Wilhelm Reich

Todeskino completed a film called "Wilhelm Reich" ( 16 mm, 8340 frames, 6').
The film is built of 16 cells, sequences where the frame-units are corresponding to the Fibonacci series that were applied to a measure of film durations by Todeskino ("CineFrAc" / Golden Section / human proportions).
CineFrAc

The cells follow steps of 2 or 3 numbers of the first, left, classic Fibonacci series that sum up to another number in the series, whereas the sums of the 3 units steps result in a number of the second, right series which is based on the double of the first. See the following illustration:
CineFrAc

For the composition of part I the random generator random.org brings the 16 cells into a random order. The subjects of the units are consisting of b/w found footage (partly negative), colorized in 6 colors of the spectrum by Todeskino's special film colorizing method. The material represents Reichian topics (scientific, biologic, microscopic, cellular, cosmic, erotic and political images). 
For the structure of part II random.org was deciding a random order of 100 cells, where the single sequences can occur repeatedly. In the film the sequences are edited as long as every cell has appeared at least once, which is resulting in 51 sequences of cells in the present film. The film's total duration sums up to 8340 frames.

Stills from "Wilhelm Reich" by Todeskino:




  
Wilhelm Reich as a child
 

Polynome 9936/Polynomials 9936 - New Film Conceptions 3


Todeskino completed a new film in the series New Film Conceptions, "Polynomials 9936", 7' 16mm. The film is conceived after the principle of a „functional montage“. The durations of the film units for the sequences are projected as mathematical functions. On the abscissa the units are passing after the progressive timeline and added to sequences. The durations of the frame-units are a result from the function values on the ordinate, that are varying after the progressing units and calculated after polynomial functions.
funktionelle Filmmontage von Todeskino
concept of a functional film montage by Todeskino
 

Elements of composition after the mentioned polynomial-distributed durations of the filmframe-units are
the sequences as „film-polynomials“, that are succeeding consecutively numbered (#1-16), at which the total number of frames is indicated, that is distributed by each function (e.g. #1 / 264) and 9936 in the title is refering to the entire film’s  frame number that is distributed, organized and composed by the single polynomials. And the "subjects" of the film units consisting of clear leader dyed in the six colors of the spectrum with a special colorizing technique developed by Todeskino, found footage material, found footage dyed in the mentioned colors, original material, original material dyed in the same colors and finally
black leader with abstract geometric figures scratched into it with the help of templates. All distributions for the subjects/materials were decided by a random generator at www.random.org
stills from the film showing examples of the different elements:
























































polynomial functions distributing the frame units for the sequences #6 to 9 of the film

 

The Shape of Film to Come


Todeskino
New Film Conceptions 2 – The Shape of Film to Come
14'  16mm  b/w


The film’s composition follows the algebraic notation of a chessgame, transfering it directly on to the film strip and the number of frames. The positions of the chess pieces are indicated by black and clear leader with scratchings or marks showing the coordinates of the chess board, the moves of the pieces are displayed in the way that the number of squares in the movements is corresponding to the number of film frames. On the film strip one could indeed reconstruct the game. (In the introduction sequences showing the chess board the principles of the golden section and the Fibonacci numbers in the framework are applied again as in our previous works.)


Furthermore the six different chess pieces are illustrated by tarot cards (taken from the Aleister Crowley/Frieda Harris Thot tarot deck), positive for white and negative for black, amplifying the collective symbolic connotations of the chessgame for the human psyche. Chess is a game of representation, historically reflecting the feudal system and the social forms of power, classes and sovereignity  that are derived from religious structures until today.


Thus the correspondence with the tarot cards opens up the concept towards a symbolic transgression that goes beyond the limited aspects of human rationality that is based on and derived from a godlike reason. Chess is representing a male system of paternal power and its logic of strategic war. Therefore the first games from the series of the famous chess world championship 1972 were chosen for the composition (http://tchecmeet.free.fr/parties/view/spass-fischer.htm), because after a long dominance of soviet players it also had the political dimension of reflecting the cold war situation on the chessboard, a prestige game of war and power displaying an almost fetichelike human rationality and paranoia.
(Note that in the chess federations in the ELO points rating system there is an unquestioned discrimination of women, treating their master degree for less, showing that the chess world overall is traditionally rooted in reactionary surroundings.) 


