Above: still from AlexandLiane’s video for “Shoes” by the band Tiga

Monday February 15, Museek No 3 programme

It has been years since MTV more or less stopped playing music videos and cut to the chase to sell pure image, nevertheless it is entirely possible that these are the very same years in which the field may have opened up a bit to new talent which have gone on to produce some of the most creative new work since the dawn of the medium.

Regardless of budget or country, the majority of the music videos featured in MUSEEK No. 3 were essentially able to take a clever idea and run with it to great sucess.

The videos seem to successfully embrace the excitement of human life in this day and age, and in most cases one can’t help but taken aback by their inventiveness.

Although I could easily write about nearly every video in the programme I chose a few to review:

“Evident Utensil” by Ray Tintori for the band Chairlift has utilized a technique I’ve not yet seen, namely: you know when an online video breaks up into a sort of Predator-like digi-garble while it is beginning to play? Of when a DVD is scratched? Tintori’s video is basically constantly morphing with that effect under control. I am so glad someone did this.

The Royksopp video “Happy Up Here” basically makes the oldschool arcade game Space Invaders attack a real city (Berlin?) on the special-effects level as good as any Hollywood Blockbuster –terribly entertaining, especially if you are familiar with the game itself.

Jeff Desom video for Hauschka’s song Morgenrot which just shows a burnig piano falling off a skyscraper, was positively captivating. Daniel Eskils on the other hand simply used an overhead projector and dry-ease markers for the band.

Pop culture may have left Lenny Kravitz and his coolness to chill back in the 90s where they more or less belong, but a simple remix by house superstars Justice plus a surprising video with a clever idea behind it somehow turns his radio pop into something fresh and relevant.

Not much point in describing Jonas Meier’s video “One Up Down Left Right” for the band Rusconi but it should be watched.

AlexandLiane’s video for “Shoes” by the band Tiga integrates retro fashion with what appears to be an early-70s-looking television talkshow-type programme to weave a goofily surreal piece.

The Presets “If I know You” is basically a group of young Billy Elliott-esque teenagers dancing across Los Angeles – so damn charming.

Ethan Lader’s video for Rob Roy’s “Fur in My Cap” is essentially a tongue-in-cheek Hip-hop song, but what sets it apart is the theme essentially being: The means and lifestyle are within the context of 14-15 year olds in a neighbourhood which contradict the bling-and-ho lyrics… which, with a bit of clever camera work and effects, makes it just damn entertaining.

The Justice video “Stress” in which a young gang out violently causing trouble everywhere they go in Paris really begged the question: is it just a bunch of punk kids or rather a disturbing social commentary on France’s racial turmoil…?

Metronomy’s  “A thing for me” was -wow- a sing along with the sing along bouncy-ball comes to life bouncing wildy bopping people on the head!

-Paul J. Thomas

Directors Lounge “MUSEEK No 2” Programme

IMAGE: Still from Lindsey J. Testolin’s “Love in October”

The second Directors Lounge music programme offered a full array of stunning visual charms with videos, such as the more mainstream “House of Cards–  made for Radiohead by James Frost using 3D plotting techniques instead of cameras- to the practically DIY-looking “Fireworks” by Jon Leone for indie favorites Animal Collective.

Also featured was the video for the song “Florian” by CocoRosie animated by Andrew Gibbs as well as a haunting piece for the Icelandic band MÚM’s song “Will the Summer make good for our sins?”

On the lighter side were videos from such lighter Japanese acts as Lullatone with their self-made video “Bedroom Bossa Band” and K+ME for the band Starskee’s song “My Way”.

– Paul J. Thomas

Berlin Directors Lounge: Opening night, February 11, 2010

The opening night of the 6th annual Berlin Directors Lounge provided a well rounded overview of what the 10-day long series has to offer in terms of theme and style. Ranging from the most abstract experimental films to the most light-hearted and even hilarious shorts this roundup of films undoubtedly kept the audience on the edge of their seats not only during the films but also in between as they awaited to see what was to come next.

Works of note which stood out were the “Found People Movement”, a film by Pablo Useros in which people are seen descending a staircase (of a train station?) in slow motion, first looking down at the last few steps the audience then gets a close look at their faces as the unwitting actors reach level ground and look up to get their bearings. What is remarkable about this is the film’s ability to capture completely normal people in an otherwise everyday situation and spin it into a captivating urban mini-opera of sorts –with the help of an accompanying soundtrack.

