TDTKs December 2010



An investigation into ‘found footage’ film; the appropriation of one film to create another. Starting with Cornell’s groundbreaking masterpiece and then fast forwarding to more recent examples. All these films explore reassembly, montage, collage and deconstruction. The artists here are strategic anarchists, placing bombs in the heart of narrative conventions.
“The cinema of Hollywood is a cinema of exclusion, reduction and denial, a cinema of repression. There is always something behind that which is being represented, which was not represented. And it is exactly that that is most interesting to consider.” (Martin Arnold)


Joseph Cornell            Rose Hobart                        (US / 16mm / 17mins / 1937)

The first and greatest American Surrealist, Joseph Cornell is best known for his mysterious assemblages and boxes. Rose Hobart consists almost entirely of footage taken from East of Borneo, a 1931 jungle B-film starring the nearly forgotten actress Rose Hobart. Cornell condensed the 77-minute feature into a 17-minute short, removing virtually every shot that didn’t feature Hobart. Cornell holds Hobart in a state of semi-suspension, turning the film itself into a sort of box. She moves her hands, shifts her gaze, gestures briefly, smiles enigmatically, perhaps steps slightly to the side, and little more. The world appears as a sort of strange theatre, staged for her alone.


Lisl Ponger                        Passagen                        ( DE / 16mm / 12mins /1996 )

Lisl Ponger´s film investigates the circumstances of places and their territorial occupation by the camera, and these seemingly innocent family travel shots slowly begin to take on another dimension when coupled with the sound track The end product is never just about surfaces or recording events ; it questions the core function filmic representation has in reflecting and propagating cultural values.


Peter Tscherkassky                        Outer Space             (AU / 35mm / 10mins / 1999)

A thriller, suggesting a convulsive hall of mirrors, Outer Space reinvents a 1981 Barbara Hershey horror film. A young woman. Night. She enters a house. A dark corridor. Distorted music gives way to explosions, screams and garbled voices, the actress’s face multiplies across the screen as the frame is invaded by sprocket holes, an optical soundtrack, and flashes of solarized imagery.



Volker Schreiner            Countdown                        (DE / video / 6.5mins / 2004)

Schreiner extracted sequences with numbers from many movies, both classic and obscure. Using these short fragments he compiled a countdown starting from the number 266. Through the simple idea he demonstrates a mastery of montage, drawing us into a reflexive reading of images and creating real suspense.


Martin Arnold               Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (AU /16mm/ 14mins/ 1998)

In this film, Arnold stitches together scenes from three Andy Hardy teen movies, starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Through rigorous forensic editing and reprocessing techniques he stretches out moments that last only seconds in the original.
Deconstructing image and sound, Arnold creates a new narrative of sexual desire revealing layers of unsettling emotions previously repressed inside the narrative.