Lutz Mommartz: Early Interviews

Interviewer: Mr. Mommartz, please describe your relationship to Cinema?

Lutz: I rarely go to the cinema; I don’t like westerns, nor dramas, nor comedies. Sometimes – out of curiosity – I enter a movie theatre, but even then with care. Sometimes it excites me, but I don’t have an explanation for that.

What is your opinion of Junge Deutsche Film (New German Cinema)?

They are old-young, they don’t understand anything.

How did you begin filmmaking?

I never wanted to become a filmmaker. In 1963 I was in Uganda for six weeks. There was an 8mm camera around, and filming was a good way to kill boredom in Africa. I recorded things that were atypical for Africa. This satisfied me deeply. By way of example, I filmed a tablecloth hanging in the wind, long shot, full frame. For a few moments the wonderful landscape could be seen behind it – in colour. This material was unfortunately lost. I intend on giving up filming only when I have succeeded in recording such a beautiful setting again.

Did you make any more 8mm works?

Yes, with friends and acquaintances, as a game about recording behaviours, without ‘filmic’ ambitions. Alongside this, I considered the possibility of constructing a film by stringing together chosen situations from the visible reality of the camera, without any post-production. This process required that each sequence be memorised. The selection of each image was based on my personal notions of plausibility. The more I recorded, the more specific the film became. After a relatively arbitrary start, plausible possibilities were incrementally reduced. This process demanded tremendous concentration.

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Initially, I wanted to carry out these experiments with individuals. I bought an old 8mm camera and exposed others to situations where they had to react to me and the camera. This test was very interesting for me, I wanted to find out what actions would develop from such a situation. However, when I decided to apply this practice to a group each individual had to cope firstly with their own presence, and then with that of others. It was clear to us that outsiders couldn’t understand this process through the film itself. Buying and using the camera therefore had little to do with the making of film.

It soon turned out that approaches to playing with subjects and consciousness differed. Despite a willingness to work together everyone had their own interests. My interest turned out to be stronger than the others’. For the most part, the others in this group didn’t continue with these provocations. This is why we never established a commune, for example. I still didn’t want to become a filmmaker, but the camera enticed me to explore its possibilities. As I didn’t want to be a loner and considered myself a social being, I decided to make my ideas of the world public. In 1967, I bought a 16mm camera and shot the first films for EXPRMNTL 4 Film Festival in Knokke-le-Zoute at the end of the year. I couldn’t be bothered with presenting fictions, instead I lived through the story.

Transcript of Lutz Mommartz, Erste Interviews (Early Interviews), 1963-68. Video. 4m26. The Lutz Mommartz Film Archive / Creative Commons.

Translated by Gabriele Weiß, edited by Marcus Jack.

Images

Lutz Mommartz, Margret’s Film, 2007. Video. 15m26s. The Lutz Mommartz Film Archive / Creative Commons
Lutz Mommartz, 3 Gläser (3 Glasses), 1967. 16mm. 3m50s. The Lutz Mommartz Film Archive / Creative Commons

Transit Arts presents Lutz Mommartz:
the breath of the sheep and the sea is infinitely beautiful
26th January 2017, 7-9pm
CCA Cinema
FREE, 15+
Book here

Call for submissions

Call for submissions is now closed.

ATLAS and Transit Arts are welcoming short film submissions for its event: Screen-It @ Skye Live featuring Transit Arts’ on 29-30 April 2016.

Download application form here.

In collaboration with Transit Arts, ATLAS will be hosting a screening programme at Skye Live 2016. At the festival they will be showing six films; two artist’s films and one archive film, ‘Salmon Fishing on Skye’ made in 1943, curated by ATLAS and Transit Arts and three films chosen from the open submission call. To encourage the film talent in the local area, ATLAS is restricting the submission to people living in the Highland Region and Western Isles. This is a great opportunity for young and emerging filmmakers to show their talent at a big event alongside established films; including recently made, ‘Oyster’ by American filmmaker Margaret Salmon.

Hosted by Marcus Jack of Transit Arts and Suzy Lee of ATLAS Arts, the films will be shown on a screen in the back of a transit van. Successful applicants will also be featured in a zine designed and created by Transit Arts as a celebration and legacy of the event.

The theme selected for the screening is Labour (manual work). Films submitted should be a response to this theme. Open to all ages, we especially encourage young filmmakers (school age) to apply. Films can be in either English, or Gaelic with English subtitles.

Film submissions must:
*Fit within the theme: Labour (manual work)
*Be film or video based – DVD or digital file are acceptable
*Be no longer than 5 minutes in duration
*Be family friendly
*Applicants must live within the Highland Region and Western Isles

There is no age restriction for submissions.

Deadline for submission is Monday 4 April 2016
Successful applicants will be notified by Monday 11 April 2016

Download application form here.

Call for submissions is now closed.

For application and further information please contact Suzy Lee: suzy@atlasarts.org.uk | 01478 611143.

Submissions to Suzy Lee: suzy@atlasarts.org.uk. Please include a short biography and a list of any previous film work.

Further Information
ATLAS is an organisation dedicated to visual arts projects and education in Skye and Lochalsh, Scotland. An organisation ‘without walls,’ we are uniquely placed to help to deliver a contemporary arts programme in a rural setting. From winter to spring ATLAS host SCREEN-IT, a film screening programme designed to introduce contemporary artists’ moving image to a new audience.

Transit Arts is a framework for the exhibition of contemporary moving image work in non-gallery, outdoor locations. Screening films from the back of a van, the peripatetic curatorial project seeks to engage local audiences through an episodic programme developed specifically in response to that locality.

Skye Live was founded by Niall Munro and Ali McIsaac, both Skye locals, and describe Skye Live as a “boutique festival”, showcasing the best of contemporary Scottish music and bringing together lesser known bands as well as more established acts such as King Creosote and Capercaillie.

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Call for submissions

Call for submissions is now closed.

Transit Arts is welcoming short artists’ film submissions for its third episode which will take place in various locations across Glasgow in March 2016 in partnership with Glasgow Short Film Festival.

TRANSIT is a nomadic programme of artists’ film, screened from the back of a van. The project has been conceived as a framework for the exhibition of short works in non-gallery, outdoor locations across Glasgow. For its third episode, TRANSIT #3: and everything crooked will become straight, the programme will focus on works which choose to transgress, rewrite, and upend the way we view a screen and the world behind it.

Submissions must:
*Respond to themes of transgression, rewriting, and/or upending convention.
*Be film and video based
*Be already existing
*Be no longer than 10 minutes duration
*Be family-friendly

For successful works a screening fee is provided.

Please send submissions to marcus@transitarts.co.uk (Marcus Jack), submissions should include a CV, examples of previous work, and a link to/attachment of the video you are submitting.

For further information, please contact marcus@transitarts.co.uk, call 07460823945, or visit Transit Arts on Facebook

The deadline is Saturday 16 January 2016 at 12:00.

Call for submissions is now closed.

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