Neil Needleman’s autobiographic letter to his father about becoming a filmmaker is a sharply bittersweet reflection in which the director recalls his father’s harsh criticism of the director’s choice to buy his first camera through subtitle text on the screen, all the while the audience sees the father in spasms, unconscious on his deathbed. This video was later followed up by what seemed to be another heart-wrenchingly raw an honest (work of fiction?) by the filmmaker called “Meeskeit: Uglier than ugly”, in which a woman describes the strategic placement of her entire family’s likenesses (and their torrid personal histories) in the paintings of her ugly shut-in cousin, who recently committed suicide and willed all of her artwork to the narrator.

Some of the most entertaining pieces of the evening were set to pop music. Antoine Hilaire’s hyper-self conscious video “Cross the Fader” (to the song “Crossfader” by the band phony pony) is nothing but text which describes the song not only musically (with notes) but also dissects the music at each beat and transition in terms of rock-pop history and what might be going through the head of the musician, crowd, or music critic as the power-pop song drives on.

A surprising and terribly fun pop follow up came in the form of Make the Girl Dance’s “Baby Baby Baby”, a music video in which four women take turns walking naked through the streets of paris, their private parts blacked-out with the text of the song superimposed onto the rectangles as passers-by whip around to ogle the gorgeous women as they saunter by in their birthday suits.

Pablo Wendel’s Terracotta Warrior was a particularly humorous film capture’s one performance artist’s 15 minutes of fame as he sneaks in to stand amongst China’s thousands of clay soldiers. The authorities – never having faced such a situation before – simply do not know what to do with the man, and although they attempt to maintain professionalism one can also tell that they are working hard to repress their own laughter at the ridiculousness of the situation. The artist, who all along maintains his stiff clay soldier pose, is until finally hauled away horizontally by a team of the uniformed Chinese guardsmen.

Of the animated pieces that caught my eye, “HAIRS” by Milos Tomic, a film which makes hairs of all sizes spin and dance like one has never seen before.

On of the audience’s favorites, however, was also an animated film – the very simple but effective comedy of errors, Bob Log III’s “Electric Fence Story” by Sebastian Wolf & Tinka Stock . I will not bother to describe this 3-minute masterpiece, which was also included in Friday’s “Cornucopia” programme, but I’d highly recommend that you catch it online.

– Paul J. Thomas

Gestern Abend wurde der erste Block Tomorrow, Night and Day des von Klaus W. Eisenlohrs kuratierten Urban Research Program innerhalb der Directors Lounge präsentiert. Die Auswahl zeigte Arbeiten von internationalen Künstlern, die sich in diesem Block in Form von experimentellen, animierten als auch fiktiven Formaten der Auseinandersetzung mit dem urbanen, öffentlichen Raum widmen.

Das Video von Anders Weberg Elsewhereness:Yokohama (2008) aus der gleichnamigen Reihe, befasste sich mit urbaner Entfremdung, was sich ganz offensichtlich in der Form des präsentierten Videos widerspiegelt. So sieht man in der 7 Minuten langen Arbeit übereinandergelegte, abstrahierte Aufnahmen der Stadt Yokohama. Die mit starkem Kontrast verfremdeten Bilder werden von einer elektronischen, sphärischen Musikkomposition begleitet, was der Arbeit eine hypnotische Qualität verleiht. Das Thema der Entfremdung wird konzeptuell von der Abwesenheit des Künstlers verstärkt, wenn man bedenkt, dass das Rohmaterial der verfremdeten Bilder aus dem Internet recherchiert worden ist und sich der Künstler nie in Yokohama aufgehalten hat. Die manipulierten Aufnahmen werden dadurch zu einer surrealen Reise durch eine entfremdete Landschaft, die auf der Grundlage der kulturellen Vorannahmen und Stereotypen des Künstlers über den Ort basiert. Der Ort bleibt hierbei belanglos, da das Fremde überall zu finden ist. Die einzigen Anzeichen, dass man sich in einer asiatischen Großstadt wiederfindet, sind japanische Schriftzeichen. Die gezeigte Arbeit von Weberg geht von einer anonymen, mechanisierten Zivilisation aus, die mit Hilfe digitaler Medien aus der Distanz erkundet wird. Entfremdung und Abwesenheit werden dabei als Mittel verwendet um die Wahrnehmung des Fremden, dass hier nicht verstanden werden kann und will, erfahrbar zu machen.

Von Martin Tscholl


Zur Eröffnung der diesjährigen Directors Lounge wurde gestern Abend ein Querschnitt des Programms der nächsten zehn Tage präsentiert. In der alten Brauerei Pfefferwerk im Prenzlauer Berg startete die Directors Lounge zum 6. Mal, parallel zur 60. Berlinale. Unterteilt in drei Blöcke, wurde eine Vorauswahl der kommenden Tage präsentiert. Neben den gezeigten Film- und Videoarbeiten, konnte man in den Nebenbereichen der angenehm gestalteten Lounge verschiedene Videoinstallationen betrachten.

