As a hessian from Frankfurt, Germany, it is almost my duty to remind you that our airport is still occupied. Someone took these pictures in summer 2014 on his Flight back from the States to Frankfurt. Seems like the biggest german airport plays a key role as an imperial starport.
Heute beginnt das Lichter – Filmfest Frankfurt International. Ein Filmfest, das seinen Ursprung in der regionalen Filmlandschaft hat und die Werke, die in der Region entstehen, in seiner ganzen Breite vorstellt. Dazu eine Plattform für spannende Filme aus aller Welt, die gleichzeitig der wachsenden Vernetzung der Region und der hohen Diversität des Weltkinos Rechnung trägt. Dazu trägt auch ein umfangreiches Rahmenprogramm bei: Workshops und Diskussionsrunden rund um den Film, der Videokunst-Wettbewerb LICHTER Art Award und nicht zuletzt das kommunikative Herz – ein Festivalzentrum mit ausgesuchter Bewirtung, Partys und Raum für Gespräche und Diskussionen.
LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International vom 25.03. – 30.03.2014.
If you believe in Bergson’s thesis that all humour is basically generated by crossing natural human, organic behavior and mechanical, automatic, repetitive patterns (of course his theory is more eloborate, but that’s what he boils it down to himself), than film is the comic medium par excellence. All human behavior is mechanised in film, a fact that can easily be made visible if we fast forward something on a tape recorder and witness very funny movements indeed. One of the major realms of filmmaking has spun out of this, the comedy that has been around since the early days of silent film. Still, it is often not regarded as an adequate genre for »serious« festivals, being thought of as being »mere entertainment«. This year’s LICHTER Filmfest proves this stereotype wrong. It shows the whole gamut of comic filmmaking, from Korean blockbusters to small German documentaries. The films combine slapstick and political commentary as in »La fille du 14 juillet«, romantic comedy and an unusual take on the human voice as in »In a world…« or a biting parody of the film industry with insights into the fabrication of bodies in the media as in »Vulgaria«. The program of roughly a dozen films will be accompanied by numerous debates and lectures about humour and comedy involving amongst others, Bob Mankoff of The New Yorker, the Israeli collective »A theory of the deep understaning of things« and German director Leander Haußmann. Please follow these recommendations or visit the screening schedule for the whole section.
»Swandown« (Documentary, 2012), Original English Version, 94 min. Director: Andrew Koetting (Direct Link)
»Swandown« is the documentation of an unusual journey with Olympian traits. Two men sail on a plastic swan from Hastings, which lies on the south coast of England to London. During this journey, director Andrew Koetting and screenwriter Iain Sinclair cross rivers, canals and the open sea. On their spectacular trip they have all sorts of chance encounters with people who are amused by the trio, are surprised, or even pass derogatory comments about this voyage. In addition, guests like the comic artist Alan Moore and comedian Stewart Lee occasionally accompany them. Together they experience the adversity of their environment. With references to Werner Herzog’s »Fitzcarraldo« and Les Blank’s »Burden of Dreams«, as well as Dada-esque echoes, »Swandown« creates an absurd odyssey that, due to the picturesque English countryside, convinces the viewer with its impressive motifs. Germany Premiere
»Les Coquillettes« (Fictional Documentary, 2013), 75 min. Director: Sophie Letourneur (Direct Link)
Sophie Letourneur, director and lead actress of the film, throws herself together with two of her friends – all filmmakers – into amorous entanglements at the film festival in Locarno. She shot her second feature film on a shoestring budget but with a lot of gusto for the cinematic experiment during the actual festival. The result is a »film-within-a-film within-a-film«, which never comes across as academic or boring but shows what cinema can still do better than any other medium: capture the spirit of a generation. »Les Coquillettes« is fiction and reality, a narrative experiment, French low-budget cinema and »Gaul’s reply to Lena Dunham« (The Hollywood Reporter): but above all, an extremely humorous portrait of a generation. Germany Premiere
»Somebody Up There Likes me« (Feature Film, 2012), 75 min. Director: Robert Byington (Direct Link)
