Das Gestell (2017)
A House in Ninh Hoa (2016)
Fictitious Force (2015)
A/M Spring Version (2012)
Die Frau des Fotografen (2011)
Destination Finale (2009)
2017, Super 8/DCP, Color / Black & White, 1:1.33 > 1:1.66, Dolby Digital 5.1, 30’
Naoki Ishida, Fumiake Onodera Voices Saki Yokoyama, Yuki Itai Translation Philip Widmann Image, Sound, Montage Shinichi Hirota Assistant Iris Drögekamp, Johann Lurf and others Additional Sounds Students of Kyoto University, Taiko Players Moji-ko Music Théo Deslus Color Grading Jochen Jezussek Sound Mix
Produced by Philip Widmann
distributed by Light Cone
Development supported by Akademie Schloss Solitude in cooperation with MFG Baden-Württemberg, Goethe-Institut Villa Kamogawa
Production funded by The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media
Post-production supported by Atelier 105 / Light Cone
A Japanese philosopher writes a letter to a famous German colleague. He asks the German to advise the Japanese people how to deal with the permeation of modern life by technology. More than 50 years later, the same issues are being discussed among academics and aspiring engineers. It is hard to grasp how humans and technology continue to coexist. Resorting to biographical trivia, mythological histories and the recounting of dreams is not helping them to see these issues any clearer. In the grainy images of the film, landscapes from an uncertain time appear, occasionally flooded by water and a cacophony of brass players. The uncontrollable finds its ways into a world that tries to minimise risks and thus creates new dangers.
Screenings & Awards
Image Forum Festival Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Yokohama 2017
European Media Art Festival Osnabrück 2017 – Media Art Award of the German Film Critics Association
International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017
Fictitious Force / Scheinkraft
2015, Super 16/35/DCP, Black & White, 1:1.66 > 1:1.78, Dolby Digital 5.1, 15’
with Tarun Katari and the voice of Dhiraj Roy
Basab Mullik Cinematography Bernd Lützeler Additional Cinematography Joydeep Dutta Location Sound Kunal Singh Location Sound Stanley Mudda 1st Assistant Camera Debojeet Ray 2nd Assistant Camera Shakyasingha Chakraborty Research & Interpretation Sougata Mukherjee Research & Interpretation Arnab Chakrabarty Translation & Consulting Bernd Lützeler Production Management Sharanya Chattopadhyay Production Coordination Arindam Choudhury Runner Prantik Mukherjee Runner Dhiman Paul Runner Mohammad Naushad Driver Nandu Rai Driver Akbar Khan Driver Film 16 Laboratory Roman Vehlken Sound Design & Re-recording Mica Cabildo Typography Philip Widmann Conception & Montage
Produced by Widmann / Works Cited
Funded by The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the German Federal Film Board
with the kind support of Bhima Manik and the Charak Sanyasis of Dom Pada and Ram Bagan, Kolkata, India; The Anath Nath Deb Trust Estate; The Anath Nath Deb Bazar Committee
A theorem from physics that describes apparent forces in circular motion when observed from an external frame of reference lends its name to a film by Philip Widmann: Fictitious Force is a cinematic exchange on the impossibility of sharing experiences, in black and white and grey.
We see a man preparing to perform in front of a large crowd. Several features signify that this performance is part of a ritual, that the location of events is in an exotic country with a different writing system and different conventions of clothing. Shot in 2013 during a festival of devotees of Shiva by a local crew in Kolkata/India, and in a language that the director neither speaks nor understands, the film relies on the visual and leaves us puzzled. Fragmented dialogues in Bengali and English appear as type, interrupting the course of events, and negotiating the dilemma of ethnography and – perhaps – of spectatorship itself in mundanely poetic terms. The distance between observer and observed, between self and other can be diminished or negated but eventually cannot be overcome. Like previous works of Widmann’s, Fictitious Force implicitly deals with questions of representation and physicality, informed by an anthropological interest that claims no academic foundation. - www.schloss-post.com
Screenings & Awards
Videonale.16 Bonn 2017
International Short & Independent Film Festival Dhaka 2016
EXiS Seoul 2016
Bains Argentiques Nantes 2016
Space Dike Tokyo 2016
Internationale Kurzfilmwoche Regensburg 2016
Akademie Schloss Solitude 2016 (Installation Version)
Experimenta Bangalore 2015
Kassel Documentary & Video Festival 2015
Unlimited Cologne 2015
Curta Cinema Rio de Janeiro 2015
Underdox Dokument & Experiment Munich 2015
Festival du nouveau cinéma Montréal 2015
Uppsala International Short Film Festival 2015
25FPS Zagreb 2015 – Grand Prix Anouk de Clercq
Festival internacional de curtas de Belo Horizonte 2015
