73rd Berlin International Film Festival, “Forum Expanded”
              Asia Bazdyrieva
              The “Forum Expanded” section of the Berlinale, an assemblage of exhibitions distributed across three venues and any number of screens, charts the points at which cinema meets the visual arts. This year’s edition, titled “An Atypical Orbit,” aimed to set in motion “fluctuating proximities—political and personal legacies which often lie in shambles” and to “challenge the status quo through exhibiting works that redefine cinema.” In attempting to solve two problems—to host a platform for political articulation, and to critically engage with moving images and media as such—the Forum Expanded faced a conundrum: its archival and historiographic approach, as well as the aesthetic and political emphases in the overall selection of works and conversations, induced a certain lethargy: a sense of being unwilling or unable to respond to those current emergencies which do not yet have established narratives. In Betonhalle’s entrance corridor, Tenzin Phuntsog’s Dreams (2022) set up the exhibition’s dream-like ambience. The work portrays a sleeping couple— immigrants from Tibet to the US—floating in space against a quiet, blueish monochrome background. The pair reappear in a two-channel video, Pala Amala (2022), posing silently in nondescript settings. These large-screen, meditative works sat in contrast to the small, phone-like screens which …
              70th Berlin International Film Festival, “Forum Expanded”
              Leo Goldsmith
              Finding space for exhibitions within the sprawling architecture of a major film festival is a tricky affair. Berlinale’s packed schedule and multiple sidebars do not easily accommodate excursions to far-flung locations to see an assemblage of works of different lengths and modes of reception. Trickier still is the act of importing into a film festival context those discourses that are currently trending in the art world—at least in any way that doesn’t seem like a cynical bid for political relevancy. This year’s edition visibly wrestled with these problems, hosting three exhibitions that struggled to find coherence within the format of the larger festival—or to break free of it. For the last 15 editions, Berlinale has housed exhibition work under the aegis of Forum Expanded—itself a subsection of the International Forum for New Cinema, which has been organized by Arsenal–Institute for Film and Video Art since 1971. Taking as its remit “experimental film and video art for both cinema and exhibition contexts,” Forum Expanded presents a dozen or so theatrically presented film programs, panels, and exhibition works, which offers a certain contrast with the gala premieres and red-carpet photo-ops elsewhere in the festival. This year’s edition of Forum Expanded featured three …

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