surreal24 Film Festival at the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg Begins on 13 March 2024

Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg

A century ago, André Breton wrote the First Manifesto of Surrealism. The Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg (Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection) is marking this anniversary with the surreal24 film festival, which is screening significant films from the past century between 13 March and 6 November 2024.

At its museum cinema, the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg is showing Surrealist, classic, experimental, and documentary films; well-known features; and lesser-known films still highly recommended by those in the know. The 24 films will be shown free of charge at Sahurê Hall at 6 pm on alternate Wednesdays.

Overview of the film festival programme

Festival Launch on 13 March 2024

The film festival begins Wednesday, 13 March 2024, at 6 pm, presenting rarities that have not been seen on the big screen for decades: La coquille et le clergyman (The Seashell and the Clergyman, 1928, original version with subtitles) by Germaine Dulac and Les Mystères du Château du Dé (The Mysteries of Château du Dé, 1929, original version with subtitles) by Man Ray.

Surrealist Cinema Every Second Wednesday

These are followed on Wednesday, 27 March 2024, by the colourised and restored version of A Trip to the Moon (1902) by George Meliès (the world’s first science-fiction film); Orson Welles’ first film, The Hearts of Age (1934, original version with subtitles) and Maya Deren’s surreal experiments At Land and Rituals of Transfigured Time (both 1944–46, original versions with subtitles). A festival high point on 10 April 2024 features four cinematic constructs by the American Surrealist Joseph Cornell: Unreal Newsreel, Children’s Jury, Thimble Theatre and Rose Hobart (1926–38).

During the summer from 15 May to 17 July 2024, the museum cinema will be screening film highlights: Blood of a Poet 930); Fantasia (1940, the misunderstood yet famous surrealist classic from Walt Disney Productions); Juliet of the Spirit (1965) by Frederico Fellini; the ultimate cult film, Alphaville: A Strange Adventure of  Lemmy Caution (1965), by Jean-Luc Godard; Monty Python: The Wonderful World of Gravity (1971) by Ian MacNaughton; and, as an antithesis of the positivist world view, two surreal documentaries from the 1950s by Alan Resnais & Chris Marker and Jean Rouch on 5 June 2024.

Film Festival Finale in Autumn

Beginning on 18 September 2024, four films conclude the festival during the cinematic autumn season: Terri Gilliam’s Brazil (1971); Mood Indigo (2013) by Michel Gondry, based on Boris Vian’s bestseller; and Burning Ghost (2019) by Stépahne Batut; with something exceptional screened on Wednesday, 9 October 2024: Symbol (2009), a unique Japanese feature film by Hitoshi Matsumoto. A man locked in a room full of cherubs tries to escape from his imprisonment, while in Mexico a professional wrestler who calls himself Escargot Man is preparing for his match. It’s all quite mysterious, colourful and shrill.

Wolfgang Davis curates the film festival.

All films are preceded by an introductory talk. No registration required. Admission to the film festival is free.

Surreal Worlds
Permanent exhibition

Filmfestival surreal24

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