February 6 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Renaiss first feature film is greatly indebted to Marguerite Durass screenplay and is considered one of the finest films of the early French New Wave. Using a radically novel approach to expressing temporality through associative cuts that bridge the past and the present, Renais presents the subjective point of view of a French woman who, haunted by her past and the war and filming an historical recreation of the atomic blast in Hiroshima, falls in love with a Japanese man.
February 13 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by Samira
Switzerland/France 1999, video, b/w and color, 107 min.
With Wim Wenders, Jean Nouvel
French and German with English subtitles
This engaging nonfiction work focuses, as its title suggests, on two subjects: the meaning of cinema and the changing cityscape of Berlin. The former is addressed offscreen by the voice-over musings of Jean-Luc Godard and onscreen by the no less evocative reflections of German director Wim Wenders, who takes us on a stroll as the city of Berlin comes into intellectual focus. The French architect Jean Nouvel assists by tracing construction sites of future buildings, while Godard is heard probing the relation between German and European histories. With grace and assurance, BerlinCinéma addresses the ongoing dialogue between architecture and the cinema.
(Tuesday) 9 pm
February 14 (Wednesday) 7 pm
Directed by Wim Wenders
Germany 1995, 16mm, b/w and color, 80 min.
With Udo Kier, Nadine Büttner, Christoph Merg
German with English subtitles
Six weeks before the Lumière brothers legendary screening in Paris of the "first" motion picture, three German brothers in Berlin screened eight film loops. In between the acrobatics and juggling that also occupied their life, Max, Eugen, and Emil Skladanowsky had invented the bioskop. A century later, internationally renowned filmmaker Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, The Buena Vista Social Club) brings these little-known pioneers to the fore with this whimsical and touching film. With the help of his students from the Munich Film Academy, Wenders captures their story with a mix of documentary and recreated footagemuch of it shot silent at eighteen frames per second with a vintage hand-cranked camera.
February 21 (Wednesday) 7 pm
Directed by Roberto
Italy/France/Germany 1947, 35mm, b/w, 78 min.
With Edmund Moeschka, Franz Kruger, Barbara Hintz
German with English subtitles
The third installment of Rossellinis war trilogy (following Rome, Open City and Paisan) was, according to the director, "an attempt to discover the real reasons which had driven the Germans to act as they had done." Using nonprofessional actors and a neorealist style, the film is cast in the likeness of its young protagonist, Edmund, and the devastated city in which he lives. Rossellini conceived the film around the final scenes of Edmund wandering in the ruins of Berlin. This long final sequence marks the end of a narrative trajectory that begins in the mode of documentary reportage but becomes ever more hallucinatory, charting a journey through a strange and devas-tated landscape.
Live Piano Accompaniment
by Yakov Gubanov
February 28 (Wednesday) 7 pm
The Soviet silent cinema of the 1920s represented a great creative moment in the history of cinema, and Battleship Potemkin is often regarded as its supreme achievement. In rendering his account of the 1905 Black Sea mutiny and the sympathetic response it received from the people of Odessa, Eisenstein makes brilliant use of montagethe juxtaposition of individual shotsboth to provide drama through subtle alterations of space and time and to create striking metaphoric relationships that bolster his political arguments. The films formal beauty is balanced by the stark power and humanity of its realist depiction of the suppression of an outraged populace.