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 ), Film Ist is playful and serious in equal measure.