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2+2=22 [The Alphabet]

2+2=22 [THE ALPHABET] (2+2=22 [The Alphabet]) Heinz Emigholz , D 2013-2017, 88 min

Streetscapes - Chapter I / Photography and beyond – Part 24

German theatrical release date: October 12th, 2017 - English or German with English subtitles

World premiere: Monday,  Feb 11th, 2017: 16:30 h at Delphi
Second screening: Saturday, Feb 18th, 2017: 11:00 h at CineStar 8

Official Trailer


About the film

A documentary on the CD-production ABC by Kreidler (Thomas Klein, Alexander Paulick, Andreas Reihse, Detlef Weinrich).
Filmed at Kartuli Pilmis Studia Tbilisi and in the streets of Tbilisi, Georgia, in October 2013 / Notebooks No. 222 a–z by Heinz Emigholz from Juli 30th, 2012 until Dezember 23rd, 2013.

Recordings of Nino, Alphabet, Modul, Ceramic, Tornado and Mento by KREIDLER for their album ABC [Engineer: Gvaji, Choir: Nino Gulbatashvili, Salome Makaridze, Ucha Pataridze and Beka Sebiskveradze, Mixing: KREIDLER with Guy Sternberg at LowSwing Studios Berlin, Assistence: Florian von Keyserlingk, Mastering: Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, ABC released by Bureau-b as CD and LP, Funded by Michael Dimitrov, Stephan Wackwitz, Goethe Institut Tbilisi, Kulturamt Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf and Initiative Musik]


Statement on the production of the film by Pym Films 

The film documents the genesis of the recordings and production of some music pieces by the band Kreidler that were released on their album ABC in May 2014. Continuous, long, observing filmic shots were taken. The recordings were made from 8 to 12 October 2013 in the recording studio of the Georgian film production complex Kartuli Pilmi in Tbilisi, Georgia. A large, wood-panelled hall outfitted with moveable walls was used. The room was originally conceived as a recording studio for a film orchestra; the board of censors used it as an internal screening room.

About twenty sequences from the documentary footage of the creation of the music pieces were selected to form the backbone of the film. Interstitials are added before and between the musical sequences. These interstitials consist of two components: first, documentary footage of architectonic situations in Tbilisi that, in the course of the film, result in a portrait of the city; and second, notebooks leafed through by means of film-technical animation. The notebooks were written and illustrated by Heinz Emigholz in the course of one year.

The basic structure of the film is shots alternating between the musical recordings and the city and notebook insertions. The film is a reply to Godard’s One Plus One inasmuch as the main part of each film consists of the documentation of the work of a contemporary music group. The simplified, political-pop-ideological macramé of One Plus One makes way for an objectifying city portrait in 2+2=22 [The Alphabet]. In contrast to Godard’s construct, here ‘propaganda’ results not from acted sketches and sarcasms, but relatively reservedly from the declamation of municipal surfaces coupled with text-image collages.

The film is not an advertising film or a music clip for a pop band, but creates a new relationship between music and documentation. It contrasts the real work on pieces of music with the documentary footage of the site of the music’s creation, a former Soviet republic on the southern edge of the Caucasus, and with the poetic notes of a more Western-style commentary. The observation of a collective creative process and its pauses stands at the centre of the film. Rudiments of reality and its sound scenarios interrupt these studies, and poetic declamations form ideological opposite poles to it. That these can no longer operate as a politically generally understandable language is just one of the truths that have emerged since the release of One Plus One. That the work of the Rolling Stones shown in it has gained increasing dignity through its calm continuation, while, in contrast, Godard’s productions have aged poorly as historical documents, could be regarded as a remarkable contrary correlation movement in time. That could happen with this film, as well.

                                                                                                                           Pym Films, Berlin 

The off-screen voice

There are streets, lanes, paths, alleys, boulevards and motorways. Highways, promenades, avenues, arcades and thoroughfares. Side streets, high streets, ring roads, grand boulevards, village roads, play streets, crossroads, country roads, coast roads, asphalt roads, parallel streets, one-way streets and through roads. Bypasses, intersections, serpentines, gravel roads, roundabouts, footpaths, forest paths, sandy paths, labyrinths, beaten tracks, city squares, whole networks and whole traffic arteries.

And there are life paths, dead ends, barren stretches, paths of suffering, the stations of the Cross, detours, escape routes, sacrificial paths, pilgrimage routes, highways to hell, paths of love and paths of yearning. Journeys from A to B. In the case of actual streets, these journeys take place in a network that makes countless connections possible. In the case of metaphors, a course toward a desired or unavoidable end is projected.

The streets offer themselves as set and theatre on which all of life’s possibilities are performed; their networks are the model for streams of consciousness in literature. Devotion to the flow of thoughts, pleasure in the course of writing, the automatic writing of the Surrealists, the Beat Poets, writing on the road, the endless possibilities of writing, which are coupled with landscape modules and urban particles: this blurring effect, the overlaying and re-emergence of scraps of memory, the extinguishing and evocation of recollections, the refreshing of the eyes, are also pleasures.

Main streets and main clauses, subordinate clauses and side streets, paragraphs and neighbourhoods, chapters and districts. The geometric figure of streets and the syntax of sentences. Traffic signs and punctuation. The urban street network as a narrative from district to district, from chapter to chapter. The street vendor interrupts my thought or offers the right wares at the right moment. He profits from this moment of correspondence, from someone finding what he didn’t seek. Reaching a point, concluding a parag