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A Tribute to Das Kleine Fernsehspiel/ZDF: Alternative Filmmaking in Television

A Tribute to Das Kleine Fernsehspiel/ZDF: Alternative Filmmaking in Television

Monday, November 26, 1979
7:30 p.m. Behindert (Hindered)
Stephen Dwoskin (Germany, 1974)

Stephen Dwoskin in Person!

“Steve Dwoskin is perhaps the most distinctive British underground filmmaker. (Dwoskin is an American working in England.) His films have a haunting and obsessive quality both in form and content. He has stated his intention to involve the viewer directly in the experience of time, space and emotion of the subject that the camera observes. He believes that the images and actions associated with the erotic sense are perhaps the strongest element that can induce such involvement. The films are therefore real erotic situations presented as pure open emotion. Dwoskin’s films confront us with fragments of experience.... The experience of viewing them is close to that of dreaming.” —Introduction, 1973 Retrospective, Edinburgh Film Festival.

Behindert is a feature made for German TV; its basis is autobiographical - the story of a physically disabled man and normal woman, played by Dwoskin and Carola Regnier, who confront the difficulties of a relationship. There is a minimum of dialog, but a continuous throbbing tone throughout the film; Dwoskin concentrates on close-ups, exploring a face slowly, intensely, focusing on fine detail, producing an intimate portrait of emotions, which is, nevertheless, unsentimental in its drama.

“The mere mention of a film concerned with, or surrounding the subject of physical disability conjures up preconceived notions, images and so on as to the type of film it is. It is put aside as a medical/social document of little importance, particularly by film people who think of films as ‘political,’ ‘narrative,’ ‘entertainment,’ ‘poetic,’ or ‘structural.’ This film is about the physically normal and disabled in confrontation, but not literal relations. It is a documentary without being one, a diary without being one. The content lies beneath the film, going into many areas. The material is treated subjectively, and crosses fiction with realistic documents, without a clear distinction.”

• Directed, Written, Photographed and Edited by Stephen Dwoskin. Produced by Dwoskin and ZDF. ZDF Producer, Eckart Stein. With Stephen Dwoskin, Carola Regnier. (Germany, 1974, 96 mins, Print from Bauer Films)