New German Experimental Films

For many years, the German avant-garde or experimental film has been represented by the same, already well-known filmmakers.

In the meantime, though, a new generation has emerged which also makes films with great energy. Conscious of the achievements and problems of the international avant-garde film, the young filmmakers are developing their own individual ways of expression, yet they all have in common that their point of departure is not the narrative content but media imminent problems. They deal with the reproductive process, the material, and the phenomena of perception.

Rüdiger Neumann in his film Random City creates a statistical picture of a German land- and cityscape. While the shooting locations within the Federal Republic of Germany are determined by a random number generator, the filmmaker himself decides the number and the kind of takes which are executed at each location in the same manner. System (through take) and random (through the unforeseeable situation at the shooting location) create an extremely tense statement about the process of cinematic reproduction of reality (1978, 45 mins, color).

By using mirror reflections Rotraut Pape in Sub-Level translates a spatial context, the procession through her apartment, into a constantly changing picture in which the differences between real and reflected parts can no longer be differentiated. From time to time she and other persons appear in random poses or in fragments of movement. The immediacy of change, but especially the person of Rotraut Pape herself, are reminiscent of Maya Deren whose work, for the first time, has found a present day continuation (1978, 23 mins, color).

In his film Cutter, Birger Bustorff deals with cuts and montage. He works with found footage as well as with staged and documentary sequences, and he combines them into an apparent continuity by constantly creating new spatial and temporal connections (1978, 10 mins, color).

In Transplus by Alf Olbrich, five different pictorial elements are repeated in constant variations according to the law of the mathematical Fibonachi sequence based on natural relations of proportion. A continuous real scene is rhythmically interrupted by black and color sequences and has to be pieced together again by the viewer (1978, 10 mins, color).

Klaus Telscher, too, uses found footage in his film Visit at the Television Studio. He pieces fragments from documentaries of the fifties together with scratched black film. Thus, consciously and wittily, he brings into relation the various contents that are represented in the real as well as in the abstract material (as a historical quotation) (1978, 3 mins).
In Changes Rainer Hoeft returns to the most elementary photographic means in order to create new pictorial results: According to the principle of the “camera obscura” he films an interior by replacing the lens of the camera with various simple hole shutters (1979, 9 mins).

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