2 DAYS LEFT

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by Simona Obholzer

grade: 7.5

Everything flows, everything is in constant motion, in 2 Days Left. And everything, inevitably, is destined to return as before. As if nothing had happened, in a work from which an alienating sense of calm inevitably comes through, further conveyed by the colour gradations of the images in which the brightest shades of blue prevail.

Artificial Paradises

The perfect wave? Probably every surfer’s dream. But how does one actually make a real perfect wave? Director Simona Obholzer tried to document the creation of the so-called perfect wave in her experimental documentary 2 Days Left, which was supposed to be part of the Diagonale 2020 and, following the cancellation of the festival, was included in the programme Diagonale 2020 – The Unfinished. And also here, as in many of the films produced in Austria, there is an attempt to create a new film language in order to portray a small, singular reality like this one.

In 2 Days Left, then, we see above all the details of a swimming pool created within important and imposing urban spaces. Nature, so, is (almost) faithfully reproduced in a totally new context, where nothing is really natural. And so the machines become the main actors in this work and the waves thus created follow one another fast, frenetic and uninterrupted in front of Simona Obholzer’s camera.

Everything flows, everything is in constant motion, in 2 Days Left. And everything, inevitably, is destined to return as before. As if nothing had happened. This Heraclitean philosophy becomes, therefore, the soul of this interesting film by Simona Obholzer, from which an alienating sense of calm inevitably transpires, further conveyed by the colour gradations of the images, in which brighter shades of blue prevail. Only rarely, during the screening, feet of bathers and surfers peep into the frame. Otherwise, the presence of human beings is almost totally excluded and this is further accentuated by the total absence of sound. The perfect wave. Or, better still, the succession of waves. Mechanical, man-made, artificial waves. Then, suddenly, the image of the pool in its entirety. Completely empty. Completely static. At least until the waves start to follow each other again, one after the other.

A film, this 2 Days Left, which is strongly minimalist and which makes an unusual alienating effect its real strong point. An alienating effect given by a strong artificiality that can only be achieved within highly urbanised spaces. Spaces created for man, but within which the very presence of any human being seems to contrast with the context, as the only ‘natural’ element where there seems to be no place for nature.

But what will become of human beings when machines and the aforementioned artificiality have definitively taken over every aspect of everyday life? 2 Days Left does not aim to give exhaustive answers to this question. Nor, at times, does it seem to pose such questions. It is a perfect wave mechanics that, here, enraptures the audience’s gaze with its incessant and, in its way, also, if you like, reassuring repetition.

Original title: 2 Days left
Directed by: Simona Obholzer
Country/year: Austria / 2020
Running time: 8’
Genre: experimental
Screenplay: Simona Obholzer
Cinematography: Michael Schindegger, Simona Obholzer
Produced by: Simona Obholzer

Info: the page of 2 Days left on the website of the Diagonale