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October 6

Film Diaries and Other Ways of Seeing - Recent Work by Ute Aurand, Milena Gierke and Renate Sami

Established figures in Berlin’s vibrant experimental film scene, German filmmakers Ute Aurand (1957- ), Milena Gierke (1968- ) and Renate Sami (1935- ) have fostered long careers as independent curators. Their common interests in avant-garde and feminist cinema brought the three artists together as founding members of the Filmsamstag(Film-Saturday), a now-defunct curatorial collective that, from 2000-2007, was one of the city’s most dynamic alternate screening venues. While the collective gave a certain prominence to avant-garde and documentary film, its democratic policy of rotating curatorship gave way to an energetic eclecticism. The Filmsamstag’sespecially strong commitment to postwar experimental cinema informs Aurand, Gierke and Sami’s own work, which frequently explores and extends filmmaking traditions established by the postwar avant-garde—most notably, the diary film which the three have invigorated through their respective work and which is well represented in the selection presented at the HFA. Often edited in camera, the three artists’ films gravitate around similar interests in place and beauty and the unique exploration of light and texture offered by the hand-held camera—and, in the case of Gierke and Sami, by the small gauge format of Super 8 film. Aurand, Gierke and Sami each bring the heightened awareness of the traveler to their explorations of foreign and native lands, offering intimate and insightful portraits of the everyday and the communities of friends and colleagues that have formed around them.

The Harvard Film Archive is pleased to welcome Ute Aurand, Milene Gierke and Renate Sami for an evening of films and conversation about their unique film practice.  There will be a ten minute intermission after Film Diary, 1975-85.

Special thanks to Karen Beckman, Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Associate Professor of Film Studies, Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania.

Special Event Tickets $10
Monday October 6 at 7pm

OH! The 4 Seasons (OH! Die 4 Jahreszeiten)

Directed by Ute Aurand, Ulrike Pfeiffer. Ute Aurand Appearing in Person
West Germany 1988, 16mm, color, 20 min.

Made in collaboration with fellow filmmaker—and the film’s star—Ulrike Pfeiffer, OH! offers a dizzying, joyous detournement of iconic sites in postcard cities: Paris, Berlin, Moscow, London. The opening text is read by Jonas Mekas.

Film Diary, 1975-85 (Filmtagebuch, 1975-85)

Directed by Renate Sami, Appearing in Person
Germany 2005, video, color, 33 min.

Sami’s lyrical portrait of a West-Berlin community in the age of the Wall interweaves different places and seasons into an atmospheric meditation on friendship and memory. The central poem is by Cesare Pavese, the subject of Sami’s feature-length documentary Cesare Pavese. Turin - Santo Stefano Belbo.

narrow streetCompilation of Super 8 films by Milena Gierke

Directed by Milena Gierke, Appearing in Person
Germany, Super 8, total run time 30 min.

By focusing her camera on singular details and objects within a larger setting, Gierke offers an impressionistic distillation of time and place. Gierke has likened the “fragility” of Super 8 to water colors, noting that “each brushstroke [remains] visible and permanent.” “I
am strongly attracted to the unique visual qualities of everyday existence, and my films are my means of drawing attention to that which fascinates me.” -MG

The Protection Foil (Die Schutzfolie)

Directed by Renate Sami, Appearing in Person
West Germany 1983, 16mm, b/w, 8 min.

Sami’s humorous entry into an anti-war compilation film literally carries out the “practical” advice given by the German government as a precaution against nuclear radiation.

hands braiding hairA Walk (Ein Spaziergang)

Directed by Ute Aurand, Appearing in Person
Germany 2008, 16mm, color, silent, 4 min.

In the Park (Im Park)

Directed by Ute Aurand, Appearing in Person
Germany 2008, 16mm, color and b/w, silent, 6 min.


Directed by Ute Aurand, Appearing in Person
Germany 2008, 16mm, color, silent, 2 min.

Aurand’s three most recent films, all filmed in Switzerland, form a loose trilogy about place and season.

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