Lecture Series “REFLECTIONS ON…” Spring 2011

Lecture Series


organized by Magdalena Kallenberger

[slideshow gallery_id="13"]

  • is a lecture series open for anyone interested in watching and discussing film and video works.
  • delivers insight into different forms of filmic, cinematic and artistic approaches documenting and covering societal upheaval and changes.

Filmmakers and artists are invited to present and discuss their works or favourite films dealing with the topic.

May 23
Persepolis (2007) directed by M. Satrapi and V. Paronnaud and won the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

  • Persepolis (2007) is the poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of the precocious and outspoken 9-year-old Marjane that we see a people’s hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power–forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. Clever and fearless, Marjane outsmarts the “social guardians” and discovers punk, ABBA, and Iron Maiden. Yet when her uncle is senselessly executed and as bombs fall around Tehran in the Iran/Iraq war, the daily fear that permeates life in Iran is palpable.

95 Min | animation | 2007

May 16
Jörg Hommer (Germany) will present a selection of his films exploring the borders of documentary practice.

  • The Red Carpet (2007)]] is a persiflage about the protocol at state receptions, which take place every day all over the world and as you can watch them on TV: handshakes, smiling faces, heavily symbolic gesticulations. The film shows world leaders from a different perspective and focuses below the ordinary TV-surface. It exposes what is happening before the recurrent well known pictures are taken. The film was shot on the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany in june 2007.

4’35 Min | Shortdocumentary, Experimentalfilm | 2007

  • Walk on the edge of democracy (2007) Jörg Hommer walks along the fence in real-time. Continuously and consistently the camera follows the barricade. The security fence enclosures the whole film. The rhythmic meditative sound of the steps and the interplay of the ongoing in front and behind let the fence become a projection screen of the individual utopia and visions of the spectator. A borderline experience.

The film had its world premiere at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival.

75 Min | documentary | 2007

May 09

May 02
Part II: Of Gods and Men (2010) directed by Xavier Beauvois   – Winner of GRAND PRIX at Cannes Film Festival.

April 25

April 18
Of Gods and Men (2010) directed by Xavier Beauvois – Winner of GRAND PRIX at Cannes Film Festival.

INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY … In 1996 in the algerian mountains, caught between a military government and extremist guerrilas, a group of monks face the decision of their lives.

April 11
Juliane Henrich (Berlin/Germany) will present a selection of her experimental short films exploring the borders of documentary practice.

In IN PLACE made in Israel 2010 – the observing filmmaker guides the viewer through her own perception of the place. A voiceover-text is reflecting on the things that are seen. The question is raised of how a foreign country loaded with historical implications can be described and how a picture can ever state accuracy. Somnambular images shot with a camera-obscura-like apparatus maintain in their indirectness the impression of a silent observer that is within yet never fully a part of the scene.
IN PLACE is a film about Israel but even more about photography and the difficulty of documenting.

April 04
Videogram of a Revolution directed by Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujică Germany, 1992, 106 minutes.

Before there were cell phones witnessing history in the making, there were video cameras. In December 1989, the future of Romania was up in the air. It was also on the air. During a televised speech, Nicolae Ceauşescu stopped speaking and looked off-camera, confused. The broadcast cut briefly to an empty red screen, until eventually his speech resumed. The (televised) revolution had begun—even if exactly what had happened was unclear. These images are among the last ones shot for Romanian state television. Filmmakers Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujică assembled them along with footage shot by amateurs and newsreel cameramen to reconstruct a chronology of events leading to the fall of the Ceauşescus. The result is a fascinating portrait of how confusing and chaotic history is in the making—in front of a camera and on the television screen. It is also an important reminder of the context for the revolution in Romanian cinema some twenty years later. —Kathy Geritz

March 28
Current Townhouse Gallery resident Alessandro Quaranta will show a selection of videoworks created in the last years.

On the basis of Alessandro Quaranta‘s works there is always an urgency: the necessity to rise what is absent on the investigated matter. His works, video-installations and photography, frequently originate from collaborations in which the result is closely connected with the timeframe required to meet, involve and create personal relations.

March 21
Sonja Lau is an independent curator based in Berlin. For the lecture series „Reflections on …“, she will present the experimental documentary film IT FELT LIKE A KISS by acclaimed British filmmaker Adam Curtis, followed by a discussion.

Consisting exclusively of ‚found media’ – Hollywood film excerpts, archive, amateur and journalist footage – and an incessant flow of popular music from the 50ies and 60ies, IT FELT LIKE A KISS provokes a disturbing genre, settled somewhere between documentary, nouvelle vague and postmodern horror.

As Adam Curtis claims, it is the ironic story „of an enchanted world that was built by American power as it became supreme” – “a ghost story where unexpected forces, veiled by the American Dream, come out from the dark to haunt you…”
It is also a film about the power of the image a such, the dialectics between building history and imagery. A virtue and dilemma alike, which, in the face of today’s political transformation, suggests to be reviewed and discussed anew.

IT FELT LIKE A KISS was initially produced as part of an immersive theatre production by the „Punchdrunk Collective“. It was screened in 2009 at the heart of a abandonned office building during the Manchester International Festival, and, due to both conceptual and copyright issues, never released ever since. The screening will give a rare chance to view this work, which is also the first ‚artist film’ of documentarist Adam Curtis („The Century of the Self“, 2002, „The Power of Nightmares“, 2004).

IT FELT LIKE A KISS. D: Adam Curtis. 2009, 54’, various formats transferred to HD. Produced by BBC and the Manchester International Festival.

March 14
Current Townhouse Gallery resident Kaya Behkalam will, among other works, show two recent videos, one of which has been produced during his stay in Cairo. Both films negotiate the question in how far we can imagine and create patterns of enactment beyond the known – emancipated from the past.

In The negotiation a group of actors rehearse a play set in an unnamed revolutionary setting; they are confronted with the problematic relationship between language and action, the theatrical and the political.

Curfew Conversations makes the empty streets of post-revolutionary Cairo after midnight the center stage of a dialogue on (sub)conscious connections between collective dreamscapes and political agency.

  • The negotiation (with Azin Feizabadi), 2010, 38 min. HD Video, produced by HKW Berlin
  • Curfew Conversations, 2011, work in progress, ca. 15 min. HD Video, produced by Townhouse Gallery Cairo