European Film/Video

2005
How Little We Know of Our Neighbours

How Little We Know of Our Neighbours is an experimental documentary about Britain's Mass Observation Movement and its relationship to contemporary issues regarding surveillance, public self-disclosure, and privacy. At its center is a look at the multiple roles cameras have played in public space, starting in the 1880's, when the introduction of the hand-held camera brought photography out of the studio and into the street. For the first time one could be photographed casually in public without knowledge or consent.

1990
How to Live in the FRG

The author assembles a genre picture of the contemporary FRG with shots of scenes where life is rehearsed, ability/durability is tested. Wherever one looks, people appear as actors playing themselves; they take on roles. A play in the theater of life made up of training courses, fitness tests for things and people. Be it in birth preparation classes for expectant parents or in practice runs for sales talks, on the military training ground or during role-plays for educational purposes. Everywhere the incessant effort to be prepared for the emergency of "reality" can be felt.

2000
I Must Be Beautiful Too

The title gives a bitter meaning to the uneasy image of a woman who is brushing her hair over her face with fierce movements. Mostly the face remains impersonally hidden under her hair; when it is uncovered, we see how the rough scratches of the brush against the skin have smeared her lipstick.

This title is also available on Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 1.

2001
I Wanted You

I Wanted You shows a woman who is crawling over the floor. She is wearing only tights and a pair of red shoes with high heels. Her hair-covered face makes her an anonymous victim of the camera, which is making converging circles around her body.

This title is also available on Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 1.

2003
I Was Once Involved in a Shit Show

A comic monologue, I Was Once Involved in a Shit Show is a recollection of an imaginary art event that tallies with what most artists experience when they are involved in putting on an unfunded group show.

1983
An Image

"Four days spent in a studio working on a centerfold photo for Playboy magazine provided the subject matter for my film. The magazine itself deals with culture, cars, a certain lifestyle. Maybe all those trappings are only there to cover up the naked woman. Maybe it's like with a paper-doll. The naked woman in the middle is a sun around which a system revolves: of culture, of business, of living!

1988
Images of the World and the Inscription of War

The vanishing point of Images of The World is the conceptual image of the 'blind spot' of the evaluators of aerial footage of the IG Farben industrial plant taken by the Americans in 1944. Commentaries and notes on the photographs show that it was only decades later that the CIA noticed what the Allies hadn't wanted to see: that the Auschwitz concentration camp is depicted next to the industrial bombing target.

1997
Important Toy

A young girl buys a weird toy from a charity shop. She forms such an intense relationship with it that it develops special ways of communicating and a strange connection to her that seems to defy the laws of physics. As the situation escalates, it seems that repression is the only way forward. First conceived of as a kind of fairy tale that goes wrong, this is a piece about learning the “rules” of grown-up reality and an extrapolation of the consequences of “over-identifying” with toys. A digital video with digital video effects, live-action, and model/object animation.

2009
In Comparison

"Bricks are the resonating fundamentals of society. Bricks are layers of clay that sound like records, just simply too thick. Like records they appear in series, but every brick is slightly different – not just another brick in the wall. Bricks create spaces, organize social relations and store knowledge on social structures. They resonate in a way that tells us if they are good enough or not. Bricks form the fundamental sound of our societies, but we haven't learned to listen to them.

1987
Indoctrination

This film is about a five-day seminar designed to teach executives to "sell themselves" better. This course, designed for managers, teaches the basic rules of dialectics and rhetoric and provides training in body language, gesture and facial expression. The aim of selling something has always been a principle of mercantile action. Yet it was only through the marriage of psychology and modern capitalism that the idea of selling oneself was perfected.

-- Lutz Hachmeister

1997
The Interview

In the summer of 1996 we filmed application training courses in which one learns how to apply for a job. School drop outs, university graduates, people who have to be retrained, the long-term unemployed, recovered drug addicts and mid-term managers – all of them are supposed to learn how to how to market and sell themselves, a skill to which the term “self-management” is applied. The self is perhaps nothing but a metaphysical hook from which to hang a social identity.

2006
It Hurts

The repeatedly distorted, primate behaviour of an (ani)female carrying her baby, reflecting the pain and suffering provoked by the mother/child relationship.

1983
Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet at Work on Franz Kafka's "Amerika"

"This film is at once a self-portrait and an homage to Jean-Marie Straub, Farocki's role model and former teacher. Farocki's admiration for Straub was so great that he said of Between Two Wars, Perhaps I only made this film to earn Straub's recognition."  In this observation-driven film, Farocki documents the fulfillment of his wish. The film shows Farocki, under Straub's direction, rehearsing for his role as Delamarche in the film Klassenverhältnisse (1983). Anyone who has seen Farocki's documentary of the shoot will never forget these short scenes.

1999
The Kiss

Made with Ian Bourn.

A depiction of the forced development of a hothouse flower. Organic growth is progressively overtaken by a more sinister mechanical process.

"The makers manage very convincingly to wrong-foot the viewer in just five minutes in this minimalist, lyrical film about a blossoming flower."

—International Film Festival Rotterdam (2000)

"A film of a disarming seeming simplicity which enigmatically prompts reflections on its meaning and its use of media."

—International Jury, L’Immagine Leggera Festival, (Sicily, 2000, winner of 3rd prize)

2001
Lisa

Two women occupy one space. Without showing their faces, the camera lingers on their bodies in images that capture both from an extreme high angle. The camera distorts the female body, even creating a grotesque effect. A voice repeatedly calls for a woman: “Lisa, come here, don’t be afraid… that’s it, I won’t hurt you.” A video which explores the gaze on the female body, and the desires and violence overwhelming it.

This title is also available on Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 1.