EARLY AND COMMISIONED WORKS: Short films by famous directors of feature films

The ten early works we’re presenting in this programme are not exactly cushy. However, this shouldn’t be a surprise when you look at their creators: Alexander Kluge, Thomas Heise, Elfi Mikesch, Lars von Trier or Peter Liechti, the Swiss film maker who died this April.

This year’s focus lies on the German and European young vanguard from several decades. It’s unclear whether it’s accidental or due to subconscious interests, but a lot of these first cinematic attempts were of a documentary or experimental narrative nature. These film makers were already keen observers of crisis in relationships, conflicts in the family and life in the community. Their courageous and cinematically visionary criticism of society didn’t always go down particularly well. Von Trier and Heise never warmed to the rules of their academies. Heise’s film was banned and could only be screened after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Agnès Varda and Roy Andersson dealt with the short cinematic form for a long time, so that their films, which are noticeably close to feature films in their aesthetics, should rather be called intermediate than early works. Kluge and Fassbinder found their own styles, to which they would stick for the rest of their lives, early on in their careers.

These two programmes wouldn’t have been possible without the friendly cooperation of archives, distributors, production companies and film academies, which proudly got involved in procuring early works by their protégées. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to them. We will be able to screen some of the films in analogue formats, thus allowing cinematic history to become tangible through the aged material with all its scratches and scrapes. We invite all visitors to (re)discover these finds as well as the later feature films by these directors.

Programme 1 will be screened in the German original version without subtitles!
Curator: Manja Malz