Introducing new film programs on Leitmotiv
For this winter season we have added six new film cycles on our home cinema streaming platform LEITMOTIV FILMS ONLINE.
Old and new, forgotten and cherished — a timeless selection of our festival favorites. Memory meshes that capture the questions of yesterday and tomorrow, showed through the eyes of nostalgic romanticism.
The program features Thomas Heise's latest, HEIMAT IS A SPACE IN TIME (2019), a film essay that traces four generations of his family's archives, from the 19th century to the present time: their intimate stories reveal the larger cultural and political events that have shaped the past hundred years of German history.
The program also highlights two french authors who both capture the sensitivity of cadre in a momentous delivery of visual poetry. Included are both Claire Denis and Agnes Varda, creators of CHOCOLAT (1988) and LE BONHEUR (1965) respectively, building a separate entity in the program.
FAMILIES, TOGETHER AND APART
The overarching theme that runs through these films is a personal, albeit brief, insight into the ways in which families lead their lives in different circumstances and contexts. Hegel's “Elements of the Philosophy of Right” provides an interpretation of the family “(...) as the immediate substantiality of mind, (...) specifically characterised by love, which is mind's feeling of its own unity.
Hence in a family, one's frame of mind is to have self-consciousness of one's individuality within this unity as the absolute essence of oneself, with the result that one is in it not as an independent person but as a member.” The films featured in this cycle explore this sense of collective coexistence—or the lack thereof: from the sudden internal rupture in the family life portrayed in Kôji Fukada's HARMONIUM (2016) to the strengthening of family ties between orphan siblings in Rubén Mendoza's WANDERING GIRL (2018).
WEIRD BUT WONDERFUL
‘A delirious odyssey’ of eccentric visuals, unordinary screenplays, and weird characters. One can only wonder how these ideas came to life. Consisting of four films ranging from horror to dystopia, the program is designed to land you on another planet.
This program’s Portuguese surprise is DIAMANTINO (2018), a film about a football player who loses his final match against monstrous sized Pekinese puppies and adopts a refugee who tries to stop Diamantino’s body from being cloned, a scheme plotted by his sinister sisters. The film was screened in Cannes Film festival critic’s week where it won the Grand Prize.
For lovers of Yorgos Lanthimos-like dystopian atmosphere we have selected VOYEUR (1986) by the Dutch auteur Alex van Warmerdam, which focuses on a man who during his life has never been outside his house and has gained no social skills while living in his dysfunctional family.
LESSONS FROM FILM HISTORY: IDA LUPINO
With Hollywood still managing to include more women in the filmmaking processes (and provide an equal salary for them), Ida Lupino was one of the early pioneers of women filmmakers in the Hollywood studio system in the early 1950s. She established her own film company—The Filmmakers—to direct numerous low budget social issue films. She was the first woman to direct a film noir genre film, THE HITCH-HIKER (1953), also included in the Leitmotiv program.
Additionally to her duties as director, writer, and producer she was also an actress, having starred in 59 films during her 48-year long career. THE BIGAMIST (1953) is believed to be the first American feature film in which the female star of a film directed herself.
A PORTRAIT OF INJUSTICE
This film cycle can be viewed as a mirror to society's inner problems. It's not the kind of prejudice that is out in the open and can be described in a few words and put in a small decorative box next to all the other issues of our modern society so we can identify it better, because in doing so, we tend to overlook a deeper context.
Problems occur differently in each socio-economic group, injustice is a spectrum, and these films are chosen just for this reason. From wrongful convictions, historic court trials to the exploitation of women and upper class problems when facing economic crises. We've got it all.
One of our personal favorites from this cycle is the film I AM NOT A WITCH (2017) by Rungano Nyoni. It captures racism, patriarchy, and many forms of exploitation through a mix of satire and sarcasm to represent the painful tragedy that it actually is. We are taken along this journey through a young girl's eyes, which helps to convey the story with even more power than it already has on its own.
WOMAN. AGE. DESIRE
What unites us as women? This question is to be examined deeper than what biology and history books, psychologists, and feminist theories say about it.
Eleven-year-old Alba finds herself in a very remote relationship with her father and tries to open up to the world outside of herself. Nahla searches for a man to marry when fulfilling her desire for freedom, whereas Jeanne's world crumbles when her dreams and illusions of a beautiful and stable life collapse.
Together with four very different and inspirational women, we travel through times, small towns, and memories to come back home and realize: the only way out is in.
Full film catalogue available here.
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