Angela Schanelec - Marseille (2004)

The first movie of the "Berliner Schule" ("La Nouvelle Vague Allemande" Cahiers Du Cinema) that gained international recognition with it being screened in the "Un certain regard"-section of Cannes Film Festival 2004.

After the very sparse white on black of the opening credits we see the back of Sophie's head. She's in a car, she speaks awkward French, the woman who drives gets out, gets her a map, of Marseille. We learn, very soon, that they are exchanging apartments, the other woman, her name, we learn later, is Zelda, will go to Berlin and Sophie will stay, for a few weeks, in Marseille. Zelda says: Guten Tag, Auf Wiedersehen, Mein Freund, der Baum, ist tot - the latter phrase being a German song by a German singer who died young. Zelda disappears, Sophie stays. Zelda very literally disappears because there won't be a trace of her when Sophie will return to Berlin. The Marseille apartment, empty, unlived in as it is, will have been a gift, something inexplicably given in a film that ends with something - almost a life - taken.

Sophie, for the first third of the film, is in Marseille. She walks around, she takes pictures. She looks at the pictures, she moves without a direction, the camera is with her, sometimes distant, sometimes following her closely. Sophie is a stranger in a strange world, she sometimes seems cut off from her surroundings. We hear sounds, we see her face but the background is blurred. She does not seem unhappy, she does not seem happy. She does not talk much and she always thinks for a long time when she is asked. In the end she will be asked what it is she photographs. She will think for half a minute (or perhaps she does not think, but simply refuses to answer, to herself, to the policeman who asks) and then she says: The streets.

We do not know much of her and we do not learn much of her in these minutes we spend in Marseille, walking around with her. She meets a young man from a garage, who lends her his car, she drives around, which we don't see. There is a lot we don't see - although it takes some time to realize how much. She meets the young man in a bar, they drink, a friend arrives who insults Sophie, for no reason. Sophie and Pierre, the young man, walk up in a street that is lit in brownish golden light and they sleep with each other, which we don't see (and, really, don't know). The next night they dance.

One very sharp cut later Sophie is back in Berlin, she is approached by a young woman who returns a cap to her, a cap she has left in a McDonald's restaurant before she went to Marseille. There is more she has left, or rather: she has run away from. (At least this is what can - but does not have to be - inferred.) There is Ivan, a photographer she might be in love with. There is Hanna, an actress, Ivan's girl friend, their son Anton. We learn more about Ivan, we learn more about Hanna. We see Ivan taking pictures of women workers in a factory, without an explanation. We just see and watch. We watch the women from a sidewards angle, then we watch Ivan taking the pictures, then we watch the woman from Ivan's perspective. They talk, but not much. We just hear and see and watch. There is a lot we see - although it takes some time to realize how much. We are left with these images. They remain unexplained and they don't explain what we see. "Marseille" has a bewildering structure, switching from the elliptical cut (shocking, really) to the insistent gaze (frustrating first, but amazing after all).

For ten minutes, at least, we watch a rehearsal. Hanna plays a minor role in a Strindberg play. The same scene is rehearsed three times. We watch the man talking to the woman in an aggressive Strindberg way and we see Hanna entering the stage. Then the camera moves to the left and we watch the woman answering to the man in an aggressive Strindberg way. This time we don't see Hanna entering the stage. When leaving she makes a mistake, she adds a word that does not belong in her line. We see her then off stage, cowering. Hanna is not happy. She is not happy with David, she suffers from unexplainable pain. We do not learn much more about her. Sophie is out of sight for quite some time. We start doubting if this is really her story we are told. Oh yes, it is, but Schanelec refuses to follow her and her story in linear fashion. Ivan's taking of pictures, Hanna's rehearsal become important, not so much as explanations for their behaviour, just as the parts of their lives Schanelec has decided to follow.

Sophie then returns to Marseille and after the most daring ellipsis we see her at a police station, in a yellow dress. She sits, then she talks, then she does not talk for half a minute. She is asked what it is she photographs. The streets, she says after what seems a very long time. She cries. We see her on a sidewalk, the camera moving parallel to her. She crosses the street, the camera remains on the sidewalk, Sophie is moving away from it. Then she stops and the camera stops. She enters the German consulate. In Schanelec's (and cinematographer Reinhold Vorschneider's) films you see the most intelligent and subtle travellings imaginable - and even mor effective as they starkly contrast with a lot of very long, very static takes that just make you watch and see.

"Marseille" ends with a series of takes on the beach. It is getting dark, the streetlamps are switched on. We see Sophie in her yellow dress, distant, moving, we see the sea and there is a strange kind of consolation in this image of the dress, Sophie, the sea.

Language: French/German Subtitles: English

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at 11:59 AM  

EMAF 2006: Stories Behind the Screen (2002-2005)

The collection Stories Behind the Screen presents ten videos from European media artists, which tell stories in a variety of ways that differ from the kind of story-telling we are used to from Hollywood. Most of the videos work without language or text, putting their visual effect into foreground. They show new, interesting and some very entertaining approaches in the international media art scene.

They were shown at the European Media Art Festival (EMAF) in Osnabrück, Germany, in spring 2006.
The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) is one of the most extensive media art events world-wide. As a forum for international media art, the EMAF presents films, videos, performances, multimedia installations and digital media.


1. Nummer Twee | NL | 2003 | 03:03
Realisation: Guido van der Werve
Performer: Guido van der Werve, Magnus Logi Kristensson, Will Trumpie, Margie Oosten, Marloes Meents, Celine Kraal, Rachel Meibergen, Zunaira Choudry
Choreograph: Elisabeth Lambeck
Camera, Light: Ben Geraerts
Sound: Casper Lambeck
Photographer, Focus: Willem K. van der Jagt
Distribution: Netherlands Media Art Institute – Montevideo, Amsterdam

When Guido van der Werve is hit by a car in Nummer Twee, it’s not unusual for dancing ballerinas to take their leave of him.

