16mm, b/w, 9 min
Translated literally "exposed" means "to make something visible" or "uncovered". In photography it means to subject photographic film to light. Exposed uses short scene from a feature film - a man observes a dancing woman through a keyhole - is used as the raw material. Solely fragments of this tableau are visible to the viewer, and Fruhauf "re-exposes" the scene by passing the perforations of a strip of film in front of the projector so that they resemble a moving sieve.
While the moving stencil allows us to see no more than portions of the scene, the narration's "peeping tom" motif is repeated in our own perception. Sight can no longer be taken for granted and therefore increases in fascination.
Fruhauf also breaks up the intended movement of the found footage on the temporal level. The apparent irregularity of the fields of light scanning over the strip of film is juxtaposed with a metronomically precise rhythm which segments the scene. Successive shots often vary to no more than a minimal degree. Similar to a record album with a crack, the progression shifts in minute but regular ways.
The new film movement is therefore a palimpsest consisting of several layers: A particular scene is segmented and reassembled in a new way, and the space inside the frame is broken down into a moving prism.
Together with the soundtrack (rising and falling white noise, drips and whispers), Fruhauf's study on seeing and being seen, light and movement - in other words, cinema - has a nearly hypnotic effect.
16mm Rental: $48.00
Mountain Trip (Hoehenrausch)
16mm, b/w, 4 min
Mountain Trip is a cinematic myriorama constructed of hundreds of Austrian postcards, which reflect a country's hackneyed trappings as no other medium can. (Siegfried A. Fruhauf)
The parameters of this experiment have been clearly defined: Two rows of postcards with mountain motifs (the cards in the upper row have been turned on their heads) are juxtaposed in such a way that mountains point to other mountains, the denouement of a massif butts up against a meadow, etc., resembling Chinese "cadavre exquis" cards which can be arranged to show an endless landscape. The camera pans to the right, and its speed varies while alpine folk music plays in a monotonous loop.
One would expect the camera's movements to accelerate, the mountains flowing together into a blurred line. Instead, Fruhauf works with imponderabilities, breaks and irritations. The acceleration is not continuous; there are new approaches, repetitions of motifs and jumps. The transitions shift and are jerky as if the postcards were held in someone's hand; the unity of the individual shots is extremely unstable....
While the observer's gaze willingly accepts the alpine panoramas at first, it is gradually channeled into the undercurrent of something in between, the irregular border between top and bottom. The accuracy of detail in the mountain genres (according to statistics, most people still think of a mountain landscape when asked to imagine a "pretty picture") dissolves into a non-referential dynamic.
One is reminded of how the borders come alive in the course of several hours in Michael Snow's La region centrale and may regret that this trip ends after only four minutes. (Birgit Flos)
16mm Rental: $34.00
La Sortie Des Ourvriers De L'Usine
16mm, b/w, 6 min
Keywords: Films About Film, history, technology
The first film of cinematographic history shows workers leaving a factory. The title of this work which is 50 seconds long and bequeathed to us by the Lumiere brothers is La Sortie des Ouvriers de l'Usine. There are three known versions of the work. In the hardware and software of the cinematographic "machine" resides much of the specifically mechanical charm of the industrial age. In one sense it is a paradox that the Lumieres began film history with workers leaving the factory instead of giving a place of honor to them working on the production lines. Over a hundred years later, Siegfried A. Fruhauf has made a fourth version of La Sortie des Ouvriers de l'Usine. This remake gives short shrift to the unconscious irony of the Lumiere films. Fruhauf needs six minutes to run through the current fate of industry. Fourteen workers are present here--five on the (optically) vertical axis, the rest cross the horizontal axis in the background. Their movements form a cross--a symbol of death as a ballet mechanique. The initial image is transformed into almost abstract black and white surfaces, harnessed, Sisyphus-like, to a lunatic dance of repetition. Fruhauf increases the acceleration of the striding workers in discrete steps until they are tearing along--the capacity of the film tested to its outer limits--until it can't take any more. Maximum acceleration leads to stasis--after the acceleration throughout the film comes the logical consequence--the last frame--the freeze frame. Nothing more can happen. The model (literally) of progress collapses. And instead there is paralysis. A dead end. The workers are motionless, and with them the factory. Rien ne va plus.
