This screening honors the work and legacy of one of Germany’s most influential and pioneering experimental filmmakers, who tragically passed away in early March 2022. In the 1960s, the painter Dore O. became the first woman to work consistently and independently in German experimental cinema. A co-founder of the Hamburg Co-op, she was actively involved in exploring new forms of cinema with her then-husband, Werner Nekes. Radically following her own path, she laid the groundwork for a later generation of notably female filmmakers by bridging the realms of the personal and the aesthetic while defying prevailing theories, both structural and feminist – a refusal that rendered her work hard to categorize, ultimately pushing it to the margins where it received little-to-no critical attention.
For almost 35 years, despite an overall decline in experimental film in the 1970s, Dore O. carried on, meticulously crafting a filmic reality that is captured and experienced foremost as a sensuous and evocative flow of multilayered images and sounds, which induce a state in-between hypnosis and lucidity. Dore O. transformed painterly concepts into a distinctly cinematic language, using complex in-camera editing and rephotographing techniques, rhythmic alternations between depth and surface, stillness and motion, to “create new architectures of old forms” (Dore O.). Going beyond the strictly personal or formalistic, her work thwarts those categories in its highly enigmatic and elusive poetics, by conveying new modes of introspection, states of consciousness, and vaguely evoked stories from inside the layers of celluloid film.
In collaboration with SHHH (September 9-11), the festival by Monokino which shows a first part of this program on Saturday September 10 (16:00) at De Grote Post in Ostend.
The screening will be presented in person by Masha Matzke, film restorer and scholar, Deutsche Kinemathek Berlin.
“Viable editing sequences, picture in picture; all in all, painted body and freedom.” – Dore O.
“The girl on the swing turns into a staccato movement, a light/color symbol of movement. We become detached from the girl and can see only visual rhythms.” – Stephen Dwoskin
“A non-euclidean, ambiguously mangled and transfigured adventure film.” – Dore O.
“Dore O.’s Kaldalon, coming perhaps closest to the Brakhage aesthetic, is a very beautiful and complete work.” – Jonas Mekas
“A film for the liberation of sensuality, a film against the hospitalism of society.” – Dore O.
“What emerges across many of O.’s films is a mood, a stimmung, embodied in the appearance and disappearance of fleeting images, a sensorial experience metaphoric of a barely-remembered past. In Blonde Barbarei, for example, layers of superimposed windows shift from side to side and are accompanied by a repetitive musical score. […] The images seem to reference old movies and settings, but sometimes become even more disturbing… set in a West German historical context where its World War II past hovers as an absurd dream, a dip into mass amnesia, a ‘personal’ cinematic vision is presented with shifting cultural connotations.” – Vera Dika
“The sand painter blows things into pictures, shadows gather and dissolve.” – Dore O.