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Austria, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Captured - Recycled: Old, Used and Abused)

Director: Gustav Deutsch

Gustav Deutsch's magnificent Film Ist recycles every­thing from footage purchased in a flea-market (old Mexican soap-opera colour tests used by a cleaning lady to scrub floors) through to 35mm stock used to run an early German computer. An ongoing project, Film Ist is structured in a series of chapters on the properties of cinema: movement and time; light and darkness; an instrument; material; a blink of an eye; a mirror. Deutsch's research has its basis in science, his project akin to the work of Edward Muybridge, Lev Kuleshov and the various perception and response studies of the sci­entific and educational films he reworks. His command of editing and sublime use of sound set up a series of associations that attest to the durability of cinema and the imagination.

A cinema of reference, not only to the technologi­cal developments of photography and sound, but to the history of their poetic application. A bullet passes through an ostrich egg, a bridge undulates wildly, a skeleton speaks the history of film speed. From the absurd to the surreal (be warned of an 'eye' shot to rival Un Chien Andalou [1928]), Film Ist is playful and serious in equal measure.

See also...

World mirror cinema

Austria, The Netherlands, 2005
In this new-found footage work by Gustav Deutsch (Film Ist), three historical camera pans take in the streets and squares of Vienna, Surabaya and Porto. They provide a starting point for reflecting o… More »


Austria, 2009
“A film is a girl and a gun.” - D.W. Griffith ... Gustav Deutsch puts the famous axiom to the test with this continuation of his Film ist. project, delivering his most stunning and erotically cha… More »

Eyewitnesses in Foreign Countries

Filmmaker Deutsch adapted his camera so it could only make three-second shots. He then travelled to Morocco and filmed three hundred of these three-second shots. Co-director Mustafa Tabbou did the sa… More »


Austria, 1996
Film Speaks Many Languages is a reworking of 21 fragments of a feature film made in India found in Casablanca and reworked in Vienna used to (re)construct a one minute story in four parts dictated by… More »

FILM IST. 7–12

Austria, 2002
Gustav Deutsch's Film ist. 1-6 intrigued MIFF 2000 audiences with its collection of rare and bizarre scientific footage. The follow-up project, Film ist. 7-12, adopts a similar structure of six theme… More »

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