photo by Sheila Rock

MO 14th part one, in attendance of Michael Nyman: 6pm

                part two, Myriam Blundell presents Cine Opera: 8pm



in cooperation with Myriam Blundell Projects

in attendance of Michael Nyman and Myriam Blundell

“When I started there was no intention to make films or a book of photographs. It happened because I was there, had a camera and an eye and a curiosity, my own visual diaries of a distracted but persistent mind.”

Michael Nyman, 2009

CINE OPERA is a series of video works shot by composer, artist and filmmaker Michael Nyman in various parts of the world during the past fifteen years. Drawn from his globe-trotting travels, introspective journeys and life-changing discoveries, the series is a collection of 50 cinematographic records documenting various capsules of every-day life, spontaneous events and chosen circumstances through first-hand observation. The work is an attempt to capture living cultures and forgotten traditions in a format which illustrates a diaristic study of modern-day life. Although, an obvious parallel can be made with the current reality TV phenomena in pop culture and in some cases to the polemic argument over pervasive CCTV surveillance in most countries, Nyman’s intentions go beyond the act of simple observation, and the obvious criticism of continuous scrutiny and voyeurism in contemporary societies. “Cine Opera” appropriates content from everyday life and delivers a quirky yet brutally truthful view of the world in which we live. The footage is blissfully accompanied by Nyman’s soundtrack which is deeply influenced from borrowed, local sounds and blended with the vast range of his musical repertoire. As a result, the mundane becomes peculiar, the unknown romantic, and the forgotten suddenly recalled. The series emerges as a thorough study of our uneasy times and attempts to reflect on the human condition in this nascent century.

still from Michael Nyman UK Witness I

As one of Britain’s most innovative and celebrated composers, Michael Nyman’s work encompasses operas and string quartets, film soundtracks and orchestral concertos. Far more than merely a composer, he’s also a performer, conductor, bandleader, pianist, author, musicologist and now a photographer and film-maker.

Nyman first made his mark on the musical world in the late 1960s, when he invented the term ‘minimalism’ and, still in his mid-twenties, earned one of his earliest commissions, to write the libretto for Birtwistle’s 1969 opera Down By The Greenwood Side. In 1976 he formed his own ensemble, the Campiello Band (now the Michael Nyman Band) and over three decades and more, the group has been the laboratory for much of his inventive and experimental compositional work.

His most notable scores number a dozen Peter Greenaway films, including such classics as The Draughtsman’s Contract and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover; Neil Jordan’s The End Of The Affair; several Michael Winterbottom features including Wonderland and A Cock And Bull Story; the Hollywood blockbuster Gattaca – and, of course, his unforgettable music for Jane Campion’s 1993 film, The Piano, the soundtrack album of which has sold more than three million copies. He also co-wrote the score for the 1999 film Ravenous with his friend and sometime protégé, Damon Albarn. Most recently his music was used in the 2009 BAFTA award winning and Oscar nominated film, Man on Wire.

His reputation among critics is built upon an enviable body of work written for a wide variety of ensembles, including not only his own band, but also symphony orchestra, choir and string quartet. He has also written widely for the stage, his operas including The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat (1986) and Facing Goya (2000). He has provided ballet music for a number of the world’s most distinguished choreographers. In 2008, he published the sumptuous photo-book Sublime. His first major UK exhibition was held at the De La Warr Pavillion –Bexhill-on-sea in 2009 featuring ‘Videofile’, a comprehensive selection of video works and photography extracted from CINE OPERA; a body of work of 50 short films and from his incredibly prolific photographic archives. He has also collaborated with several contemporary artists, including Bruce McLean, Mary Kelly, Damon Albarn, Carsten Nicolai and Kultlug Ataman. Nyman’s visual work has also been exhibited in various public institutions, such as the Tate Modern in London, the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Most recently, Nyman has released his first feature film – NYman with a Movie Camera. The film presents a shot-by-shot reconstruction of Dziga Vertov’s iconic film, Man with a Movie Camera, replacing the original sequences with footage from Nyman’s own film archives. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010 and was first screened in the UK a month later at the Barbican Centre in London.

exact screening time might be subject to change

The 7th Berlin International Directors Lounge   (photo by J. Murakami)

The 7th Berlin International Directors Lounge   (photo by J. Murakami)

The 7th Berlin International Directors Lounge   (photo by J. Murakami)

MLK by A Donald Harding  

One can say of language that it is potentially the only human home, the only dwelling place that cannot be hostile to man. John Berger

Political speeches have an intellectual and emotional capacity to inspire action. Leaders crystallise the demands of a movement with their oration, inspiring their followers to act. 
Is it the musicality in the voice of the orator that gives political speech its emotional force? Can certain elements be isolated, the meaning from the music, the voice from the politics?A Donald Harding trans-codes Martin Luther King’s famous speech and renders it into a piece of music. The audio of the speech is processed into a musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) file and then this trans-coded data is arranged into a musical score played by eight stringed instruments from violin to double bass.Stripped of its literal sense, the oration of the civil rights leader becomes an aural abstraction of the original and the viewer is compelled to find new meaning in his words and in the film of the event itself. (source)

