,000 dominos. A German soldier dies in Kabul as a consequence of a suicide bombing. These two adjacent headlines lead director Philip Scheffner to set out in search of war using the methods of ornithology.

Biography of Nanna Heidenreich