Blurred silhouettes, where otherwise big stars stroll, gray streaks where glamour normally reigns, iconoclasm where strict attention is usually paid to visual staging. Palmes d'Or is nourished by photos that were taken at the film festival in Cannes, and is, at the same time, presents its most quintessential undermining.
Siegfried A. Fruhauf has created a pulsating concentrate from more than 800 photographs. He layered the pictures over one another, distorted and deformed the results until what remains are mere schemata that appear at lightning speed only to just as abruptly withdraw from the overtaxed eye. The soundtrack that clamors forth furiously is the acoustic equivalent: as though too many sounds were available at once, which only a logical rhythm might tame. Same goes for the visual level, which oscillates between pure optics–the reduction of everything recognizable and identifiable, until simply pure exhibition value remains–and total excess. In truth, every frame contains more than could be mentally processed.
The lighting fast succession unloads in a retinal storm, which drags everything along with it–references as well as reminisces. Indeed, a few points to hold on to appear from time to time: outlines of people, urban architecture, palms from the title. But they are all dissolved by the rapid cross hatching, which allows the rhythmic element rather than content, gray tones rather than a burst of color, and storm rather than contemplation to preside. Everything ends logically with the picture-flickering fire, which not only marks the symbolic final stroke of the events, but rather, with its metaphors links onto the illusion of an early cinema, before all picture floods. (Christian Hölle)
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