Gerhard Friedl

Ein Arbeitsbuch

Edited by Volker Pantenburg

Austrian Film Museum

Gerhard Friedl

Pub Date: November 2019

ISBN: 9783901644788

272 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $29.90£25.00

Gerhard Friedl

Ein Arbeitsbuch

Edited by Volker Pantenburg

Austrian Film Museum

Austrian director Gerhard Benedikt Friedl (1967–2009) left a small but singular oeuvre. His two films Knittelfeld: A Town Without a History (1997) and Wolff von Amerongen—Did He Commit Bankruptcy Offenses? (2004) are formally rigorous documentary investigations that combine an erratic voice-over commentary with patient observational camera movements. Informed by his studies of philosophy, consciously building on work by James Benning, Straub/Huillet, and others, Friedl invented a unique method of exposing the conjunction of politics, history, and violence in twentieth-century European capitalism. After the critical acclaim of Wolff von Amerongen, the filmmaker embarked on a project investigating the history of the workers’ struggle in the United States, but decided to abandon it after a research trip to the historical locations convinced him of the difficulties in finding any remaining echoes of this historic movement. Traces of the project can be discerned in his final work, Shedding Details (2009), codirected by artist Laura Horelli.

This book sheds light on the work behind Friedl’s films. It combines working process documentation, including photographs, project drafts, and excerpts from his correspondence, with conversations with close collaborators. At the same time, the juxtaposed material traces the path from Friedl’s first short films made at the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF) to several unfinished projects undertaken around the time of his premature death. In addition, it republishes the articles Friedl wrote as a film and art critic and highlights his work as a film teacher and occasional curator.

The volume contains contributions by Gerhard Friedl; conversations with Rudolf Barmettler, Ivette Löcker, Laura Horelli, and others; as well as an introductory essay by editor Volker Pantenburg.

About the Author

Volker Pantenburg is professor of film studies at the Free University of Berlin. He has published widely on essayistic film and video practices, experimental cinema, and contemporary moving image installations. Book publications in English include Farocki/Godard: Film as Theory (2015), Cinematographic Objects: Things and Operations (2015, edited) and Screen Dynamics: Mapping the Borders of Cinema (2012; coedited). In 2015, he cofounded the Harun Farocki Institut, a nonprofit organization designed as a platform for researching Farocki’s visual and discursive practice and supporting new projects that engage with the past, present, and future of image cultures.