Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Programme of shorts PÖFF 2020

Alex Prager’s short film “Play The Wind”, part of the exhibition Welcome Home, is an experimental and playful homage to the works of Alfred Hitchcock (and other classic Hollywood auteurs such as Douglas Sirk) that explores the pleasures and violence of voyeurism, as well as the complex relationship with nostalgia and the past. These themes are a common preoccupation for Prager as she recontextualizes the tropes of classical Hollywood movies and uncovers the darkness that lies underneath the shiny surface of glitz and glamour.

“Follow The Yellow Brick Road” is a programme of shorts that echo the themes and techniques within Prager’s work that change our view of traditional narrative, as well as examine complex relationships of audiences and observation. With a title taken from one of the classics of Hollywood cinema, the selection helps us see the paths that lead towards Prager’s work and the roads that venture away from it.

Play utilises found footage as we observe audiences in theatre auditoriums, concert halls and cinemas. As we see them applaud, we begin to question who actually is the viewer in this scenario. Outer Space sees footage The Entity (1980) edited into an abstract nightmare in which the very medium of film itself becomes an aggressor. Uso Justo takes a more humorous look at found footage and fair use.

Screenings

Cinema hall Fotografiska Tallinn, Estonia
Screening325127 / Mööda kollast telliskiviteed
Screening duration
Cinema hall Fotografiska Tallinn, Estonia
Screening325128 / Mööda kollast telliskiviteed
Screening duration

Films

Play

Local title
Mäng
Director
Matthias Müller, Christoph Girardet
Country
Germany
Year
2003

Play is a montage of archive footage of audiences in which the on-screen action can only be seen reflected in the facial expressions and gestures of the audience. Individual behaviour condenses into collective behaviour. The event is transferred from the stage to the hall; audience members become the actors in an unpredictable drama.

Director
Matthias Müller, Christoph Girardet
Runtime

Outer Space

Local title
Avakosmos
Director
Peter Tscherkassky
Country
Austria
Year
1999

Footage from The Entity (1980) is edited into an abstract nightmare.

Director
Peter Tscherkassky
Runtime

Uso Justo

Local title
Uso Justo
Director
Coleman Miller
Country
USA
Year
2005

A director of experimental films plays a dangerous game with the inhabitants of the fictional city Uso Justo. Everyone interferes: the doctor and his friend, the nurse who has dreamt all her life of being a film star, a group of detectives who are trying to push forward their nephews, a sick child who would rather see butterflies than anything else... It shows how an innocent hospital drama can turn into existential chaos.

Director
Coleman Miller
Runtime

Play The Wind

Local title
Mäng tuules
Director
Alex Prager
Country
USA
Year
2019

A sensuous art film with no dialogue, Play the Wind follows a brooding man in a beat-up car (Dimitri Chamblas) as he takes a nostalgic drive through Los Angeles, lost in a world that feels like part of a fabricated memory and part distant dream. After locking eyes with a dark-haired woman (Riley Keough), her life takes a turn for the unexpected when she’s suddenly thrust into her past. She tumbles rapidly through space and time as she confronts and strips away layers of her old self.

Director
Alex Prager
Runtime