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80,000 SHOTS

Germany, 2002 (MIFF 2002, Documentaries)

Director: Manfred Walther

A captivating documentary and the result of thousands of hours of painstaking time lapse photography. With superstar architect Renzo Piano at the helm, Berlin's Potsdamer Platz between 1990 and 2001 was the worlds largest building site, a startling and innovative design. Director and photographer Manfred Walther has compressed over a decade of progress into 55 minutes, his camera moves through this enormous construction recording complex dangerous and intricate work blossoming before your eyes

Mammoth pieces of earth-moving equipment, men and machinery scurry about like diligent insects, demolishing, clearing and erecting. Pioneering building processes are trialled for the first time (how about slinging a river barge from a crane and using it as a giant bucket to empty millions of litres of water from flooded foundations!) and Walther's keen photographic eye captures dazzling compositional nuances, managing to make years of toil look like a sublimely choreographed technological ballet.

Complimented by a carefully assembled score of avant jazz, electronica and experimental beats, 80,000 Shots is a monumental screen achievement.

Manfred Wather (Berlin, 1961) has worked a freelance photographer for 22 years, runs his own studio and is the author of several photographic studies of Berlin's urban history. 80,000 Shots is Walther's first work for the big screen.

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