the-man-with-modern-nerves-1988-der-mensch-mit-den-modernen-nerven-bady-minck-stefan-stratil-recensione-review-kritik

THE MAN WITH MODERN NERVES

      Comments Off on THE MAN WITH MODERN NERVES

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

by Bady Minck and Stefan Stratil

grade: 8

In The Man with Modern Nerves Bady Minck and Stefan Stratil had fun playing with shapes and details, in order to realise a true hymn to beauty and art in all its forms. Time and space become essential players. With the passage of time, Adolf Loos’ project finally became reality in a completely innovative form. In space – understood as both physical space and filmic space – his creation finds its highest fulfilment.

A new “life”

The famous Austrian architect Adolf Loos (1870 – 1933) designed in 1923 a building intended to be the seat of a town hall in Mexico. This building was supposed to have the shape of a terraced pyramid and, in fact, was never realised. Yet, even today, there are drawings by Loos himself that testify to the existence of this project. Could Cinema have remained indifferent to this, given also – and above all – the great innovation from a formal point of view that such a work represented? Absolutely not. And so, in 1988, Adolf Loos’ project finally came to life, albeit not in the same form in which it was initially conceived. This project, in fact, became an innovative animated short film made by Bady Minck and Stefan Stratil, thanks also to the collaboration of architects Sonja Back, Willi Kühas and Harald Lutz, who contributed to the development of Loos’ ideas. We are talking about The Man with Modern Nerves, which, in just eight minutes, fully renders the essence of this never realised project.

A leg brace initially takes centre stage on the big screen and is animated mechanically in a rudimentary stop motion. Who does this leg brace belong to? A man (whose legs we actually only see) wears it and walks with the help of crutches around his studio. On the floor, numerous crumpled sheets of paper immediately make us understand that he is working on a rather important project. And slowly, from the very sheets of paper on his desk, this project takes shape: it is a small, all-white terraced pyramid, also animated in stop motion, which appears and disappears as if we were watching a magic show.

The Man with Modern Nerves is, therefore, particularly interesting from many points of view. Architecture, one of the primary arts, naturally takes centre stage. Loos’ pyramid appears almost out of nowhere and takes on each time the most imaginative shapes, moving fluidly on the movie screen and further emphasising the concept of space, on which the famous architect worked for many, many years.

Fade-outs. Overlays. Details that almost seem to compose an abstract painting. An imaginary city that becomes the perfect location. Andre Mergenthaler’s strongly minimalist music. In The Man with Modern Nerves Bady Minck and Stefan Stratil had fun playing with shapes and details, creating a true hymn to beauty and art in all its forms. Time and space become essential players in bringing this to life. With the passage of time, Adolf Loos’ project finally saw the light of day in a completely innovative form. In space – understood as both physical and filmic space – his creation finds its ultimate fulfilment. The Man with Modern Nerves is a true visual experience. An extremely sophisticated and wonderfully hypnotic short film, further testimony to what Austrian avant-garde and animated cinema is capable of achieving.

Original title: Der Mensch mit den modernen Nerven
Directed by: Bady Minck, Stefan Stratil
Country/year: Austria, Luxembourg / 1988
Running time: 8’
Genre: animation, experimental
Screenplay: Bady Minck, Stefan Stratil
Cinematography: Bady Minck, Stefan Stratil
Produced by: Bady Minck, Stefan Stratil

Info: the page of The Man with modern Nerves on iMDb; the page of The Man with modern Nerves on the website of the sixpackfilm; the page of The Man with modern nerves on the website of Bady Minck