CĂLIN BOTO for FILMS IN FRAME

The Light Images of Nicolaas Schmidt

Nicolaas Schmidt. Photo: Berlinale

Cinema knows that time means light: shootings are organized in way that allows the sun to be kind to them. And still, filmmakers have rarely used light as an object and subject to the same degree to which they used time – and if they indeed do so, then few noticed it. Here, at last, is Nicolaas Schmidt, whose films are precisely plays of light, or rather, plays of twilight – the so-called “golden hour” –, the double moment, of utmost importance, that lies in the immediacy of both sunrise and sunset: anything that happens in this diffuse light comes seems holy, decisive, since it’s the beginning ot it all – or the very end.

Schmidt hasn’t made many films – even so, a couple more than what I’ve managed to see so far. I easily went through his First Time, his only medium-length film, at Locarno in 2021: back then, I wondered by the jury, of whom Adina Pintilie was also a member, awarded it, but I have understood in the meantime. Because it happens that Inflorescence – with a rose and, lost in the background, a German flag swaying in the wind for around seven minutes, while in the background, a slowed-down version of Don’t Dream It’s Over – won the award for Best Filmmaker at BIEFF in the same year. Again on the big screen, Schmidt’s cinema seemed to bear an incredible visual self-conscience: a gaze that is simultaneously longing and suspicious towards the (im)possible naivete of all contemporary images.

 „To be consumed lightly”, the filmmaker writes, since his cinema plies itself to the aesthetics of comfort: young people with angelic, Netflix-esque visages, Coca Cola commercials, constant twilight, karaoke and pop music. Once comfortable, the spectator will feel the shocking paradox of alienation brought upon by the extreme banality, of un-happening in Schmidt’s cinema: for the most part (that is, 40 out of its 50 minutes), First Time is a long single shot in which two unknown boys timidly share glances without having the courage to take the first step. The view beyond the window, which crosses tunnels, landscapes and lights, becomes the film’s major subject, while the spectators’ anxiety only grows and grows – briefly before moving into the train, a montage of Coca-Cola advertisements with uplifting mottos flashes on the screen. It’s quite clear that Schmidt’s boys are not only not having an uplifting experience, but are moreso embodying a contemporary neurosis of the masses: the impossibility of becoming a protagonist, the futility of striving for the close-up shot that a protagonist culture promises at every step.

First Time (dir. Nicolaas Schmidt)

A few years ago, the same actors performed in another one of his short films, Final Stage (2017), a de-dramatized melodrama about a boy that gets angry at his boyfriend and cries all throughout a mall in Hamburg, the biggest in Europe, for the entire duration of an 11-minute-long single shot. Once more, the foreground is pointless, since the action happens in the background, amongst the shuffle of shopping bags, advertisements, restaurants that sell the traditional food of faraway, unknown lands: light images, anonymous, culturally naturalized to such a degree that they’re part of an unknown visual subconscious, one that, however, can be understood apriori – Schmidt’s view of this is clear, and his manner of showing it all the more so.
(Călin Boto)

3 Visionary Filmmakers in the World of Images 2024/01/31

Angeheftet

INFLORESCENCE AT VIENNA SHORTS

May 28 – June 02, 2024, Vienna Shorts Austria:
INFLORESCENCE in curated program „Longing for political stability“

Angeheftet

LIKE HORSES STANDING IN THE RAIN World Premiere with Special Mention

70th Intl. Short Film Festival Oberhausen
May 4, 2024 1PM, German Competition 1, Lichtburg, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen

Double Pocket Poster

“Eine tragikomische Reise, die zwar nirgendwohin führt, aber doch zu einer Erkenntnis: In einer Montage von Bildern der Jüngstvergangenheit lässt der Film allmählich die fragmentarische Kartographie einer suizidalen Epoche entstehen, deren Problem nicht ist, dass der Konsumkapitalismus für unsere Wünsche eine falsche Erfüllung im Angebot hätte, sondern, dass diese Wünsche nie unsere eigenen gewesen sind.”

