Dietmar Brehm. Schwarzer Garten.

Date: 31 May 2003 | Season: Essential Frame

Saturday 31 May 2003, at 8pm
London Film School

The six films in the “Black Garden” cycle use found and photographed footage from a variety of sources including pornography, ethnographic, medical and scientific materials, to present an unsettling reflection of sexuality and violence. Only the first part, The Murder Mystery, is in subdued colour. On the soundtrack a foghorn warns of rough tides ahead and the storm begins. For nearly two hours we are taken on a strange trip through grainy black and white footage, often hard to decipher, and perhaps necessarily so. Out of Brehm’s technique of re-filming 8mm material at different speeds, emerges the ‘pumping screen’, a pulsing, gentle flicker that mediates our view, sometimes bleaching out the image. The seemingly disconnected soundtrack adds a further strange and unnerving element to the experience. Something is happening and you don’t know what it is.

Dietmar Brehm, The Murder Mystery (2nd Version), 1987/92, 18 min
Dietmar Brehm, Blicklust, 1992, 18 min
Dietmar Brehm, Party, 1995, 18 min
Dietmar Brehm, Macumba, 1995, 18 min
Dietmar Brehm, Korridor, 1998, 18 min
Dietmar Brehm, Organics, 1998/99, 18 min

“Even though the six films function perfectly well as individual works, I always had the feeling of filming a single work. The source of inspiration was much of the historical Roman literature I read. From this sprang the motivation for the sombre-sexual treatment of the pumping screen body portrayals. In the end we are all living corpses and very soon dead again.” (Dietmar Brehm)