Festival Silhouette 2015
Curtas Vila do Conde 2015
FID Marseille 2015
Festival Internacional de Cine de Huesca 2015
Internationales Kurzfilmfestival Hamburg 2015
Schloss-Post: In the Absence of a Common Language
The Seventh Art: Notes from Experimenta 2015
2014, 16mm/DCP, Color, 1:1.33, Dolby Digital 5.1, 89'
Philip Widmann Script, Direction, Montage, Image Karsten Krause Image, Co-Direction, Montage Cora Frost Woman‘s Voice Gustav Peter Wöhler Man‘s Voice Lisa Arndt Woman Kenneth Huber Hans Odine Johne Monika Tom Schön Sound Recording Julia Meyer Location Research Monika Preischl Archive Research Caroline Kirberg Line Production Peter Bausch Set Design Frank Semerau Light Design Sabrina Fiedler Camera Assistant Elí Roland Sachs Camera Assistant Rikisaburo Sato Camera Assistant Julia Schiller Wardrobe Julia Heppner Makeup Clara Bausch Property Manager Dörthe Weller Set Decorator Matthias Behrens Color Grading, Mastering Volker Zeigermann Sound Design Pierre Brand Re-recording Martin Langenbach Sound Effects Domingo Stephan Retouching Lutz Garmsen Animation arc Bartsch/Grimberg Typography Arri Schwarzfilm Laboratory, Téléciné Amanda C. Lee Translation Frank Scheuffele Accounting Nadine Hübsch Production Assistant Nicoll Ullrich Catering
Produced by Krause & Widmann / Works Cited in co-production with Blinker Filmproduktion distributed by arsenal distribution
Funded by Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, German Federal Film Board, DEFA-Stiftung, Filmbüro Bremen
with the kind support of Galerie Susanne Zander, Peter Bausch, Kodak Entertainment Imaging
A woman‘s voice and a man‘s voice speaking in unison: »A woman called Monika, and a man called Hans. Hans documents in writing that Monika has threatened him - her boss, employer and lover - with the withdrawal of her sexual favors if his wife doesn‘t apologize to her.«
The contents of a black briefcase lead us into a superficially well-ordered life in West Germany in 1970, in a city that can be seen as representative of the entire country. In this briefcase: the meticulous documentation of an affair between the small business owner Hans and his secretary Monika. A detailed protocol of their sexual activities leaves a trail through the field of infinite possibilities and finite probabilities of leading a different life under the same circumstances.
Watch Szenario on Doc Alliance Films
Monika and Hans have a relationship, and Hans considers this relationship worthy of documentation. He creates a collection in a black briefcase. This collection is his form of a coherent narrative, a factual report. Written entries are supplemented and seemingly verified by receipts, calendar pages, photographs and other artifacts. Szenario follows the chronology of the entries, whose plot is as banal as it is absurd. And because the contents of the briefcase betray more about Hans, the writer, than about Monika, the one written about, the question quickly arises: Who is this Monika? Or rather, who might she have been?
The film projects a second image onto the one created by Hans, and adds another scenario to his factual report. A concatenation of the probable life situation of a woman named Monika, who could be any woman, with the possibilities of leading a completely different life under the same circumstances. The circumstances: regional, biological, social and individual determinants, which outline the setting and the character. A West German city named Cologne, age and gender, mental and physical health, the character‘s own horizon.
Neither picture is complete nor congruent. Doubts arise. The film is composed of a chain of questions about the identity of numbers, words, images and sounds - and the people and places they help describe. Is what is heard identical to what is seen? Is the photo identical to the image in the film? The written to the spoken? The spoken to the thought?
Nonfiktionale Bad Aibling 2017
Filmplus Cologne 2015 – shortlisted for the Bild Kunst Editing Award for Documentary Film
Kinelab Hamburg 2015
États généraux du film documentaire Lussas 2015
Docs Against Gravity Warsaw 2015
FFD Yogyakarta 2014
Exposed Film Festival Cologne 2014
Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofestival 2014
Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart
Underdox - Dokument & Experiment München 2014
Director's Lounge Berlin 2014
Dokumentarfilmwoche Hamburg 2014
64th Berlin International Film Festival / Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2014
Schloss-Post: Multidimensional Pleasures
Senses of Cinema: Finding the Centre
Kino-Zeit: Protokoll einer Affäre
A/M Spring Version
2012, 16mm, Black & White, 1:1.33, silent, 3'
Philip Widmann Cinematography, Animation, Processing, Montage, Print
Produced by Goethe-Institut Athens as part of Hand Over Cinema, a workshop organized by LabA in cooperation with LaborBerlin e.V.