Special Mention, 70. Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen 2024, Jury Deutscher Wettbewerb

”[…] Das entkörperlicht Individuelle wird direkt, ungeschützt, mit dem Gesellschaftlichen vermittelt. Mit dem Gesellschaftlichen als einer Totalität, wie sie sich etwa auf belebten, geschäftigen Bahnhöfen offenbart – alle Züge haben Verspätung, wegen Menschen auf den Gleisen – aber keine Sorge, bald sind sie wieder frei; mit dem Gesellschaftlichen als einer Farce, wie sie sich etwa während einer verregneten Weihnachtsfeierlichkeit vor einer Sparkassenfiliale präsentiert. Hier und da auch: mit dem Gesellschaftlichen als einem tröstlichen Ornament, wie es etwa als aufblühendes Feuerwerk im Bildhintergrund über Häuserdächern aufscheint. Überhaupt ist „Like Horses Standing in the Rain“ ein Film der künstlichen Lichter. Der Lichter und der Lichtmaschinen. […]”

Lukas Foerster, Perlentaucher.de

Angeheftet

NEW WORK – TINY TEASER

Angeheftet

FIRST TIME – Berlin Premiere

Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin
at Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin
FIRST TIME [The Time for All but Sunset – VIOLET]

Apr 14, 2024 2pm to 7pm Looped Screening, Auditorium HKW Berlin
Apr 9, 2024 7pm Opening

Angeheftet

NEW WORK – FIRST STILL

still „Like Horses Standing in the Rain“
shot in Autumm 2010
Winter 2024

Facades* of a street in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg (around 2010). Shot from an apartment window on level 2 or 3, where I stayed for a stop at a berlin friend (unfortunately couldn’t remember who and where it was) on the way back from a “driving home for Christmas visit”.
And same facades (re)searched and found today (2024): Oderberger Straße – anyone here, who remembers living there once?

*First still from upcoming December Diary Short Film „Like Horses Standing in the Rain“ (shot in December of 2008-2017/2021, edited 2012/2015/2019/2023).

Angeheftet

ETTG GREY WEEKS 2024

2024 we are celebrating two Anniversaries:

15 Years Premiere of NEUSEENLAND* (Vienna Shorts, 2009) and
10 Years Premiere of LEAVING MONOCHROMIA (Halle für Kunst Lüneburg, 2014).

Therefore an #offer especially to all equivocal email-spamming-film festivals with fake “discounts” of their #submission #fee:
Both works will be available for festival or cinema theater presentation with a 50% discount of the screening fee! Additionally all other films from the ETTG catalog will celebrate with a discount of 10% booked in Q1 2024!
Just send your request to endjoy@ettg.be.

*NEUSEENLAND [2008, HDV, 5′, GER, STEREO, COLOR, 16:9]

In 2008 I strolled with the great Jan Eichberg through the almost completely deserted #Heuersdorf – on the edge of the #Schleenhain brown coal mine in southern #Leipzig, a Leerdammer-like hollowed-out area that will be used for tourism as #Neuseenland after mining has ended some years later.

We had the new HDV camera and a Tascam from HFBK with us to capture images and atmosphere for our story, a kind of homage to #resignation:

A young person no longer wants to continue abroad, he wants to return to his homeland, knowing full well that it days are numbered.

This is told in a voice over by the protagonist himself, for whom we were able to get none other than André Mulzer. Back in Hamburg, he spontaneously recorded the text into Jan’s cassette recorder that he had inherited from his grandfather – three takes in the unisex toilet of third floor HFBK (the only quiet place at that moment).
still „Neuseenland“ (in background: opencast mining abyss with overburden excavator)

Angeheftet

MERRY XMAS AND A PLACID 2024

EndJoyXmasCard №16, Hamburg Eimsbüttel, 2023

Angeheftet

CINÉMOON at Kasseler Dokfest

Nov 17 10pm Bali Kino, Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest Cinémoon

Angeheftet

FIRST TIME – Paris Premiere

Okt 31 2023 2pm CWB Paris
Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin
– New Cinema and Contemporary Art
Official Selection: FIRST TIME [The Time for All but Sunset – VIOLET]

Angeheftet

60 JAHRE KUNSTHAUS HAMBURG

“Once in a Blue Moon”
Opening: Okt 7 2023 6p Kunsthaus Hamburg
Exhibition: Okt 7 – Nov 4 2023 presenting
36KFRGB” (Celebrating 10th Anniversary)
All Seasons, All Episodes – The complete Series Forever

36KFRGB – Part 63 (Frame 10763)

Angeheftet

„Es gibt keinen falschen Sunset zum real Untergang“

Okt 2-6 2023 film and writing seminar with Anne Döring & Nicolaas Schmidt, HFBK Hamburg

Sticker: Jenny Schäfer, Photo: Felix Thiele

SPRING&SUMMER SCREENINGS 2023

FIRST TIME [The Time for All but Sunset – VIOLET]

