Berlin’s Fireflies Magazine Turns Film Criticism On Its Head
By Allison Krupp . October 16, 2017
This Saturday, film magazine Fireflies celebrates its fifth issue with a launch party at Wolf Kino in Neukölln.
The magazine is born of Berlin and Melbourne, created by Annabel Brady-Brown and Giovanni Marchini Camia. It’s independent, self-published, and non-profit: one of those things that makes you point and say, “Yes. That’s why I like Berlin.”
Fireflies is a dynamic take on film criticism, assembling an international group of writers, artists, and critics to celebrate two film directors. This time, they’re Germany’s Angela Schanelec, who’s famous for 1998’s Places in Cities, which was screened at Cannes, and Agnès Varda, a Belgium-born filmmaker who was central in French New Wave cinema.
Using personal essays, interviews, and other, creative pieces, Fireflies contributors fuel passionate homages and career retrospectives–and new ways to consider and view film.
Giovanni tells us, “There are no strict criteria for picking the filmmakers; our team just needs to be enthusiastic about their films and believe they lend themselves to the type of creative responses we’re after, such as fiction, poetry, experimental prose, and visual art.”
Fireflies: Not A Traditional Film Magazine
Fireflies isn’t high-brow, frigid bullshit. It reaches for you, “bridging the divide between readers who casually appreciate cinema and hardcore enthusiasts,” says Giovanni. It uses a fresh and engaging approach to criticize the filmmakers’ works. With less conventional approaches, contributors write poetry and creative prose, or use images inspired by the filmmakers’ works to forge new, artistic pathways. It’s a different way of viewing film. It’s making connections outside of the screen, lending new color, new life.
Berlin: The Second-Best European City for Cinephiles
According to Giovanni, we couldn’t be much luckier, in terms of cinemascapes, than being in Berlin. “Paris is still miles ahead in this regard,” he tells us. But independent cinemas, like Wolf Kino in Neukölln, are only lending texture to our city’s cinema culture.
Launch Party At Wolf Kino
Of this Saturday’s launch party, Giovanni tells us, “Three artists who contributed to the issue will each give live performances. They have created ambitious multidisciplinary works – video, sound and lecture performances – inspired by the issue’s two filmmakers, Angela Schanelec and Agnès Varda, of which their pieces published in the magazine are just the print component. At the launch, their contributions will extend beyond the printed page, inviting us to consider some of the myriad contemporary ways we can engage with cinema – which is precisely our intention with Fireflies.”