Der von Klaus W. Eisenlohr kuratierte Block des Urban Research Program gab einen Vorgeschmack auf die kommenden Tage: Neun Filme und Videos wurden in diesem Block gezeigt, die vor allem die subjektive Erfahrung und Erkundung des großstädtischen Raumes zum Thema haben. In diesem Programmblock, der sich durch eine gesunde Kombination aus dokumentarischen und experimentellen Formaten auszeichnete, beeindruckte vor allem die Arbeit von Pablo Useros „Decent“ aus der Reihe Found People Movements: In dieser Arbeit werden Passanten einer Treppe im öffentlichen Raum gefilmt. Der Filmer nimmt hierbei eine observierende Position ein und zeigt Menschen, die in einer durch Blütenregen mystisch anmutenden Szenerie eine breite Treppe hinuntergehen. Die an das Innenleben einer Schneekugel erinnernde Situation verstärkt den mystischen Charakter des in Zeitlupe laufenden Videos. Das in vertikaler Ausrichtung präsentierte 16:9 Format, erinnert durch diese Anordnung an die Malerei der Renaissance. Dieser Eindruck wird durch die auditive Dimension verstärkt. So hört man zu den Bildern der herabsteigenden Menschen eine Arie, die den filmischen Ausdruck bekräftigt. Durch die vertikale Ausrichtung des Formats gerät der Mensch in seiner Ganzheit in den Fokus des Bildes, wird ins Zentrum der filmischen Reflexion gebracht. Das nebensächliche, scheinbar belanglose Hinuntersteigen der Treppe gerät in einen Moment, der den urbanen Alltag aus einer ästhetischen Perspektive wiedergibt.

Die Arbeit „This is a Political Film“ von Pablo Useros aus der Reihe Found People Movements ist am Freitag, den 19.02., in dem Block Urban Interference um 18 Uhr in der Directors Lounge zu sehen.

von Martin Tscholl

tonight, Fri 12th 11:30 pm

MAR SHY SUN S MUSIC IS DESCRIBED AS 21ST CENTURY HIGH SPEED LOVE SONGS WHICH WILL MAKE YOU HIGH WITH OR WITHOUT DRUGS. THE MOTOR DRIVEN BEATS COMBINED WITH LIVE BASS OCASIONALLY ACCOMPANIED WITH GUITARS AND TRANCY INNOVATIVE SYNTHESYTHER SOUNDS TAKE YOU ON A SOFT BUT STRONG SHAMANISTIC HEAD TRIP AND IN A COMBINATION WITH UNIQUE MAR SHY SUNS VOICE THE MUSIC WILL TRANSCEND YOU IN THE ETHERAL REALM OF LOVE AND LONGING AND SEARCHING DESIRE.

together with Crypto doing the visuals


Arthur Tuoto BR Disforme


Neil Needleman US Visions of Wasted Time

It’s impossible to look back at 1985, the year my father died, without feeling bitter about our relationship. To his consternation, I became interested in art, classical music, and shooting/editing moving pictures. These were useless things that didn’t fit into my father’s very practical notion of life. But I am what I am, and I shot what I shot. And I’m still shooting. And I guess I’m still a little bitter. Neil Needleman

The Super 8 camera opens up with a 1985 shot of a beggar/homeless type crouched on a city sidewalk slowly keeling over this way and that, falling into sleep or a stupor while subtitles reveal that the filmmaker has always liked filming wasted time. Next we are in the hospital and camera is turned on the filmmaker’s father, recently pronounced brain-dead, but twitching involuntarily. It’s a macabre sight, all right. It seems dad always thought his son’s filmmaking ventures were a waste of time, and as it is years later still turned on subjects like a man with a sign on his chest staring blankly as pedestrians pass on both sides and a setting sun, the subtitles, directed at dad, aver “It’s still my time to waste, and my world to envision.” A stripped-down piece that makes you think of your time being up, and what you choose to do with it before.

Visions of Wasted Time will be screened as part of Secret Codes | DL mix II Mon 15th 8 pm


stock`n`wolf / Tinka Stock & Sèbastien Wolf DE   Bob Log`s III Electric Fence

This was a funny little bit about one night’s misadventure while “cow-tipping”: pushing over sleeping cows to witness their bovine reaction. The voice narrating is casual and goofy in a charming way, and the tale of getting out of a car drunk in the country at night and walking straight into an electrified fence not once but twice to the imagined guffaws of the cows had the audience laughing out loud, too. Did I mention the story was told with stop motion animation and plasticine figures? An entertaining piece.

