Yuzo Kawashima: The Missing Link

Kawashima is the ‘missing link’ between the classical Japanese cinema and the New Wave. An apprentice of Ozu and a teacher of Imamura, he made films with the care and precision of the studio era combined with the flamboyance and daring of the 1960s. For Imamura, Kawashima “personified the Japanese New Wave ten years before its emergence”, a tribute that testifies to Kawashima’s lasting impact on Japanese cinema, despite his premature death at 45. Chronic poor health inspired a pessimistic worldview and a sense of the absurd. In his oeuvre, subtle, poignant realist dramas jostle with freewheeling, unpredictable comedies, poised between satire and farce. An expert stylist, Kawashima delighted in elaborate compositions and placing his actors strategically amidst props and furnishings. An actors’ director, he encouraged breezy, noisy, vital performances in which facial expression, tone of voice, posture, gesture and movement combined to bring detail and conviction to the characterisations. This retrospective will screen a selection of his finest work.
Curated by Alexander Jacoby and Johan Nordström.

Yuzo Kawashima: The Missing Link

Cinemalibero 2020

This year’s programme, dedicated to the memory of filmmaker, activist and poet Sarah Maldoror, offers titles a great number of which you’ll see restored against all odds. After years on circuitous roads and prolonged research to tackles the puzzles of censorship and the paucity of film elements, here we are with films whose resurgence show how powerful of a vehicle film restoration is in rewriting multiple histories of cinema. The voices of this year’s Cinemalibero – Jia Zhang-ke, Sarah Maldoror, Ritwik Ghatak, Mohammad Reza Aslani, Ruy Guerra, Mike de Leon and Gutiérrez Alea – speak of provincial misfits, Guyana poets, East Bengali Refugees, decadent families, guerrilla revolutionaries, far-right patriarchs and bureaucrats — articulating the language of resistance, satire and imagination.
Curated by Cecilia Cenciarelli

Cinemalibero 2020

Konrad Wolf in the Age of Extremes

Often referred to as East German cinema’s greatest auteur, Konrad Wolf’s life matched the exhilarating uniqueness of his films. In 1945, he returned to Nazi Germany from the USSR, where his family had been exiled to, as a teenage Red Army lieutenant, an event he later turned into the classic Ich war neunzehn. Wolf studied film at the Moscow State Institute of Cinematography and had a successful career at DEFA directing fourteen films. A true believer in the potentials of cinema in building a socialist society, his films told stories of the past and present through a revisionist eye. Yet, he didn’t shy away from sensitive subjects that crossed party lines, by doing so subjecting himself to state censorship.
Curated by Ralf Schenk

Konrad Wolf in the Age of Extremes

Gösta Werner: A Sense of Loss

One of Sweden’s most eminent film historians as well as an outstanding director mainly of commissioned shorts, cinema for Gösta Werner (1908-2009) was an all-encompassing occupation and obsession – a way of life that also included at various times writing film reviews, teaching, or reworking foreign movies for the local market. And yet, today this polymath is mainly remembered for one thing: his writings. This tribute offers a panorama of Werner’s cinema: two programs of shorts explore the breadth and width of his experimentation-happy attitude towards creating films primarily meant to inform its audiences which would include canonical works such as Midvinterblot (1946). Furthermore, his mid-length documentary Mauritz Stiller (1987) offers a glimpse at the film historian apropos Werner’s most extensively researched and venerated subject. The feature Gatan (1949), finally, shows Werner at the height of his story-telling finesse.
Curated by Olaf Möller and Jon Wengström

Gösta Werner: A Sense of Loss