Cinema Lumiere - Sala Scorsese > 14:30

Die blaue distanz / Execution. A Study of Mary

Elfi Mikesch
Introduced by

Karola Gramann


Saturday 01/07/2023


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

This short film is a demonstration piece for the exquisite framing and lighting that is typical of Elfi Mikesch’s camerawork. A technical tour de force, shot on 35mm in a cramped train compartment during a fast, nocturnal journey. Nevertheless, the film comes across like a poem as light as a feather, a small study or finger exercise completed quickly between larger tasks.
Mikesch writes: “The ‘blue distance’ is called the perspective of the boulevards of Paris, which the gaze can perceive up to the indefinite horizon. At the same time, it signifies the distance of two lovers in the letters of the artist Unica Zürn. In the film, a traveller encounters her likeness, behind which the lover or beloved hides, sublimated from the lack of proximity. A phantasmagoria between dream and reality, during a night train ride between Berlin and Basel.”

Martin Koerber


Cast and Credits

Sog.: from Erdachte Briefe by Unica Zürn. Scen., F., Scgf.: Elfi Mikesch. M.: Heide Breitel. Mus.: Fritz Mikesch. Int.: Silke Grossmann, Heinz Emigholz (voce narrante). Prod.: Oh Muvie Film. DCP. D.: 22’. Bn.


Film Notes

This film is in effect a slideshow of exquisite single photographic images in sparkling black and white, representing Mikesch’s own version of Mary Stuart. “The drama of a woman who attempted a kind of liberal emancipation in a time of upheaval, but got caught in the snares of men,” in her words. Confronted with layers and layers of conflicting information about “how it really was” Mikesch decided not to try to be a historian, but to radicalise the narrative and condense it into striking images of passion, power, love, pain and death.

Martin Koerber

Cast and Credits

Scen., F., M.: Elfi Mikesch. Int.: La Milli (Maria Stuarda), Magdalena Montezuma (Regina Elisabetta), Berryt Bohlen (Bothwel), Polo Espinoza, Vroni Hinkelbein, Frank Ripploh, Frank Soletti, Raphael. Prod.: Oh Muvie Film • DCP. D.: 28’. Bn.