Selbstportrait | Regie: Robert Passini | Filmstill | Daniela Kong

SELF-PORTRAIT

Short film | 17 minutes | Vienna Film School | 2004

Cast: Daniela Kong | Daniela Klaßen | Faris Rahoma | Georg Hauke | Eva Reinold | Paul Mairböck | Gabriele Mairböck | Stefan Marcello

Screenplay & director: Robert Passini
Cinematographer: Klemens Koscher
Composer: Anna Malek
Sound recordist: Matthias Ermert
Art director: Sabine Pleyel
Costume designer: Carola Pizzini
Makeup artists: Tanja Schraff | Anja Möller

© Klemens Koscher

CONTENT

It’s raining outside, while inside the castle it is warm and sheltered. The vernissage is successful, many people come and praise the artist Anna for her work: a series of self-portraits. The buffet is prepared, the guests are eating and chatting.

Anna stands in front of a glass door, the only view outside, and looks out into the park. Everything is wet. A face appears, Anna is startled. The face belongs to Susan. She just stands there, rigid and threatening. Anna seems to know Susan, and her presence is obviously unpleasant for Anna. She draws the curtain, none of the guests have seen her.

But Susan won’t be locked out and appears in the gallery. Anna becomes restless. Subsequently Susan studies the paintings and feels them. Susan seems out of place among the other guests.

Later, the two stand opposite each other. Anna keeps a good face towards the evil game while Susan verbally attacks her. She sees the vernissage, Anna's art and her life as one big lie.

Outside in the open air, in all the wetness that the rain has created, Anna is alone with her thoughts. Is Susan perhaps right? Anna finds her behind the castle. She provokes and insults Susan. A fight develops between the two rivals.

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

Visual arts are the main theme of this short film. Therefore, the staged images – like the portraits on the walls of the exhibition – seem like snapshots: the artist Anna stands in the room in front of her own portrait, which she observes; her partner looks at one of the paintings and thus becomes a seemingly motionless image himself; a photographer flashes into the camera more often, whereupon the film image becomes a photograph.

The only figure that is moving is a little boy who seems like a stranger at the exhibition opening. As if rehearsed, the guests follow the course of the vernissage: they listen to a flute and seem to be in a trance, followed by a short speech, to which they applaud until the buffet is finally stormed.

The graffiti artist Susan, on the other hand, stirs up this dramaturgy. She comes from “outside” where it's raining, touches a painting which is considered frowned upon, and expresses solidarity with the boy. But she is the one who accuses Anna of lying. She is the one who brings movement and color into the gallery. And she is the one who shakes Anna up and makes her think about her own art.

The experimentally narrated film shows the story of two rivals who stand for two motivations of art making: the acquisition of recognition versus the necessity of social change.

TRAILER