Electronic Beats by Telekom presents: We Are Modeselektor, a film by Romi Agel & Holger Wick.
What’s the “Seilscheibenpfeiler”? What is the origin of the first Modeselektor tracks? Where is Monkeytown? Why is riding a coach more fun than flying? These and many more questions will be answered with the documentary film We Are Modeselektor.
In 72 minutes, filmmakers Romi Agel and Holger Wick tell the story of Modeselektor as a post-German reunification movie, a travel report, and a portrait of the special friendship between Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary all in one. We Are Modeselektor is the story of two men, possessed by techno, who took their massive beats from their small hometown village to the world. And it’s a story that has only just begun.
Public Screenings (see links below for ticket info):
April 30 / Berlin (GER) / Kino International – Exclusive world premiere presented by Electronic Beats
May 08 / Munich (GER) / Gabriel Filmtheater
May 09 / Vienna (AUS) / Ottakringer Brauerei
May 17 / London (UK) / Roundhouse
May 19 / Boston (USA) / Museum of Fine Arts
May 24 / Paris (FR) / La Machine du Moulin Rouge
June 13-15 / Barcelona (ES) / Sonar Cinema at Sonar Festival (3 screenings)
June 19-23 / Cologne (GER) / C/O Pop
Modeselektor play our festival in Poznań on April 26th. Read some of our recent interviews with them here and here. Check out our YouTube playlist below, featuring footage of Modeselektor and Moderat (Modeselektor and Apparat) playing live, plus our Moderat Slices DVD feature.
It’s always good to see devoted fans step forward and spread their love and passion, embracing the DIY ethos and starting promising projects on their own. Fortunately numerous creative endeavors have been born in Budapest’s underground culture (music, fashion, film) in the last years, one of them being EUShorts, a festival presenting the best of short films from the EU area and beyond.
Co-founded in 2007 by a handful of film fanatics, the festival seems to have grown up with their last (completely sold out!) installment in November ’11. Besides their regular annual showcase, they also started ‘EUShorts Likes’, a special edition of their project which presents a curated selection of shorts in a certain subject. After unusual pairing of topics like porno & horror, sci-fi & musical, EUShorts’ next effort is to find the connection between fashion & poetry, or more likely between poet icons and their fashion muses. The festival will feature short films from the likes of Denis Villeneuve (Next Floor), Kathy Bates (Cadaver), Tilda Swinton, Marion Cotillard, Karl Lagerfeld, Tavi Gevinson, John Cameron Mitchell, Martin Grauds, Theodore Ushev and Hungarian talents László Csaba Klement and Ákos Badits.
EUShorts Likes takes place between April 6th-7th at the Toldi Art Cinema in Budapest accompanied by parties with Bounce & Ponza and Demon Superior. Program details are due to come; visit EUShorts’ Facebook page for further info.
Austrian director Paul Poet’s new documentary is about so-called Micronations – communities that have declared themselves independent but without being recognized by the United Nations or any government. Maybe you have heard of the pirate radio station on Sealand or Christiania in Copenhagen. There are more than 500 other communities like this across the world and the number is growing.
We sat down with Paul Poet to talk about the film.
First of all: Congratulation to your great movie. I really liked it. But I cannot get rid of one thought. Financing must have been hell right?
Well it ate up eight years of my life all in all. Exposing myself to the then widely unknown phenomenon of counter worlds. Researching and getting closer and more intimate with this ideologically different and vastly paranoid subculture and then scratching the money together. The last one sure ate up most of the time. Far more than filming itself! Now it has developed into a whopper with three production companies from three different European countries plus some TV-stations. And the more the so-called “big ones” are involved, the more hassles you have to wade through to deliver a personal, uncompromising vision on the silver screen. And I think I did!
There are a several hundred so-called micro nations all over the world. Was it hard to select just six?
Yes. There are a vast wave of these subcultures pulling together. I always name it a positive or creative corrosion of the western industrial world order. And these people aren’t dropping out like it was imagined around 1968 with their sovereign enclaves, the islands far beyond civilization. Today there is no “innocent” or “unspoiled” land, that isn’t taken and used by global powers and rules. The interesting thing is to claim it for yourself and secede from the known system. Be it by claiming your own kingdom, principality, eco-village, squat, commune or pirate raft. Whatever! All you need by international rule is to fulfill the convention of Montevideo from the 1930s which defines the state as a clear territory with borders, a clear mass of factual inhabitants which may be one, a set of legal or social rules and the will to exchange with the outer world and other countries. That’s all! Meaning anybody can claim to be his own state, even on his own couch or in his apartment or house with garden.
I didn’t know about that. It must have been hard to have only a limited amount of time to feature such a broad variation of Micronations.
No, the selection of stories for the movie was easy. I had personally met over 40 of these counter-societies. Afterwards the mindset was clear: To show the diversity of this protest movement which very much like Occupy and Company incorporates people from all ideologies and ages. 80 year old grannies to 15 year old hooligans from the extreme left to the extreme right with a whole lot of the disoriented political middle class in-between, I wanted to dive into this whole range of diversity without having a biased view. It turned out to be a very complex baroque mindfuck and at the same time very light-footed, sensual and pop-cultured. I was always interested in the combination of pop and serious political issues.