2. Light Body Corpuscules | B | 2004 | 06:26
Realisation: Antonin De Bemels, Gordon Delap
Concept, photography, editing: Antonin De Bemels
Dancers: Melanie Munt, Ugo Dehaes
Electro-acoustic composition: Gordon Delap
Lighting design: Laurence Halloy
Distribution: Antonin De Bemels

The body of light in Antonin de Bemels’ and Gordon Delap’s video Light Body Corpuscles is a play with light, enabling the discovery of a real body.

3. Safety Tips for Kids | GB | 2003 | 5:12
Realisation: Roz Mortimer
Distribution: Wonderdog Productions, London

Newspaper articles about the disappearance of English children are the starting point of a critical discussion about abuse and the dependence of charges in Roz Mortimer’s Safety Tips For Kids.

4. Hanoi | GB | 2004 | 03:47
Realisation: Lucia Helenka
Script: based on a text by Marguerite Duras
Narration: Catherine Deneuve
Distribution: Lucia Helenka

While Hanoi by Lucia Helenka is an enigmatic and slowly invasive journey to the heart, Calling 911 by Jan de Bruin deals with the idea of reality in the American society.

5. Calling 911 | NL | 2004 | 06:06
Realisation & Distribution: Jan de Bruin

6. Living a Beautiful Life | D | 2003 | 13:21
Realisation: Corinna Schnitt
Performer: Diana Imber, Michael Gianelli
Found Footage: >Der Katzenprinz<, Defa-Film, 1970
Camera: Philipp Lachenmann, May Rigler
Sound: Jens Brand
Light: Philipp Schmitz, Detlef Issel

It can be suspected from Corinna Schnitt’s Living a Beautiful Life that there is more than meets the eye to the depicted intact American family.

7. L'Axe du Mal / Axis of Evil | CDN/F | 2003 | 04:36
Realisation: Pascal Lièvre
Distribution: Vidéographe, Canada

The Axis of Evil is the subject of Pascal Lièvre’s music video of the same name.

8. Optimizer Customizer | NL | 2002 | 12:09
Realisation: Jan van Nuenen
Concept, photography, editing: Jan van Nuenen
Sound: Jan van Nuenen, Martijn van den Berg
Music: Martijn van den Berg

In the animated work Optimizer Customizer by Jan van Nuenen a feminine machine, over-stuffed with the most modern nano-technology, proceeds with her endlessly repeating task.

9. Perpetual Motion in the Land of Milk and Honey | GB | 2004 | 6:10
Realisation: AL + AL
Distribution: Acme Studios

The future we know from SciFi and Orwellian premonitions has become an integral part of our world today. Perpetual Motion in the Land of Milk and Honey by AL + AL delivers the positive proof: we have already arrived in the future.

10. On a Wednesday Night in Tokyo | D | 2004 | 5:40
Realisation & Distribution: Jan Verbeek

A perfunctory activity it would seem is presented in On a Wednesday Night in Tokyo by Jan Verbeek – but in Tokyo it turns into a ritualised magic show, which fascinates the viewer with the question: is it staged or reality?

All films are XVID (not my rip).
Running time 70 min.

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at 4:48 PM  

Hatred of Capitalism, A Semiotext(e) Reader edited by Chris Kraus and Sylvère Lotringer

Compiled in 2001 to commemorate the passing of an era, Hatred of Capitalism brings together highlights of Semiotext(e)'s most beloved and prescient works. Semiotext(e)'s three-decade history mirrors the history of American thought. Founded by French theorist and critic Sylvere Lotringer as a scholarly journal in 1974, Semiotext(e) quickly took on the mission of melding French theory with the American art world and punk underground. Its Foreign Agents, Native Agents, Active Agents and Double Agents imprints have brought together thinkers and writers as diverse as Gilles Deleuze, Assata Shakur, Bob Flanagan, Paul Virillio, Kate Millet, Jean Baudrillard, Michelle Tea, William S. Burroughs, Eileen Myles, Ulrike Meinhof, and Fanny Howe. In Hatred of Capitalism, editors Kraus and Lotringer bring these people together in the same volume for the first time.

Chris Kraus is a filmmaker and the author of I Love Dick and Aliens & Anorexia, and coeditor of Hatred of Capitalism: A Semiotext(e) Reader. Index
called her "one of the most subversive voices in American fiction." Her work has been praised for its damning intelligence, vulnerability and dazzling speed.

Professor of French Literature and Philosophy at Columbia University and founder of Semiotext(e), Sylvère Lotringer is widely credited
for having introduced poststructuralist theories in America. He has coedited Hatred of Capitalism (Semiotext(e), 2002), with Chris Kraus, and French Theory in America, with Sande Cohen. Semiotext(e) has published his book length dialogues with Paul Virilio, Pure War (1998), Crepuscular Dawn (2003), and The Accident of Art (2005).

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at 1:47 PM  

Lessons Of Darkness(1992) by Werner Herzog

An apocalyptic vision featuring the oilwell fires in Kuwait after the Gulf-War, as a whole world burst into flames. This film is stylized as science fiction, as there is not a single shot in which you can recognize our planet.

Lessons of Darkness at IMDB.

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at 8:56 PM  

Pirate Cinema Copenhagen

The danish version of pirate cinema will have a screening 20:00 the 3th of january 2007 at culture box. As you can see on their page(i couldn't), they have screenings every wednesday.

at 5:44 PM