Arthur Tuoto BR Disforme

Neil Needleman US Visions of Wasted Time

It’s impossible to look back at 1985, the year my father died, without feeling bitter about our relationship. To his consternation, I became interested in art, classical music, and shooting/editing moving pictures. These were useless things that didn’t fit into my father’s very practical notion of life. But I am what I am, and I shot what I shot. And I’m still shooting. And I guess I’m still a little bitter. Neil Needleman

The Super 8 camera opens up with a 1985 shot of a beggar/homeless type crouched on a city sidewalk slowly keeling over this way and that, falling into sleep or a stupor while subtitles reveal that the filmmaker has always liked filming wasted time. Next we are in the hospital and camera is turned on the filmmaker’s father, recently pronounced brain-dead, but twitching involuntarily. It’s a macabre sight, all right. It seems dad always thought his son’s filmmaking ventures were a waste of time, and as it is years later still turned on subjects like a man with a sign on his chest staring blankly as pedestrians pass on both sides and a setting sun, the subtitles, directed at dad, aver “It’s still my time to waste, and my world to envision.” A stripped-down piece that makes you think of your time being up, and what you choose to do with it before.

Visions of Wasted Time will be screened as part of Secret Codes | DL mix II Mon 15th 8 pm

stock`n`wolf / Tinka Stock & Sèbastien Wolf DE   Bob Log`s III Electric Fence

This was a funny little bit about one night’s misadventure while “cow-tipping”: pushing over sleeping cows to witness their bovine reaction. The voice narrating is casual and goofy in a charming way, and the tale of getting out of a car drunk in the country at night and walking straight into an electrified fence not once but twice to the imagined guffaws of the cows had the audience laughing out loud, too. Did I mention the story was told with stop motion animation and plasticine figures? An entertaining piece.

Bob Log`s III Electric Fence on screen Sun 14th 8 pm in Stars from Video Palace | Spunk Seipel

Neil  Needleman US Meeskeit

A real gem of a story, the uncut diamond variety, was Meeskeit, identified as Yiddish for “uglier than ugly”. The story, told in English as we look at a series of paintings, concerns the woman narrating off-camera, whose sister had a hidden ability, revealed when she left to her a series of paintings in her suicide note. Black humour is mixed with a truly heart-rending tale that reveals itself while we look at the paintings, all containing faces of various relatives in situations she decided to put them in for one reason or another: Uncle Simon romancing his aldulterous wife Rita, who he in reality murdered, along with her lover; “mental case” recluse Schlomo pictured in high society; mother and her bitter rival sister portrayed placidly side by side; the thieving servant toting bibles; Jewish-turned-Christian Uncle Morris as Christ himself in crucifixion. Most poignant is the painting of the two sisters, favourably reproduced as winning beauty queens, and the subsequent revelation of sketches depicting them in the incestuous affair they had, as untouched, unwanted virgin spinsters seeking some kind of love somewhere, after which they spent thirty years with uneasy eye contact. All to be sold to pay for desperately needed chemotherapy, except the sketches of the affair, to be thrown out when the living Meeskeit passes on. All told in a few minutes that are penetrating and hard or impossible to forget.

Meeskeitis part of  stories | DL mix IV, Thurs 18th 10 pm

Arthur Tuoto BR Disforme

This bit of shadowplay is not completely uninteresting to watch, but it hardly seems to have a point. If only meant to be a visual pleasure, then enough time wasn’t given to hypnotize us. Someone plays with their fingers and we see only their shadow, spindle-like against a cold white background. A foot is briefly thrown in for good measure. An insistent drone underpins it. What was the intention?

Judge for yourself: Disforme screened in cornucopia | DL mix I, Fri 12th 10 pm

Kenton Turk

Directors Lounge 2010  |  Opening Party | Thurs. 20:00

Berlin’s art and media flâneurs lounge in a new art space at Pfefferberg, Berlin.

At the same time as Berlinale reaches their 60th year, Directors Lounge celebrates her 6th anniversary this February, in 2010. Starting off in 2005 as a spontaneous self-organized place for friends of experimental media arts and for stressed-out film ticket hunters, the small festival has grown to an international platform for exceptional film and media shows. Directors Lounge has presented artists and their works on fairs and exhibitions, features single artists in monthly screenings in Berlin and presents selected works on the web. However, the media art festival in February still is the very heart and core of Directors Lounge, and should not be missed.

As in the past years, for eleven days artist curators from around the world present their selected programs. There is a multitude of highlights to be discovered, special programs, music programs, and of course, you will find a relaxed lounge ambience during the days of film vibes in Berlin. Here, you will meet filmmakers and artists in person. And without stressing for tickets, you will always find something special, apart from the ordinary or marvellous.