Are the rumors about your next project true? I heard you are working on Minus-Mann.
True, true! I’ve currently finished two scripts, which are financing; a portrait of the troubles and decompositions that Europa will face this year with a special eye on creative civil disobedience. This baby is called Revolt! And I am producing it with Allegro Film (We feed the World!, Dead in 3 Days) and have written it with famed political journalist Corinna Milborn, known for her books on the fortress Europe and human slave trading. Der Minus-Mann, or Unman as the international version will be called, is supposed to be my feature film debut which is currently financing and settling co-production deals on an international level. It is the cinema version of one of the most bedeviled, infamous and best–sold novels ever to come out of Austria. A merciless autobiography of an alcoholic and deeply troubled pimp, who was known as the most psychopathic and cruelest guy dealing with forced prostitution on Vienna’s red-light-district of the 1960s and 1970s.
This last question is kinda inevitable. How was working with Christoph Schlingensief on his project Foreigners out?
Big guess. It was incredible! Very loose and very free cause things were moving very fast then. You know, the whole idea of opposing the extreme right-wing drift of Austria’s government in 2000 when Haider came into mainstream power by creating a public concentration camp that worked like a Big Brother-Entertainment machine to throw asylum seekers out of the country, was created only few weeks before it happened and kept secret. Christoph who had known me for creating the first online film festival in Europe way back then, had asked me if it was possible to create the event also on the net to have a virtual container as part of the system. And regarding that, I worked quite freely as birds of a feather where I directed the whole live-stream transmission, where six surveillance cameras and two film teams where edited live into one stream, wrote almost all online texts and invented press releases and the daily short movie résumés of the mayhem. It was good!
Since filmmaking became digital, some of the greatest filmmakers from David Lynch to Chan-wook Park (Paranmanjang is entirely filmed with an iPhone) have shown, it’s not the end of filmmaking, but the end of an era. Many things have changed. Just like the concepts of music industry with it’s affordable bedroom studios and net-labels, making films has now become way easier, too. One result of this development is, that there are many bad YouTube videos. But the other side of the coin shows, there are pearls to be found like the documentary VINYL: Tales from the Vienna Underground. As the title suggests this film gives a wide introduction to the different upper class and underground music scenes in Vienna. British filmmaker Andrew Standen-Raz not only features underground kings like Rokko Anal & the Coathangers alongside artists from a growing experimental scene like Fru Fru, he also talks to some of the local heroes such as Kruder & Dorfmeister and Patrick Pulsinger.
Take the chance to watch the documentary about Vienna, which has already been shown in ten different countries and been translated into five languages in the old schoolis atmosphere of Top Kino. Get the dates and times here
Top Kino Wien, Rahlgasse 1, 10 p.m.
Every day until Thursday, January 12th 2012
Simon Eléphant is one of France’s hot young directors. Recently commissioned to direct the COS Frieze Art Fair short, Eléphant’s career spans high-fashion movies, pop music videos and commercial videos for other French brands. Maison Martin Margiela have appointed Eléphant chief filmmaker to promote their collections, causing Vogue France to extol the director’s abilities. Electronic Beats caught up with Eléphant post Frieze Art Fair to chat about his work.
Vogue France recently praised your films for Maison Martin Margiela’s collections – do the ideas come from the designer, or from yourself? To what extent do the collections inspire your work?
For the past two years, I’ve been collaborating with MMM. I did many products films for them and two films for shows. Each project is a collaboration between me and the art director Sophie Toporkoff who comes up with many ideas. It’s very interesting work, since we are a real team, and we are complementary.
I am more inspired by the MMM spirit than the specific collection I’m working on and I am very much inspired by the minimalistic vision of MMM and the simple, falsely low-fi appearance of the MMM collections.
You have directed COS’ Frieze Art Fair film – a minimal, engaging film, did you attend the festival?
COS invited me, but unfortunately I am working on another project right now – so I did not manage to go to London to the Frieze art fair. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit the fair next year …
Which directors do you find exciting right now?
Spontaneously, I would answer with Terrence Mallick, Alain Cavalier, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche and David Cronenberg. It’s always difficult for me to make a list of “the best” directors cause there are so many good ones !
How do you choose which music videos to direct?
I am a pop music lover, so I mainly work for pop music groups. Moreover, the experience has shown me the track should not bore me after the second time I listen to it as I’ll have to hear it around five hundred times when I do the editing!
Actually, I would be interested to try new experiences and work for electronic music composers.
You’ve been making films for many years, how has your style developed over time?
I’m getting more and more convinced that less is more! As Truffaut said, I’d rather show ten ideas in one shot then ten shots in one idea. I am slowing down, using black and white, trying to eliminate everything that is useless to the topic of the film in order to oppose this culture of “fast-food” disposable images.
I want to take my time and offer a breath of fresh air to my spectators, to make them feel the atmosphere “off screen” rather than bombarding them with gratuitous images.
What’s the difference between making commercial films and music videos?
Well, at first making a music video allows me much more freedom but sometimes with brands like MMM or COS, even if there are more compromises to make, I’m still happy with the result.
What does the future hold for you?
A feature film !