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January 2019, berlinale forum

14. Forum Expanded: ANTIKINO (The Siren’s Echo Chamber)

THE MERMAIDS, OR AIDEN IN WONDERLAND (Karrabing Film Collective, 2018)

At a time when moving images are ubiquitous, transgressing media boundaries, if we can even still call it that, is defined by other parameters. Tensions between mainstream and underground, narrative cinema and avant-garde, art and cinema seem largely to have been dissolved. Today, the overriding questions are more and more about the relation of images to the real. The 14th Forum Expanded is showing 30 short and long films, 17 installation works, and a performance that point to life outside the echo chamber that we find ourselves in, and not just in social media.

The Argentine entry PARSI by Eduardo Williams and Mariano Blatt takes the motif of the echo and exaggerates it through repetition. A repetitive, virtually endless story becomes the basis for a breathless filmic tour de force.

The Karrabing Film Collective finds an alternative to the echo chamber in the mythology of the Australian Indigenous peoples. In THE MERMAIDS, OR AIDEN IN WONDERLAND the figure of the mermaid becomes the entry point for a critique of colonialism and extractive capitalism.

Resources are also the focus in LABOUR POWER PLANT by Robert Schlicht and Romana Schmalisch. The film proposes an unpleasantly familiar future of working, in which people are standardised and fitted in “labour power plants”.

Monira Al Qadiri’s installation DIVER builds a bridge in the history of the Persian Gulf. Before the discovery of oil, pearl diving was the basis for the economy in the Gulf region. Synchro-nised swimmers in iridescent swimsuits symbolically stand for both raw materials, and for a past that has been banished into popular culture today.

Ala Younis also turns to popular culture in the Arab region with DRACHMAS. The minimalist models of sets from Arab TV dramas detach from their social, political, economic, and geo-graphical contexts, celebrating the studio as a site of modest means and high productivity.

Between 1967 and 1972 Ricky Shayne streaked through West German entertainment culture like a comet. In SHAYNE Stephan Geene takes fan material and his own memories as the starting point for a serial TV anti-portrait of a musician whose life-sized “Star Puzzle” ap-peared twice in the teen magazine Bravo.

The frightening flip side of pop is shown in Paul and Damon McCarthy’s DADDA – POODLE HOUSE SALOON: In a wild west farce bizarre variants of pop icons like Donald and Daisy Duck, Mini Mouse, Andy Warhol or the Cartwright family battle each other relentlessly–to the bloody end.

Finally Mpumelelo Mcata and Perivi Katjavivi dare to take a critical look into the film festival business. FILM FESTIVAL FILM, the documentary-fictional story of a young Black director trying to pitch her debut film at a festival, battles against the commercial appropriation of ar-tistic visions, proposing an anti-cinema–and not just for the African continent where the film was made.

