Image: Serge Bozon in conversation with Isabelle Huppert

News 2018

Image: Serge Bozon in conversation with Isabelle Huppert

Guests and Debates of Berlin Critics’ Week 2018

Godard, Sargnagel, Arslan, Bonnefoy, Löbau, Bekolo, Szymanski, Meilicke, Nazzaro, Angerer, Seibel, Mendonça Filho, Knörer: The Who’s Who of the Berlin Critics’ Week Debates 2018

In the span of seven nights, between the 15th and 22nd of February, the Berlin Critics’ Week sparks debates on questions of politics, aesthetics, and culture — engaging filmmakers and artists from a variety of backgrounds, theorists and critics. Here is a scatter of spotlights on what is about to take place:

Which authorities define the fate of art? Who trusts in artists? And what is it about madness in the arts? A debate on “Trust and Art” will kick-off this year’s Critics’ Week. After the screening of her feature-length debut “Scary Mother”, director Ana Urushadze from Georgia will meet two guests: Stefanie Sargnagel and Kleber Mendonça Filho. The Austrian novelist who made a literary adaptation of Facebook (literally, turning it into a novel —“Fitness”) and the Brazilian critic turned filmmaker (whose recent second feature “Aquarius” screened in Cannes) will help us discover the connections between their artistic practice, public reactions and individual personas.

Another debate titled “A Sense of Structures” will seek its inspiration in “Yet to Rule” — a surreal approach to the realities of power in contemporary Romania raising questions of (gender) politics in cinema as well as in the current conventions of cinematic style — in and beyond the Romanian New Wave. Film scholar Marie-Luise Angerer is the first guest of the night. She has written on ecologies of affect and published “The Body of Gender”. Cinematographer Agnès Godard is famous for her groundbreaking collaborations with Claire Denis: resulting works like “Bright Sunshine In”, “Trouble Every Day” and “Beau Travail” speak for themselves. Mihaela Popescu will be present for the World Premiere of her film and to share her experiences as a first time director.

Filmmakers Serge Bozon (“Mrs. Hyde”) and Olivier Godin (“Waiting for April”) discuss their approaches to humor and their different formal choices when it comes to staging comedy. We will ask them about humor’s potential to underline the fragility of art, but also about the fragility of humor itself. Indeed, we have even more invited guests up our sleeve coming to discuss “Humor and Fragility” with us: these are film critic and editor Ekkehard Knörer (“Cargo“ and “Merkur – Zeitschrift für europäisches Denken“) who a couple of years ago, wrote a book on the history of humor and ingenuity, and actress Eva Löbau, who with her sharp sense of humor in films like Maren Ade’s “The Forest for the Trees” or Franz Müller’s “Worst Case Scenario” has been supporting German cinema, as well as TV. (further details online)

All guests and debates of Berlin Critics’ Week 2018 (all details)

THU 02/15 8 pm

DEBATE: Trust and Art
Debate with Stefanie Sargnagel (author “Statusmeldungen”, “Fitness”), Kleber Mendonça Filho (filmmaker “Aquarius”, “Neighbouring Sounds”) and director Ana Urushadze
From radical individual expression to breaking with society: which authorities trust in which art? About personal standards, social routines and the artist persona.

FRI 02/16 8 pm

THE BIG HOUSE & 8th OCTOBER 2016 (2016. OKTÓBER 8.)
DEBATE: Opening Politics
Debate with Mathilde Bonnefoy (film editor “Citizenfour”, “Lola Rennt”), Elena Meilicke (film critic “Cargo”, “Merkur”) and directors Kazuhiro Soda, Markus Nornes and Rachael Kerr

Cinema loves to elevate people – on both sides of the camera. But it can also create or evoke community: how can documentaries open up and democratize the political?

SAT 02/17 8 pm

DEBATE: A Sense of Structures
Debate with Agnès Godard (director of photography “Let the Sunshine In”, “Beau Travail”), Marie-Luise Angerer (film scholar “Ecology of Affect”, “The Body of Gender”) and director Mihaela Popescu

How can cinematic conventions be diversified and political structures be revealed so that they may be inscribed with an element of resistance? A fantastic look at realism, gender and power.

SUN 02/18 8 pm

DEBATE: Humor and Fragility
Debate with Ekkehard Knörer (film critic “Cargo”, “Merkur”), Eva Löbau (actress “Sex, Pity and Loneliness”, “The Forest for the Trees”) and directors Serge Bozon, Olivier Godin

Humor interrupts routines, reveals sensibilities and creates ruptures. But it also is fragile, and never sure of its means. How can comedies benefit from this?

TUE 02/20 8 pm

DEBATE: Irony or Anarchy?
Debate with Giona Nazzaro (festival curator, Venice Critics’ Week), Alexandra Seibel (film critic, “Kurier”) and director Octavio Guerra

To seize the present reality of cinemas and festivals in order to shake it up, to look at it obliquely, to understand it better. What issues can cinematic irony convey, and what can anarchy achieve?

WED 02/21 8 pm

DEBATE: Claiming Transformation
Debate with Jean-Pierre Bekolo (filmmaker “Le président”, “Les saignantes”) and director Péter Lichter

Film doesn’t just transport images, it can also intertwine disparate material. In cinema, what does it mean to demand the transformation of identities and the extension of one’s own gaze?

THU 02/22 8 pm

DEBATE: Embracing Extremes
Debate with Silvia Szymanski (author, “Hotel Central”, “652 km nach Berlin”), Thomas Arslan (filmmaker “Bright Nights”, “In the Shadows”) and director Lukas Feigelfeld

Is it necessary for films to conceive the transgression of boundaries? Regarding the wish for provocation and the potentialities of excess.