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Essay Film Festival 2017: Session #7
Mon 27 March 2017, 20:30 – 22:00
Thinking Cinema on Television: Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), ca. 1975 (Screening 3)
Programme curator Volker Pantenburg will introduce Harun Farocki and Ingemo Engström’s film Erzählen (About Narration).
Erzählen (About Narration), Harun Farocki and Ingemo Engström, Germany, 1975, 16mm (transferred to digital), 58 mins, German with English subtitles
“Essay, a term from written literature: unity of science and art; unity of social and individual knowledge,” Harun Farocki wrote in a first draft of the project Erzählen. “About Narration” follows two people (played by Engström and Farocki) investigating their respective subjects: One is tracing the involvement of the German heavy industry in the rise of Nazi-Germany, the other is interested in the fate of Larissa Reissner, a young Soviet writer and revolutionary. Both of them struggle with the question of how to organize their research and find a narrative structure. Their paths cross, and the film turns into an essayistic interrogation of structuralist narratology. In the context of this programme, Erzählen, produced by Annelen Kranefuss and Christhart Burgmann for the WDR department “Literatur und Sprache”, shows that it was not only the film department, that allowed for experimental and playful forms to blossom. “It should be possible to include anything as in the Nature Theater of Oklahoma” (Ingemo Engström).
Volker Pantenburg is professor for Film Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. He has published widely on essayistic film and video practices, experimental cinema, and contemporary moving image installations. Recent book publications include: Farocki/Godard. Film as Theory (Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP 2015); Cinematographic Objects. Things and Operations (Berlin: August 2015, Editor); and Screen Dynamics. Mapping the Borders of Cinema (Vienna: Austrian Film Museum 2012; Co-Editor). In 2015, he co-founded the “Harun Farocki Institut,” a non-profit organisation designed as a platform for researching Farocki’s visual and discursive practice and supporting new projects that engage with the past, present and the future of image cultures.