Films:
AL DHAREEH (THE TOMB) by Eltayeb Mahdi (Egypt, 17’) - 1977
AL HABIL (THE ROPE) by Ibrahim Shaddad (Sudan, 32') - 1985
AL MAHATTA (THE STATION) by Eltayeb Mahdi (Sudan 16’) - 1989
DADDA - POODLE HOUSE SALOON by Paul McCarthy and Damon McCarthy (USA, 93') - WP
FALSE BELIEF by Lene Berg (Norway, 105') - WP
FILM FESTIVAL FILM by Mpumelelo Mcata and Perivi Katjavivi (South Africa, Namibia, United Kingdom, 46') - WP
FORDLANDIA MALAISE by Susana de Sousa Dias (Portugal, 40') - WP
IDHI KATHA MATRAMENA (IS THIS JUST A STORY?) by Yugantar (India, 25’) - 1983
IT’S A LONG WAY FROM AMPHIOXUS by Kamal Aljafari (Germany, 25') - WP
JAGDPARTIE (HUNTING PARTY) by Ibrahim Shaddad (German Democratic Republic, 41’) - 1964
JAMAL (A CAMEL) by Ibrahim Shaddad (Sudan, 14') - 1981
LABOUR POWER PLANT by Robert Schlicht and Romana Schmalisch (France / Germany / 85') - WP
LIQA'LM YADHAE (AN UN-AIRED INTERVIEW) by Muhammad Salah (Egypt, 40') - WP
MAI I TE KEI O TE WAKA KI TE IHU O TE WAKA (FROM THE BACK OF THE CANOE TO THE FRONT OF THE CANOE) by Jeremy Leatinu'u (New Zealand, 8’) - IP
MERIDIAN by Calum Walter (USA, 16') - WP
THE MERMAIDS, OR AIDEN IN WONDERLAND by Karrabing Film Collective (Australia, 27') - IP
O ENSAIO (THE REHEARSAL) by Tamar Guimarães (Brazil /Denmark, 51') - WP
PARSI by Eduardo Williams and Mariano Blatt (Argentina / Switzerland, 23') - IP
PART ONE: WHERE THERE IS A JOYOUS MOOD, THERE A COMRADE WILL APPEAR TO SHARE A GLASS OF WINE. by Rosalind Nashashibi (Great Britain / Poland / Austria / Netherlands, 24’) - IP
PRISON ARCHITECT by Cao Fei (Hong Kong / People's Republic of China, 59') - EP
RASENDES GRÜN MIT PFERDEN (RUSHING GREEN WITH HORSES) by Ute Aurand (Germany, 86') - WP
SHAYNE by Stephan Geene (Germany, 120') - WP
TALES FROM PLANET KOLKATA by Ruchir Joshi (India, 38’) - 1993
TAMBAKU CHAAKILA OOB ALI (TOBACCO EMBERS) by Yugantar (India, 26’) - 1982
A TINY PLACE THAT IS HARD TO TOUCH by Shelly Silver (USA / Japan, 30') - WP
TRAVELING SHOES by Kevin Jerome Everson (USA, 7') - WP
UUTISTEN AIKA (NEWSTIME) by Laura Horelli (Germany / Namibia / Finland, 39') - WP
VEVER (FOR BARBARA) by Deborah Stratman (USA, 12') - WP
VIVIR EN JUNIO CON LA LENGUA AFUERA (TO LIVE IN JUNE WITH YOUR TONGUE HANGING OUT) by Coco Fusco (USA / Cuba, 24') - WP
WA LAKIN ALARDH TADUR (IT STILL ROTATES) by Suliman Elnour (UdSSR, 19’) - 1978

Group exhibition at Betonhalle (silent green) / Gallery Ebensperger Rhomberg / Luxoom Lab:
4 WATERS DEEP IMPLICANCY by Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman (USA / Great Britain, 31') - WP
CAN’T YOU SEE THEM? – REPEAT. by Clarissa Thieme (Germany / Bosnia and Herzegovina, 8') - WP
CURUPIRA, BICHO DO MATO (CURUPIRA, CREATURE OF THE WOODS) by Félix Blume (Mexico / France, 35’) - EP
DID YOU SEE ME THIS TIME WITH YOUR OWN EYES? by Shadi Habib Allah (Palestine, 7’) - IP
DIVER by Monira Al Qadiri (United Arab Emirates, Kuwait 4') - EP
DRACHMAS by Ala Younis (Jordan) - IP
THE FINE THREAD OF DEVIATION by Evan Calder Williams and Anne Low (USA, 39') - EP
GLORY by James Benning (USA, 120') - WP
THE SCRIPT by Akram Zaatari (Lebanon / United Kingdom, 7') - IP
LE SILENCE DES SIRÈNES (SILENCE OF THE SIRENS) by Diana Vidrascu (France, 30) - WP
THE STARTLED FACTION (A SENSITIVITY TRAINING) by Catherine Sullivan (USA, 35') - DP
A STORY FROM AFRICA by Billy Woodberry (Portugal, 32') - WP
TRANSFORMATION SCENARIO by Clemens von Wedemeyer (Germany / Latvia /Switzerland, 20') - IP
WOSA (COYOTE'S BURDEN BASKET) by Heike Baranowsky (Germany, 9') - WP
ZUR BAUWEISE DES FILMS BEI GRIFFITH (ON CONSTRUCTION OF GRIFFITH' FILMS) by Harun Farocki (Germany, 9’) - 2006

Performance at Betonhalle (silent green):
RESIDDUM by Ute Waldhausen (Germany) - WP

Exhibition at Marshall McLuhan Salon (Embassy of Canada):
NOTES TO SELF
by Christina Battle (Canada), EP

Exhibition at SAVVY Contemporary:
SHADOW CIRCUS
by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam (India), WP