Journeys from Berlin/1971. 1980. USA. Directed by Yvonne Rainer. With Annette Michelson, Cynthia Beatt, and the voices of Vito Acconci and Amy Taubin. 125 min.
Presenting the world premiere of Journeys from Berlin/1971 in a new MoMA restoration—and in tribute to the film’s leading performer, scholar Annette Michelson, who died this past September—artist-choreographer Yvonne Rainer revisits one of her most ambitious efforts, a caustic, digressive, and at times funny meditation on psychoanalysis, violence, mass ornament, and mass hysteria, a film rich with non-sequiturs that ricochet from Rosalind Russell and Stonehenge to Leon Trotsky and Ulrike Meinhoff. “Is Journeys from Berlin/1971 autobiography or fiction?,” Rainer asks. “Is it dadaist vaudeville or legitimate filmic research?.... Are its armchair terrorists and self-absorbed narcissists worthy of being made to voice serious moral-political concerns?”
New 16mm preservation by The Museum of Modern Art with funding provided by the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation; courtesy Zeitgeist Films