Dir: Mariola Brillowska , Charles Kisssing
100 min., 35mm, 1:1.66, Color, WP
Produktion: Interpol Studios, Hamburg. Buch: Mariola Brillowska, Charles Kissing. Kamera: Jenni Tietze, Eric Schmidt. Hauptzeichner: Mariola Brillowski. Musik: Felix Knoth. Ton: Charles Kissing. Ausstattung, Schnitt: Mariola Brillowska.
Sprecher: Marko Lakobrija, Max Goldt, Ditterich von Euler-Donnersperg, Gerd Stein, Gabrielle Leidloff.
Uraufführung: 27. Internationales Forum des Jungen Films
Weltvertrieb: Interpol Studios, Mariola Brillowska/Charles Kissing, Ifflandstr. 69, 22087 Hamburg. Tel.: (49-40) 227 8662.
Sat 15.02. 18:30 Kino 7 im Zoo Palast Sat 15.02. 00:15 Delphi Sun 16.02. 15:00 Arsenal
The gallery mafia isn't ready to accept the downfall of art. They organize the world's last art show, featuring 54 year old sculptor F. C. Hansel‘s work in the Hamburg Deichtorhallen. Overnight, all the art work is stolen. Consequently, the taboo subject of art reappears in the media. Art is discussed as if it were a new fad for a generation of youngsters who have lost their ideals; the dying art world is supposed to let the young generation fall under its spell. This, in turn, would mean salaries for the empty wallets of jobless art historians, museum directors and gallery owners. Simultaneously, the robbery of F. C. Hansel's works increases the value of his art tenfold. He becomes the most expensive artist in the entire world, the theft is the greatest one of all times. The insurance company of the Deichtorhallen offers an enormous reward for the capture of the thieves. Furthermore, they commission two Interpol agents to investigate the art theft. They must pretend to be artists and infiltrate the art world. Their names are Katharina and Witt.
KATHARINA & WITT, FICTION & REALITY, the first feature-length animation film of directors, script writers and producers Mariola Brillowska and Charles Kissing, was created in their Hamburg animation film studio over a period of five years. The film is ostensibly about the adventures and romance of two Interpol agents who investigate the greatest art theft of all times. In fact, the film uncovers the contemporary art world as a kind of tumour in the belly of a dying culture.
KATHARINA & WITT, FICTION & REALITY is the result of Mariola Brillowska's and Charles Kissing's longtime experience as painters in the art world. The film betrays the ugly truth first hand. Attacking the ugly corruption of the world of fine arts, the directors initiate an offensive to ridicule pompous asses, functionaries and a few professors in art academies, galeries and similar institutions.
Similarly to Tama Janowitz in her novel ,The Big City Slaves' where she humourously describes how most copyshop workers define themselves as writers, waiters as actors, exhibition workers as painters and taxi drivers as photographers, Mariola Brillowska's and Charles Kissing's film particularly ridicules Joseph Beuys' sentence: "Everybody is an artist".
The animation film is esthetically influenced by the subculture, an ostensibly bad fairy tale for grown-up children who have always dreamed of becoming artists or agents. Playing with the cult of professions, well-known from literary and film history, the film moves away from straightforward narration.
Unpredictable in her methods, agent Katharina seeks spiritual contact with the dead masters of art history. She communicates with a fictional ,other' world in poetic verse while her partner Witt prefers evoking a harsh reality by pretending to be the owner of a brothel. Alternatively, he commissions someone to copy his work as an ,artist'.
Identification with the protagonists is impossible because they don't censor their words just to please the audience. The story is a humorous confirmation of well-known feature film plots of the sex and crime genre, albeit with unexpected digressions from boring, conventional film narratives.
Simultaneously, it draws the viewer into a narrative world which does not illustrate the film's images. It outwits the narrative by anticipating it, emulating it, escaping it. One's mind is pushed to the borderline of what is logical, where it can either be deliciously relaxed or begin to collaborate in despair. Instead of using a linear narrative strategy the film features suggestive language: it all happens on the level of association and the anecdotal. Protagonists are reduced to clichéd figures, their disjointed gestures are the well-known trademarks of Mariola Brillowska's and Charles Kissing's earlier animation and colour compositions. The characters have no choice but to fight an individualistic struggle through the maze of preconceived clichés in the animation world.
There is a mad switch between the rational and the irrational, fiction and reality, observant perception and surreal dream-like states in KATHARINA & WITT, FICTION & REALITY, excessively exhausting all the possibilities of animation film.
Mariola Brillowska was born in 1961 in Sopot/Danzig/Poland. Charles Kissing was born in 1947 in Gütersloh/Germany. Both studied art at the School for Fine Arts in Hamburg in the mid-eighties. Since their first joint exhibition in 1985 Mariola Brillowska and Charles Kissing cooperate in painting, installations and animation. Previous exhibitions took place in the art museum in Malmö in Sweden, in Art Galleries in Lodz and Czestochowa in Poland, as well as in the Art House, the Artists' House and in the International Factory of Culture Kampnagel/K 3 in Hamburg. They have received scholarships from the Hamburg Senate and the art foundation in Bonn. Since 1991 Mariola Brillowska is lecturer and visiting professor at the Art Schools in Hamburg and Offenbach.
1990: Grabowski, Haus des Lebens. 1992: Der Mann geht in den Krieg. 1993: Eryk im Sexil. 1994: Fifi; Visa Vú. 1995: Man Comes Home; Man in Action. 1996: Flash Fairy. 1997: Der falsche Spieler; Die Contr-Contras; KATHARINA & WITT, FICTION & REALITY.
© 1997 by International Forum of New Cinema. All rights reserved.