An Image of Complicity: Films by Luise Donschen and Helena Wittmann

Date: May 06 and 23, 2018

Time: 8:00pm

Location: Volksbühne Berlin

Address: Linienstraße 227, 10178 Berlin, Germany

A co-presentation of Acropolis and the Volksbühne Berlin.

Q&As with Luise Donschen, Helena Wittmann, film critic Jordan Cronk and Volksbühne

Film Curator Giulio Bursi to follow the screenings.

Born just months apart and less than 600 kilometers from one another, Germany’s Luise Donschen and Helena Wittmann have recently emerged as two of the most exciting young filmmakers of their generation. Friends and frequent collaborators, Donschen and Wittmann are guided by a similar cinematic philosophy, one predicated on the image and its capacity for revealing experiential truths. Their debut features, Casanovagen and Drift––official selections of the Berlin and Venice film festivals, respectively––represent the fullest expression of their complementary yet distinct methodologies to date.

 

In the first of two evenings with the filmmakers, the May 06 program will feature a new sound piece created by the artists especially for the event, followed by Wittmann’s 2014 short 21,3° C, a clever and beautiful meditation (starring Donschen) on the moving image’s ability to capture and reformulate time, and Donschen’s feature-length hybrid Casanovagen, a playful investigation of desire (shot on seductively textured 16mm by Wittmann) that articulates the essential inscrutability of its subject through everyday absurdities related to sexuality, ornithology, religion, and the art of representation itself, embodied in an unknowing cameo by the actor John Malkovich.

 

Meanwhile, the May 23 program will open with unedited excerpts of the Malkovich scene from Casanovagen, and 

continue with Drift, Wittmann's astonishing 2017 debut, never before presented in Berlin. Formally daring and thought provoking, the films of Donschen and Wittman propose a new way of approaching and considering the image that’s as intuitive as it is deliberate.

 

A beguiling, formally eclectic, and frequently funny investigation of desire... [Casanova Gene is] one of the year's best debut features thus far. 

Dan Sullivan, Film Comment

[A] highly concentrated, atmospherically dense 67 minutes... [Casanovagen] creates a cosmos of ideas, which invites [an] intense inner discourse. Cinema as thought space, literally. One of the highlights of the 2018 Berlinale Forum.

Manuel Schubert, Filmanzeiger

Beautifully mesmerizing... [Drift's] approach is radical for a feature, jettisoning dialogue and plot, and it is radical too in its depiction of female solitude, a rare subject in art. 

Imogen Sara Smith, Film Comment

Stirring... Drift slips into a trance state that seems to approximate that of its pioneering heroine, who mutates from a tangible woman to a somnambulant cipher, her presence secondary to the lulling movements of the aquatic expanse before her.

Carson Lund, Slant Magazine

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