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Film

Neo-Marxist eclecticism

The 1980s witnessed the emergence of a number of highly talented French filmmakers. Prominent amongst them is Olivier Assayas, whose oeuvre Arsenal is celebrating throughout October with a full retrospective.

The 1980s witnessed the emergence of a number of highly talented French filmmakers from the baby boomer generation. Marked by having grown up during the nouvelle Vague as much as by the experience of ‘68 and its aftermath, their films are characterised by meticulous technique and by an intellectual concern for social realities.

Prominent amongst them is Olivier Assayas (check out our interview with the director), whose oeuvre Arsenal is celebrating throughout October with a full retrospective. His work spans a collection of genres worthy of Kubrick, albeit one always informed by neo-Marxist ideals.

His greatest critical success is last year’s Carlos (Oct 22, 19:00, several languages with German subs), portraying the rock star-like career of terrorist Carlos the Jackal, shown here in its epic five-hour entirety.

A world beyond postmodernity is tackled in Demonlover (Oct 1, 21:15, several languages with English subs), a highly complex tech/ psychothriller that updates Cronenberg’s Videodrome thesis for the internet age.

A variation on the same theme is Summer Hours (Oct 3, 20:00, French with English subs, with Assays in attendance), an inheritance story that works as an appraisal of the changing definition of bourgeoisie.

Am Puls der Zeiten – Die Filme von Olivier Assayas | Arsenal, www.arsenal-berlin.de