Werner Nekes – Uliisses (1982)

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The film is a Homeric journey through the history of cinema. Its theme is based on the mythological Odysseus of Homer, the Ulysses of James Joyce, and the synthetic figure, Telemach/Phil, from the 24-hour-long piece «The Warp,» by Neil Oram. Werner Nekes combines these three figures, and he shows their stories within the history of «lighterature,» writing with light = film. His central theme, however, is visual language in of itself: Odysseus/Bloom is transformed into Uli the Photographer, Penelope/Molly into his model, and Telemach/Stephen into Phil, who begins his «Telemachia». The connecting of their three lives occurs during the course of a single day, in September of 1980, in Germany’s industrial Ruhrgebiet region, preceding the elections in the Federal Republic. Continue reading

Ulrike Ottinger – Freak Orlando (1981)

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As Orlando (Magdalena Montezuma) enters the world of “freaks,” the movie develops scenes from a mythological netherworld, the Spanish Inquisition, the Middle Ages, and a few other settings to focus on unusual characters with physical or mental oddities. By the time the various vignettes that take place in these separate periods are completed, each with their own points and counterpoints, the “freaks” seem much less odd than their physically normal contemporaries. After Orlando has revealed much about the human condition through glimpses of a P.T. Barnum side-show, Siamese twins, as well as modern sexual morés, her journey with the viewer is completed. The device of Orlando, the time-traveler and liberated bisexual is based on Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando: A Biography.” The same set of actors play different roles in each of the five chronological segments. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi Continue reading

Kurt Hoffmann – Das fliegende Klassenzimmer AKA The Flying Classroom (1954)

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Synopsis:
All is not really well between the boys of Gymnasium and the boys of the six-form High School: sparks fly when they get within 100m of each other! The continuous feud between the pupils is only one of the pleasant alternations, which life brings into the everyday school life. In addition, there are the rehearsals for the school theatre; and there are the secrets around a teacher called ‘Justus’ and a man called ‘Nichtraucher’ or the “non-smoker” since he lives in an abandoned non-smoking railway carriage. Moreover, in between all the exciting surprises, a few serious things remain to be done… Continue reading

Detlef Siebert – The Man Who Discovered Capitalism (2016)

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The Film has three narratives:

the story of Schumpeter’s life,

the development of his ideas,

and how the digital revolution illustrates these ideas.
Stylized drama sequences, in combination with Monthy Python inspired cut out animations, illustrate key aspects of Schumpeter’s life and theory.Successful entrepreneurs such as Simon Woodroffe (Yo!Sushi), Eric Wahlforss (Soundcloud), Stefan Smalle (Westwing) and Renaud Visage (Eventbrite) share the secrets of their success and offer insights into what it takes to be the innovative entrepreneur who Schumpeter identified as the key actor in the capitalist drama. Continue reading

Harun Farocki – Bilder der Welt und Inschrift des Krieges AKA Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1989)

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Quote:
The vanishing point of is the conceptual image of the ‘blind spot’ of the evaluators of aerial footage of the IG Farben industrial plant taken by the Americans in 1944. Commentaries and notes on the photographs show that it was only decades later that the CIA noticed what the Allies hadn’t wanted to see: that the Auschwitz concentration camp is depicted next to the industrial bombing target. (At one point during this later investigation, the image of an experimental wave pool – already visible at the beginning of the film – flashes across the screen, recognizably referring to the biding of the gaze: for one’s gaze and thoughts are not free when machines, in league with science and the military, dictate what is to be investigated. Continue reading

Klaus Wyborny – Studien zum Untergang des Abendlands AKA Studies for the Decay of the West (Song of the Earth, Appendix) (1979–2010)

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Quote:
In Wyborny’s ‘musical film’, every new sound triggers a new image: 6,299 shots, all directly edited within his Super-8 camera. An intoxicating, stroboscopic trip to industrial, natural and urban landscapes in East Africa, New York, the Ruhr district and Rimini.

This experimental music film refers to Oswald Spengler’s world-famous philosophical work Der Untergang des Abendslandes (The Decay of the West, 1918). Culture pessimist Spengler argues that progress is an illusion and that the modern era brings little good. People are no longer able to understand the rationality of the world. Wyborny did not set out to make a film version of Spengler’s theories, but rather a visual reflection on the modern age; a stroboscopic journey in five parts to industrial, natural and urban landscapes. He uses 6,299 shots, edited directly in a Super8 camera. Each piano note and violin vibrato evokes a new image: demolished buildings, rubble, destruction and nature, all shot between 1979 and 2010 in locations such as New York, the Ruhr, Hamburg, East Africa and Rimini. This film forms a counterpart to Wyborny’s previous films series Eine andere Welt. Lieder der Erde II (2004/2005). Continue reading