Queer at DFF – Recommendations May 2024

In May, the DFF cinema has a special treat in store: as part of the accompanying film series to the special exhibition “LICHTSPIELPLATZ” (PLAYGROUND OF LIGHT), we’ll be presenting all the directorial works of the internationally acclaimed lesbian filmmaker and screenwriter Céline Sciamma. Her films, with an explicitly female perspective, are excitingly diverse and, in their focus on underrepresented voices, always universal. Additionally, in our children’s cinema film series, we’ll be featuring Claude Barras’ animated film “MA VIE DE COURGETTE” (MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI), which boasts an award-winning screenplay penned by Sciamma herself. For both existing fans of Sciamma and those who are sure to become fans after experiencing her films, we highly recommend checking out her interview from 2019 at the BFI London Film Festival

At DFF Cinema

Wednesday, May 1 | 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 9 | 6:00 p.m.
Film Series LIGHT PLAYGROUND – Homage Céline Sciamma

FR/BE 2020. Dir.: Céline Sciamma. Cast: Joséphine Sanz, Gabrielle Sanz, Nina Meurisse. 73 mins. DCP. French with German subtitles

Eight-year-old Nelly travels to the countryside with her parents to clear out her recently deceased grandmother’s house. Nelly often retreats to the nearby forest to play, while her mother struggles with the loss and abruptly leaves one day. During her time alone, Nelly befriends a girl her age who quickly becomes very familiar to her. British film critic Mark Kermode wrote in The Guardian: “With ‘Petite Maman’ she proves herself a maestro of the modern fable, conjuring a U-certificate treat that goes straight into my list of the greatest films ever made for children of all ages. […] Whether you are six or 60, this astonishingly insightful and heartbreakingly hopeful cinematic poem will pierce your heart, broaden your mind and gladden your soul, even as you wipe away tears.” Watch the trailer

Saturday, May 11 | 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 12 | 6:00 p.m.
Film Series LIGHT PLAYGROUND – Homage Céline Sciamma

FR 2019. Dir.: Céline Sciamma. Cast: Adèle Haenel, Noémie Merlant, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino. 122 mins. DCP. French with German subtitles

In the late 18th century, a painter (Noémie Merlant) on a Breton island is commissioned to paint a young woman (Céline Sciamma’s former partner Adèle Haenel) for her prospective husband. After a hesitant introduction, the two women grow closer and experience an intense yet fleeting love within the confines of their professional relationship. This multi-award-winning lesbian period drama presents a distinctly female perspective on societal constraints through exquisitely captured visuals and impressive performances. It serves as a powerful and timely sociopolitical statement, celebrated by both critics and audiences at international festivals and in theaters, earning it a spot in the perennial top 10 of the best lesbian films. Watch the trailer

Friday, May 17 | 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 19 | 6:00 p.m.
Film Series LIGHT PLAYGROUND – Homage Céline Sciamma

FR 2014. Dir.: Céline Sciamma. Cast: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Marietou Touré. 112 mins. DCP. French with German subtitles

Marieme, a.k.a. Vic, lives with her single mother and three siblings in the suburbs of Paris. Fed up with constant harassment from her chauvinistic brother and the pressure to succeed in school, she befriends a group of slightly older girls who can hold their own against the neighborhood boys, both verbally and physically. In the final installment of her coming-of-age trilogy, Céline Sciamma passionately and sensitively portrays the search for female identity of young black women, challenging typical narratives of sexual maturation and implicit heteronormativity. Like all of Sciamma’s work, this film is utterly captivating, with a central sequence featuring Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” presented in its entirety and perhaps never more beautifully staged. Watch the trailer

Wednesday, May 15 | 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 18 | 8:30 p.m.
Film Series LIGHT PLAYGROUND – Homage Céline Sciamma

FR 2011. Dir.: Céline Sciamma. Cast: Zoé Héran, Sophie Cattani, Mathieu Demy. 84 mins. DCP. French with German subtitles

Ten-year-old Laure doesn’t look like a girl and doesn’t want to be one. When her family moves to a suburban neighborhood for the summer, she seizes the opportunity to change her identity: Laure introduces herself to her new classmates as Mickaël and is soon integrated into a group of boys. Complications arise, however, when a girl at school develops feelings for Mickaël/Laure. With great authenticity and ease, Sciamma tells the story of this unique summer in the life of a gender non-conforming child who wants to be different. Her sensitive character study – written, cast and shot within just twenty days – won the queer Teddy Jury Award at the 2011 Berlinale and received numerous accolades at other festivals as well. Watch the trailer

Tuesday, May 21 | 8:30 p.m.
Film Series LIGHT PLAYGROUND – Homage Céline Sciamma

FR 2007. Dir.: Célina Sciamma. Cast: Pauline Acquart, Louise Blachère, Adèle Haenel. 81 mins. 35mm. French with German subtitles

