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Mosaic Mécanique
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All shots of the slapstick comedy “A Film Johnnie” (USA, 1914) are shown simultaneously in a symmetrical grid, one after the other. Each scene, from one cut to the next, from the first to the last frame, is looped. A pulsing visual polyrhythm is produced as a result, because of the shots’ varying lengths. The total length of the mosaic film corresponds precisely to that of the original. (production note)

For the artist Fernand Leger (1881-1955), the promise of film as a new art form lay in its potential to exhibit the visual, to present an image rather than tell a story. This attribute characteristic of early cinema, a ’cinema of attractions’ (Tom Gunning), has been directly associated with avant-garde film in terms of visual exhibitionism as well as the construction of an audience that is both directly addressed and activly engaged.

Norbert Pfaffenbichler takes this formal and historical connection as a point of departure for MOSAIK MÈCANIQUE - his title deriving from Leger’s sole experimental film, Ballet Mecanique (F 1924), and Peter Kubelka’s first film, Mosaik in Vertrauen (A 1955). An incomprehensible mass of teeming objects, movements, and performers is unfolded in CinemaScope. The screen is structured by a grid of 7 x 14 image apertures or windows which singlehandedly seem to keep the chaos in check and aspire to the possibility of a unity. A title vignette indicates that the source material is from the slapstick comedy, A Film Johnny (USA 1914), in which Charlie Chaplin continuously confuses the movie set with ’reality’. It is presented by 98 shots running in parallel loops. MOSAIK MÈCANIQUE thus dissolves the linearity of its analog source material. The film in its entirety, including head and tail leader, is digitally translated and thereby unspooled from the reel and broken open. Spatial structure replaces the temporal, synchronicity replaces chronology.
The audience is not only confronted with an unmediated visuality, it is torn back and forth between an analytic way of seeing rhythmic patterns or refracting motifs, and the impulse to (re)construct a plot. Picture and sound - Bernhard Lang composed an analog soundtrack in conjunction with the film loops – demand undivided attention.
The mosaic presented is a kaleidoscope or a crystal that short-circuits temporal and spatial dimensions as well as different media and their historicity. (Claudia Slanar)

Translation: Eve Heller

1967 in Steyr. 1994-2001 University of Applied Arts, MK for Media. Artist and curator, various participations in festivals and exhibitions, founding member of VIDOK and lanolin.
List of Movies

36 // 2001
a1b2c3 // 2006
notes on film 01 else // 2002
Notes on Film 02 // 2005 bis 2006
notes on MAZY // 2003
quadro // 2002
santora // 1998
traxdata // 1998
Wirehead // 1997

Michaela GRILL
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Film adatok

Category: MEDIAWAVE Festival / Gathering / MEDIAWAVE 2008

Genre: Experimental

Nationalities: Austria

Year: 2008

Film adatok

Director: Norbert PFAFFENBICHLER

9 min. 2008 35mm, Black & White, szöveg nélkül

Distribution: sixpackfilm

Screenplay: Norbert Pfaffenbichler

Zeneszerző: Bernhard Lang

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