In 1927, Jan Cornelis Mol, who was then director of the Fruitveiling, made "From the realm of crystal", an early example of the use of time-lapse photography in film. Using microscope and macro lens Mol makes a stunning film that shows the biological and chemical crystals. This work was picked up by the avant-garde artists who saw this film as the example of the absolute film. In the famous Studio 24 in Paris the work was even shown as an expanded work with three projectors!
Starting from this wonder we look at how filmmakers reveal the otherwise invisible world to us. Following JC Mol, we show works of the German collective Schmelzdahin (consisting of: Jürgen Reble, Jochen Müller and Jochen Lempert) that can be seen as the somewhat cinematic exponent of Einstürzende Neubauten. This "film alchemists' stopped their films in the water where the algae affected the work, or added organic substances which provided the films of a new 'patin'. The majority on Super 8 film, as we show in this program.
Tomonari Nishikawa examines the impact of Fukushima while questioning the political stance in the aftermath of this disaster. He does this by burying his film six hours in the vicinity of the nuclear reactor while he waits and writes down his observations of the environment. The film may perhaps be 'nuclear' loaded, the poetic lyrics about the movie almost hide the dangers and deals mainly with the beauty of the surroundings.
We end up with Pascal Baes, which could be the Belgian J.C. Mol. Trained as a biologist he leaves this trade to focus on film. After a long career as a successful filmmaker in the 90s including commercials for Nike, he later focused entirely on the pure cinema and his old love - biology. Similarly in 'Berck', where he uses timelapse photography and macro lenses on molds and mushrooms that grow in films in his specially designed studio. This film is accompanied with live music by DJP, which accompanies this work on his homemade hurdy-gurdy.
- Uit het rijk der kristallen (Jan Cornelis Mol, NL, 1927, 13', b&w, 35mm)
- Aus den Algen (Schmelzdahin, DE, 1986, 10', colour, Super 8mm)
- Stadt in Flammen (Schmelzdahin, DE, 1984, 5', colour, Super 8mm)
- Sound of a million Insects, Light of a thousand Stars (Tomonari Nishikawa, JP, 2014, 2', colour, 35mm)
- Berck (Pascal Baes, BE, 2016, 57', colour, digital) with live music by DJP