Strategies of the Short Contemporary German Film and Video Art | Chicago Reader

Strategies of the Short Contemporary German Film and Video Art

These nine experimental works, curated by Ulrich Wegenast of Germany, lack any overarching theme, but several of them are excellent. Corinna Schnitt's The Sleeping Girl (2001) is a deceptively gentle, ultimately biting send-up of pompous new suburbs: a miniature sailboat plies a canal amid identical oversize houses, and slow, mechanical camera movements heighten the sprawling development's soulless order and uniformity. In Normality 1/2/3 (1999) video maker Hito Steyerl answers bigotry with transcendent music, pairing the passionate dissonances of Arnold Schoenberg, a Jew forced to flee the Nazis, with accounts of present-day anti-Semitism and police inaction in Germany. And in Nebel (2000) filmmaker Matthias Muller accompanies Ernst Jandl's short poems with imagery ranging from suggestive metaphor (a dog digs at the beach during a poem about loneliness) to literal illustration (a hand rips up a book during a poem defining the novel as “a story in which everything takes too long”). 81 min.

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