Marie is awkward, reserved, and lesbian. Her only friend, Anne, is equally awkward but heterosexual. The two synchronized swimmers yearn for their first kiss – Anne with the sweet swimmer François and Marie with François’ aloof girlfriend Floriane, who can make one feel like the most important person in the world with just a glance… Written with depth and portrayed with great sensitivity by Pauline Acquart, Louise Blachère, and above all Adèle Haenel, Céline Sciamma said of her award-winning debut film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was subsequently shown at 40 other festivals worldwide: “Watching the film I want the audience to embrace the journey of being a girl. Everyone in the room has to identify with a fifteen-year-old teenage girl. That’s why there are no adults in the movie, nor boys.” Zum Trailer

Friday, May 3 | 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 5 | 3:00 p.m.
Film Series Children’s Cinema

CH/FR 2017. Dir.: Claude Barras. Animation film. 66 mina. German version.

Nine-year-old Icare, who prefers to be called Zucchini, has recently been placed in a foster home where the caregivers take loving care of the children. And then there’s the compassionate police officer Raymond, who takes an interest in Zucchini’s case. Céline Sciamma wrote the screenplay for this profound Oscar® and Golden Globe-nominated stop-motion film.Watch the trailer

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Encounter RWF. Fassbinder Archive Education.

Editors: Alejandro Bachmann, Niels Deimel, Christine Kopf,  Published by: DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum e.V., 2024

How do young people encounter the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder? And what role can objects in a collection or archive play alongside the films themselves? In the Encounter RWF project by the DFF, educators in five European cities (Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Paris, Vienna, and Zurich) have devoted themselves to this question, developing formats for engaging with the director’s work and legacy, and conducting activities with school classes, youth groups, or students. The publication gathers insights into each project, presents the results of their work, includes artistic explorations of Fassbinder, his work, and the archive, as well as scholarly reflections on the project’s questions. Jan Künemund examines Fassbinder’s relationship to queer political concerns and movements, identifies points of convergence and dissonance in previous assessments of Fassbinder’s work in this context, and offers new interpretations. In doing so, he introduces the idea of understanding Fassbinder as a central figure in a previously overlooked queer German film network.

Permanently Online

Conversation (in German)
Film scholars Karola Gramann and Heide Schlüpmann about MÄDCHEN IN UNIFORM
In conjunction with WEIMAR WEIBLICH

This classic of early German sound film, and revered as a lesbian cult film, features an all-female cast and two women in key roles behind the camera: Christa Winsloe wrote the screenplay and Leontine Sagan directed. After the screening, film scholars Karola Gramann and Heide Schlüpmann talked about the history of the film’s reception, its personal significance for them, and about a wonderful interview they conducted with lead actress Hertha Thiele in the early 1980s. More…

Das Homosexuellen-Melodram ANDERS ALS DIE ANDERN
In conjunction with WEIMAR WEIBLICH

Richard Oswald’s “ANDERS ALS DIE ANDERN” (GER 1919) was the first film to address homosexuality and Paragraph 175, which criminalized homosexuality. Film scholar Wolfgang Theis talks about the educational film, starring Conrad Veidt, which was not only a box office hit but also faced homophobic attacks. More…

Queere Mutterschaft
In conjunction with WEIMAR WEIBLICH

In the podcast conversation with the Berlin artist Annette Hollywood, one of the topics is why lesbian mothers are rarely mentioned in history, and when they are, it’s often in criminal contexts. Additionally, Annette Hollywood introduces her video project, “anderkawer,” which explores the traces of queer motherhood. A video from this project is also on display in the foyer of the WEIMAR WEIBLICH exhibition. More…

Lecture (in English)
International Kubrick Symposium 2018

2001 kubrick

Will the future be gender-fluid, characterized by an unspecified and changing gender? In this 2018 lecture, cultural historian Dominic Janes emphasized that Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” can also be interpreted as a queer odyssey. More…

RHIZOM Filmgeschichte

The platform RHIZOM FILMGESCHICHTE explores the beginnings of films. In the thematic path “QUEER CINEMA – Counter-Narratives and Cinematic Experiments,” Karin Michalski writes about an explicitly political phenomenon that does not adhere to well-defined identities but rather subverts, confuses, and expands normative societal concepts of identity. More…

Online-Talk (in German)
Influential Films and Cinema

On the occasion of the Queer Action Days 2022, Olaf Wehowski (LUCAS – International Festival for Young Film Lovers, DFF) spoke with Ioannis Karathanasis (Association of Binational Families and Partnerships) and Josefine Liebig (Alliance for Acceptance and Diversity Frankfurt) about films on the topic of coming out within the family. More…