Gustav Deutsch (Austria)


Film ist.
Direction, research: Gustav Deutsch
Austria, 1998, 60 min, 16mm

Film ist. is an “experimental” film in the most radical sense of the word. Most of its material comes from situations where film is only used in clinical tests, either for measuring or observation purposes.

The films by Austrian Gustav Deutsch are based on found footage. In his principal work Film ist. images from educational films and science programmes are filtered into a new kind of modern poetry. The trajectories of planets and birds, the movements of microbes and water, x-rays, optical illusions...Deutsch combines unrelated things into mysterious, rhythmic entities by silencing the rationalizing voiceovers accompanying his source material. The lyrical soundtrack, made up of sound effects and carefully chosen excerpts of music, elegantly emphasizes the film’s meditative feeling and gives these “emotionless” pictures totally surprising meanings. MT

“When Muybridge or Marey produced their first scientific films, they not only invented the technique of cinema but also created the purest aesthetics of it. This is the miracle of scientific film, its unfailing paradox. Only at the extreme end of profit-seeking utilitarian research, when aesthetic purposes as such are most sternly rejected, cinematic beauty will follow with supernatural grace.” (André Bazin, “Accidental Beauty”)

Friday 9.11.2001 - Kiasma Theatre
16:00 - Screening of Film ist.