Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen

Press review

 

The twelve-tone music among film festivals.

Jungle World, Germany, 20 May 2017

 

The range was still enormous, the selection pleasantly undogmatic and eclectic.

Der Standard, Austria, 16 May 2017

 

What makes the Oberhausen short film festival so exciting […] is that it’s the place where you can watch cinema in its ongoing negotiations with competing domains: music video, computer games, advertising, YouTube clips, exhibitions, installations – everything is always present, affects everything else, and is constantly forming and re-forming new constellations.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany, 17 May 2017

 

What you can learn – with a little effort – at Oberhausen are new, or perhaps just forgotten, modes of seeing.

Filmbulletin, Switzerland, June 2017

 

An almost mythical film festival that has a reputation for being political, complex, difficult. […] Nonetheless, its multi-layered programme of history and perspective, dedicated entirely to the short, experimental and artistic format, makes the festival superior to most metropolitan film fests.

epd film, Germany, June 2017

 

Oberhausen is still Germany’s most important meeting place for cinephiles.

Junge Welt, Germany, 20/21 May 2017

 

These small moments of bliss [Michel Gondry’s video clip “City Lights”] are among the dependable miracles of this extraordinary film festival.

Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany, 17 May 2017

 

The future, technology and chaos: they mesh closely in the films screened at the Oberhausen short film festival.

taz online, Germany, 19 May 2017

 

The festival, now in its 63rd year, is an unstoppable discursive force. It is forever moving forward, with all the momentum that optimism, youth, social scrutiny and the feedback loop allow.

Senses of Cinema, international, June 2017

 

[One of] the brilliantly curated screenings of the international competition where films are programmed to promote a subtle dialogue – sometimes based on content, sometimes on form – between them that in turn makes the festival experience not a sum but rather a product of its individual components.

Filmbulletin, Switzerland, June 2017

 

The several hundred entries in the competitions deal with historic events like 1950s Finnish newsreels or South Africa’s invasion of Lesotho in 1998, with regional, local, personal and political stories from Japan, South America, the hotspots of the Middle East or the deserts of today’s megacities. Narratives and descriptions alternate with visual experiments, loops and patterns. He who seeks shall find.

Jungle World, Germany, 20 May 2017

 

You can find masterful animations and pleasant experiments with old archive footage in the International Competition. But many images are just too sallow to really stay in mind.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany, 18 May 2017

 

With the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, which is opening next Thursday, we not only see the world coming to Oberhausen, we also see it mirrored on the screen – with burning urgency, sometimes literally.

WAZ, Germany, 8 May 2017

 

The enormous spectrum of short films provides the creative engine that frequently drives the big film industry forward. […] And when it comes to short film, the international scene will meet once more in the Ruhr area in May.

Trailer, Germany, 27 April 2017

 

A thematic line running through many of the films in this year’s International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is the inherent materiality of cinema: the objects and bodies immortalized by the act of filmmaking, a desperate yet hubristic gesture which is, as Tarkovsky put it, a “harrowing preparation for death.”

MUBI Notebook, USA, 27 June 2017

 

In any festival environment, film is a social medium. Oberhausen is a particularly convivial example.

The White Review online, UK, June 2017

 

The festival has always served as a touchstone and signpost for the short film format in Germany. Many careers started here.

Filmdienst, Germany, No. 12/2017

 

 

Theme

 

The Oberhausen programme basically revolves around the exciting question of when the dream of left-wing media theorists lost its innocence. An exact date can’t be quoted, but what becomes clear is that – retrospectively speaking – the utopian art interventions, the grass-roots democratic models, the freaky experiments, the childlike exuberance all bear traces of the “anti-social” Internet that is under critical observation nowadays.

Der Tagesspiegel, Germany, 11 May 2017

 

That’s the beauty of this rugged compilation: it was made for experts in everyday media, which means for all of us. “If you look at the films,” says Baumgärtel, “you may gain a different perspective on your own media biography.”

Die Welt, Germany, 16 May 2017

 

If this historical overview offers lessons to apply to the present, it is to notice the ways in which gratuitous elements of social media promote an ever-evolving and accelerating array of bells and whistles, and how this endless supply of options might actually nullify our capacity for genuinely thoughtful social engagement.

Sight & Sound online, UK, June 2017

 

 

Khavn

 

These are the figures Khavn uses to create his art: wild disgust, eclectically amalgamated with flashy colours and Punk-like music. He turns poetry into an instrument of resistance.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany, 18 May 2017

 

 

Larissa Sansour

 

Her works may be about the big issues associated with the region she comes from – expulsion, occupation, segregation, administrative humiliation and permanent civil war – but her approach is always ironic. Quoting from the acoustic and iconographic fund of cinema enables her to insert false bottoms and establish some distance to the problems she addresses.

Filmdienst, Germany, No. 10, 2017

 

 

Bjørn Melhus

 

His style employs elements of the grotesque, exaggeration and travesty to vary segments of reality as well as the products and projections of art and their media image. He distorts them to the point of recognisability, reflects patterns of behaviour and perception, constructs counter-models, counteracts stereotypes.

k.west, Germany, May 2017

 

 

The Moonshiners

 

The highlight of Oberhausen was the international premiere of The Moonshiners. Directed by Juho Kuosmanen, acclaimed last year for beautifully understated boxing drama The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, the silent short is a homage to the lost first feature ever made in Finland and reveals his genius for deadpan wit.

Anothermag.com, UK, 15 June 2017