Dienstag, 3. April 2012

Raum Zeit Hund

 A friend of mine made a wonderful short film that  has been shown on several experimental film festivals across Europe. There is no music but I love the overall asthetics.

AT / 2010
6 min.

Nikolaus Eckhard's ironic study RaumZeitHund (SpaceTimeDog) is situated in the field of tension between chronophotography and cinematography.

As legend goes, Eadweard Muybridge discovered chronophotography ca. 1870 as the result of a wager. He wanted to prove that a horse had all four legs in the air for a brief moment when in a gallop. In RaumZeitHund Nikolaus Eckhard refers directly to Muybridge's famous photo series 'Animal Locomotions.' A dog, specially trained for this purpose, is filmed on a treadmill in extreme slow motion (150 individual images per second). But in contrast to his role model, Eckhard does not use a slender, athletic greyhound, but rather, a less representative, long-eared brown Alpine Dachsbracke. The hunting dog, which is tethered to a black leather leash, is additionally furnished with black and white circular marks like a crash test dummy. The impression of 'scientific-ness' is further heightened in that the color film is consistently screened entirely without sound.

The dog's movements, which are initially smooth, become increasingly distorted; the animal jerks and flounders ever more acutely. Muybridge was also mentor for the film's complex montage. When presenting his movement studies, the photo pioneer grouped the individual images serially and in a grid pattern. Eckhard likewise arranges all shots in his film in a grid pattern (55 x 277 frames) and scans this matrix with the help of diverse mathematical functions. The dog's appearance hence fluctuates 'between violently controlled marionette and seemingly blithe ballerina' (Eckhard). In the end, likewise the film's climax, the animal floats, in motion, with all four paws in the air. The evidence is there, the wonder is possible. 

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