If these are the times we're living in, we really do have a problem.

Posted: Saturday, 18 February 2012 | Posted by k | Labels:

So, i went and saw quite a few things in the Forum section of this year's Berlinale, namely these:

"Avalon" by Axel Petersén
which I thought strange but somehow I did not leave

"Bagrut Lochamim" by Silvina Landsmann
which made me very angry even though there were no surprises

"Bestiaire" by Claire Côté
which I loved for its patience

"Beziehungsweisen" by Calle Overweg
which annoyed me from the start as I was told to laugh even though I actually liked it

"Formentera" by Ann-Kristin Reyels
which was the most pretentious thing

"Habiter / Construire" by Clémence Ancelin
which I liked a lot although some anthropological concerns came up

"Kid-Thing" by David Zellner
which was so powerful and honest

"Parabeton - Pier Luigi Nervi und römischer Beton" by Heinz Emigholz
which I disliked for its lack of patience, something that really disappointed me as I do like Emigholz a lot

"Paziraie Sadeh" by Mani Haghighi
which was dramaturgically exciting

"Revision" by Philip Scheffner
which I loved for its insistence, its passion, its purposeful stride

"Sekret" by Przemysław Wojcieszek
which irritated me but kept me fascinated by the set of its three protagonists

"Sleepless Knights" by Stefan Butzmühlen and Cristina Diz
which was something I could not relate to

"Spanien" by Anja Salomonowitz
which made me think it is great to have movies and directors like this

"Tepenin Ardı" by Emin Alper
which intrigued me

"Tiens moi droite" by Zoé Chantre
which was very tender and uplifting in a way

"What is Love" by Ruth Mader
which caused me to feel rather embarrassed at times

My personal highlight was actually Yazan Khalili's "On love and other landscapes" in the Forum Expanded section, which I thought a very moving photographic meditation on how to embrace an absence that is not an absence but a presence one chooses to look away from. How this seems so impossible. But how we try to live with it. How perhaps we all have, in fact desire or need a wall in our conscience about where to look, with whose eyes and feelings.
How a wall is a wall even though we don't see it in these photos.

Speaking of seeing, and if we were to not see: listening to these movies' sound design which I am tempted to call hyperrealistic at times, was one way of avoiding the societal blindings we saw (or rather did not see): such a vast collection of intimate and intrusive noises in these movies and no way to shut your ears. But, really, that is important. (Speaking of sound: Elle Flanders' and Tamira Sawatzky's "Road Movie" in Forum Expanded perhaps most clearly stages this necessity to listen in its audio-installation of megaphones hanging from the ceiling in a damp cellar.)

Jokingly, we were talking about the Forum being the "animal-section" - if it was, I think there is a good chance the ant may be this year's animal of interest being a rather prominent participant in at least three movies I saw. (Which may be no indication after all).

Perhaps it is rather general to phrase it like this, but I thought most of these movies really depressing as representations of the times we live in, and the perspectives shown and decided upon. How relieved I somewhat felt to laugh (yes, perhaps that was naive after all) in the beginning of "Paziraie Sadeh", only to be dragged into one of the most brutal psychological patterns. A notion of not exactly hopelessness but rather something alike powerless indifference in so many of the characters. Like the tired and aged 10-year old in "Kid-Thing", an almost perfect mirroring of the movie's first frames - damaged cars, falling apart, being crashed and smashed on a dirty sand field somewhere, no wheels but rims to drive on, bared damaged goods with drivers sitting inside these shells of metal, wearing helmets, bringing their cars down - for fun? out of frustration? it almost does not seem to matter, destruction reigns, a strange appreciation for decreasing material values turns into indifference towards emotional values and vulnerabilities.

Suddenly there were so many worthless casualties it seemed. Dead people? Great, yeah, never mind, life goes on, what do I care.

If these are the times we're living in, we really do have a problem.


  1. Anonymous said...
  2. Claire Denis vs Denis Côté... ne komische Eselbrücke gebaut oder? ;-)) kiss from Huth.

  3. k said...
  4. :) stimmt. aber du magst ja spanien nicht, du darfst nicht claire denis sagen.