The Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen, which has organized the Berlinale's Retrospective program since 1977, and New York's Museum of Modern Art have worked together on this or that series in the past, but today the festival has announced that the cooperation is going long-term. Starting with this year's Retrospective program, The Red Dream Factory. Mezhrabpom-Film and Prometheus 1921-1936, the Berlinale, Kinemathek and MoMA will be working closely to select and curate future Retrospectives. The Red Dream Factory, screening in Berlin from February 9 through 19, will be presented at MoMA from April 11 through 30, and here's the gist from the Berlinale's announcement in October:
Moisei Aleinikov, a Russian film expert and producer from tsarist times who had a great instinct for the right topics, and Willi Münzenberg, a German communist and "red media entrepreneur," joined forces in 1922 to combine clever business ideas, a political mission and boundless enthusiasm for new cinematic narratives. And so the film studio Mezhrabpom-Rus (later called Mezhrabpom-Film), a unique German-Russian film venture, was set up in Moscow, with headquarters in Berlin. After producing some 600 films, this international experiment was brutally ended eleven and fourteen years later by Hitler's and Stalin's regimes. Entitled The Red Dream Factory, the Retrospective of the 2012 Berlinale will be dedicated to this studio rediscovered in Russian archives.
All in all, we can look forward to "some 30 programs made up of over 40 silent and sound films," ranging from well-known classics such as Vsevolod Pudovkin's Storm over Asia (1928) to rediscoveries such as Margarita Barskaya's Rvanye Bashmaki (Torn Shoes, 1933), "a drama about children set in Germany when the Nazis came into power; or the early science-fiction robot film Gibel Sensatsii (Lost Sensation, 1935) by Aleksandr Andriyevsky." The silent films will be accompanied by live music performances. If any of this is up your alley, do see section director Rainer Rother's overview.
In its second announcement today, the Berlinale's revealed that the lineup for this year's Perspektive Deutsches Kino is now complete: "13 films, including three full-length documentaries and four full-length fictional films as well two sets of three medium-long films each." Here are the details on the first five titles announced in December; the additions:
- This Ain't California is a documentary by Marten Persiel about "the weird and strange world of Rollbrettffahrer, as skateboarders were called in the GDR, using a veritable treasure trove of footage from super-8 films they had dug up from the period."
- "Marion Hütter's documentary Dichter und Kämpfer accompanies four word-acrobats from Berlin, Leipzig, Bochum and Stuttgart with a camera for a year."
- Jan Speckenbach's narrative feature debut, DIE VERMISSTEN (REPORTED MISSING), with André Hennicke, is about how parents react when their children go missing.
- In Tamer Yiğit and Branka Prlić's Karaman, "Zehra (Isilay Gül) wants to immigrate to Germany. But as a Muslim woman, can she leave an Islamic country for the West?"
- Julian Pörksen's Sometimes we sit and think and sometimes we just sit is a "32-minute fictional work about the pleasure of idleness."
- Alice Gruia's 53-minute documentary, Rodicas, is "about two friends of the same name."
- Also: Engin Kundag's 26-minute narrative, Ararat, and Soleen Yusef's 43-minute narrative Trattoria.