INDEX is proud to present Ernst Schmidt Jr - ViennaFilm 1896-1976, available for the first time with English subtitles:
Wienfilm 1896-1976 / ViennaFilm 1896-1976
Austria 1976/77, 16mm, color & b/w, sound, 117 min.
Cinematography: Ernst Schmidt Jr., Walter Funda, Günter Pollak, Günter Janicek
Music: Alexander Girardi, Armin Berg
Cast & Contributors: Friedrich Achleitner,? Marc Adrian, H.C. Artmann, Helmut Benedikt, Armin Berg, Joe Berger, Moucle Blackout, Charles Chaplin, Irina David, Engelbert Dollfuß, Wolfgang Ernst, VALIE EXPORT, Franz Joseph I., Padhi Frieberger, Sigmund Freud, Walter Funda, Alexander Girardi, Hermann Göring, Adolf Hitler, Ernst Jandl, Günter Janicek, Berd Klamer, Werner Kofler, Theodor Kömer, Brenda & Sheila Kronheim, Ernst J. Lauscher, Louis & Auguste Lumière, Friederike Mayröcker, Otto Mühl, Cora Pongracz, J. Poselski, Arnulf Rainer, Karl Renner, Diter Rot, Gerhard Rühm, Hermann Schürrer, Kurt Schuschnigg, Peter Weibel, Karl v. Zieglmayer, et al.
“You can be Viennese all over the world – just not in Vienna.” (Joe Berger in ViennaFilm 1896–1976)
“ViennaFilm 1896–1976 constitutes the first feature length film completed by Schmidt Jr. It premieres on January 28, 1977 at the Austrian Film Museum; it is screened at Vienna’s Inter-national Film Festival, the Seventh International Forum of New Cinema in Berlin and the Festival dei Popoli in Florence. In a statement accompanying the film, the filmmaker himself describes the work as a collage.2 This term evokes the use of diverse footage, tape splices, and an uneven surface – instead of a tidy unity it conveys a patchwork that remains visible as such.” (Isabella Reicher)
“This film is a kind of anthology about Vienna, from the invention of film to the present day. The aim is to break down the usual clichéd ‘image of Vienna’ such as that found in the traditional ‘ViennaFilm’ by juxtaposing documentary footage, newly shot material and subjective sequences created by various artists. Individual, self-contained sections of the film gain new meaning within the context of historical material. Familiar sites appear estranged when edited together with historical scenes. Other scenes appear like a persiflage or satirical.
The film does not incorporate any commentary whatsoever. It is a collage of diverse materials aimed at conveying a distanced image of Vienna to the viewer.” (Ernst Schmidt Jr.)
"Up until the early 1970s, Schmidt Jr. realized expanded cinema Actions, created conceptual films, shot several lettrist text films, and began work on his wonderful Wienfilm 1896-1976, a two hour documentary Schmidt Jr. called “a kind of anthology about Vienna, from the discovery of film up until the present time”. The list of participants reads like a who´s who of the avant-garde and underground scene in Austria of its day." (Peter Tscherkassky)
DVD Extra: 20 pages booklet bilingual English-German, including:
- „Image of the City as a Construction Site“, by Isabella Reicher
- Exhaustive shot sequence, compiled by Ernst Schmidt Jr.
- Ernst Schmidt Jr.’s biography and filmography