Max is actually a very ordinary young man his late 20s who has to choose a path in life. But this path does not turn out as you would imagine. Despite economic success and three marriages to beautiful women, he pursues his own life with increasing passivity, and in contrast to all others, he is not growing any older. In a very comical way, he stumbles through the 35 years, which director Bob Byington describes in the best tradition of American indie film. The outstanding performer (especially Keith Poulson and Nick Offerman (»Parks and Recreation«)) draw a portrait of their generation and, at the same time, an apt parody on the interminable success stories, which are flooding cinema and television. »An appealingly odd mix, like a Todd Solondz film directed by Wes Anderson« – Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter. Rhine-Main-Premiere
»Vulgaria« (Feature Film, 2012), 90 min. Director: Pang Ho-Cheung (Direct Link)
The serious setting is misleading: As the film producer To Wai-Cheung has to describe his profession during a lecture in an elegant university lecture theatre, he chooses a, well, unexpected metaphor – like pubic hair, producers are called upon to dampen the frictions between the different players of a production. Thus, the tone of the film is set. As it quickly turns out, To earns his livelihood mainly with B-movies, is struggling with his successful ex-wife and his capricious assistant, and has to deal with a mob boss from the mainland to finance his new work. In the course of these struggles, To gets confronted with strange oral sex practices, fried cow vagina and a Chinese culture clash. If you wish, Bakhtin could be sensed and who cannot, may simply look forward to one and a half hours of tasteless gags on a high level.
»In a world…« (Feature Film, 2013), 93 min. Director: Lake Bell (Direct Link)
Carol works as a vocal coach and occasionally lends her voice also to commercials or movie trailers. The big break through, however, remains elusive. Usually, she finds it hard to compete against her male colleagues. Contrary to expectations, she suddenly finds herself in the selection as a trailer voice for a substantial trilogy. The other candidates are the big stars of the industry, her father Sam and his protégé Gustav. Despite that, Carol is facing the battle – against pride, sexism and prejudice. She could achieve a lot and shape the understanding of an entire generation. Lake Bell shines in this comedy, for which she was awarded the 2013 Sundance Screenplay Award. In a world… questions, in addition to gender stereotypes, also family and social structures and entertains through everyday, interpersonal chaos.
»Key of life« (Feature Film, 2012), 96 min. Director: Kenji Uchida (Direct Link)
In a bathhouse, the paths of the wealthy professional killer Kondo and the debt-ridden as well as unsuccessful actor Sakurai cross. When Kondo suffers an accident, Sakurai quickly swaps their locker keys and assumes the identity of Kondo. Kondo, suffering from amnesia, takes on the life of Sakurai. But whilst Kondo makes the acquaintance of the crazy-to-get-married, ambitious but equally lovely Kanae, Sakurai must deal with the Yakuza. Uchida tells this story with subtle humour, handing out the odd sarcastic jab from time to time. His comedy thriller, which won the Nippon Cinema Award in 2013, excites with its precise image compositions, fascinating characters, sharp dialogues and a fast-paced showdown.
LICHTER takes place from March 25th to 30th, 2013 at several cinemas in Frankfurt and Rhine Main Area/Germany.
The B3 Moving Image Biennial is a new festival which explores and celebrates the world of the moving image. It will be held from 10/30 to 11/03/2013 in Frankfurt and in the Rhine-Main region. The central theme is »Expanded Narration. Das neue Erzählen«. As part of this festival, a special screening will also take place to present a new dimension of moviegoing experience that involves freeing the film from the convention of the rectangular screen and extending it across the entire cinema space.
A 360˚ dome projection immerses viewers in a world of images: we no longer look at pictures, but find ourselves in their midst, just as in real life. The fulldome experience is perhaps the most striking example of the theme of Imersion, which is devoted to the innovative transformation of moving images and sounds in, and into, space. This new medium, long a staple for projecting scientific films in planetariums, is now being explored by film and video artists around the world. Excited about its array of possibilities, from innovative feature-length narrative films to experimental installations, the international scene gathers every year at the »FullDome Festival« in Jena.