Bob Log`s III Electric Fence on screen Sun 14th 8 pm in Stars from Video Palace | Spunk Seipel


Neil  Needleman US Meeskeit

A real gem of a story, the uncut diamond variety, was Meeskeit, identified as Yiddish for “uglier than ugly”. The story, told in English as we look at a series of paintings, concerns the woman narrating off-camera, whose sister had a hidden ability, revealed when she left to her a series of paintings in her suicide note. Black humour is mixed with a truly heart-rending tale that reveals itself while we look at the paintings, all containing faces of various relatives in situations she decided to put them in for one reason or another: Uncle Simon romancing his aldulterous wife Rita, who he in reality murdered, along with her lover; “mental case” recluse Schlomo pictured in high society; mother and her bitter rival sister portrayed placidly side by side; the thieving servant toting bibles; Jewish-turned-Christian Uncle Morris as Christ himself in crucifixion. Most poignant is the painting of the two sisters, favourably reproduced as winning beauty queens, and the subsequent revelation of sketches depicting them in the incestuous affair they had, as untouched, unwanted virgin spinsters seeking some kind of love somewhere, after which they spent thirty years with uneasy eye contact. All to be sold to pay for desperately needed chemotherapy, except the sketches of the affair, to be thrown out when the living Meeskeit passes on. All told in a few minutes that are penetrating and hard or impossible to forget.

Meeskeitis part of  stories | DL mix IV, Thurs 18th 10 pm


Arthur Tuoto BR Disforme

This bit of shadowplay is not completely uninteresting to watch, but it hardly seems to have a point. If only meant to be a visual pleasure, then enough time wasn’t given to hypnotize us. Someone plays with their fingers and we see only their shadow, spindle-like against a cold white background. A foot is briefly thrown in for good measure. An insistent drone underpins it. What was the intention?

Judge for yourself: Disforme screened in cornucopia | DL mix I, Fri 12th 10 pm

Kenton Turk

Directors Lounge 2010  |  Opening Party | Thurs. 20:00

Berlin’s art and media flâneurs lounge in a new art space at Pfefferberg, Berlin.

At the same time as Berlinale reaches their 60th year, Directors Lounge celebrates her 6th anniversary this February, in 2010. Starting off in 2005 as a spontaneous self-organized place for friends of experimental media arts and for stressed-out film ticket hunters, the small festival has grown to an international platform for exceptional film and media shows. Directors Lounge has presented artists and their works on fairs and exhibitions, features single artists in monthly screenings in Berlin and presents selected works on the web. However, the media art festival in February still is the very heart and core of Directors Lounge, and should not be missed.

As in the past years, for eleven days artist curators from around the world present their selected programs. There is a multitude of highlights to be discovered, special programs, music programs, and of course, you will find a relaxed lounge ambience during the days of film vibes in Berlin. Here, you will meet filmmakers and artists in person. And without stressing for tickets, you will always find something special, apart from the ordinary or marvellous.

It seems merely impossible to give a concise of the upcoming program, however certain stars on the Directors Lounge firmament become clearly visible. Coming up is a monographic programme of Jean-Gabriel Périot, the acknowledged French moralist and film essayist, who was with the festival from its start. Telemach Wiesinger and Andreas Gogol, among others, will present a 16mm film live-performance. There will be specially curated screenings from Russia, Argentina, Finland and Australia. Two themes seem to lure throughout the whole festival programs including the main selection: First, there is the gaze of the flâneur, the point of view of the stroller or the urban explorer, presented in the Urban Research program, and lingering in many other selections. Second, you will find connections between poetry, poetic film and music film, a theme taken up by such programs as the selections from Zebra Poetry Award and Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, the Festival de VideoPoesia from Argentina and the MUSEEK film program selected by Tour de Film from St. Petersburg.
In any case, the daily screenings from 6pm through late night  which will be announced just in time, as it has been a festival tradition  will serve best eye- and ear candies  for the spontaneous film flâneurs as much as for the connoisseurs of experimental delicatessen.

A warm hearted welcome!

From Team Directors Lounge

From 12th through 21th February 2010, daily from 6 pm with open end
Opening: Thursday, 11 Februar at 8 pm
Location: Meinblau e.V., Pfefferberg, Christinenstr. 18/19, D-10119 Berlin

The Warm-Up Show

We start into the year with a first night at our new location, the meinblau arthouse at the Pfefferberg. Expect teasing tidbits from the forthcoming 6th Berlin International Directors Lounge. An oeuvre surprise from all flavours, mouth-watering movies that will make you ask for more.

Ausgewählte Leckerbissen, ein kleiner Vorgeschmack auf die Lounge während der Berlinale. Erstmals im meinblau Pfefferberg.

Thursday/Do. 21. Jan meinblau Berlin Mitte, Christinenstraße 18

doors open at 8pm/Einlass ab 20h
program starts around 9pm/ Filme ab ca 21h

still from Toe Jam by Keith Schofield/The BPA