Geschwindigkeit
for big band (2017)
with or without the 1963 short film of the same name by Edgar Reitz

15 minutes – no.52

Geschwindigkeit – German for “Velocity” – may be performed as an autonomous composition, or in combination with the short film of the same name by Edgar Reitz.

Made in 1963, this nonverbal black-and-white motion picture is a cinematographic exploration, ignoring traditional techniques of narrative filmmaking. It eschews a traditional scenario or screenplay in favour of a score, as if a musical composition. Containing a total of 347 consecutive shots, it dictates concurrent parameters, such as image description, image dynamic (movement of the camera and/or the camera operator), speed, panning, intensity, contrast, brightness, amount of frames, and ultimately, duration, measured down to the millisecond.

The film opens with tranquil elements shot in nature: the glistening surface of the sea, the rigidity of cairns and quarries, foliage slowly waving its leaves. Gradually more rapid movement is introduced: a falling stone, birds flying by, waves crashing on rocks. All of a sudden a gasholder appears; from that moment the film confronts the viewer with bridges, harbours, cranes, construction sites, and countless other industrial images. Once we enter this world of technological innovation, there seems to be... >>>