An afternoon in Athens, September 2011, the sun is low. A film, more than 50 years old. There is always something being transported, even if the boxes may turn out to be empty. Goods, means and actors tell stories: metaforai.
A/M Spring Version combines documentary footage shot in Athens shortly before sunset, which were hand-processed and edited on the same evening, with a re-photographed and animated travel film from the 1950s. It is a take on an excerpt from Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life.
The passage reads: »In modern Athens, the vehicles of mass transportation are called metaforai. To go to work or come home, one takes a metaphor – a bus or a train. Stories could also take this noble name: every day, they traverse and organise places; they select and link them together; they make sentences and itineraries out of them. They are spatial trajectories.«
Space Dike Tokyo 2016
Ausland Berlin 2014
Goethe-Institut Seoul 2013
Filmfestival Münster 2013
Arsenal Berlin 2012
Wiener Festwochen 2012
Zico House Beirut 2012
Goethe-Institut Athens 2012
Die Frau des Fotografen / The Photographer's Wife
2011, HD & Super 8, B/W & Color, 1:1.78, Stereo, 29'
Eugen Gerbert Photographs, Films & Texts Philip Widmann Script, Direction, Cinematography, Sound, Montage Karsten Krause Direction, Cinematography, Sound, Montage Roman Vehlken Sound Design & Re-recording Matthias Behrens Color Grading & Mastering
Produced by Philip Widmann in co-production with Karsten Krause and in cooperation with Hamburg University of Fine Arts
Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and Freundeskreis der HfbK Hamburg e.V.
Gerti Gerbert was photographed by her husband Eugen over a period spanning more than forty years. Besides the obligatory family photographs, from their wedding day until his death Eugen took countless pictures of Gerti: in her underwear, in homemade summer frocks, or completely naked; on the beach, in the woods, in the car, or on the floor at home.
Using the Gerberts’ picture archive, interviews with Gerti, and Eugen’s notes, the film looks at what remains of life and love at the end.
Watch The Photographer's Wife on Doc Alliance Films
Screenings & Awards
21er Haus Vienna 2016
Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal 2015
Transcinema Lima 2013
Encuentros del otro cine Quito & Guayaquil 2013
Grande Filiale Speyer 2012
DocLab / Goethe Institut Hanoi 2012
DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2012 – Best Short Documentary
Timishort Film Festival 2012 – Special Mention
Neisse Film Festival 2012
Nowe Horyzonty Wroclaw 2012
EUShorts Budapest 2012
Achtung Berlin 2012
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2012
Dokumentarfilmwoche Hamburg 2012
Beogradski Festival Dokumentarnog i Kratkometražnog Filma 2012
Filmfest Schleswig-Holstein 2012
Landshuter Kurzfilmfestival 2012
Rencontres Henri Langlois 2011
Deutscher Kurzfilmpreis 2011 – Best Documentary
Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival 2011
Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest 2011
Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife 2011
dokumentART Neubrandenburg/Szczeczin 2011 – Latücht-Award
Curta Cinema Rio de Janeiro 2011 – Special Jury Award
Festival Internacional de Jóvenes Realizadores de Granada 2011
Festival Internacional de Curtas de Belo Horizonte 2011 – Melhor curta
First Steps Awards 2011 – Best Documentary
Internationales Kurzfilmfestival Hamburg 2011 – Special Mention
Festival Internacional de Cine de Huesca 2011 – Special Mention
Krakow Film Festival 2011 – Special Mention
Curtocircuito Santiago de Compostela 2011
Visions du Réel 2011
2008, 8mm/Beta SP, Color, 1:1.33, Stereo, 9'
Unknown Cinematography Philip Widmann Realization, Montage, Sound Design
Produced by Gerd Roscher / HfbK Hamburg & Philip Widmann
Funded by Karl H. Ditze-Stiftung Hamburg
A man, presumably of Vietnamese origin, travels Europe.
Shortly after, American troops enter the ground war in Vietnam.
The opening moments of the film feature a shot of Paris from an ascending lift on the Eiffel Tower. The subject of the film, a Vietnamese man always neatly dressed in a dark suit and tie, is introduced and shown walking around an observation level on the tower. What initially appears to be a simple, vintage home movie quickly begins to invite multiple readings by the viewer and to suggest layer upon layer of additional meanings. We follow the man as he appears before many of Europe’s most famous landmarks: the Arc de Triomphe in Paris; London’s Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Piccadilly Circus; the Acropolis in Athens.
