some words written on our common filmworks TOUTES DIRECTIONS (experimental road movie), THE (abstract horror movie) and BRING ME THE HEAD OF HENRI CHRÉTIEN! (abstract western movie / vertical cinema project)

Alejandro Bachmann about ‘Toutes Directions’

The beginning: a camera lens that gazes downward, tight against the street as though along the groove on a record. The camera as sound head, scanning the world rather than recording it, generating sounds from the structures of the landscapes passing by: a consistent gliding along the nearly flawless asphalt turns into an LP´s soft sizzling, hissing, static; speeding up the trip generates cacophonies, at times even melodies, which coincide with every new structure of the world in front of the sound head, to then fit together again to something beyond mere noise.

“All directions,” as the title states, describes both the movements of the image (along the world, into the pictorial depth, upward in treetops rushing by, and downward, gazing at the crumbling patina of the country road) as well as an aesthetic experience, which is presented by the visual as music, the acoustic as motion picture, and the real world as abstract pattern. A thirteen-minute road movie into the night in which real things blur in order to appear as pure form, pure movement, pure light, and pure sound.

Maike Mia Höhne, Berlinale Shorts about ‘THE’

The borders between abstract and concrete are suspended. Gauging space for the sake of orientation is impossible. Sometimes, the chance to understand, to orientate, flares up for a split-second – only to disappear in the next instant. Vertigo.

Alejandro Bachmann about ‘THE’

In the second part, the vague fear in the mind becomes a very concrete work of terror on the body. Here, the abstract form becomes a solid, visceral surface, which ripples and bends, shifts, and rips open. The image itself spews forth wafting masses, becomes a shadow mask, which for its part, attempts to shut them away again, begins to pulsate rhythmically, and like a body, breathe and scream. THE is an impressive work about the psychic and haptic power of the abstract experience, a reduction—and even more—a feeding back of brashly displayed bodily wounds and less subtle cheap showmanship of torture porn images into the audiovisual medial core: “The Medium is the Massage.”

(D.K. & B.R. about ‘ Bring Me The Head Of Henri Chrétien!’)

There’s no sentiment as bold as the one in a duel shot in cinemascope. There’s no emotional drop height as big as in abstract vertical movies.

Billy Roisz and Dieter Kovačič explore the world of cinematic formats based on the genre that experimented with the width of the screen to display spectacular landscapes: Western movies and their wide span of (male) heroism between life and death. The music and imagery of Bring Me The Head Of Henri Chrétien! are thus based on Westerns and their soundtracks. Spaghetti Westerns such as Once Upon a Time in the West with their distinct epic atmospheres were a great source of inspiration and artistic booty. The largely abstract soundtrack amplifies and structures the story of challenge, conquest, success and failure.

Visually, Billy Roisz’ disquisition about the colours of 1960s and 1970s movies layers harmonically with Dieter Kovačič’s mostly monochromatic research into structural patterns in duels and carriage rides. The film is screened in vertical cinemascope and takes the format into account in several ways – e.g., the opening shot (pun intended) that morphs from horizontal to vertical cinemascope, or the panning shot across a horizontally mirrored landscape that makes the vertical display window act as a scanner – amplifying details in a decelerated movement. Finally, and in spite of all formal and aesthetic playfulness, Bring Me The Head Of Henri Chrétien! is nevertheless a classical Western movie.