Natalie Gravenor | Friday July 3rd, 2015 | 2
December 2014 saw the maiden edition of an interesting addition to city’s festival landscape – the Berlin Art Film Festival. Brainchild of “Still in Berlin” blogger Mary Scherpe and journalist-curator Toby Ashraf, the festival showcased films that present unusual images of the city. Another unique feature is the curatorial concept that did not bow to the usual festival exigencies of premiere or retrospective. The films, some new, others older, were selected solely because of their unique vision of Berlin; this created space for contextualization and dialogue between past and (almost) present.
For those who missed the Berlin Film Art Festival during the pre-holiday bustle, the program is being reprised – with a few updates – at the Central Cinema’s open air venue in Mitte. Tatjana Turanskyj is opening the program tonight, but not with “The Drifter”, her deliciously sarcastic meditation on gentrification, late capitalism and post-feminist crisis but with her latest, “Top Girl or la déformation professionelle” starring Julia Hummer as a struggling actress juggling motherhood and sex work. As in 2014, Turanskyj’s short “The Dancer” precedes the feature.
Otherwise, Berlin Art Film Festival offers another chance to catch the Berlin post-everything-indie essentials: Max Linz’ “Asta Upset”, which (re)unites the Suhrkamp-Merve-intelligentsia with grassroots protest movements like Kotti und Co. (screening with Linz’ webisodes on the future of cinema commissioned by the Oberhausen Short Film Festival); capitalist critique double feature “A Proletarian’s Winter Tale” and “A Spectre Is Haunting Europe” by Julian Radlmaier; “The Furious Force of Rhymes”, a reminder that hip hop used to be and still is about more than bling and egotripping, and classics such as Christoph Schlingensief‘s “The 120 Days of Bottrop”, Cynthia Beatt‘s “Fury Is Also a Feeling” and screentests shot in 1964 (!) by Michael Klier, whose trilogy “The Grass Is Greener Everywhere Else”, “Ostkreuz” and “Heidi M.” negotiated how the erosion of the city’s Cold War division and reunification impacted unspectacular everyday lives.
Berlin Art Film Festival Open Air comences tonight, July 3, and screens every Friday until July 31 at Kino Central, Rosenthaler Str. 39, Berlin-Mitte. Most films with English subtitles.
“The Furious Force of Rhymes” plays on Saturday, July 11, with an aftershow party by Berries at the neighboring Eschlaroque Bar.