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About this film

If one watches Telemach Wiesinger’s Kaleidoscope, one could be reminded of one of the icons of and in cinema history: Dziga Vertov and his classic Man with a Movie Camera from 1929. Wiesinger, a film poet, an observer, a traveller, takes us on a journey. In beautiful black-and-white images across 21 chapters, the director shows us the (extra)ordinary in Europe and North America. Wiesinger is an admirer of analogue film, and Kaleidoscope gives us a feeling of this admiration, having been shot in 16mm. The images, well-chosen and put into light, are, thanks to Wiesinger’s versatile aesthetics, a reminder that there is not one tempo, one form of pace in life. Rather, it is a combination of speed and slowness, of linear time and time that progresses like the movements of a river.

Nadin Mai (tao films)

Interview with the Director
Telemach, I have one pressing question that somehow doesn’t let me go. Kaleidoscope reminded me strongly of Dziga Vertov and his film Man With A Movie Camera. Is there a deliberate link to Vertov’s wonderful film and his hommage to cinema?

Of course! If someone had followed me - alone with the tripod with my movie camera - I must have looked like Vertov's main actor and “the man with the movie camera” in his great movie.

Kaleidoscope is often described as a film poem. Would you agree with this, and could you tell our viewers what a film poem essentially is?

Somehow my films could be compared with the literary form of a japanese Haiku. Instead of using words and sentences, my series of photographed single frames and sequences let arise a visual imaginary poetry. That's why I myself use the specification “film poems”.

Poetry to me is a quiet type of art. It’s sensual, quiet, and, as Maya Deren would say, vertical, meaning that it goes into depth. Film is, nowadays and in popular cinema in any case, the opposite.

I agree, and before consuming todays mainstream loud images, I would propose to add the warning sentence: “Mind your eyes!”

The term kaleidoscope comes from Ancient Greek and means both “beauty” and “to look, to examine”. At the same time, the kaleidoscope is, one could say, a predecessor of cinema. To me personally, the kaleidoscope attracts, first of all, a person’s curiosity. It’s curiosity that I miss these days in the film audience. Is your filmmaking an attempt to return the viewer to this early stage of curiosity?

Alexander Grebtschenko, who arranged the soundtrack, said to me, that I do play with open cards and will win anyway...Yes, I do believe in the timeless magic black box tricks and always new pleasures for the spectator.

Your film is versatile in aesthetics. It’s not slow, it’s not fast. It’s not static, it’s not in constant movement. There is a bit of everything in there. It reminded me on the different characteristics of time, which we consider as linear and progressing at the same speed, but this is not what time actually is. The Chinese understand this well.

Exactly. I wished the clock hand was not turning parallel to the running time of the film.

One question that I believe our viewers will have once they see your film is what gear are you using? Are you shooting in analogue or digital?

Always on film-rolls.

How did Kaleidoscope come into being? It’s based on 21 chapters and feels at times like a travelogue. Was this planned from the very beginning, or did the film simply morph into this?

My moving pictures for this project were collected over more than four years. The aim was from the start to receive a mixture of fiction, documentary and travelogue, personal and abstract ideas, objective and subjective perspectives, open to interpretation despite clear-cut and pure statements.

Whenever I receive an email from you, you attach wonderful, beautiful, just stunning screen grabs. You seem to be busy and creative all the time. What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I'm preparing the next feature film, including the darkroom handwork with self-developed silver grains.

Thank you very much for this interview.