The B3 Biennial brings to Frankfurt for the first time a selection of high-caliber artistic fulldome films from Canada, the USA, Australia, England, Spain, and Germany, and features discussions with the filmmakers about the future of this new medium. Follow these recommendations or visit the screening schedule for the whole section. And here is the complete festival programme.
»Carte Blanche to SAT« – SAT FEST 2013
»SAT FEST 2013« is a selection of immersive short films created by more than 16 Montreal-based artists and coproduces by the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT].
Thursday, 31. October 2013, 20:00 – 21:00
»Alien Action« with Ralph Heinsohn
Mortal fear, hamster purchases, masshysteria! Aliens have landed in Frankfurt. Mean battle droids have targeted earth in the darwinistic struggle for territory and start the invasion in the middle of the baking capital. The Fulldome movie Alien Action reveals itself to be an unusual and ironic interpretation of »War of the Worlds« and combines science fiction and pop art in a collage of animation, music videos and radio play elements.
Friday, 1. November 2013, 21:00 – 22:00
»Six Mil Antennas« with Johnny Ranger
»Six Mil Antennas« is a 360 degree immersive film that employs a range of visual and audio codes to bring a surrealist perspective to the forefront. Framing shifting communication processes in a fictional setting, the whimsical, open-ended work re-imagines different states of the world in a futuristic timeframe. Through a series of events, the piece alternates its tone between deconstructed gravity, aesthetic sensuality and satirical humor. Inserting filmed actors in faux designed landscapes, the film creates non-linear narratives of a personal, social and political nature and expresses a complex intertwining multiverse, in which the characters and abstract landscapes evolve.
Saturday, 2. November 2013, 20:00 – 21:00
B3 Moving Image Biennial | 10/30 to 11/03/2013 from 11 p.m. to midnight at several locations | Frankfurt/Germany
His body of work includes both the legendary »Echtzeit« music clip by Sensorama (with Oliver Husain, MuVi Award for the best German Music Video at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival in 1999) and his award-winning animation »3.48 €/min.«. Last year, Michel Klöfkorn’s newest film »I ride to the edge of the atmosphere in a half hour on my bicycle« won the German Short Film Award 2012. Hovering between psychoanalysis, economics, astronomy and bicycle rides this film bridged the scientific with the imaginary in a very strong and powerful way. It’s time to start a big retrospective show at your favourite cinema.
Zustimmung: »Keine Stadt wird gut, wenn die Aufgabe, die sie zu erfüllen hat, nicht klar und klug formuliert ist, mit anderen Worten: wenn ihr Programm nicht stimmt. Ein Programm, das nur oder überwiegend Wohnungen vorsieht, erzeugt Schlafghettos, die tagsüber fast immer trostlos daliegen. Ein Programm, das nur oder überwiegend Büros vorschreibt, erzeugt Arbeitsstädte, die nach Feierabend aussterben.«
In den vergangenen Jahren ist viel in Frankfurt gebaut worden, schön und auf anständigem Niveau, mit HQ aus der Baustoffsammlung, kreativer Architektur, teuer natürlich und für Wohlhabende gemacht, und immer habe ich mich gefragt: Wo bleibt hier eigentlich das Leben, die Gemeinschaft, die Gemütlichkeit? In diesen beeindruckend trostlosen Schluchten, wie sie exemplarisch auf der Sonnemannstraße oder im Europaviertel entstanden sind.
Prof. Dr. Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani hat in seinem Artikel »Kritische Gedanken zur Stadtplanung – Zwischen Programm und Offenheit« für die Neue Zürcher Zeitung ein paar sehr wichtige Gedanken zusammengetragen. Für den Städtebau im Allgemeinen. Auf Frankfurt übertragen heißt das: Das Programm stimmt nicht.
