35mm. D.: 93’ a 24 f/s. Bn e colori.
In the first six chapters of his «found-footage-kolossal», Gustav Deutsch worked on compiling images from scientific cinema. With Film Ist. 7-12 he instead traced the history of cinema back to the silent period and to its origins. Since 1999, he has beaten European film archives on the search for films, which he has edited and organized into 6 topics, in turn subdivided into chapters: Comic, Magic, Conquest, Writing and Language, Emotions and Passion, Memory and Document. Gustave Deutsch (1952, Vienna) draws, composes music, photographs, designs architecture, and makes videos. Starting in 1989, he has established himself with his films as one of the most interesting European filmmakers in the field of «found-footage» and work with archive images. As a member of the Viennese filmmaker collective, Sixpack Films, he has collaborated on the Archimedia project on more than one occasion. In recent years he has also made multi-media projects on CD-ROM and video installations.
It is only a little over 100 years now since the public was exposed to the first moving picture – with astonishment and perhaps also anxiety. For a medium, 100 years is not a long time. The last few years however have seen accelerating technical developments. The question is this: have we learned to judge the media independently and critically in the last hundred years? Only with an intensive engagement within the subject (in art, science and education) and in every level of society will it be possible to deal with the media in an independent, critical and democratic way. Film ist. approaches the principles which lie at the foundation of the media. It does not claim to be a theoretical work but tries, on the basis of a long engagement with the material, to track down some of the building blocks of perception and some of the effects of moving images. The product is neither an analysis nor a documentation but rather an artistic experiment.
Not only do we see the principle of free association at its surrealist height, but we also realize the power of seeing shots in isolation, wrenched from context, twitching like amputated limbs, displaying their unique features divorced from contextual meaning. […] Like a dream book, Film ist. makes one imagine an archive that Jorge Borges might have assembled, or the book of the world that Mallarmé sought to create.