The humans are watching something. It is not quite certain what they are watching, but as they are drawing and looking at their object in art class, highly concentrated, it must be a model. It actually is a model, but what the humans are drawing is not a person, not a live model, but an animal. A stuffed deer is their model, and this brilliant exposition already tells us what this film, Bestiaire, is all about: producing images of animals.
Author: Toby Ashraf
This week something exceptional is happening – a film will be shown in Berlin for an entire week although it doesn’t have a distribution company. What does that mean? It means there won’t be any advertising and probably no reviews apart from this one. There will be no more than one copy of the film and there won’t be a professional structure to make this film public – and be seen.
What has happened?
It’s very rare that a film gives you goose pimples after only two and a half minutes. There is a prologue to Oslo, 31. August that is so beautiful and enigmatic that, if for some reason you have to leave the cinema right after it, you won’t regret having bought a ticket. What unfolds is a rapid montage of vintage footage, intimate shots of Oslo, and bits of home video. We listen as many different people recall personal details and situations that link them to the town of Oslo and their lives there.
Appearances are deceptive. The star of this film, the Alps, has been photographed and painted countless times, its images have been reproduced, and its postcards have become a cliché of the postcard genre itself. Over the years, the Alps have become a construction and a fantasy, a wish and a projection of our desires. It is shocking to realize that what we have been taking for granted is not quite what it seems. Hannes Lang’s amazing feature film debut, Peak, suggests: The Alps don’t exist anymore.
When we buried my grandmother’s ashes two months ago, my four-year-old niece asked my sister how it was possible to fit grandma into a baking oven. The entire ceremony, though a sad farewell, opened my eyes to the absurdities that we face when it comes to death. Or rather, to how death seems to be the last great taboo in the society in which I grew up.