|.||L'Arrivée||185k download Image|
2 min 09 sec
35mm & 16 mm
Sixpack Film (Vienna)
Light Cone (Paris) (16mm)
is Tscherkassky's second hommage to the Lumiére-brothers. First
you see the arrival of the film itself, which shows the arrival of a train
at a station. But that train collides with a second train, causing a violent
crash, which leads us to an unexpected third arrival, the arrival of a
beautiful woman the happy-end.
Reduced to two minutes L'Arrivée gives a brief, but exact summary of what cinematography (after its arrival with Lumiéres train) has made into an enduring presence of our visual enviroment: violence, emotions. Or, as an anonymous american housewife (cited by T. W. Adorno) used to describe Hollywood's version of life: "Getting into trouble and out of it again."
LArrivée from Peter Tscherkassky is difficult to
grasp and describe but exciting. It appears as if the film with the depicted
train has to work its way across the screen with a great deal of effort.
It literally shivers its way into the picture as if it had been incorrectly
fed into the projector and was forced to do a dance in order to be seen
properly. Even viewers well-versed in avant-garde film are subjected to
a few minutes of distraction and breathless expectation. And not because
narrative cinema has been subverted for the umpteenth time, but because
a sensual experience of delayed perception really is on offer here. A
storm of material follows and then Catherine Deneuve descends from the
train and falls in to the embrace of an approaching man. LArrivée
is an apparently simple experience, and perhaps more exciting, sensual
and intellectual because of that simplicity.
A white screen. Tabula rasa. Panavision. LArrivée
shines on you like pure projected light, like the white surface still
waiting for the marks of the film maker. In LArrivée,
Peter Tscherkassky goes back to the beginning, back to lumière
and the Lumières who, once upon a time, made a film of a train
And then the dirt begins to invade, the "story", if you like. A frenzy in the soundtrack it bangs, creaks, crackles and roars. From the right a grey veil approaches: the perforation of a strip of film. LArrivée makes cinema from mistakes, from derailments. Half pictures the misty pictures of a grey delegation in station somewhere penetrate the white surface. From right and left they run together, crash into each other and strive to separate themselves again. The material comes from Mayerling (1968), a Habsburger melodrama from the British director Terence Young. The Eastman colour which was originally present has been exorcised by the film maker.
What Tscherkassky does here is drastically re-configure in CinemaScope. A train arrives and collides with its mirror image. Events begin to turn head over heels. Tscherkassky hystericalises the images. He allows them to lose their certainty, crosses soundtrack with perforation strip, changes positive to negative, slits the material open. Inside out and upside down. Phantom images behind the veil of a film still running amok as if in the grip of a panicking collaborative cinematographic machine. A film star staggers into the final kiss Catherine Deneuve alights, a man (Omar Sharif which sounds like j'arrive) hurries towards her. A kiss. Bliss. An end. LArrivée is a film in the process of approaching. An orchestrated melodrama of dislocated viewing values made whith sheer pleasure in disaster.
Just as the record player needle has to find the right groove, LArrivée
has to settle into the perforation tracks before the narrative line can
develop. A train arrives in a station where a hand-instigated collision
with another train takes place. The event is not just a depiction, but
a battle of the material itself. This is not the end, but the transition
to a kiss, to the Happy End. LArrivée demonstrates
where cinema begins with the spectacular, and where it ends
"Tscherkasskys L'Arrivée ist ein ursprüngliches
Stück Kino. Es thematisiert, was für den Avantgarde-Film selten
ist und neues Terrain eröffnet, in CinemaScope zwei Konstanten des
Kinematographischen: Der Zug als zentrales Bewegungsparadigma und die
Begegnung von Mann und Frau. In der Dunkelkammer wird das belichtete Material
auf das zu belichtende gelegt (wie in einem frühen Film Man Rays)
in der Form, daß die Perforationslöcher am Rand zu sehen
sind und eine Art Gleiskörper bilden. Der Film, der in die Geschichte
eintritt, findet über die Dauer von L'Arrivée sein
Bett wie ein Fluß über lange Dauer seinen Lauf er präsentiert
sich als Urform für seine Aufgaben ab 1895. Der Titel gemahnt daran
und bestimmt den Punkt, wo die Technik so reif ist, daß die Kinematographie
starten kann. Damit thematisiert Tscherkassky auch eine zentrale Beschäftigungslinie
der gegenwärtigen Avantgarde-Filmproduktion: den Brückenschlag
zu den Anfängen des Kinos."
Cinematheque Royal, Bruxelles/Belgium, acquired LArrivée
for their permanent collection.
LArrivée was made possible through grants from the Federal Ministry for the Arts and the Government of Lower Austria, Section Art and Science.
LArrivée was shown at the following festivals:
Diagonale 1998 Festival des österr. Films