Josephine Ahnelt

Tic Tac (2011) DVD NTSC, b&w, 3 min

Genre: Documentary, Experimental

Keywords: children and youth, hand processed, landscape and architecture

"Tic Tac is a zigzagging parkour move in which the runner pushes off from a surface to jump over obstacles or climb tight spaces between buildings. However, not much of the eponymous technique can be seen in young filmmaker Josephine Ahnelt's work: The movement takes place in the protagonists' faces. Tic Tac examines in microscopic detail the psychological processes that play out while a group of young parkour traceurs do their thing. The camera focuses on their facial expressions and gestures, their anxiety and nervousness, and also their pleasure and pain.

Ahnelt, a former pupil of Friedl Kubelka, works with a representational process in which the internal field of tension is reflected in the external field of tension and the ledges and concrete slabs that must be surmounted. The former entails the testing of one's own competitive ability and performance and how they are put to use. The film also reflects in this intermediate space on the representational process' social aspects: The activity itself, which is meant to be observed, is left out, and instead the gaze is directed at this more or less enthusiastic desire.

The scratches on the grainy Super 8 film stock evoke vague memories of a time filled with friction. The film's visual grammar combines with reminiscences of a transitional phase for which terms such as "coming of age" are employed to describe dramatic structure in film. The absence of sound underlines the impression of distance. Ahnelt's black-and-white work is a timeless description of a state of being. In the shooting process, the film, which was edited in the camera, also reflects the fleeting nature and unpredictability of the states it portrays." -Angelika Unterholzner

DVD NTSC Rental: $30

16mm Sale: $Price on Demand

Josephine Ahnelt

Water from Grain (2013) DVD NTSC, b&w, 13 min

Genre: Documentary, Experimental

Keywords: children & youth, hand processed

The poetry of Water from Grain grows out of an apparent contradiction stemming from its seeming timelessness while it plays out on the clearly recognizable outskirts of Vienna in the years of 2011 and 2012. Josephine Ahnelt accompanies two youths, a boy and a girl, with her Super-8 camera. Her main interest is focused upon the woman, her subtle beauty and her shapely form. Black and white and silent, the film focuses upon the visual impact of fleeting moments employing lighting, facial expression and gesture rather than dialogue to conjure its atmosphere. The footage was hand processed and is hence blemished, the resulting impurities obscuring and transcending certain scenes.

The first chapter unfolds at an airport. There where the longing for far away places and the other provides the stuff of fantasy the protagonists lean against the railing of a parking garage and gaze downwards, they pursue each other in a game of catch and the young woman poses in the shadow play of the concrete desert. She seems older than the young man, more thoughtful and closer to adulthood. Both seem to use this anonymous place of transit as a location for their freedom and curiosity, as a space for unsupervised movement. In the meantime, three other young people take happy and affectionate leave of a fourth person. They are older and have reason to be at the airport. The third chapter of the film also takes place in a public space, a small park that serves as a good meeting place for the two youths and their friends. Their physical enactment of tussling and necking are expressions of boredom as well as a youthful discovery of sensuality.

Where does the trip of life lead? As viewers we know nothing about the protagonists, everything is a matter of projection and guessing: But it is precisely in this indirect, lyrical, documentary-like form that a voyeuristic enthusiasm for stories beyond pure representation finds nourishment. -Brigitta Burger-Utzer

Rental: $60
DVD NTSC Rental: $60

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