Fixed Film Programs

Short Film Programs

How Does the Color Get into the Film?
How colorful were films before the invention of color film? How did color get into the image before it was introduced? When was color film invented? How do we see color in film? Does a film seem more “real” in color or in black and white? How do the colors used in a film copy age?
This short film program shows the wealth of different ways in which color is dealt with in film: hand-colored and tinted black and white films, hand-painted films and color films from different periods in film history. In addition: magic and reality, a feast of striking colors and images.
6 years and above, suitable for all ages.

Early Comedians
How does cinema makes us laugh? What is slapstick?
Three short films by and with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy.
6 / 7 years and above.

Animation and Cartoon Techniques
How do things start to move?
Cartoons, shadow films, hand-painted films, cut-out animation, clay animation: a journey from the first animated drawings of the silent era to contemporary stop-motion animation. Five short films by Winsor McCay, Lotte Reiniger, Len Lye, Marie Menken und Stepan Koval.
6 / 7 years and above.

Cinema as a Window onto the World: Documentaries for Children
When did the first cameramen go out on to the street and film people, animals and cities? When were images of the world shown in cinemas for the first time? What did the world look like in France over a hundred years ago? And what does it look like today, in Romania for example?
A changing program of short documentaries from different periods in film history and different countries: Auguste and Louis Lumière (France), Oskar Messter (Germany), Joris Ivens (The Netherlands), Octavio Cortázar (Cuba)...
8 / 9 years and above.

Experimental Cinema
Experimental short films, which break down cinema into its constituent parts and make visible what film and cinema actually are.
6 - 11 years or 12 – 16 years.

Surrealist Cinema
In surrealism, dreams, urges, fears and fantasies are longer contrasted with a rationally ordered world. It is reality that becomes the “raw material for the imagination” (Peter Weiss). The first film to be shown is the classic UN CHIEN ANDALOU (Luis Buñuel, F 1929).
15 years and above.

Autobiographical Film: A.K.A. DON BONUS
Spencer Nakasako and Sokly Ny, USA 1995
Download Catalogue PDF
A cinematic diary by and about Sokly Ny, who fled from Cambodia to America with his family and attempted to finish high school amid family crises and housing problems. The camera is Sokly’s constant companion for an entire year, witnessing difficult family meetings, spying on courtroom proceedings during his brother’s trial and becoming a friend and conversational partner at time of personal crisis. In just under an hour, the film creates both a powerful portrait of a young adult and an impressive study of the complex issue of migration in the San Francisco Bay Area.
15 years and above, American original version with German subtitles.

International Film Classics: THE WIZARD OF OZ
Victor Fleming, USA 1939
How do you fly in a house to the land over the rainbow? Why does the green-faced wicked witch leave a cloud of red smoke in her wake? How does the good witch move around in a soap bubble?
American classic THE WIZARD OF OZ, an adaption of the children’s book of the same name by L. Frank Baum, enchants thanks to its bright colors, catchy musical sequences, fantastic studio sets and magical costumes. Fleming’s film takes us on a journey with his protagonist Dorothy, who dreams herself from the grey wasteland of her home into a Technicolor fairy tale land. The journey leads us along the yellow brick road to the shimmering green Emerald City, passing through dark forests to the castle of the wicked witch. It is only when Dorothy and her companions have finished their adventures that she can return, for “there’s no place like home!” 
9 / 10 years and above, also recommended for high school classes, English original version with German subtitles, live translation provided for elementary school children.

International Film Classics: LADRI DI BICICLETTE
BICYCLE THIEVES, Vittorio de Sica, I 1948 
How does film capture reality? 
The film LADRI DI BICICLETTE is regarded as a classic of Italian Neorealism. The film was shot in the streets and tenements of post-war Rome rather than a studio, with workers in front of the camera instead of actors. A stolen bicycle threatens the existence of an entire family, as a father and son spend a day searching for the thief with increasing desperation.
9 / 10 years and above, German dubbed version.

Ernst Lubitsch, USA 1942
Is it possible to make a comedy about the National Socialists?
TO BE OR NOT TO BE is a comedy à la Lubitsch, with a group of actual Nazis stumbling upon a Polish theatre group dressed as them. False beards take the leading role in a film which poses the question to be or not to be quite literally. A love triangle between two men and a woman gets the political resistance moving, as reality and illusion and theatre and life become interlinked. A film which uses satire to reveal just how easily the Nazis could be seduced. Two comedies about the Nazis were made during the Second World War, with Chaplin’s THE GREAT DICTATOR (Charlie Chaplin, USA 1940) reaching cinemas just a couple of years before Lubitsch shot TO BE OR NOT TO BE. But while Chaplin’s film was met with approval, Lubitsch’s comedy struggled to find success. The reason for this: the USA had just entered the war. 
14 / 15 years and above, English original version with or without German subtitles.

The Berlin School in the Cinema I: DIE INNERE SICHERHEIT
THE STATE I AM IN, Christian Petzold, 
Germany 2000 
How can the way we see history be uncovered? 
Christian Petzold’s DIE INNERE SICHERHEIT tells a story which only perhaps becomes clear at the end. Generally speaking, the film is about how 15-year-old Jeanne tries to emancipate herself from her parents, although it is their political past and their links to the radical left wing scene from years before that ultimately determine their family life. Ellipses form the structuring principle for the narrative, with the film’s deliberate opaqueness engaging the viewer differently from how a more conventionally structured plot would do so. The film employs a certain amount of distance in exploring its relationship to German post-war history, using a series of different quotes and allusions to this end. Petzold’s direction is reluctant to follow the familiar narrative conventions common to many other films about the Red Army Faction.
Christian Petzold is counted among the Berlin School generation of contemporary directors.
15 / 16 years and above.

The Berlin School in the Cinema II: MEIN STERN
MY STAR, Valeska Grisebach, Germany 2001
Your first big love: what do you say to pay your girlfriend a compliment? How do you talk to your boyfriend about your exs? What does it mean to be in a relationship? How do you share your daily lives with each other?
Nicole and Christopher, two Berlin teenagers, fall in love, break up and get back together. They try out a relationship for the first time, playing out adult life on a smaller scale. Valeska Grisebach, who forms part of the younger generation of German directors working under the banner of the Berlin School, listened in on real life in order to develop the idea for the script. Castings to find the right teenager were held on the streets of Berlin for months, with the castings simultaneously serving as research for the project. The teenagers were thus asked about how they saw love, happiness and the future. Nicole Gläser and Christopher Schöps, the two non-professional actors who played the roles of Nicole and Christopher, were given a highly flexible script with a lot of room for improvisation. Instead of getting them to learn lines of dialogue by heart, the director worked with stage direction, such as, “Pay your girlfriend a compliment!” The compliment he ends up paying her is one of the most beautiful lines in MEIN STERN.
13 years and above.

Sergey Eisenstein, USSR 1925
How does a Russian propaganda film come across today? To what extent is film history alive? How do film classics from different eras relate to one another?
Probably the most famous scene in the revolutionary film BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (directed by Sergey Eisenstein | USSR 1925) is the one showing the population being massacred by Tsarist troops on the steps at the port of Odessa. After being strongly censored in the 1920s, the sequence on the steps has since been quoted in many more recent films over a range of genres. BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN still represents one of the most spectacular cases of censorship of its time, as it was feared that the revolution might break out of the screen and into real life. The reconstructed Russian premiere version will be shown accompanied by music from Edmund Meisel adapted especially for this version.
15 / 16 years and above, silent film with Russian intertitles and German subtitles.