utorak, 18. rujna 2012.

Ralf Schmerberg - režiser reklama rješava (naivne) svjetske probleme

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Od komercijalnih reklama (s eksperimentalnim štihom) i muzičkih videospotova do politički angažiranog filma. Svjetski problemi? Molim jedan! Suludo je da je (valjda) sve što je napravio stavio na svoju web stranicu za slobodno gledanje. Impresivna kolekcija.

"Welcome to my site.
PROBLEMA is my latest film. I've spent the last two years in the edit room making it. All together it took me eight crazy and exciting years. The whole project was based on giving, learning and questioning. We decided to release the film for free to the world because we think it's too precious to pay for."
Watch the trailer, the film or download it for free at problema-thefilm.org.

In the Spur of the Moment

Ralf Schmerberg’s field of work is multifarious. During the '90s, he became known as a director of commercials with an experimental point of view. Schmerberg then earned recognition for his award-winning feature film Poem – a visual odyssey shot across the world. But he has also caused a stir with more political films and projects. To him, life, art, and politics are inseparable. “Avant-garde can only arise in a certain moment," he says, "It is an experiment, spontanious, and neither plannable nor predictable.” Based on this idea, he uses his project "The Berlin Sessions" as a laboratory. Two artists he brought together for it illustrate the point: Lionel Williams, a 20-year-old free spirit from California known for futuristic collages, experimental music, and who was tought by his famous Hollywood movie composer father, John; and then Manfred Kage, a 75-year-old chemist, who has for the last fifty years been driven by the idea of making the invisible visible with his projections.

Video na theavantgardediaries.com



Film   Trailer  

Behind the Scenes 


dropping knowledg

Hommage à Noir

Licht für Alle



Ralf Schmerberg is the mind behind the documentary "Problema" which touches on a 2006 project called "The Table of Free Voices" in Berlin Germany.
The project invited 112 people of various backgrounds to Berlin's Bebelplatz where 70 years ago the first Nazi book-burning took place.
I recently sat down with Ralf to discuss the film, the people and what is next.
Of course, the first thing we all wonder is how was the panel chosen; how did he decide on Willem Dafoe as a moderator?
"The participants were chosen in committee," Schmerberg explained. The main criteria was they could not be a politician "becauee we wanted to keep politics out of it. Politicians get plenty of time to tell their stories." Included were corporate leaders, professors, activists, artists and several free thinkers.
As for chosing Dafoe as a moderator, "I just like Willem! I think he is so cool. So when his name was brought up, I of course was very happy to consider him." The only concern was Dafoe's Hollywood schedule, which was not a problem.
What about the questions that were included in the film. The event took over 9 hours and every participant had an answer to every question. That's 11,200 responses but a film that is only 95 minutes. Schmerberg narrowed it down to 17 questions and a few select answers for each question. Some answers, considering the depth ofthe questions, were quite impressive.
"We gave everyone time to consider their answers," but there were some instances of pause. However, all the answers are available on his Dropping Knowledge website and You Tube.
Considering the enormity of the recordings, will there be a Problema 2 - the out takes? "No, there will be no more film on the project." Ralf then emphasized the availabilty of the questions and answers online.
The logistics must have been crazy! "Not really. We used 100 of the cheapest video cameras because they weren't moving and we did not need special effects or any of those extras. Each camer was connected to a hard drive and left on to record." Of course there was lots of footage of nothing since recording started before anyone arrived.
Now, Ralf's film is making the film festival rounds and he has embarked on a lecture tour to accompany the screenings. Eventually, "Problema" may become vital viewing for students. At least in the future, people will get a chance to see what were the concerns of the world - at least on one fine day in Berlin. -- GEOFFREY BURTON

The TH Interview: Ralf Schmerberg of Dropping Knowledge

Artist Creates Weird Igloo from 322 Refrigerators


Pressing naive questions: Ralf Schmerberg’s “Problema”

Our twentieth century was going to improve on the others.
It will never prove it now,

now that its years are numbered,

its gait is shaky,

its breath is short.

Too many things have happened

that weren’t supposed to happen,

and what was supposed to come about

has not.

Happiness and spring, among other things,

were supposed to be getting closer.

Fear was expected to leave the mountains and the valleys.

Truth was supposed to hit home

before a lie.

A couple of problems weren’t going

to come up anymore:

humger, for example,

and war, and so forth.

There was going to be respect

for helpless people’s helplessness,

trust, that kind of stuff.

Anyone who planned to enjoy the world

is now faced

with a hopeless task.

Stupidity isn’t funny.

Wisdom isn’t gay.

isn’t that young girl anymore,
et cetera, alas.

God was finally going to believe

in a man both good and strong,

but good and strong
are still two different men.

“How should we live?” someone asked me in a letter.

I had meant to ask him
the same question.

Again, and as ever,

as may be seen above,

the most pressing questions

are naïve ones.

- Wislawa Szymborska, “The Century’s Decline”

Nobel Prize winning Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska published these lines in 1986. Twenty-five years later, I suspect that many people would agree with her statement. As I write this, the polar ice caps are melting. The oil is being used up. Millions throughout the world go hungry. Wars rage in many parts of the world; terrorism continues to be a threat to all. Many of us who live in affluent societies are disillusioned with our lives, plagued by the feeling that something is missing. Meanwhile, in poor countries (and in the poor sectors of wealthy ones) the daily struggle for survival overwhelms all other concerns.
“How should we live?” is undoubtedly a naive question – so naive that many of us would rather not ask it at all. And yet, it is becoming more and more imperative that we ask it to ourselves and others, and that we try to find some answers. Problema, a documentary film made by Ralf Schmerberg, exhibits the attempt of some of the world’s foremost philosophers, scientists, artists and policymakers to answer questions posed by people from all over the world. On a bright September day in 2006, onehundred-twenty thinkers from around the world gathered in Berlin’s Bebelplatz (the place where the Nazis burned around 20,000 books in 1933). They sat around a circular “Table of Free Voices” and simultaneously answered one hundred questions posed originally online by people from all over the world. The film only documents seventeen of these, and I think that Szymborska would definitely consider many of them to be as naive as they are compelling: “What is today’s most important unreported story?” “Why is there no peace in the Middle East yet?” “What does courage mean now?” Perhaps the questions most relevant to my own project included “What is God’s religion?” and “What are the myths that we need to create in order to change the world for the better?”
The answers vary from the simplistic to the truly profound and thought-provoking. The film flips from one respondent to another, declining to identify people by name until the final credits. In between answers, Schmerberg offers a beautiful (though at times disturbing) collage of images from around the world. He also depicts many humorous and occasionally awkward moments which the respondents experienced in between questions (often when they did not realize they were on camera), thus revealing these “experts” to be not all that different from the rest of us. For me, some of the most engaging answers were provided by evolution biologist Elisabet Sahtouris, who talks about the potential (and necessity) for human beings to develop away from social structures based on competition in favour of ones characterized by collaboration, and her conviction that entropy in the universe is and continues to be counterbalanced by syntropy. However, many of the answers were very thought-provoking and perhaps (let’s hope) even action-provoking.

Because this film makes use of footage taken from several different films, it cannot be shown commercially. However, it has been shown in private screenings and it also available online, and I would recommend it as definitely worth the hour and a half it takes to watch. - anotherliberalcatholic.wordpress.com

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