Monthly Archive: September 2006

Between “Bad Things” and “Good Vibrations”: Leon Theremin and his T-Vox

During the glasnost period when many forgotten biographies were rediscovered and rewritten, one of the most bizarre finds was the Soviet-American inventor and pioneer of electr(on)ic music, Lev Sergeevich Termen (aka Léon Theremin, 1896-1993). Termen, “the secret link between sci-fi films, the Beach Boys, and Carnegie Hall,” whose “electronic musical instrument took the world by storm in the 1920s and ’30s”(Grand Performances. “Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey”., — several decades before the rise of electronic popular music — had been forgotten for 50 years in the East and West.

Some remembered this name, though–among them were Robert … Read more

Transit Visas Are Not Being Issued Here: The Loop as Symbolic Form On Clemens von Wedemeyers Short Film “Otjezd”

At first glance—for those who grew up with Eastern European cinema—Clemens von Wedemeyer’s film “Otjezd” seems so astonishingly familiar that one can not believe it was not made by a “native viewer.” Gloomy, self-absorbed characters with fur hats, stuttering nervously or reciting poetry in dream-like surroundings seem to be a reference to Andrei Tarkovsky’s famous Mirror (1975). It is only when a living advertisement dressed as a green frog appears for a split second, chatting nonchalantly with bored policemen, that one begins to suspect that something has changed. There is obviously some capitalism around.

The simple Russian word otjezd, … Read more

An Interview With Clemens von Wedemeyer on the filming of “Otjezd”

Clemens von Wedemeyer studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. He has won several international awards for his short films, video works and installations, including the Böttcherstrasse Art Award in Bremen (2005), the VG Bildkunst Award for Experimental Film (2002) and the Marion Ermer Award (2002). His latest film “Rien du tout” (2006, together with Maya Schweizer), is based on a Beckett play (“Catastrophe”). It was shown both in the German Competition at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2006, where it won the prize as best film, and at the 4th Berlin Biennale. In 2005, von Wedemeyer … Read more