To catch a thief

Volker Schreiner

To catch a thief, 60 min, Germany, 2016

COUNTER

2004
length: 6 min 30 sec
color/ bw
mono
no dialogues
aspect ratio 4:3

„A hilarious montage of movies, both classic and obscure, creates a rapid-fire countdown.“
(„Outstanding Short Films from International Festivals“, Museum of Modern Art New York)

„Exciting found footage filmed made up of 266 (classic) film fragments. Counting down from 266. Schreiner sought and found fragments from film classics and obscure reels of film to complete his task. With a great feeling for building up tension and tight editing, he holds on to the viewer’s gaze.“
(catalogue International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2006)

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RADAR

2006
length: 5 min 14 sec
color/ bw
mono
no dialogues
aspect ratio 4:3

“RADAR leads the viewer to search for extraordinary tracks. Beams of light cutting through space, edited from a large number of feature films, sporadically lighting the way to nowhere. Full of metaphors, a reflection on both the dark side of existence and the light of recognition.”
(Kristina Tieke)

„A formal typology which collates scores of instances of the same phenomenon – a flashlight scanning the darkness ahead – from archive feature films, Volker Schreiner‘s RADAR creates an unsettling, uncertain trip into the gloom of a hundred forgotten scenes.“
(catalogue Aurora Film Festival Norwich, 2007)

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CELL

2006
length: 4 min 27 sec
color
mono
no dialogues
aspect ratio 4:3

„Living rooms coolly lit by white noise on TV screens are a familiar harbinger of approaching doom in most feature films. In Cell, just this one unheimisch cinematographic element is put under the magnifying glass. A concentrated montage of countless fragments with flickering and spooky snow-covered screens from Hollywood films. This is the ultimate meta-cinema. No message, just medium.“
(catalogue International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2007)

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SCOPE

2008
length: 4 min 57 sec
color/ bw
mono
no dialogues
aspect ratio 4:3

„The world is what sound is: Main motive is the speaker – on masts, in halls, on roofs in cars, living rooms, in headphones and handsets, in radio installations. Listeners are to be seen in parts or blured only. Sound gets through the speakers, as unclear part of communication and dialogues, distorted music and announcements, search of transitions, noise. Volker Schreiner gives a new, a different, a forgotten voice to the general and omnipresent noise, that since a long time is no more experienced in the mordern world.“
(catalogue Vienna International Film Festival, 2008)

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CYCLE

2010
length: 4 min 14 sec
color/ bw
mono
no dialogues
aspect ratio 4:3

„Clips from Curtiz to Lynch, from A Place in the Sun to White Noise. Assembled under the aspect of the dominating light source in each particular excerpt, which in this unsettling four minutes work shows off as the merciless ruler over the sound. Or, in the words of found-footage-virtuoso Volker Schreiner: ‚Rooms illuminated by oscilling light, lightened up in rhythmic intervals by lamps and neon signs or irregular flashes of light . People are waiting, awaiting, pondering, searching, worrying.‘“
(catalogue Vienna International Film Festival, 2010)

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FROM AFAR

2007
length: 4 min 55 sec
color/ bw
mono
no language
aspect ratio 4:3

„News, notes, reports, pages, letters, postcards, in FROM AFAR the work of editing becomes literally the rewriting of a text, from 200 fragments of feature films on which appear manuscript notes.“
(catalogue Rencontres Internationales Paris, 2007)

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TEACHING THE ALPHABET

2007
length: 3 min 34 sec
color/ bw
mono
no dialogues
aspect ratio 4:3
credits: letters spoken by Michael O’Connell

„It’s not a simple ABC, this found footage alphabet by Volker Schreiner. Schreiner reveals his qualities in collecting and choreographing footage from classic (Hollywood) films. The concept of alphabetical ordering is loosely maintained so there’s room for a playful contribution from the subconscious.“
(catalogue International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2008)

„With TEACHING THE ALPAHBET Volker Schreiner presents a monumental tribute to the mainstream cinema of all times. He not only pays homage through a precise selection of clips from Hollywood greats that demonstrates an incredible knowledge of the subject, but also by linking the footage in a series of surprising, logical connections. Through the device of teaching the alphabet, in the way that it is often taught to children with associations of letters and objects or concepts, Schreiner actively involves the spectator in a guessing game of images with missing data and unspoken words. In this puzzle of cross references, unsaid famous lines, and connections that at times are obvious and at others more obscure, Schreiner offers us an ingenious lesson on the history of cinema, challenging the viewer’s powers of recognition.“
(catalogue Invideo Milan, 2009)

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HOLLYWOOD MOVIE – remodelling of Nam June Paik’s text ‘film scenario’

2012
length: 7 min
color/ bw
mono
aspect ratio 16:9

„HOLLYWOOD MOVIE by Volker Schreiner deals with Nam June Paik’s film-theoretical, aggessive instruction to watch mainstream movies by putting the words right in the mouths of the descendents of the studio system. A cheer for the editing!“
(Carolin Weidner, „The Screen as Art Gallery“)

„Volker Schreiner’s filmic transformation of Nam June Paik’s text ‘film sceanrio’ takes the spectator on a humorous flying visit through Hollywood’s cinema and through the rules and standards of filmic language. Rhythmical cuts and artful choreography of the collected material lead to an ironical deconstruction of viewing and give an exciting structure to this experimental found-footage-film, full of theatrics and humour.“
(German Commission of Valuation)

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SITES

2015
length: 8 min 20 sec
color/ bw
mono
no dialogues
aspect ratio 16:9

„Volker Schreiner creates a filmic tryptic of three landscapes. The camera is constantly moving, searches orientation and coordinates, gets lost in eternal white. In an ecstasy of the elements we loose any lead, although the scenery should appear familiar.“
(Kasseler DokFilmFest, 2015)

„Blips in the night, a sinking in the waves of the sea, a distant caravan in blackgraywhite mountains. A tirade of the elements? But what disparate sounds and musics are there, where are these congenially assembled scenes shot, why are they all colorless and: why does the editing question one’s own perception of film history? The surprising credits may help to answer.“
(catalogue Vienna International Film Festival, 2015)

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