Film Screening

Old Food

Ausgewählt von Ed Atkins

Material Witness OR A Liquid Cop
Ed Atkins, 2012
HD-Video, 19 min
In englischer Sprache

Hard to Be a God
Aleksej German, 2013
DCP, 177 min
In russischer Sprache mit englischen Untertiteln

  • Eintritt ab 16 Jahren

Vergangene Termine

Aleksei German’s “Hard to Be a God” is parabolic, though if you miss the very first bit of exposition, it might play out as historic and earth-bound, rather than futuristic and alien. It’s a sci-fi film, set on an alien planet that’s the same as Earth, but about 800 years behind. Only here, on this planet, a renaissance didn’t happen; “just a reaction to something that almost didn’t happen.” That thing that didn’t happen – along with so much expository narrative, characterisation, and respite – remains pretty much obscure for the duration of the movie. Instead, allegory clambers into the murk of the form, the substance of everything, the gunk, and transcendent meaning’s conceptual omission fair makes for the dreadful formation of idiocy and violence; meaninglessness as that which blooms at the violent rending of meaning.

A kind of intellectual pogrom is taking place in the movie, and it is being observed by disguised emissaries from a future planet earth. We follow one such emissary, Don Rubata, as he observes and tries not to alter proceedings – all the while in a position of intellectual power. But these plot points slip back into analogy and the medium, with the movie goading a sick parity; the sci-fi moniker triggering allegory, teasing out a dreadful, deniable satire of our world – a world that clings to ignorance and oppresses enlightenment – delivered right down the camera lens by characters that gawp and gurn like children. The camera is embodied by this constant fourth-wall breaking, and by its traipse through the scenery, which dangles and swaths like so much curtaining caul, buffeting and smearing the lens, following, as poorly as we, the action unfolding. The camera, as actor inside the film’s diegesis, radically affirms “Hard to Be a God” as sci-fi in the most complicated and affective way, gutting history, progress and truth, rendering a negatively inclined stasis. Like rotting, probably. Or like a camera dumped in the medieval mud of another planet. The camera’s casting inside the movie thwarts a remove that might make figuration lucid, insisting, instead, that we are in the press, jostled, shat on, lost. We’re left to feel the residue of meaning, of elevation, to sense its particulars as fantasy, hobbled by both superstition and insensible power. On and on, stumbling through shit. It’s not hard to see German’s film as allegory, but it is, importantly, hard to not feel inside of its allegorical subject. Hashtag immersion.