Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2016


Jan 26, 2016:
Forum 2016: Special Screenings

The Forum now completes its programme with a series of Special Screenings that run the gamut between a monumental travelogue, newly unearthed film historical gems and works that grapple with both cinema and its history.

Artist Ulrike Ottinger embarked on a journey from Alaska via Chukchi to Kamchatka on the trail of Adelbert von Chamisso, James Cook and other early world explorers. Like her predecessors, she kept a logbook that bears the mark of her ethnographic and artistic interests, which also appear in images: water, fish, sea otters, stones, volcanoes, the tundra, houses, villages, photographs, objects, maps. The people she meets talk about their lives and about the past and the present. Ottinger’s twelve-hour film Chamissos Schatten (Chamisso’s Shadow) opens this year’s Forum with a mammoth screening at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele on February 12. At the end of the festival, this unparalleled work will be repeated in three separate parts at CineStar at Potsdamer Platz.

Under the title "Hachimiri Madness – Japanese Indies from the Punk Years", the Forum is showing a series of newly digitised and subtitled Japanese 8-mm films from 1977 to 1990 which breathe the rebellious spirit of that era. Many of the highest profile directors Japan has to offer today made their debut features in this format – very few of them have ever been shown internationally. The series was jointly curated by Keiko Araki (PIA Tokyo), Jacob Wong (Hong Kong Film Festival) and Christoph Terhechte (Berlinale Forum).

I Am Sion Sono!! by Sion Sono, Japan 1984

The series includes Sion Sono’s I am Sion Sono!!, in which the then 22-year-old introduced himself to audiences as a punk poet in nonchalant, self-confident style, and Shinya Tsukamoto’s The Adventure of Denchu-Kozo, a hugely creative, wild cyberpunk drama, whilst also taking in the largely unknown early works of directors such as Sogo Ishii (today Gakuryu Ishii), Masashi Yamamoto, Nobuhiro Suwa and Shinobu Yaguchi.

In Yamamoto’s anarchic feature debut Saint Terrorism, a girl in a pink and yellow outfit shoots innocent people at seeming random with a gun concealed in her white handbag, with the bodies being carried off by the uniform-wearing members of a cult. Yaguchi’s wonderfully melancholy The Rain Women has two women ride their bikes through a convenience store, wear out countless umbrellas whilst wandering through the soggy landscape and warble “Singing in the Rain” dressed as a J-Pop duo. And in Suwa’s gangster ballad Hanasaseru Gang, it’s hard to escape the impression that Pierrot le fou has wandered into the Japan of the early 80s.

In their film essay Verfluchte Liebe deutscher Film (Doomed Love - A Journey through German Genre Films), Dominik Graf and Johannes F. Sievert address the question of why genre cinema has such a difficult time in Germany. Drawing on interviews and film excerpts, their recollections also extend to the Munich scene of the 60s and 70s, when Klaus Lemke or Roland Klick acted in cool, physical, violent and dirty films that showed a very different Germany, one teetering on the edge of the abyss.

Rudolf Thome’s idiosyncratic oeuvre was produced with a continuity that is more of an exception than the rule in German cinema – he has shot 28 features over the more than four decades since 1968. His work on the script for film number 29 and his attempts to get financing off the ground form the main threads of Serpil Turhan’s portrait film Rudolf Thome – Überall Blumen (Rudolf Thome – Flowers Everywhere), which consists of conversations and observations at Thome’s home, a former farmyard in Brandenburg. We see him as a gardener, a father, a cyclist and a performer of his own persona.

The 2016 Forum Special Screenings:

Chamissos Schatten (Chamisso’s Shadow) by Ulrike Ottinger, Germany - WP

Rudolf Thome – Überall Blumen (Rudolf Thome – Flowers Everywhere) by Serpil Turhan, Germany - WP

Verfluchte Liebe deutscher Film (Doomed Love – A Journey through German Genre Films) by Dominik Graf, Johannes F. Sievert, Germany - WP

Hachimiri Madness: Japanese Indies from the Punk Years

A Man’s Flower Road by Sion Sono, Japan 1986

The Adventure of Denchu-Kozo by Shinya Tsukamoto, Japan 1988

Hanasareru Gang by Nobuhiro Suwa, Japan 1984

Happiness Avenue by Katsuyuki Hirano, Japan 1986

High-School-Terror by Macoto Tezka, Japan 1979

I Am Sion Sono!! by Sion Sono, Japan 1984

The Isolation of 1/880000 by Sogo Ishii, Japan 1977

The Rain Women by Shinobu Yaguchi, Japan 1990

Saint Terrorism by Masashi Yamamoto, Japan 1980

Tokyo Cabbageman K by Akira Ogata, Japan 1980

UNK by Macoto Tezka, Japan 1979

Press Office
January 26, 2016

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