Berlinale: Forum Expanded – Art, Conception and Experiments

     |    Saturday, der 13. February 2010

Cinema is often a celebration of excess in the pursuit of success – in terms of profits, at least. (See most recently, James Cameron’s “Avatar”). You waste 200 million to earn 400 million. Waste as business model.

Forum Expanded pursues a different kind of excess. Here  ideas and experiments in moving images by 72 artists from all over the world are presented in 20 venues all over the city. A cornucopia of kinetic arts. Excess as inspiration to expand the understanding of what cinema can be.

The only wasteful aspect results from the event’s simultaneity with the Berlinale. The stressed out Berlinale goer, moving to and fro from Competition to Panorama to Forum, can’t even find time to stand in line for a ticket to a Retro screening. And yet Forum Expanded now for the 5th time leads the usual festival hectic ad absurdum by even further multiplying the number of attractive options.

And even if we do wish that Forum Expanded would take place at any other time, so as to actually have the headspace to explore the outerlying paths the section acts a guide to, at least a trip to The Galerie Barbara Weiss offers something Scorsese’s latest costume drama doesn’t – a respite from music, but not from musicality. Heike Bartanowsky’s RACETRACK projects onto three screens a trajectory of stones. It’s a meditative song of images – without sound.

Forum Expanded teaches us that you gotta say yes to another excess (with apologies to Yello).