Retrospective 2008: Luis Buñuel


Lectures and Discussions

Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen, 4th Floor
No admission fee


Friday 08.02., 6 p.m.
Luis Buñuel: Die Realität des Imaginären oder: Das Gespenst der Liebe
Petra Castell in conversation with the authors of the book accompanying this year’s Retrospective: Wolfgang Martin Hamdorf, Marion Löhndorf and Gerhard Midding.

Buñuel's films grew out of a non-conformist view of society, the church, and the family. They don't flog any particular ideologies, and are rather the reflex of an 'amused pessimist' (Truffaut) confronted with the monstrosities of everyday life. His films are defiant and obstreperous, subversive, scandalous and surreal, merciless and unsentimental, sublime and tender. Which motifs and themes, stylistic means and characters are characteristic of Buñuel's cinematic surrealism? Where are the boundaries between the real and the imaginary? How 'Buñuelesque' are his female forms?



Saturday 09.02., 6 p.m.
Jean Epsteins Kino der Beweglichkeit. Ultra-moderne Pionierarbeiten zur Film- und Kinotheorie
Ralph Eue (UdK Berlin), Alexander Horwath (Austrian Film Museum) and Peter Nau (writer) discuss the scriptwriter and philosopher Jean Epstein.

Among the giants of cinema, Jean Epstein (1897-1953) is perhaps the least known. The place where standard film histories situate him – the French avant-garde of the 1920s – is linked to many famous names, overshadowing Epstein. But the visionary energy of Epstein's writings and films has been attracting attention again for some time now: Ever since he appeared as an essential reference in the books on film by the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, the name Epstein has been gradually emerging from the shadows, taking its place next to Eisenstein, Vertov, Godard or Pasolini – writers who helped shape modern thought on cinema through both their writings about film and their artistic work.

For the first time a selection of Epstein's writings has been made accessible to German readers. With 'Jean Epstein. Writing on Cinema', the publisher FilmmuseumSynemaPublikationen invites us to discover a philosophical writer who, with his visionary thought and vibrant writing anticipated the current topoi in the discourse between the natural, social, cultural and cinematic sciences three-quarters of a century ago.



Sunday 10.02., 6 p.m.
De LAS HURDES a TIERRA SIN PAN: de la versión de 1933 a la de 1965
Lecture by Javier Herrera (film historian).

The documentary LAS HURDES/TIERRA SIN PAN is the third film in the filmography of Luis Buñuel as a director. Buñuel made three versions of the film himself: the silent version from 1933, the dubbed version from 1936 and a re-edited version dating 1965. This lecture primarily analyzes the first version with the help of previously unknown material while comparing it to the second version, examining how Buñuel changed the direction of his film, transforming a realist documentary about the concrete subject of Las Hurdes into a surrealist film that elevated the subject matter out of this particular reality to a universal and abstract level. LAS HURDES changed many of the conventions of the classical documentary, and was groundbreaking in its personal and unrivalled vision of the world.

Spanish with English translation
In cooperation with Instituto Cervantes Berlin
No admission fee


Monday 11.02., 7.30 p.m.
Instituto Cervantes Berlin, Rosenstr. 18-19, 10178 Berlin
La marca de la guerra: el conflicto español y la evolución del cine de Luis Buñuel
Wolfgang Martin Hamdorf im Gespräch mit Marina Díaz (Filmabteilung Instituto Cervantes) und Javier Herrera (Filmhistoriker).

The Civil War marked a momentous turning point in the lives of countless Spanish intellectuals and artists in the last century. This discussion analyses the personal, professional and artistic transformations, which Luis Buñuel felt he was isolated from, as his exile of many years began, first in the United States, then later in Mexico. What remains of the surrealist, what of the documentary-maker and what was created anew with this move into exile?

Spanisch with German translation
In Cooperation with Instituto Cervantes Berlin
No admission fee


Wednesday 13.02., 6 p.m.
En hommage à Francesco Rosi
Michel Ciment in conversation with Francesco Rosi.

Now aged 85, Francesco Rosi helped write Italian film history over the past 50 years. In his work, the renowned Italian director reflects critically on the political, economic and intellectual development of Italy.

Characteristic of his work is his neorealist approach to original settings and amateur actors. He has worked with Italian and international stars such as Gian Maria Volonté, Alain Cuny, Philippe Noiret, Rod Steiger and John Turturro. In the case of all of his films, Rosi – usually working with a team of several writers – was responsible for the script. He researches his investigative films himself.

Rosi's films on highly topical issues like recent Italian and European history often trigger strong reactions amongst the public. Through his cinematic (re-) constructions of real-life cases he shares his findings and lends events a historic dimension. His films are still convincing today with their explosive power and they belong to the classics of politically engaged cinema.

Francesco Rosi will talk about his work in a discussion with the film critic Michel Ciment.

French with English translation


Thursday 14.02., 6 p.m.
En mémoire de Luis Buñuel
Peter Fleischmann in conversation with Juan Luis Buñuel and Jean Claude Carrière.

It all begins with a razor sharp cut through an eye: In the summer of 1929 UN CHIEN ANDALOU premieres in Paris. The audience and critics are thrilled by the debut film of Spanish director Luis Buñuel. His second film L'AGE D'OR triggers a storm of protest and is banned. The film and director are denigrated for being 'anti-clerical'. Repeatedly over the course of his career Luis Buñuel must face censorship by church and state. His opponents' protests shroud the director and his films in an aura of the forbidden and offensive. It's impossible to classify Buñuel. His greatness originates from his insistence upon his individual view of the world. He invented surrealist film, sparked scandal with his socially critical works and became famous for his sarcastic portraits of the European bourgeoisie. He had an especially close working relationship to the French scriptwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. Carrière, also the author of his autobiography, along with Buñuel's son Juan Luis Buñuel, himself also a filmmaker, look back at the life and work of the great Spaniard in a discussion with the director Peter Fleischmann.

French with English translation

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