Berlinale 60th… Talent Scalps, Heads on a Stick, Imploding Cinema… the art of Elsewhere Never Sleeps



Btropolis full speed ahead, it’s Berlinale time! ( warning: deconstruction ahead )

< 13.2 > Christoph Schlingensief (en/de wikipedia), the Oberhausen-Berliner shockmeister and film+theater jammer extraordinaire, takes us on a journey thru “L’Inferno” by Guiseppe de Liguoro from 1911, appropriately italy’s first ever? feature film, as part of the Berlinale Forum Expanded program ( not Talent Campus #8 as we incorrectly posted, but more on that throughout the week ) at Hau Eins. Sold Out, but never hurts to try for xtra tix at venue.


< 12.2 > Metropolis was screened at Brandenburger Tor

” From February 12 to 15, 2010, a unique art installation entitled “The Curtain” will tell of the magic and power of the cinema: renowned artist and international Korean-American designer Christina Kim (’dosa’) will create a 300–square-metre symbolic movie-theatre curtain from recycled film and Berlinale billboards, DVDs, and other film-related materials. After the opening ceremony on February 12, the world premiere of the restored original version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis will be transmitted live to the public from the Friedrichstadtpalast to a screen at the Brandenburg Gate. The public is invited to enjoy this significant moment in the history of film – free of charge – at this very special setting. “


… So far the stars of the Berlinale are 2 street busking russian accordion geniuses playing a ripping version of Bach’s Toccata And Fugue In D Minor! %^&*$! HELL! spinal tapped !

Interesting theme we’ll have to pick up on: This composition triggers a memory of its use in the film Rollerball w/ James Caan and the Andre Previn soundtrack, but what does this signify??! Sure an interesting childhood memory; Why we even used to play rollerball on bikes and skateboards as kids on “Planet Bosphorous”, but for the XLt psychomedia analysts, we believe this may point to a problematic deficit and the colonization factor of the film medium. And what was Bach’s original intentions??! Should we be concerned that perhaps a higher art has been violated??!

Last year we heard both Tilda Swinton + Willem Dafoe speak about their art as part of the Talent Campus program. Two extremely gifted actors who are known for participation in avantgarde cinema and yet both having taking a deep dive into Hollywood overdose culture. We had to wonder if Derek Jarman would be rolling in his grave with where Tilda has surrendered to the mainstream, and Willem, while an intellectual amongst the fodder, nevertheless added nothing to his talk for an emerging artists program that would deconstruct the celebrity fawning and its Pop Star – avatar morass. He’s along for the Fat Man’s royal ride, and will likely play the game as long as the take is good. Meanwhile society plummets into the elsewhere, sucking the nipple-entertainment downloads, mostly without a clue of what it would mean to play for keeps, the territory not the industry map.



schling1 + schling2 + schling33

Schlingensief, like an inside-out Wizard of Oz seated triumphantly at the controls in FRONT of the curtain, irreverently ripped thru a remix of the impressive footage of L’Inferno infused with a dozen other films + soundtracks like Apocalypse Now, The Exorcist, Klaus Kinski’s- Jesus Erloser, archives of a Herr Flasch? on Meister Eckhart, etc. and emotionally pulled apart the screen at the end by bringing it all down to the real struggling life, lives and times.

One could say it worked as successful “exorcism” of the contemporary Infernos ( i.e. in our XLt lingo – that grand game we call the Military Entertainment Complex) at least for those who could follow his tact, which in a Hau audience seemed to be most.

A brief return (encore bit) to the stage had him insisting that the most incredible event(s) of his life have been recently in Africa, which perhaps, together with his recent illness, has also shaken things down to the very roots of what matters. Providing a clip of an ingenious African engineer building schools in Burkina Faso from mostly local/available materials – the earth mixed w/ small portion of cement. Note: Our translation abilities are lacking here and we are looking for someone who experienced the event to discuss + understand more.

His hilarious tirade at the introduction about the internet, recalled and perhaps closely paralelled our XLterrestrials text which we think may be revealing below – txt we wrote for Transmigration Of Cinema 2.0 for Berlinale TC in 2007?).  And perhaps we’ve found our alien brother of  “The UnHoly Decon” ; ) … Hard to be sacrilegous about the Film medium at a film festival, but Schlingensief pulls it off with unstoppable, fearless and humorous presence on stage, and lifted any remaining veils of artifice/performance/screen mediations by articulating straight from the heart, in a breaking voice of sadness, and with rapid fire and sharpened sense of all the irrelevant, the indifference, and/or the idioitic, the absurd … and the unfathomable + cruel malice all around us.

XLt Excerpt:



As a culture passes the mechanical world and simulation threshold, we not only exist more inside the mediated landscape than outside it, we permit a severe mutation and reversal of body and function, such that the ubiquitous prosthetic technotopia does not enable communities, but shapes them for smoother corporate automation, expansion, atomization, extraction, and excessive waste. The domination of the machine we feared is not exactly a machine nor even a big brother, but our own lives pumped out as an efficient and metastasizing network reducing each of us to our utility, our parts, our data-yield and our consumer profiles. In this game, globalization means you will never have to meet the objects and avatars you just fucked, and vice versa. Devastation will be conveniently elsewhere, until suddenly it’s not. Nothing is sold as is, as it appears, because nothing is precisely the plug-in you ordered and are paying for so dearly. But there’s a simple Paracelsian remedy to regain the upper and lower hand, the right and left foot, the full sensory pleasures: a small batch of poison in the form of a multi-media trojan horse kaleidescope, a short-circuit burst of re-contextualized media in a feedback loop to lock the worm hole upon itself. The XL Terrestrials return to their home planet to perform an excorcism of the Military Entertainment Complex.

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