Into View: A Two Programme Dialogue

By Peter Todd and Ute Aurand

leaden-echo-and-the-golden-echo-margaret-tait.jpgLondon Echo and the Golden Echo, 1955

22 short films between 1926 and 2005, selected by Ute Aurand (Berlin) and Peter Todd (London)

Isn't it true that there was a ‘revolution’ in filmmaking in the 1960s in the sense that all these (mostly short ) film experiments developed? I am convinced that it was a new beginning...of course with a past and a future... I do feel for my own filmmaking in this tradition. – Ute Aurand

For each programme we have chosen several works by the other, and selected complementary films to screen with them. The programmes draw on pieces in collections from both Berlin and London (two key cities during the events of 1968): Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek (FDK), which started in 1963 but developed its distribution collection later; and LUX, which inherited the collection of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, established in 1966. An important legacy for me of those times is the need to question, to have dialogues, to act, not to be complacent.

paul-celan-liest-ute-aurand.jpgPaul Celan Liest, 1985

Ute and I met through a shared interest in the films of Margaret Tait. Ute visited her on Orkney in 1995. I included a piece of Ute’s in Subjects and Sequences: a Margaret Tait Reader (2004). I first mentioned the idea of what became Into View to Maren Hobein (Goethe Institute) at the Tempered Ground screenings I presented in 2004. Works I’ve chosen from LUX include those by Annabel Nicolson, Storm De Hirsch, Jenny Okun, Margaret Tait and Stan Brakhage. There will be a chance to see rarely screened films which only ‘exist’ when projected. And screening 16mm films increasingly feels like a political act. The dialogue continues.

– Peter Todd

Both Peter Todd and I are filmmakers and curators. That inspired us to create a two programme dialogue. Many of the films are from the ’60s or ’70s, a time when more people began to make films simply with a strong interest in image, movement, light or just to express a mood. This new freedom profoundly changed the idea of what a film should be.

arabesque-for-kenneth-anger-marie-menken.jpgArabesque for Kenneth Anger, 1958-61

All the selected films are short and more ‘poetic’ in tone than either narrative or documentary - often they are just an observation, or a glimpse of feelings, thought or memory, brought into view. Many are without sound. Peter Todd’s films led me to other works which also consciously refuse any definiton. This strong quality of openness creates the thread for my selection: it brought me from Peter’s films to Barry Gerson, whose subtle images trust alone to seeing, to Hans Richter in 1926 and his cascade of visual ideas, to Marie Menken with her expressive movements and camera rhythms, to Renate Sami’s inner beauty, to Bruce Conner's dreamy montage of found footage and Anita Thacher's reading of a poem in a one minute film. Robert Beavers builds with colour, rhythm and fragments of daily life three visual self reflections. The photographer Jeannette Muñoz looks simply and directly and reaches far, and Theo Thiesmeier's montage creates - with the little help of a song - happiness.

– Ute Aurand

Into View takes place on Saturday 6th June at the Goethe Institute, London ( and on Tuesday 10th June at Kino Arsenal, Berlin (, introduced by Ute Aurand and Peter Todd.