A Donald Harding  UK   MLK   5mins 20s 2010 will be shown as part of   Disingenuous Realities, Fri, 18th 10:30pm


Opening reception, Thursday, 10th of February 8pm – open end

You are cordially invited to the The 7th Berlin International Directors Lounge 2011, 10.-20. Februar
Meinblau, Pfefferberg, Berlin Mitte

the full program here

All screenings free admission  | No accreditation required  | Space is limited, the early bird catches a seat.

art house meinblau, Pfefferberg. (map)
Schoenhauser Allee 176 / Christinenstr. 18, 10119 Berlin
U Senefelder Platz | Tram M8 | Bus 240 | U Rosa-Luxemburg Platz |

Daily from 6pm till dawn. Opening reception Thurs. 10th, 8pm

still from Coleman Miller US Uso Justo 22 min 2005 

SUN 13th 10pm | PROFANE | Usama Alshaibi US 2010 | European Premiere

starring Manal Kara, Molly Plunk & Dejan Mircea  

Profane is a feature length motion picture about a young Muslim Pro Domme in
the midst of a spiritual crisis. It explores the idea of submission from a religious,
psychological and sexual perspective. It is also a horror film about possession by a jinn. Jinn are the Islamic equivalent of demons. According to the Quran, Allah (God) created humans from clay, angels from light and jinn from smokeless fire. They are equally good and evil, and it is said that each of us has one of our own.
Profane is an inverted exorcism. The main character, Muna, has lost her jinn and is trying to bring it back into herself in order to feel whole again. She also
struggles to understand the culture and religion from which she has been
alienated. In the meantime, she journeys through a maze of indulgence, excess, and altered reality to find that her true self has been whispering to her all along.

Filmmaker Usama Alshaibi  is known for two things: his award winning skill as a documentarian on one hand, and darkly sexy, sometimes disturbing experimental films on the other. His latest endeavor, Profane, tackles dangerous territory in the fictional realm. Combining his flair for the moody audio-visual explorations of his characterʼs inner worlds and the no-nonsense intimacy of the interview, he is able to makes sense of a young womanʼs spiritual emergency.
His exploration of the lesser-known aspects of Islam is irreverent and defiant of
both tradition and stereotype. In one scene Muna observantly covers her head in the hijab, while leaving the rest of her body nearly naked. It begs the question, if God himself is the only one watching, and one is accustomed to being nude in front of strangers, then why couldnʼt a bra and panties constitute sincere modesty?
Profane is a never-before-seen collision of Middle Eastern mythology and
western pop culture. It draws inspiration from horror films, psychedelic cinema,
and documentation of real Islamic exorcisms. The director is also influenced by
events in his own childhood. After escaping the trauma of war in Iraq in the 5th
grade, Alshaibi experienced life in Saudi Arabia. There he lived in fear as
teachers beat him with rulers and rubber hoses for his inability to recite the

the story

Through interviews, we find out that Muna has been alienated from her culture and abused within her religion. Her behavior as a teen became an embarrassment to her parents, prompting exorcisms while in the Middle East and several self-imposed exiles to the United States throughout her young life. Her audacious nature and promiscuous appetites lead her into sex work and
exploring the more illicit pastimes of young Americans. Within her adopted
environment she lost her sense of identity and even her language.
As we watch Munaʼs day-to-day life we are made privy to her sincere desire to
return to Islam, through prayer and attempting to read the Qurʼan. We
experience the subsequent supernatural events – real or imagined – that take
place as a result. We hear what Muna hears, though no one else in her world
seems to believe or understand whatʼs going on. They go on partying, paying
little attention to her affliction, which is indistinguishable from drug-induced
As an audience we follow Muna as she tries to reconcile her own very liberal
sensibilities with a stricter more dogmatic moral code imposed by fellow Muslims. In one pivotal scene after having befriended a cab driver named Ali, he offers to help her learn to read the Qurʼan. He appears one morning at her home flanked by a young Muslim Imam (religious leader). Muna and her best friend Mary have been up late frolicking in carnal and chemical exploration. The Imamʼs disgust with she and her friendʼs lack of decorum angers Muna and triggers her rage at past prejudices and abuses.
Sheʼs not about to give up her identity for her religion. She just wants to be
closer to God, and to know her own roots. This conflict is made manifest in the
Jinn. This troublesome invisible demon emerges from Muna as she struggles to
reconcile two seemingly incompatible sides to her personality. Itʼs only by
reintegrating with her personal mischievous spirit that she is able to feel whole
once again.

Usama Alshaibi US Profane 79min 2010

exact screening time might be subject to change