Film from the 1970s through 1990s between Punk and Cinema of Transgression
Mon, September 18 – Sun, October 22, 2017
Georg-Knorr-Auditorium, Lenbachhaus

The Punk movement in Germany was also a film movement. Beginning in the late 1970s, various local film scenes formed throughout Germany: from Bielefeld, Bonn and Düsseldorf to West- and East Berlin, self-trained filmmakers coalesced around the medium of Super-8. The Super-8 technology was as cheap to acquire as it was easy to handle. Soon the first movie theatres for Super-8 and other experimental formats emerged in West Berlin, eventhough the true site of German underground film remained the more casual context of bars and night clubs. In 1979, when organizing the N.Y. Narrativ Film Festival at SO36, the polemically discussed and fought over location of the punk and anarchist scenes in West Berlin, artist Martin Kippenberger established contacts with the New York-based film scene.

Normalzustand (titled after a film by German filmmaker Yana Yo) brings together a selection of  experimental films made in Germany and the US between the late 1970s and early 1990s. On either side of the Atlantic, filmmakers employed methods from amateur and / or home and horror movies and distanced themselves from professional and mainstream film production. Coming out of different film and visual art contexts, the output of German and American filmmakers did however vary widely. In the US,directors such as Nick Zedd whose most recent film Death Of Muffinhead (2016) will be shown in addition to his productions from the 70s through 90s, could draw on an underground film tradition which was already several decades old, and whose campy attitude they pushed to (and beyond) their limits.

Curated by Stephanie Weber



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