Who is this man? Who is holding the camera? Who is the man in tweed, watching the Vietnamese man cross a rainy street in Paris? He looks into the camera, and then quickly turns his back, apparently to avoid detection. Are we in the middle of a Graham Greene spy story? Widmann hints at his intentions in the film’s conclusion, when we see the man, packed and bound for Saigon as indicated by his Air France luggage tag. He is met by a large gathering — friends, family? — upon his return. It is not until the film’s brief epilogue, however, when all of what we have witnessed fully resonates.
Dave Filipi, Curator Film/Video, Wexner Center for the Arts, 2009 [excerpt]
Destination Finale similarly complicates the relation between the viewer and what is being seen. The film recuts found home movie footage of a European holiday that features a Vietnamese man who poses, reluctantly it seems, in front of the Eiffel Tower, Piccadilly Circus and the Acropolis.
The footage was found in 2005 in Saigon and Widmann added sound effects, including rain, the chiming of Big Ben and the sound of marching, but no voiceover to guide the footage that’s being seen. Presumably it’s just as perplexing for him: who is this man that we’re seeing and who is filming him? More importantly, whose film is this?
Destination Finale raises some of the same questions that were treated rather dubiously in Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man (2005), but Widmann’s artifact is ever more elusive, even ghostly. At the end of the film, Widmann notes the coincidence of the dates between the footage, estimated between late 1964 and early 1965, and the deployment of US troops to Vietnam in March of 1965, a fact that further complicates the way in which these images might be read. Is this man, in his seeming discomfort, already aware of what’s to come? Or does this slight hint of a narrative only expose the fact that he is ultimately unknowable?
Geneviève Yue, Senses of Cinema, 2009 [excerpt]
Watch Destination Finale on Doc Alliance Films
Destination Finale is available on DVD as an accompaniment to Incite – Journal of Experimental Media, Issue 2: Counter-Archive. Edition of 300 pieces.
A text on Destination Finale by Philip Widmann was published in Tourists & Nomads – Amateur Images of Migration, edited by Sonia Kmec and Viviane Thill.
Screenings & Awards
Space Dike Tokyo 2016
FLEX Florida Experimental Film Festival 2011
Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival 2011
Festival Les Inattendus Lyon 2010
Black Maria Film and Video Festival 2010
Tampere Film Festival 2010 – Best Documentary
Bradford International Film Festival 2010
Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival 2010
Crossroads Cinematheque San Francisco 2010
Vienna Independent Shorts 2010
Kunstfilmtag Düsseldorf 2010
New York Film Festival / Views from the Avant-Garde 2010
Microwave Hong Kong 2010
Timishort 2010 – Special Mention
Wiz Art Lviv 2010
L’Alternativa Barcelona 2009
Tirana International Film Festival 2009
Film Festival 600" Ljubljana 2009
Festival international du film de Belfort EntreVues 2009 – Grand Prix du court-métrage documentaire
Videomedeja Novi Sad 2009
Experimenta Bangalore 2009
Flensburger Kurzfilmtage 2009
Fresh Film Fest Karlovy Vary 2009
Namatreba Trebinje 2009
International Media Art Biennale WRO09 Wroclaw 2009
Curtas Vila do Conde 2009
Odense International Film Festival 2009 – Special Mention
Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens de São Paulo 2009
Festival Silhouettes Paris 2009
2Annas Riga 2009
Festivals Tous Courts Aix-en-Provence 2009
Festival International du Film d'Amiens 2009
Recine Rio de Janeiro 2009 – Best Short Film
Underdox Dokument & Experiment München 2009
Curtocircuito Santiago de Compostela 2009 – Gran Premio Explora!
Avant Garde Film Festival Athens 2009
Arkansas Underground Film Festival 2009
Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife 2009
Lucca Film Festival 2009
ATA Film & Video Festival San Francisco 2009
Kunstfilmbiennale Köln 2009
World Film Festival Bangkok 2009
Busan Asian Short Film Festival 2009
Aurora Norwich 2009
Dokumentarfilmwoche Hamburg 2008
EXiS Seoul 2008
Rotterdam International Film Festival 2008
Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH
Plano B Porto
Balta Nakts Riga
Plan 9 Praha
Galeria Kont Lublin
Galeria Sztuki Torun
Akademia e Filmit dhe Multimedias Marubi Tirana
Le Nouveau Latina Paris
Panorama Internacional de Cine Independiente / La Enana Marrón Madrid
Personal Cinema Series / Millennium Film Workshop New York
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Helsinki
Festival of Sacred Music Uppsala
DocLab / Goethe-Institut Hanoi
Kino Apollo Zürich
Kino Vendôme Beirut
Kino Hollywood Minneapolis
Akademie Schloss Solitude