In "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction", Walter Benjamin wrote: "Then came film and blew apart this prison world with the dynamite of the split second [...]. Space is expanded by the close-up, movement by slow motion." That was in 1935/6. What can film do today?
Just as before, film explodes ossified notions and opens us up to a new vision. In The Men Behind the Wall by Ines Moldavsky, the director from Tel Aviv is interested in men from the West Bank and meets them via dating platforms. The transgression of borders is the subject of this artist’s film. On the technical side, digitalisation is facilitating the future of filmmaking. In both cameras and cinemas we are anticipating aperture ranges in excess of those of analogue photography. That means there are new areas of development in colour grading, in black and in white. In addition, there are places and situations we can reach by camera today that were unthinkable even in the 1990s: altitudes, depths, processes. These are new dimensions that can be told. In Imperial Valley (cultivated run-off) director Lukas Marxt secures stunning images from what is, today, a simple drone flight.
The festival family – that oft-cited bond between certain filmmakers and certain festivals... is there a solidarity between creatives and festivals?
Families are the basis of Greek tragedy and have thus been with us for quite a while. The potential for conflict in families is very high but, at the same time, families are wonderfully versatile systems. Beyond the competitive situation that comes with a festival that awards big prizes it is our declared aim to bring filmmakers together. Lots of close ties have been knit thanks to this very intimate work during the festival. It’s also about establishing cooperations beyond the competitive context. A family is a family, a festival is a festival – and the best of both worlds come together at the Berlinale to create a great eleven days!
* Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility - SECOND VERSION; in: Benjamin, Walter: The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media, Edited by
Jennings, Michael W. / Doherty, Brigid and Levin Thomas Y.; translated by Jephcott, Edmund / Rodney, Livingstone / Eiland, Howard, and Others, Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England 2008