Home Stories, 1990, Matthias Müller

Reframing the Dream Factory

Home Stories Matthias Müller. DE 1990, 16mm, color, 6 min
Western Sunburn Karl Lemieux. CA, 2007, DCP (von 16mm), color and bw, 10 min
passage à l'acte Martin Arnold. AT, 1993, 16mm, bw, 12 min
Gerdi, zločesta vještica Ljubomir Šimunić. YU, 1973–76, DCP (von 8mm), color, 10 min*
Rose Hobart Joseph Cornell. US, 1936, 16mm, color, 20 min
Papillon d'amour Nicolas Provost. BE, 2003, DCP, bw, 4 min
Last Tango in Paris Miodrag Milošević. YU, 1983, DCP (von 16mm), color, 21 min*
Dichtung und Wahrheit Peter Kubelka. AT, 2003, 35mm, color, 13 min
la petite illusion Michaela Schwentner. AT, 2006, DCP, color, 4 min
Classical fiction features, whether from the Hollywood factory or elsewhere, usually tell their stories along familiar lines. Often they reinforce the myths of the respective society and cultural systems because they are trying to project the desires of people to repeatedly fulfill the same wishes. On the other hand, avant-garde production using archival material is in opposition to the prevalent stories and their conventional mise-en-scène. As the artists realign the context of images and sounds, they open spaces for contemplation reaching beyond the original meaning and illusionist effect of films. Sometimes it is enough to rework one sequence to bring out the artificiality and social determinism of a character, as in the family breakfast scene reconfigured by Martin Arnold or with the famous excerpt from Rashomon used by Nicolas Provost. The stereotypes found in melodramas and their emotional forms of expression etched into gestures and faces are particularly suited for deconstruction – especially the voyeuristic gaze directed at female stars, like in the works of Matthias Müller and Joseph Cornell. But there is also the option of deliberately frustrating expectations, instead foregrounding painterly or abstract qualities of film and video material, as demonstrated by Western Sunburn, Last Tango in Paris and la petite illusion. The production of commercials is another dream factory: Peter Kubelka purposefully edits outtakes and despite abstaining from aesthetic interventions elevates the material to the level of absurd parody. (Brigitta Burger-Utzer)

*Courtesy of Academic Film Center Belgrade

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