directors lounge monthly screening
hex suffice cache ten
video and 16mm film programm
selected from his private educational film archive
Thursday, 1 November 2012
Thorsten Fleisch, artist and filmmaker who lives in Berlin, combines many of his interests and talents in his new film Hex Suffice Cache Ten. It might be astonishing to see the experimental filmmaker and alumni of Frankfurter Städel School making a science fiction film that combines narrative B-movie aesthetics with experimental film techniques and adaptations of Manga, Cronenberg, Splatter Movie and Cyberpunk. On the other hand, the openness of the film's narrative may be read in many ways, and is possibly not only accessible but totally enjoyable for both lovers of the experimental genre and trash film addicts.
From the beginning on, the images open up a whole array of associations. Moving small water polyps laid over images of lava bursts may be taken as reference to the beginnings of life in water under the influences of strong energy bursts, or they could signify alien life forms, possibly under threat. A woman, the image of who first appears with a polyp head, searches a laboratory, while other occupants seem to undertake their own searches and experiments. Do they know each other and interfere? Their doing is reflected and possibly influenced by flickering images of dots, colors, chemical and electronic instruments, intelligence tests, mathematical formulas, and images of electronic games. These almost abstract images could stand for themselves. Isolated from the scenes using actors and combined, we would have an abstract film playing with the said symbolism and metaphors. In their making, however, they are strictly connected to the plot Thorsten Fleisch has laid out for the film. Instead of using expensive production techniques and silicon graphics effects, Thorsten Fleisch is using low production methods, a true no-budget production with all the settings and effects made in his private single bedroom apartment. No voice-over or dialog is given, but an electronic hum and atmospheric beat, thus leaving the (re-)construction of the narrative to the viewer. Similar to some strategies in the making of contemporary art, the meticulous construction of each scene and cutting according to the artist's plot gives the movie a preciseness in the making, which can be sensed, even if I, the viewer, may construct a completely different story from the images and scenes in the film.
It is interesting to me, that the film seems to move from the metaphors of some kind of intelligent technoid vegetation to machines becoming controlled by vegetational fluids. First, the vegetational life forms seem to feed from electronics, the fluids on the other hand seem to augment the test subject's intelligence, while their expression consists in hand written formulas. Then after the first climax of the story, according to B-movie tradition it is of course the female character that is first subjected to atrocities, the machines become occupied by the fluids, striking back until the "professor" himself is subjected to some kind of vegetational takeover, in the end he dies from some quickly growing wet cancer.
In certain ways, Fleisch uses old technological artifacts in order to create science fiction, the lately popular steam punk is similar to the artist's esthetic strategies. However, over the course of the film, the dramatic interactions between the characters of the film are almost entirely resolved by some kind of screen, some intermediate interface. Furthermore, the ways those interactions both stay ambiguous and could be characterized as undercurrent psychosis, we could find another parallel: the famous, but rarely seen adaptation of J. G. Ballard's "The Atrocity Exhibition" by Jonathan Weiss. The presumption of Weiss' treatment of his characters is the contagious psychotic influences by contemporary screen media. One way of interpretation of Hex Suffice Cache Ten could go along similar tracks.
At the beginning of the evening, Thorsten Fleisch will show a selection from his archive of educational films. He is collecting all kinds of original silent 16mm films from science, often medical movies and educational films meant to be shown in school. These films, from 30's to 50's in esthetic ways to us often seem to be strange, and sometimes touching. The films thus will resonate with Hex Suffice Cache Ten, as here Thorsten is often using medical and electronic devices collected from the time before 1945 in order to create futuristic images. Another parallel to Jonathan Weiss, who also uses appropriated films giving them new meaning. Different to Weiss, however, Fleisch does not (re-)edit his found material but he shows it as original 16mm. These films receive their new meaning by decontextualization and the alienation of time distance. Their timed seriousness may appear funny, but the rigor of their esthetic quality may also be disclosed as having psychotic qualities. Thus, apart from being curiosities, these collected films by Thorsten Fleisch together with his new film "Hex Suffice Cache Ten" may remind us of the influences contemporary media has on our subconsciousness by their mere media qualities. Something that might be harder to perceive if looking with naked eye at most recent renderings of "media normality".
Hex Suffice Cache Ten
Produced by Thorsten Fleischcinematography, Script & Music by Thorsten Fleisch
Starring Lise Ivanouw, Daniel Scheimberg, Timo Fleisch and Thorsten Fleisch
Length: 12:42 minutes / Format: HD / Year: 2012
A surreal escape of a disintegrating mind into neon-lit nightmares from a discarded future. Suddenly interferences from sub-particle proliferation occur within the protagonist's body, a transformation can't be avoided.
This exploration of cinematic space within an implosion of cerebral space is a daring tale of aliens, experiments on humans, video games and mutation. It is showering the unsuspecting viewer in handmade visual and aural stimuli from planet Fleisch.