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ZERO IN THE UNIVERSE

USA, 1966 (MIFF 1966, Programme 17)

Director: George Moorse

The story of two enemies, business rivals, and perhaps conspirators - Zero and Steinmetz, and of Vivian, Zero's secretary and constant companion. Time, as well as moving in the ordinary sense, moves backward and forward in history and into projections of the future so that Zero and Steinmetz have no concrete identity except that which is revealed by their constant opposition. In the beginning they are partners but they split up, each taking half of everything. This does not work, and they are forced to negotiate; it is these negotiations which form the subject of the film.

This film is almost indescribable. It is like no other film ever made, and yet like every other film ever made. It is a parody, a spoof, a wild and endless chase for some unknown object, or message, or ideal, or what have you. Its hero is the richest and most powerful man in the world, who seems to be in conflict with everyone - even those supposedly working on the same side. There is a suspicion of surrealist James Bond at work, though perhaps the concept is closer to that of Mr. Arkadin than anything else. The film seems set to become one of the most controversial films of the decade.

Prize for Photography, Mannheim Festival.

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