It seems merely impossible to give a concise of the upcoming program, however certain stars on the Directors Lounge firmament become clearly visible. Coming up is a monographic programme of Jean-Gabriel Périot, the acknowledged French moralist and film essayist, who was with the festival from its start. Telemach Wiesinger and Andreas Gogol, among others, will present a 16mm film live-performance. There will be specially curated screenings from Russia, Argentina, Finland and Australia. Two themes seem to lure throughout the whole festival programs including the main selection: First, there is the gaze of the flâneur, the point of view of the stroller or the urban explorer, presented in the Urban Research program, and lingering in many other selections. Second, you will find connections between poetry, poetic film and music film, a theme taken up by such programs as the selections from Zebra Poetry Award and Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, the Festival de VideoPoesia from Argentina and the MUSEEK film program selected by Tour de Film from St. Petersburg.
In any case, the daily screenings from 6pm through late night  which will be announced just in time, as it has been a festival tradition  will serve best eye- and ear candies  for the spontaneous film flâneurs as much as for the connoisseurs of experimental delicatessen.

A warm hearted welcome!

From Team Directors Lounge

From 12th through 21th February 2010, daily from 6 pm with open end
Opening: Thursday, 11 Februar at 8 pm
Location: Meinblau e.V., Pfefferberg, Christinenstr. 18/19, D-10119 Berlin

The Warm-Up Show

We start into the year with a first night at our new location, the meinblau arthouse at the Pfefferberg. Expect teasing tidbits from the forthcoming 6th Berlin International Directors Lounge. An oeuvre surprise from all flavours, mouth-watering movies that will make you ask for more.

Ausgewählte Leckerbissen, ein kleiner Vorgeschmack auf die Lounge während der Berlinale. Erstmals im meinblau Pfefferberg.

Thursday/Do. 21. Jan meinblau Berlin Mitte, Christinenstraße 18

doors open at 8pm/Einlass ab 20h
program starts around 9pm/ Filme ab ca 21h

still from Toe Jam by Keith Schofield/The BPA

It occurred to me as I sat watching highlights from the 2009 Directors Lounge, that what experimental film can do better than any other form is capture moments. Feature length narrative films work tirelessly to make their leading actors and leading actresses convincing as genuine characters. But once an actor or an actress reaches a certain height of celebrity, is it ever possible to separate them from their celebrity on screen? If Angelina Jolie picks apples in a film about an apple farm, can we ever not see her as Angelina Jolie? I think the answer is no.

Sometimes experimental films feel like one of those manic moments you have at 2 a.m. where you bolt out of bed and race to write something down or film something or call a collaborator and rattle off an idea. There’s a breathless sense of excitement to experimental films. There’s an obvious joy for the audience in seeing someones idea executed perfectly on screen.

Barbara Rosenthal – I Got The World In The Palm Of My Hand

Barbara Rosenthal’s short film, I Got The World In The Palm Of My Hand (1988) definitely has this energy to it. In the film Rosenthal reads a newspaper article about the psychic Joan Quigley, who more or less ran the Reagan administration during the last years of his presidency. The punchline to the article is a quote from Quigley herself arguing with the depiction of her in the media and announcing emphatically that she is a “serious political astrologer.” Rosenthal can be seen on screen with a globe cupped between her hands. The immediacy of the image and the rapid-fire way Rosenthal reads the article give the film a breathless quality. It’s as if Rosenthal wants to get the idea out as quickly as possible before the moment is gone and the impulse subsides.

Christroph Kopac’s Zucker (2005).

Another film that shares Rosenthal’s, “don’t let a good idea get away from you” quality is Katharina Hein and Christroph Kopac’s Zucker (2005). In this film, Kopac is the subject, the very drunk subject, and Hein narrates his actions as if he were an animal in a nature documentary. The action of the film concerns Kopac trying to crush a single sugar cube with a hammer. He attempts this over and over again, laughing harder each time it doesn’t work. During the screening, his drunken laughter was so infectious that most of the audience laughed along. It was somehow so sweet and comforting to be able to witness someone in that state of mind. The feeling the film communicated was so immediate and bursting with life, it was just a pleasure to be a part of it.

Too much thought goes into the marketing of films, the casting, and hyping the director. Not enough thought is given to the script, the idea behind the film, and freedom to experiment and discover hidden moments. If it wasn’t for the Director’s Lounge, we might not be able to identify an honest human emotion on screen.

-Sabrina Small