A series of Mises-en-Scènes by Florian Wüst
In a series of monthly evenings, Florian Wüst seeks to contextualize Salon Populaire spatially: by showing and commenting on selected film references and excerpts, he reflects on the history and the present of West Berlin – as the ‘storefront of the free West’, as a site for the squatting movements of the early 1980s, as well as a current ‘virgin land’ for galleries and art spaces.
Florian Wüst is an artist and freelance film curator based in Berlin.
A Film Club Screening and Conversation on Fantasy, Separation and Urban Planning. Hosted by Florian Wüst.
Andrzej Zulawski’s cult classic “Possession”, starring Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill, is set against the background of the Berlin Wall as a symbol of a world in stagnation. The film combines family tragedy, thriller, and horror movie, and a cinematic tour-de-force through extreme emotional states of alienation. While Zulawski’s narrative successively slips from desire into obsession, from the real into the fantastic, his particular choice of locations represents tangible markers of Berlin’s urban history and various stages of city renewal.
A film club screening and conversation on power relationships, media addiction, and capitalist hypocrisy hosted by Florian Wüst.
Over the course of the previous Salon Populaire sessions, Florian Wüst presented a series of six mises-en-scenes showing films and film excerpts that reflected the past and present of West Berlin as a tribute to the Salon’s physical location in the city. Film City Berlin now continues in a film club setting, each time presenting a seminal feature length Berlin film followed by an open conversation after the screening.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “The Third Generation” will mark the film club’s beginning. In response to the Baader-Meinhof deaths, the plot follows an ineffective group of underground terrorists who plan to kidnap an industrialist. Fassbinder’s script revolves around the concept that the state could invent left-wing terrorism in order to protect capital and conceal its own growing totalitarianism. When the film was released in West Germany in September 1979, it mostly received negative reviews and scandalized both the left and the right. However, “The Third Generation” is now considered to be one of Fassbinder’s best films, reveling in mordant political humor and visual grotesquery, and praised for its visionary critique of an all-encompassing information- and media-driven society.
With the last event of the series, Film City Berlin reaches the recent past: the coming of age of the re-united city, symbolized by retro-style representational architecture and private town houses filling up the empty lots. The evening reflects on Berlin’s social transformations, the processes of commercialisation and the alleged rise of the so called creative class ever since the turn of the millenium.
In presence of Stephan Geene. Film excerpts out of After Effect (Stephan Geene, D 2007) and Eine flexible Frau (Tatjana Turanskyj, D 2010).
After the screening of Horst Markgraf’s Pochmann, the fifth event of the series, After the Fall, returns to the original set up of an installation comprising a video projection and monitors. The evening focuses on two topics relating to documentary and fiction cinema of the 1990s made in Berlin: the disappearance of the Wall and the life of Turkish immigrants of the second generation.
In presence of Thomas Arslan. With film excerpts by Thomas Arslan, Kutlug Ataman, Aysun Bademsoy, Jürgen Böttcher, Imma Harms & Thomas Winkelkotte, Hussi Kutlucan.
In contrast to previous Film City Berlin events, this evening presents one feature-length film and little known gem of its time: Horst Markgraf’s Pochmann from 1989, starring Oskar Roehler and Isabelle Stever. A ghostly film noir set in a desolate West Berlin, devoid of hope and human empathy. With Horst Markgraf as special guest. In cooperation with Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art.
The third event of the series, Burning concrete, covers the period between the late 1970s and 1985, focusing on urban struggles and street riots around Kreuzberg and Schöneberg as well as the exceptional cross-over of film, music and art that emerged in the delirious maze of the walled-in city.
Escape forward, the second night of the series, moves one to two decades further and addresses the relationship between the personal and the political, between working and living conditions, which particularly informed the cinematic depiction of West Berlin.
The first event, Behind the Codes, relates to the period around 1960 – a time in which the euphoria of economic progress and urban modernization merged with feelings of growing disorientation and the criticism of the suppression of the German past.