VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin

Copyright: Filmgalerie 451

Berlin Critics' Week
FILM: Schlingensief's "Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker"
06.02.

Film, Discourse
German and English

Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker, Director: Christoph Schlingensief, Germany 1990, 63 min

After the film showing, a conference will take place; confirmed guests director Milo Rau, poet Monika Rinck, director Peter Sellars, filmmaker Andrew Kötting, artistic director Amelie Deuflhard, art historian Philip Ursprung and actor Susanne Bredehöft.

Isn’t cinema terribly polite nowadays? Especially when it comes to supposed big-picture filmmaking? In order to gain a new perspective on cinema, the opening conference of the fifth Berlin Critics’ Week will consider contemporary art via the internationally still too little-known work of Christoph Schlingensief.

In cinema, whenever important matters are on the table, fun is the first casualty. Serious questions demand serious answers. That’s the safe, obvious choice, the one sanctioned by morality. The rise of right-wing politics, climate change, war and forced migration – these are issues that must be mulled over with care before filling out a funding application. Laughter, too, has to be carefully allotted. As a result, we have many dignified, decorous films with clear messages, and a few artistically accomplished, contemplative films that play it safe in a different way. A lot of it is edifying, some of it openly thought-provoking. But none of it is shocking. Because fear reigns at the cinema: no open flames, no shots fired – we’re sitting on a powder keg.

The question is: will we get out of this situation with everyone being so cautious? Someone who would certainly have screamed “No!” is Christoph Schlingensief. He preferred confusion to consensus, he liked friction better than success. Films shouldn’t illustrate virtue, they should find images for evil: “Spreading fear and terror is one of art’s main responsibilities.” As the son of a pharmacist he knew full well that medicine merely entails administering the right dose of poison. So he injected reality into hyper-real scenarios, had asylum seekers compete in Big Brother and neo-Nazis act in Hamlet, created new spaces by mixing together trash and pop and art. When German cinema’s good manners became too constraining, he broke out of it and brought film into the theatre, theatre onto the streets, and art into television. It should be fun to be disgusted, to waver in one’s convictions, to be unsure where the game ends and where seriousness begins. Let’s enjoy pranking ourselves, muddling our own morality, confusing our politics.

In collaboration with the Volksbühne, the Berlin Critics’ Week is inviting guests from the fields of cinema, theatre, theory and poetry to grapple with Schlingensief’s work and debate trashy art, the limits of cinema and fun in activism. In which circumstances can serious topics be treated without seriousness? How can cinema fluster its audience and burst the bubbles of discourse? Were Schlingensief’s disconcerting games ahead of their time or are they now out of date?

The 5th Berlin Critics’ Week will run from 6 to 14 February 2019. The conference will take place at the Volksbühne Berlin. The film programme starts on Thursday, 7 February at the Hackesche Höfe cinema.


media

Copyright: Filmgalerie 451

Copyright: Filmgalerie 451

Copyright: Filmgalerie 451

Copyright: Eckhard Kuchenbecker

Past Activities

Berlin Critics' Week CONFERENCE Intensive Care Cinema A Dose of Schlingensief, Please – Or, Why the World Cannot Be Saved with Polite Art

Schedule

4:30pm
35mm screening of The German Chainsaw Massacre (Director: Christoph Schlingensief, 1990, 63 minutes, original version w/ eng. subtitles)

Break

6:30pm
Interspersed: video clips with rarely seen and so far unreleased footage from Christoph Schlingensief’s plays Hamlet in Zürich and Quiz 3000, as well as an excerpt from his most famous film, Terror 2000. Courtesy of Filmgalerie 451.
Welcome address
(All German-language parts will be simultaneously translated into English)
Susanne Bredehöft: Reading from a selection of texts by Christoph Schlingensief (German)
Bibiana Beglau in dialogue with Milo Rau: The Fun of Messing with Morality (German)
Peter Sellars in dialogue with Udo Kier: Transgression and Remembrance (English)

Break, around 8:15pm
In the lobby: Monitors with scenes from Schlingensief’s archives. Table talks with all guests.

