Ernst Schmidt Jr. - Wienfilm / ViennaFilm 1896-1976
Available for the first time with English subtitles, this 16 mm film from 1976/77, Schmidt’s first feature length film (color & b/w, sound, 117 min).
He himself described the work as a collage. Indeed it is a kind of anthology about Vienna, from the invention of film to the present day. The aim was to break down the usual ‘image of Vienna’ by juxtaposing documentary footage, newly shot material and subjective sequences created by various artists. Individual, self-contained sections of the film gain new meaning within the context of historical material. Familiar sites appear estranged when edited together with historical scenes. Other scenes appear like a persiflage or satirical.
The film does not incorporate any commentary whatsoever.
The list of participants reads like a who´s who of the avant-garde and underground scene in Austria of its day: Friedrich Achleitner, Marc Adrian, H.C. Artmann, Helmut Benedikt, Armin Berg, Joe Berger, Moucle Blackout, Charles Chaplin, Irina David, Engelbert Dollfuß, Wolfgang Ernst, Valie Export, Franz Joseph I., Padhi Frieberger, Sigmund Freud, Walter Funda, Alexander Girardi, Hermann Göring, Adolf Hitler, Ernst Jandl, Günter Janicek, Berd Klamer, Werner Kofler, Theodor Kömer, Brenda & Sheila Kronheim, Ernst J. Lauscher, Louis & Auguste Lumière, Friederike Mayröcker, Otto Mühl, Cora Pongracz, J. Poselski, Arnulf Rainer, Karl Renner, Diter Rot, Gerhard Rühm, Hermann Schürrer, Kurt Schuschnigg, Peter Weibel, Karl v. Zieglmayer, and more.
The 20 pages booklet is bilingual English-German, including “Image of the City as a Construction Site“ by Isabella Reicher, and Ernst Schmidt Jr.’s biography and filmography.
“You can be Viennese all over the world – just not in Vienna.” (Joe Berger in ViennaFilm 1896–1976)