The Arcades Project on Film

Filmmaker and art historian Judith Wechsler has made a beautiful film about Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project, entitled, appropriately enough, The Passages of Walter Benjamin. The film was completed in 2014, but it's still making the rounds, which is good to know.

The Passages of Walter Benjamin – Trailer from Benjamin Reichman on Vimeo.

It situates the Arcades Project in the political and artistic context of the 1920's and 1930's, when Benjamin was actively working on the project. In this trailer, for example, you can see segments from Walter Ruttmann's Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (1927). The story Wechsler tells will be familiar to Benjamin scholars, but the presentation is evocative and the experts interviewed in the film–Howard Eiland, Susan Buck-Morss, Sigrid Weigel and others–are top-notch.

The Passages of Walter Benjamin isn't in general release, but it pops up here and there, most recently at Duke University. You can get the exhibition schedule and the DVD by contacting Wechsler directly

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