Around 9:15pm
Monika Rinck
: A Traveling Soul in the Muddle of Immersion – Lecture (German)
Anton Gernot (PENG Collective): Short Lecture: Dirty Dancing (German)
Panel discussion with Amelie Deuflhard, Andrew Kötting, Philip Ursprung, Susanne Heinrich: Sitting on a Powder Keg: Against the Accomplished, the Dignified and Playing It Safe (English)

Around 11pm: Reception at the bar

Isn’t cinema terribly polite nowadays? Especially when it comes to supposed big-picture filmmaking? In order to gain a new perspective on cinema, the opening conference of the fifth Berlin Critics’ Week will consider contemporary art via the internationally still too little-known work of Christoph Schlingensief.

In cinema, whenever important matters are on the table, fun is the first casualty. Serious questions demand serious answers. That’s the safe, obvious choice, the one sanctioned by morality. The rise of right-wing politics, climate change, war and forced migration – these are issues that must be mulled over with care before filling out a funding application. Laughter, too, has to be carefully allotted. As a result, we have many dignified, decorous films with clear messages, and a few artistically accomplished, contemplative films that play it safe in a different way. A lot of it is edifying, some of it openly thought-provoking. But none of it is shocking. Because fear reigns at the cinema: no open flames, no shots fired – we’re sitting on a powder keg.

The question is: will we get out of this situation with everyone being so cautious? Someone who would certainly have screamed “No!” is Christoph Schlingensief. He preferred confusion to consensus, he liked friction better than success. Films shouldn’t illustrate virtue, they should find images for evil: “Spreading fear and terror is one of art’s main responsibilities.” As the son of a pharmacist he knew full well that medicine merely entails administering the right dose of poison. So he injected reality into hyper-real scenarios, had asylum seekers compete in Big Brother and neo-Nazis act in Hamlet, created new spaces by mixing together trash and pop and art. When German cinema’s good manners became too constraining, he broke out of it and brought film into the theatre, theatre onto the streets, and art into television. It should be fun to be disgusted, to waver in one’s convictions, to be unsure where the game ends and where seriousness begins. Let’s enjoy pranking ourselves, muddling our own morality, confusing our politics.

In collaboration with the Volksbühne, the Berlin Critics’ Week is inviting guests from the fields of cinema, theatre, theory and poetry to grapple with Schlingensief’s work and debate trashy art, the limits of cinema and fun in activism. In which circumstances can serious topics be treated without seriousness? How can cinema fluster its audience and burst the bubbles of discourse? Were Schlingensief’s disconcerting games ahead of their time or are they now out of date?

Tickets:
Conference: 8 / reduced 5 €
Combined ticket: 12 / reduced 8 €

The 5th Berlin Critics’ Week will run from 6 to 14 February 2019. The conference will take place at the Volksbühne Berlin. The film programme starts on Thursday, 7 February at the Hackesche Höfe cinema.

23.03
24.03
25.03
26.03
27.03
28.03
29.03
30.03
31.03
01.04
02.04
03.04
04.04
05.04
06.04
07.04
08.04
09.04
10.04
11.04
12.04
13.04
14.04
15.04
16.04
17.04
18.04
19.04
20.04
21.04
22.04
23.04
24.04
25.04
26.04
27.04
28.04
29.04
30.04
01.05
02.05
03.05
04.05
05.05
06.05
07.05
08.05
09.05
10.05
11.05
12.05
13.05
14.05
15.05
16.05
17.05
18.05
19.05
20.05
21.05
22.05
23.05
24.05
25.05
26.05
27.05
28.05
29.05
30.05
31.05
01.06
02.06
03.06
04.06
05.06
06.06
07.06
08.06
ʌ
v
This website uses cookies. You can read more about cookies in our disclaimer. > Morex