The Retrospective “The Red Dream Factory” is the outcome of years of systematic research. It will present 44 films in 32 screenings - including rarities of whose condition little was known until recently. New prints of some of the films are being made available for the Retrospective by several archives: the German Federal Archives/Film Archives Department, the Deutsche Kinemathek, the Austrian Film Museum and the Russian State Documentary Film and Photo Archive in Krasnogorsk. In cooperation with the Deutsche Kinemathek, the Austrian Film Museum will be presenting a new restoration of Fyodor Otsep’s adaptation of the Tolstoy drama Zhivoy trup (The Living Corpse, 1929) that is based on six different versions.
Internationally renowned musicians will be providing accompaniment for the many silent films in the Retrospective programme. Dutch silent film pianist and composer Maud Nelissen and British accompanist Stephen Horne have performed at previous Retrospectives. Canadian Gabriel Thibaudeau, who is in great demand as a composer, conductor and pianist, will be accompanying silent films at the Berlinale for the first time. Eunice Martins is well known to Berliners as the resident pianist of the Arsenal cinema, and to international audiences from many festivals.
The Retrospective film programme will be supplemented by a series of events at the Deutsche Kinemathek. This year’s theme will open with a talk moderated by Rainer Rother, head of the Retrospective, with curators Günter Agde and Alexander Schwarz. Alexander Schwarz will also be presenting his new documentary Die rote Traumfabrik, before it premieres on television, with Nina Goslar, who is responsible for the film at ARTE. Adelheid Heftberger, curator of the Vertov Collection of the Austrian Film Museum, will speak about the eventful history of Dziga Vertov’s only work for the “Red Dream Factory”, the often re-cut film Tri Pesni O Lenine (Three Songs of Lenin). Two special events have been organized to give insight into the work of the Deutsche Kinemathek and are related to Studio Babelsberg’s 100th anniversary. For the complete programme of events go to: www.berlinale.de.
The extensive publication “Die rote Traumfabrik. Meschrabpom-Film und Prometheus 1921-1936”, which Bertz + Fischer are publishing for the Berlinale, provides further material about the Retrospective. As the first monograph in German about this legendary German-Russian cinematic experiment, the book, edited by Günter Agde and Alexander Schwarz, compiles essays by Russian and German authors on the history and aesthetics of the films. These essays are supplemented by historical documents, previously unpublished photos, contemporary avant-garde film posters, and a complete filmography.
January 31, 2012