Films by Peter Kubelka


1957 | Austria
2a�� | 16 mm | B&W |Optical sound
Screnning: 16 mm

Adebar was Peter Kubelkaa��s first metric film, in which he precisely ordered all the elements of composition. The film works with individual units of 13, 26 and 52 frames, following a system of rhythmic rules that include the strict use of the positive and negative space, which determines their structure within the film. Adebar was made on commission as an advertisement for a Viennese discotheque, and showing rigorous repetitions of a dance scene in silhouette,
alternating rapidly between positive and negative, with a fragment of ancient music from central Africa. In its use of hypnotic loops and syncopated variations in movement, the film turned out to be too advanced for its sponsors.


1958 | Austria
1a�� | 16 mm | Color | Optical sound
Screnning: 16 mm

In 1957, Peter Kubelka was hired to make a short commercial for Scwechater beer. The beer company undoubtedly thought they were commissioning a film that would help them sell their beers; Kubelka had other ideas. He shot his film with a camera that did not even have a viewer, simply pointing it in the general direction of the action. He then took many months to edit his footage, while the company fumed and demanded a finished product. Finally he submitted a film, 90 seconds long, that featured extremely rapid cutting (cutting at the limits of most viewersa�� perception) between images nizagara generic. washed out almost to the point of abstraction a�� in black-and-white positive and negative and with red tint a�� of dimly visible people drinking beer and of the froth of beer seen in a fully abstract pattern (Fred Camper).

Arnulf Rainer

1960 | Austria
6a�� 24a��a�� | 35 mm | B&W | Optical sound
Screnning: 35 mm

Arnulf Rainera��s images are the most a�?reduceda�? of all a�� this is a film composed entirely of frames of solid black and solid white which Kubelka strings together in lengths as long as 24 seconds and as short as a single frame. When he alternates between single black and white frames, a rapid flicker effect is produced, which is as close as Kubelka can come to the somewhat more rapid flicker of motion-picture projection; during the long sections of darkness one waits in nervous anticipation for the flicker to return, without knowing precisely which form it will take. But Arnulf Rainer is not merely a study of film rhythm and flicker. In reducing the cinema to its essentials, Kubelka has not stripped it of meaning, but rather made an object which has qualities so general as to suggest a variety of possible meanings, each touching on some essential aspect of existence. (Fred Camper)

Unsere Afrikareise / Our trip to Africa

1966 | Austria
13a�� | 16 mm | B&W | Optical sound
Screnning: 16 mm

Kubelkaa��s most recent film before Pause! is Unsere Afrikareise, whose images are relatively conventional a�?recordsa�� of a hunting-trip in Africa. The shooting records multiple a�?systemsa�� a�� white hunters, natives, animals, natural objects, buildings a�� in a manner that preserves the individuality of each. At the same time, the editing of sound and image brings these systems into comparison and collision, producing a complex of multiple meanings, statements, ironies… I know of no other cinema like this. The ultimate precision, even fixity, that Kubelkaa��s films achieve frees them to become objects that have some of the complexity of nature itself a�� but they are films of a nature refined and defined, remade into a series of relationships. Those rare and miraculous moments in nature when the suna��s rays align themselves precisely with the edge of a rock or the space between two buildings, or when a pattern on sand or in clouds suddenly seems to take on some other aspect, animal or human, are parallelled in single events of a Kubelka film. The whole film is forged out of so many such precisions with an ecstatic compression possible only in cinema (Fred Camper).

La BIM agradece a Fred Camper por brindarnos las sinopsis de las obras de Peter Kubelka

Peter Kubelka is an Austrian filmmaker born in Vienna in 1934. He is also co-founder of the Osterreichisches Filmmuseum (Vienna) and Anthology Film Archives (New York), a curator, archivist, lecturer, architect, musician, collector and cook a�� the last playing such a central role in his filmic philosophy that he once added a�?and Cuisinea�? to his formal job title of Professor of Film at the Frankfurt School of Fine Arts. Peter Kubelka has influenced the history of film and its avant-garde tradition like few others. His films mark a new way of understanding the effects of cinema on history. In this program the works Adebar (1957), Schwechater (1958), Arnulf Rainer (1960) and Unsere Afrikareise (1966) will be screened.