There is abundant evidence for the thesis that the city invented cinema and cinema invented the city. The love story of film and the city goes back to the earliest days of the moving image. Movies are fascinated by the mechanical movement and the speed of the city, being at the same time aware of its dark sides – isolation, overflow of images and exclusion. Today more than ever film is the art that loves the city most. Frankfurt‘s international film festival LICHTER, taking place from March 19 to 24, dedicates this year‘s program to the city. A journey in 15 films from Tokyo to New York, from Naples to Recife. The city appears as a space enabling encounters, interactions, stories – and at the same time as a somewhat endangered habitat, that the filmmakers venture to protect. The film program will be accompanied by a series of lectures and debates with a the AGORA, a six-hour-long debate marathon hosted by renowned architect Arno Brandlhuber. The retrospective is dedicated to American director James Gray portraying his native New York City. Follow these recommendations or visit the screening schedule for the whole section.
»Gimme the Loot« (Spielfilm, USA 2012), Engl. OmeU, 81 min. Director: Adam Leon
Sophia and Malcolm are the next big stars in Graffiti art – sadly nobody knows this yet. To change this, and to earn some respect in the scene, they decide to put their “tag” on one of New York’s trademarks, the New York Mets apple that appears after every home run hit at Shea Stadium. Standing between them and their fame is just 500 dollars, needed to bribe the night guard at the baseball stadium. An exciting journey begins, with lots of mistakes and de-viations. Adam Leon’s début film reveals his years spent learning from Woody Allen. Gimme the loot is one of the most light-hearted films about youth culture for a long time, simultane-ously a comedy and background social analysis. New York is shown simultaneously as a place of almost unlimited possibilities and a place of high social barriers.
Show: Wednesday, 20. March 2013, 20:00 p.m., Metropolis 12
»Neighboring Sounds« (Spielfilm, BRA 2011), Bras. OmeU, 131 min.Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Little seems unusual in an unprepossessing, middle-class street in Recife in Brazil, apart from the now normal bars on windows and surveillance cameras. There is obviously no rational reason why a private security service should want to send its officers here. But while we fol-low the company’s resourceful boss as he convinces the residents of his offer, we learn the complicated and contradictory stories that make up this area of the city. They reach from the country’s violent past to the everyday problems of its middle class, and encompass these arcs in a strange, exciting, breathless film photographed in beautiful Cinemascope.
Show: Thursday, 21. March 2013, 20:30 p.m., Filmmuseum
L’âge atomique (Atomic Age) (Spielfilm, F 2012), Frz. OmU, 67 min. Director: Héléna Klotz
Victor and Rainer are taking a train to Paris for an evening out. They want to celebrate and enjoy their lives and the excesses of the city. What they find is artificial nightclub beauty, drugs, aggression, violence and their own emotional frailty. They go from one disappointment to the next. We accompany them as they walk along the Seine – following their mostly sober-ing discoveries about the city and themselves. Their path leads them from Paris into a forest, where the calm and the moon put their friendship in a different light. L’âge atomique observes youth and relationships in the resonating cavity of the city. Héléna Klotz films her figures lov-ingly, secretly and honestly. We follow her on the search for their identity and their views of the world.
Show: Friday, 22. March 2013, 20:00 p.m., Hafenkino Offenbach
»Shanghai« (Spielfilm, IND 2012), Hindi OmeU, 120 min.Director: Dibakar Banerjee
The ambitious Governor Madamji wants to turn the sleepy, provincial town of Bharat Nagar into the Indian Shanghai, a shiny city of offices and luxury apartments. That people get left behind is not a problem. When Dr. Ahmedi, a well-known critic of the project, is killed in a hit-and-run incident after an appearance in the town, the investigative ambition of the camer-aman Joginder stirs. On an accidentally recorded tape, he discovers evidence of the corrupt machinations behind the project. A racing, action thriller is the result, which is based on plot of the famous novel “Z” – filmed in 1969 by Costa-Gavras. With the bling of Bollywood and an associated amount of political commitment, Shanghai highlights the dark sides of Indian politics.
Show: Tuesday, 19. March 2013, 22:30 p.m., Metropolis 11
LICHTER takes place from March 19th to 24th, 2013 at several cinemas in Frankfurt/Germany.