Retrospective, Berlinale Classics & Homage

Oct 31, 2023
Retrospective 2024:
“An Alternate Cinema – From the Deutsche Kinemathek Archives”

Eva Mattes in Supermarkt by Roland Klick

The Retrospective of the 2024 Berlin International Film Festival will celebrate unorthodox protagonists, idiosyncratic cinematic language, and unconventional productions from German film history that stepped outside the box. The approximately 20 films in the section, made between 1960 and 2000, draw on the holdings of the Deutsche Kinemathek, whereby most will be shown in their latest restored versions.

Dr Rainer Rother, Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kinemathek and head of the Retrospective section, says “The Deutsche Kinemathek celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2023. That provided an impetus to look through our archives and collections with a new eye. The 2024 Retrospective is an opportunity to focus on independent and uncommon productions from our holdings, including work by Hellmuth Costard, Roland Klick, Elfi Mikesch, and Frank Vogel. It is also a chance to shine a spotlight on our ongoing, internationally valued work in the service of film heritage”.

As film movements sparked by young players emerged worldwide in the 1960s, German filmmakers also spread their wings in a variety of ways. The desire for a personal future apart from society’s conventions was the leitmotif on display in Herbert Vesely’s The Bread of Those Early Years (Das Brot der frühen Jahre, FRG 1962), one that is reflected in the Retrospective films alongside the relationship between society and the individual. The works always reference off-screen realities and portray a multi-faceted Germany, both East and West, between 1960 and the turn of the millennium. They reflect contemporary German culture from alternative points-of-view. These films, made outside the mainstream, deliver a different picture of the country and its people, tell a different, wider story. Their narratives are situated in the here and now, and visualise in sometimes experimental ways an alternate picture of society.

The unconventional, idiosyncratic cinematic language evident in the Retrospective selection is telling – sometimes observationally distanced or opulently displayed, sometimes with playful self-mockery or a subjective sense of self-awareness. They often substantiate what director Pia Frankenberg as Martha in her narrative debut Ain’t Nothing Without You (Nicht nichts ohne Dich, FRG 1985) said, “The most important thing in my films is the atmosphere”. The Retrospective programme “An Alternate Cinema” is an invitation to re-discover the diversity of voices in this wide-ranging selection of wonderfully made filmic experiences.

“With ‘An Alternate Cinema’, the Berlinale will present a unique journey through German cinema and German history. Most of the films will be new to our audiences and, together with familiar masterpieces, they reveal an evocative portrait of the country”, says Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director of the Berlinale.

The full programme of films will be announced in December 2023. The Retrospective will once again be rounded out with a series of side-bar events.

Press Office
October 31, 2023