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IM AUGENBLICK. DIE HISTORIE UND DAS OFFENE

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by Othmar Schmiderer and Angela Summereder

grade: 8

Im Augenblick. Die Historie und das Offene plays with sensations and perceptions, is constantly searching for new ways of staging, is not afraid to dare or to exaggerate. The yellow of the cinematography almost suggests imminent danger. What if the danger is represented by humans themselves?

Humans and animals

What differentiates humans from animals? This is a question that many writers and philosophers have pondered over the years. What if animals were able to fully understand our sense on earth and the quintessence of our very existence? The filmmakers Othmar Schmiderer and Angela Summereder tried to provide an answer by collecting a series of writings on the subject, together with the testimony of the pastor and writer Bodo Hell, who has lived in close contact with nature for years. The result of this experiment is the short documentary Im Augenblick. Die Historie und das Offene , made in 2013.

Yellow-tinged images of a group of goats grazing on the grass. An alienating, almost disturbing atmosphere contrasts with the calm world we are shown. Many voices overlap and, from time to time, recite excerpts from Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel de Montaigne, Descartes and Giorgio Agamben. A solitary man (Bodo Hell, precisely) makes cheese from goat’s milk and, at the same time, questions the world around him. The eyes of the goats in the foreground look at the camera, making us feel observed and conveying an unusual unease.

Im Augenblick.Die Historie und das Offene plays with sensations and perceptions, is constantly searching for new ways of staging, is not afraid to dare or exaggerate. The yellow of the cinematography almost suggests imminent danger. What if the danger is represented by humans themselves?

In Im Augenblick. Die Historie und das Offene the images speak for themselves and through the off-screen voices they manifest themselves in all their visual power. The two directors, for their part, have paid attention to every possible detail, and have also done a rather sophisticated work on sounds. Distorted and disturbing sounds contribute to accentuate the feeling of unease that pervades the entire documentary and, together with the aforementioned elements, they create a harmonious symphony in which a return to nature in its purest form turns out to be almost the only solution to escape the evil that pervades the world in which we live.

Reality and utopia. Ideas and solutions. An ideal world that, however, still seems far, far too far away. Othmar Schmiderer and Angela Summereder seem to have no doubts about the questions addressed in this important work of theirs. And so, they express their ideas in a direct, visually appealing manner, creating an elegant blend of philosophy, literature and film. In Im Augenblick. Die Historie und das Offene everything is called into question, to the point that, at the end of the screening, the viewer himself feels bewildered, dazed, but also, at the same time, extremely fascinated by the world he has just observed. Nature, once again, wins out. Cinema has, as always, enhanced all its many potentials.

Original title: Im Augenblick. Die Historie und das Offene
Directed by: Othmar Schmiderer, Angela Summereder
Country/year: Austria / 2013
Running time: 32’
Genre: documentary, experimental
Screenplay: Angela Summereder, Othmar Schmiderer
Cinematography: Othmar Schmiderer
Produced by: o.schmiderer filmproduktion

Info: the page of Im Augenblick. Die Historie und das Offene on iMDb; the page of Im Augenblick. Die Historie und das Offene on the website of the Diagonale