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THE FORMATIVE YEARS (I) Heinz Emigholz, D D 1972-75, 142 min

Five films by Heinz Emigholz

"Heinz Emigholz’s artistic work investigates the threshold between film and the visual arts. His early films provided a crucial impetus for the international experimental film movement of the 1970s and 80s. They are counted among the few experimental works from Germany which have attained enduring international acclaim. The project THE FORMATIVE YEARS makes visible and accessible a segment of film history which, in light of upheavals in the analog world and departures toward a digital one, enables discussions of highly contemporary developments." (Stefanie Schulte-Strathaus)

Selection of films:
SCHENEC-TADY I (D 1972/73, 40 min, b/w, silent)
SCHENEC-TADY II (D 1973, 19 min, Color, silent)
ARROWPLANE (D 1973, 24 min, Color, silent)
TIDE (D 1974, 34 min, b/w, silent)

SCHENEC-TADY III (D 1972/75, 25 min, b/w, silent)

“These films capture – without illustrating – notions of endlessness and timelessness in rigorous compositions. In doing so, something like a logic of the material unfolds. After these mostly twenty or thirty minute films, we don’t have the impression that we know anything more about what was filmed, but instead that we are more decisively conscious of the independent existence of landscapes and things, of the limits of what our gaze takes in, and of the unreliability of our always anthropomorphic means of perception. We start to wonder how a technical medium with so many possibilities to change the old ways of perception of the other arts can be so completely absorbed by them.” (Frieda Grafe)

SCHENEC-TADY I has been cut to its final length in 1975. The edited pieces were basis for SCHENEC-TADY III.

SCHENEC-TADY II was planned as a film in two parts. The negative of the first part, shot in Hamburg in May 1973, got lost. The film was then rescored into its present form.

ARROWPLANE is the multiplication of a one-directional, horizontal 180-degree-panning shot with itself, applied to three landscapes – mound, city and beach.

TIDE is the multiplication of a two-directional, horizontal 180-degree-panning shot with themselves, applied to the procresses “ebb to flow” and “flow to ebb”.

SCHENEC-TADY III His 'raw material' is 360 degree pans around the settings, but they are edited in such a way that the film constantly subverts conventional perception; cross rhythms, superimpositions, speed fluctations and rapid alternations of direction spark off a remarkable array of illusions, after-images and uncertanties. It confirms Emigholz as the most painterly of avant-garde film-makers. (Tony Rayns, TIME OUT, London, November 1974)

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