ART STUDIO 55
Apr 01 Limassol, Cyprus

QUERGESTREIFT FILMFEST
Apr 14-23 Konstanz, Germany

GRAN LUX SESSION DE VISIONNAGE 50
Apr 29 Viewing Session N°50, Gran Lux, tramway T1 & T3 : arrêt / stop place Bellevue, Saint-Etienne, France

NNYOC GALLERY
Jun 03 INFLORESCENCE at “plz make sense out of it”, NNYOC Gallery Reykjavik, Iceland

XPOSED INTL. QUEER FILM FESTIVAL
Jun 15-18 Berlin, Germany

KLASSENTREFFEN FESTIVAL
Jun 15.+16. 14:00, Aula HFBK Hamburg

MEETINGS OF YOUNG EUROPEAN CINEMA
June 23 20.30, Open Air Cinema of Goethe-Institute Bulgaria, Sofia arteurbanacollectif.com

35K FILMCLUB
Autumn 23, DFFB, Berlin, Germany

ETTG GREY WEEKS 2023

2023 we are celebrating a Double Anniversary:

Ten years release of BREAK [Slowreel 04] and our “Series for Everyone” 36KFRGB [36000 FRAMES RGB].

Therefore an #offer especially to all equivocal email-spamming-film festivals with fake “discounts” of their #submission #fee:
Both works will be available for festival or cinema theater presentation with a 50% discount of the screening fee! Additionally all other films from the ETTG catalog will celebrate with a discount of 25%!

Interested? Just send your request to endjoy@ettg.be.

MERRY XMAS AND A SHINY 2023

EndJoyXmasCard №15, Berlin Schöneberg, 2022

KUNSTHAUS HAMBURG – NOMINEES ARBEITSSTIPENDIUM FÜR BILDENDE KUNST DER FREIEN UND HANSESTADT HAMBURG 2023

Opening 16.12.2022 6pm
Come and don’t see my recent work!
17. Dezember 2022 – 22. Januar 2023 Kunsthaus Hamburg, Klosterwall 15

kunsthaushamburg.de/nominees-2023

FILMINK REVIEW AUSTRALIA PREMIERE FIRST TIME

First Films Festival Sat 19 Nov 3:20pm, Golden Age Cinema, Sydney

FIRST TIME [The Time for All but Sunset – VIOLET]

„[…] if you think you’re in the wrong film, sit tight, it will soon make sense. […]“

filmink.com.au/reviews/first-time

AUTUMN SCREENINGS 2022

FIRST TIME [The Time for All but Sunset – VIOLET]

CINEMANCIA FESTIVAL METROPOLITANO DE CINE MEDELLÍN
Sep 01-10 Medellín, Antioquia, Columbia

26TH QUEER LISBOA FILM FESTIVAL
Sep 16-24 Queer Art Competition, Cinema São Jorge, Cinemateca Portuguesa Lisbon, Portugal

25FPS FILM FESTIVAL ZAGREB
Sep 22-24 Zagreb, Croatia

5TH FILMFEST SUNDSVALL
Sep 28-Oct 2 Sundsvall, Sweden

30TH FILMFEST HAMBURG
Sep 29-Oct 08 Hamburg, Germany

BLACK CANVAS FILM FESTIVAL MEXICO
Sep 30-Oct 09 Mexico City, Mexico

17TH UNDERDOX FILMESTIVAL MUNICH
Oct 10 7:30pm Werkstattkino München

39TH KASSELER DOKEST
Nov 19 10:15pm Bali Kino Kassel

FIRST FILMS SYDNEY
Nov 18-20 Golden Age Sydney, Australia „BELIEVE“ & „FIRST TIME“

QUEER WAVE FESTIVAL CYPRUS
Nov 25-Dec 04 (closing film) Nicosia and Limassol, Cyprus

INFLORESCENCE“ AT TANZAHOi HAMBURG
Sep 11 17:00 „Opening Remarks“, Metropolis Kino, Hamburg, Germany

World Premiere CINEMOON at Filmfest Hamburg

Sunday Oct 2nd, 2022: World Premiere of our cinema installation CINEMOON – right after FIRST TIME [The Time for All but Sunset – VIOLET] at Filmfest Hamburg.
10pm Metropolis Kino Hamburg

Funky hat reingeschaut in „First Time”

funky.de/2022/09/19/reingeschaut-first-time
Endergebnis:
Super: 84%
Nicht so mein Fall: 16%