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December 2017, arsenal cinema

The DEFA Foundation Presents

DER FACKELTRÄGER, 1955

One of the biggest challenges in preserving German film heritage and keeping it alive is the digitization of films shot on celluloid. How does one perform a successful balancing act between new digital processing technique and retaining original aesthetic and production characteristics? Which criteria exist for choosing materials? Which phases does the film pass through during its digital “resurrection”? This evening of films is dedicated to precisely such question, with the results of two different digitizations being presented to this end: DER FACKELTRÄGER (Johannes Knittel, East Germany 1955) is an attempt at satire about the West Berlin judiciary and kidnapping, which was an explosive topic during the Cold War - famous East Germany lawyer Friedrich Karl Kaul was involved in writing the script. As one of the last features to be made by DEFA, the crime thriller TANZ AM SONNABEND – MORD (Heinz Thiel, East Germany 1961) picks up on the idea of agricultural collectivization and the milieu surrounding it, where a murder must suddenly be solved. (rp) (4.12.)