The allusions in the title „The Shape of Film to Come“ are manifold. Obviously the concept is inspired by music. In 1968 John Cage and Marcel Duchamp played a game of chess as a performance where their moves on an electronically prepared  chessboard were transformed into sounds. In 1959 free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman made an album „The Shape of Jazz to Come“ that was programmatically foreshadowing a new style and conception in jazz. It has a great irony too for us proclaiming new conceptions for the future in film exactly at a point where film itself, its materiality, is dying out, giving way for pure digital cinema that is in most cases very limited and poor in its scope of thinking compared to the analogue. There is no future for film and there is no real film to come any more. Todeskino displays death in motion and was born in the times of the irreversable death of film. But the fear of death is the crucial basis of human existence. Man is not master of time. Film is the last art in the row of art forms and the only one to really create in the field of both space and time, even more expanded than in modern architecture. With film art dies. The digital image media  try to control everything by a binary code system and the way of „computing“ analogue material fame by frame structurally appears to us as the only way to transgress that. Chess is predestinated to illustrate this binary world of black and white in cold logic. It is a ridiculous, neurotic or sometimes even psychotic, human attempt to challenge death. In Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal a desperate knight plays chess with death and the pool is his life. But death says „I give no respite“. It is the futile try to suspend what comes in future, the inevitable move of a „superhuman“ transgressive force. Chess is, like all art forms, and it is an art in itself in a way, an economic system, in the closed form of limited economy like Bataille would say, and on the fringes of its representation that what transgresses it. The art of the chess master is anticipation of the future until there is no future left and nothing to come exept the death of the king, the taboo, the feared incestuous transgression. (video, „I see“…)  
The gaining of "time" and "space" is indeed a classical term in chess strategy. Today there are absurd battles reflecting the late global capitalistic status, to write chess programs with fantastic ratings that are playing the world championships among themselves and that no human grandmaster is able to beat any more. The machine, although constructed by humans, overpowers them and leaves a blind spot in a grotesque unconscious identification or projection: mortality. Through the machine age of late modern technological civilisation a kind of „immortality“ is tried to be obtained, neglecting that even gods die…  The battle for space, the 2nd WW, was transformed more and more into a battle for time, „information“, during the cold war period, now in the post-political post cold war era the battle to control the masses is raging on as a struggle for information revealing itself every year in new processors for faster and more complex calculations, more electronic „space“ for data storage, higher resolutions for pornographic images, grotesque financial games and so on.
Needless to say that there is another aspect of what is to come: fatality. The tarot is traditionally used for divination. As long as the film is played from the reel there are always frames to come. The shape of film to come is our film. We don't stop playing - far out...
the coordinates of the chessboard used for the algebraic notation of a chess game, basis for the film's score and notation structurally, frame by frame


Thot, egyptian god of the scribes and of magic


tarot card "The Fool" from the Aleister Crowley/Frieda Harris "Thoth" deck, in the film representing the chessgame's pawn piece


The Knight of Wands, representing the knight

The Tower, illustrating the rook


The Hierophant, representing the bishop


The Empress, representing the queen
The Emperor, representing the king



stills from "The Seventh Seal" by Ingmar Bergman
the psychoanalysis of a cold war, Fischer vs. Spassky 1972 

John Cage & Marcel Duchamp, "Reunion" performance Toronto 1968 
John Cage: In Zen they say: If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, try it for eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on. Eventually one discovers that it’s not boring at all but very interesting.
Chess & Jazz 
Anthony Braxton: Chess is an affirmation of proportional logic, chess is an affirmation of geometry and composition is sonic geometry ... number is also poetic.