16mm, black and white, 8 min
16mm Rental: $20.00
1981-1987 Karl Kels
16mm, color, 27 min
1981 karl kels (heuballen) "Karl Kels's first film is a playful short piece comprised od shots of haystacks in the countryside. Quick repetition of frames and the dance-like rhythm in which the frames are combined create an illusion of movement within the single shot in which no actual movement takes place, save for one passing car. The combination of diffrent images in short sequences forces a new reality upon the haystacks, making them move in every possible direction. Short as it is, this debut already puts its finger upon some of the characteristics that have remained of great importance throughout Kels' entire work so far: the inseparable world of the single frame and time as an artistic controlling device."--Myriam van Lier 1982 karl kels (kondensstreifen) "(...) at the heart of KONDENSSTREIFEN is an event which is unique and unstaged, and which is unlikly to ever repeat itself. The plane crosses the screen from the left to the upper right corner. Halfway on its journey, a bird flies into the frame and crosses the plane's condensation trail exactly at its very end, making a perfectly sharp diagonal as it slowly reaches for its lower right corner. Within the hasty and fragmented reality of the film, the bird's apperance suddenly displays a spacious and endless quality."-- Myriam van Lier 1983 karl kels (schleuse) "Six shots of water are brought together in a composition in which rhythmical combinations of frames, presented in a repetitive but slighly varying sequences, build up a silent yet dramatically developing performance.(...)Again, qualities of time and movement prevail in the creation of a highly sensual cinema in which logic is replaced by a new order."--Myriam van Lier 1987 karl kels (bowery/fragment) "In 1986 Kels received a fellowship that allowed him to study at Cooper Union in New york. During his stay there, Kels spent some six month at the Bowery in Lower Manhattan. He began hanging out with the less fortunate who eke out an existence in cheap hotels or on the street, and became friendly with many of them. In the lives of the mostly male alcoholics who survive on open comradery and cheap alcohol, he discoverd a rich unstaged world, which he slowly started to film. BOWERY/FRAGMENT is but a short fragmant of what a final film on this subject could offer, yet it stands by itself and clearly bears the director's mark. Against the background of a run-down Prince Hotel we see men who pass time together, deliberately portrayed by Kels' clear eye for framing and detail, and yet whose acts and movements cannot be controlled."--Myriam van Lier 1987 karl kels (nashoerner) "It is at the end of this film that the rhinoceroses occupy centre stage and perform mundane activities such as moving from left to right within their zoo pens. And it is right at the end of this that these archaic beasts will slowly and imperturbably cross the threshold of their cage, the door of which will have slid open mechanically. At that moment, gestures attain their intrinsic timelessness, with the camera recording what takes place in front of it in real time. This relative calm for the spectator (nothing is more peaceful than a rhinoceros in its everday life) contrasts in a spectacular way with the previous frantic minutes. As his work is based upon using time freely, the film-maker has done his utmost to organise sequences of images according to an acceleration which is external to the animals in the zoo, but coherent within the process of cinematographic creation. (...)In pure fiction that is only possible thanks to the cinema, these rhinoceroses and their setting are literally exhausted by the playful manipulations of the filmmaker before once again finding, in our company, the sort of peacefulness they need to leave the stage."--Jean Perret
16mm Rental: $80.00
16mm, black and white, 8 min
In 1986 Kels received a fellowship that alllowed him to study at Cooper Union in New York. During his study there, Kels spent some six months at the Bowery in lower Manhattan. He began hanging out with the less fortunate who eke out an existence in cheap hotels or on the street, and became friendly with many of them. In the lives of the mostly male alcoholics who survive on open camaraderie and cheap alcohol, he discovered a rich unstaged world, which he slowly started to film. Against the background of a run-down Price Hotle we see men who pass time together, deliberately portrayed by Kels clear eye for framin g detial, and yet whose acts and movements cannot be controlled. -- Myriam van Lier
16mm Rental: $50.00
16mm, black and white, 9 min
Keywords: Environment & Nature
It is night. The moon is shining.
A static camera captures a huge flock of starlings searching the sky in circular movements. It is not clear how long Kels had been standing there before he turned on his camera; the event as such can only have come as a surprise to him as well.
At first the starlings are hard to identify. Having deliberately edited frames coming from different generations of the original print in a certain metrical order, without changing the actual chronology of their movement, Kels has the constantly changing shapes of the birds dissolve in the rough grain of the celluloid.
Once again a technical weakness of the celluloid forms the starting point of his visual enterprise. Shot on one reel without any interruption, the birds' flight gradually forms configurations of astonishing beauty. An immense sense of depth emerges as the starlings move against the background of the distanced moon, yet cross close by electric wires. Moths cannot resist the light and drop down just in front of the lens, and finally, also the starlings seem to take a last turn reaching down closer to Kels' camera just before his reel ends.
-- Millenium Film Journal, No. 30-31.
16mm Rental: $50.00
back to homepage