The Berlin School: Films from the Berliner Schule

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Beginning around 15 years ago, a loose affiliation of scholars, writers, and filmmakers living in Berlin began presenting films that offered a new, aesthetically driven form of cinema. Abandoning the post-totalitarian context embraced by most commercially popular German films at the time, these films pursued a stylized realism in order to explore and address a national crisis of identity and purpose. Films like Christian Petzold’s Die Innere Sicherheit (The State I Am In) and Angela Schanelec’s Mein langsames Leben (Passing Summer) marked the first movement within German cinema to push the art form forward since filmmakers like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and Margarethe von Trotta established New German Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, organized by Rajendra Roy and Anke Leweke, which will be published in November 2013. Featuring contributions by curators, critics, and filmmakers associated with the Berlin School, the publication places the movement in a larger historical context and examines the influence of collaborative communities that developed around the Berlin Film Festival. Building on MoMA’s long history of scholarship on the subject of German cinema, the catalogue provides a foundation for new research on contemporary German filmmaking.

Organized by Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, and Anke Leweke, independent film critic.