Tuesday, January 17, 1995

Austria 1

Material and Sensation: An Overview

Pacific Film Archive

The Cinematheque and Pacific Film Archive co-present a 7-program series offering an in-depth look at one of the world’s great and renewing avant-garde film communities. Curated by Cinematheque Director Steve Anker, the retrospective is organized around themes and works which have shaped Austrian film art for nearly 40 years: confrontations with conservative attitudes toward the human body and sexuality; aggressive, physical explorations of the materiality of the medium; the Viennese genius, familiar in music and architecture, for radically transforming form and structure; and a systematic fusion of art, ideology, and personal life. This series, including 64 films by 23 artists, concludes its 10-city American tour this June at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. A handsome catalogue is also available. Co-produced by the San Francisco Cinematheque and Sixpack Film of Vienna, the series is made possible through the support of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education and the Arts and the Austrian Cultural Institute, New York.

This stunning overview introduces nine filmmakers whose other films appear in later programs. Beginning with Peter Kubelka’s groundbreaking, beautiful first-film, Mosaik im Vertrauen (1955), the program continues with local premieres of Valie Export’s sexual manifesto Man & Woman & Animal (1973), and films by Ernst Schmidt Jr. (Body-building, 1966, recorded during an Otto Muehl Materialaktion), Peter Tscherkassky, Hans Scheugl, Dietmar Brehm, Kurt Kren, Martin Arnold and Mara Mattuschka.