16mm Rental: $35.00
35mm, b/w, 1 min
With extraordinary verve, Siegfried A. Fruhauf has made a name for himself in contemporary Austrian filmmaking in only a few short years. Fruhauf not only carries on the fertile tradition of avant-garde filmmakers from Upper Austria (Kubelka, Export, Weibel and Brehm, to name a few), he has also succeeded in discovering an approach to "structural" filmmaking which never fails to surprise.
Fruhauf's films follow a discernible order, a concept which is worked out in advance. What was considered an "avant-garde" panacea in the late 70s, which more often than not turned into sheer academicism, is in his case broken up with humor. Fruhauf's films are made with a wink and a nudge, and they draw their strength from an unbounded joy in experimentation with the material.
The raw material used in Blow-up comprises two shots from an old educational film about first aid: A man demonstrates mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a life-size dummy; the dummy's chest rises and falls.
Fruhauf introduces this scene into his own metier, turning the "blow-up" metaphor into an image with a false bottom. With the aid of a digital photocopier, the strip of film was reduced in size to a narrow ribbon, and Blow-up shows this transformation in reverse: The ribbon is resuscitated, swelling gradually until the initial image is recognizable and, in the end, fills the screen. And this would not be a Fruhauf work if this educational film on the cinematographic body did not conclude with a roguish smile.... (Peter Tscherkassky)
35mm Rental: $35.00
35mm, color, 5 min
"All that film is can be reduced to two elements: light and (proportionately structured) movement. And there are many possible answers to the question of what light and proportionate movement are. In Realtime, Siegfried Fruhauf has decided on the most simple one, summing it up in the most symbolically unequivocal and, literally, most illuminating way: the sun. The light of the sun is the only type of lighting used to illuminate the movie screen in Realtime. And the sunrise, filmed in realtime, is the only discernible motion - which makes us realize that all motion, in film and in the cosmos, is temporal. Everything else about film is negotiable, such as the fuzzy area
between (justified) expectation and (actual) fulfillment, which is known as suspense. After the moving electric arc on the screen has been revealed to be a heavenly body, we have every reason to believe that it will continue its forward motion in an absolutely constant orbit. At the same time, we eagerly ask at which point (and/or through which points) the filmmaker will remove his gaze from it. Or the soundtrack, which also represents an arbitrary matter, and which is called music in the most arbitrary of cases. The irreversible movement of Fruhauf's protagonist is accompanied by the groove of a playfully altered pop song - the absolute meter is subordinated to a moment of
subjective duration. Realtime returns the possibilities available to film to their absolute zero - and provides a clever hint at what can be reimagined proceeding from this point (and on to eternity)." -Robert Buchschwenter (Translation: Steve Wilder)
"I shot REALTIME on a Sony Hi8 Videocamcorder. This Camera creates a nice structure in the picture, when you have extreme light situations. I filmed the sun with a black welding glass in front of the lens to create the effect with the black sky and the green, yellow sun. I was fascinated to get the real essence of cinema with a camera that was made for home users, to make private videos and watch them on a TV monitor. All that cinema is, is in this simple but powerful film - light and time. The sun gives us these two parameters within the change of day and night. And in the film, it is not the movement of the sun that you can see - it is the rotation of the earth that becomes visible. I used the earth as a trolley to create a phantom ride through the universe. And to bring the essence of the biggest cinema, the universe, back to the screen, it was necessary to make a transfer on film. I decided to use 35mm because it is the genuine cinema format." -S.F.
35mm Rental: $35.00
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