Saturday, October 11, 2008

SCREAMING CITY > Pleasure Dome

Sunday, October 19, 2008, 6pm / 7.30pm / 9pm
La Sala Rossa
4848, boul. St-Laurent, Montréal
$5 per program or $10 for the evening

Screaming City: West Berlin 1980s / Une ville gueule: les années 1980 à Berlin-Ouest

Curated by Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and Florian Wüst (in person)

A project initiated by Pleasure Dome, Toronto, in collaboration with Articule and Double Negative Collective in Montreal

Between the end of the 1970s and the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, a vast number of films were produced in and about West Berlin, dealing with the ambivalent realities of the enclosed city. Highly subsidized by the Federal Republic of Germany as a "shop window of the Free West", West Berlin had become an island, an inverted fortress for all those who saught to experience themselves without economical pressures, and to express themselves by all means. It wasn't about devoting oneself to the World Revolution anymore, but to implement alternative life styles and ways of housing, giving rise to social resistance, strident underground cultures and sexual border-crossing. Pessimism and apocalyptic moods, not least driven by the enhanced arms race and nuclear threats of the period, mixed with extravagance, punk and queerness.

Where images lived a special life inmidst the deadlock of socialist and capitalist ideologies that nowhere else materialized as spectacular as in the divided city of Berlin, an idiosyncratic crossover of music, performance, art and super-8 movement developed. For many young filmmakers, super-8 facilitated the production of low cost and truly independent films. The technical limitations of the medium embodied a strong means of spontaneity and purposeful dilettantism, while super-8 was easy to distribute and show in underground cinemas, clubs and cafes. Even institutions like the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin (dffb) fostered a spirit of radical subjectivity and experimentation among students.

The extraordinary activity of the various groups and individuals working with film and video in West Berlin in the 1980s was subject to an extensive retrospective in October 2006 at Kino Arsenal, Berlin, entitled Who says concrete doesn't burn, have you tried? The series comprised all kinds of film genres, from experimental films and video art to documentary and fiction, and covered a multiplicity of issues. For Screaming City: West Berlin 1980s, the curators of the series, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and Florian Wüst, selected two short film programs and a feature-length music film that cast light on this unique, yet partly forgotten historical period and urban site of German film production.

With generous support of Goethe-Institute Toronto.

(All films without dialogue or with English subtitles)

Program 1: Under Siege

a-b-city, Brigitte Buehler, Dieter Hormel, Super-8 on video, 1985, 8'

Böse zu sein ist auch ein Beweis von Gefühl, Cynthia Beatt, 16mm, 1983, 25'

60cm über dem Erdboden, Andrea Hillen, Super-8 on video, 1984, 6'

Geld, Brigitte Bühler, Dieter Hormel, Super-8 on video, 1983, 4'

Tattoo Suite, Rolf S. Wolkenstein, 16mm on video, 1984, 23'

Darum oder was erwartest Du?, Jürgen Baldiga, Super-8 on video, 1981, 7'

Program 2: Night Souls

Normalzustand, Yana Yo, Super-8 on video, 1981, 3'

Bad Blood for the Vampyr, Lysanne Thibodeau, 16mm, 1984, 22'

Ohne Liebe gibt es keinen Tod, Ingrid Maye, Volker Rendschmidt, Super-8 on video, 1980, 5'

Persona Non Grata, Christoph Doering, Super-8 on video, 1981, 16'

Kreuzberger Frauen, Klaus Beyer, Super-8 on video, 1983, 3'

Die Botschaft (Totentanz 8), Michael Brynntrup, 16mm, 1989, 10'

Naturkatastrophenkonzert, Die Tödliche Doris, Video, 1983, 3'

Program 3: OKAY OKAY. Der moderne Tanz

OKAY OKAY. Der moderne Tanz, Christoph Dreher, Heiner Mühlenbrock, 16mm, 1980, 90'

1 comment:

Sarah Kay King said...

Die Botschaft screening in NYC Tuesday, February 23, from 7pm-9pm Think Coffee 2 Bleecker St. along with paintings by Valerie Caris-Ruhnke (Blitz).