Michael PILZ (1943, Austria) started making 8mm films and photographs aged twelve. He studied at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna's Department of Film, but never graduated. Later, he developed an interest in the technical, material and mental aspects of cinematography, as well as various ways of expressing the subconscious in film. The larger part of his cinematographic experiments of the 1960s, most on regular 8mm film, has been lost since 1985. In these works he experimented with cameras and film material itself (direct treatments such as painting, scratching), handheld and out-of-control moving cameras and absurd, anarchist staging. Since 1983 he has delivered occasional lectures and held workshops on aesthetics and experimental filmmaking, mainly outside of Austria. He is an uncompromising documentary maker who explores the world, inside and out, in his work. His idiosyncratic, contemplative approach has repeatedly provided unusual insights into film and the world around the filmmaker.
Symposion (1967, short), Big Shot (1968, short), Für Peter Noever und Achille Castiglioni (1968, short), Voom (1969, short), Underground (co-dir., 1969, short), Maskerade (1969, short), Coop Himmelblau (co-dir., 1970, short), Wienerinnen (1971, short), Easy Feeling (1971, short), Wladimir Nixon (1972, short), Charly Jackson (1972, short), Das Lied vom Hofer (1972, short), L'Imagination des yeux (1973, short), Langsamer Sommer/Slow Summer (1976), Franz Grimus (1977), Lou Reed (1977, short), Die Generalin (1977), Szenen aus dem Wiener Milieu (co-dir., 1978), Schule und Autorität (1978, short), Landkino (1978, short), Sandvic Image (1979, short), Himmel und Erde/Heaven and Earth (1982), Wels (1984), Private Eyes (1984), Wels (1984), Noah Delta II (1985), Paticca-Samuppada (1986, short), Parco delle rimembranze/Parc of Remembrance (1987, short), Der Lauf des Wassers (1988, short), Eighty Centimeters Five Tons (1989), Staatz Ende (1989, short), 80cm 5t (1989), Feldberg (1990), Für Sebastian Prantl (1990), Two Horse Town (1991, short), Für Walter Neumayer (1991), Der Stadtflieger (1991), Für Walter Marti und Reini Mertens (1992), Für Thomas Lehner – Stadtwerkstatt Linz (1992), Für die Vögel (1992), Eigentlich spreche ich ja eine andere Sprache, und trotzdem haben wir immer gut miteinander gesprochen (1992), Cage (1992), State of Grace (1993), Il faut apprendre à voir (1993), Private Eyes (1994), Green Park Hotel (1994), All the Vermeers in Prague (1994), Für Walter Stach und Dieter Schrage (1994), Prisjádim na dorozku/Let's Sit Down Before We Leave (1995), Irgendwo hätt'ich sonst hingewollt/I Would've Preferred Any Other Place (co-dir., 1995), Für Brigitte Schwaiger (1995), Für Radha Anjali (1995, short), Was übersetzt ist noch nicht angekommen (1996), Für Christine Gaigg (1996), Dallastown USA (1998), Bridge to Monticello (1998), Exit Only (1998), Für Richard G. Künz (1998), Für Ed Schulz (1999), Pieces of Dreams (1999), Da capo al fine – Was ich erinnere nicht was ich siehe (1999), Indian Diary – Days at Sree Sankara (2000), La habana (2001), Für Eric Neunteufel (2001, short), Im Spiegel des Fremden (2001), Gwenyambira Simon Mashoko (2002), Siberian Diaries – Days at Apanas (2003), Across the River (2004), 28 april 1995 Aus Liebe/For Love (2004), Memories of You – 7 December 2003 (2005, short), Windows, Dogs and Horses (2005), That's All There Is (2006), Silence (2007), Für Keith Goddard (2007, short), 4 Minutes with Keith Goddard (2007, short), P.R.A.T.E.R. (2007, short), Haiku Happens (2007, short), A prima vista (2008), Die Erotik der Leere (2008), Jewel of the Valley – Dourat Al-Wad (2008), Yemen Travelogue – Days at Shibam and Seiyun (2008), MF – Für Marianne Fritz (2008, short), Für Erwin Puls (2009, short), Invocation of Bliss (2009), Rose und Jasmine (2010), Roman Diary (2011), 13 Szenen in Ton und Bild für Gb (2011), Skizze in Ton und Bild für Gb (2012), One to One Teheran Connected (2012), Francia 2013 (2013/2014), Noli me tangere – The View (1996/2014), Kindsein in Europa (2004/2015), Tandis/Für Nora (2016), Palladio 2.27 (2013/2016), Das innere Kind (2004/2016), The Use of Bodies (2012/2017), As-If-Not (2012/2017), The Party (2012/2017), Coda (2012/2017), All Blues (1961/2017), For You (2013/2018), With Love – Volume One 1987-1996 (2019)
More info: Michael Pilz
Michael Pilz at IFFR
Noah Delta II
Michael Pilz has made films and for several years - since December 1987 to be precise - he has made video diaries. He does that as part of a project he calls Private Eyes. He now has an archive of more than 260 hours of video.Pilz started filming on super8 in the early sixties and he wants to adopt specific details of his approach - for instance editing in the camera - for his video work too. He is very fond of the immediacy of the 'amateur medium' in approaching reality as open-mindedly as possible. In his opinion this technique can enrichen the language of cinematography.Pilz's videos are mainly about looking at and listening to more or less everyday and personal events. He compares working with video like this with making notes in a notebook, but then with the added value of the visual language. In the face of the large stream of contemporary films that concentrate on superficial issues, he wants to develop a way of film-making that is also introspective. Pilz will talk about his work and his approach when presenting the video fragments.During the presentation Pilz will draw on his archive and screen specially-selected fragments, including shots of the Rotterdam Film Festival itself, where he has regularly been a guest along with his video camera.
Prisjádim na dorozhku
Austrian cineaste followed in the footsteps of Dutch photographer Bertien van Manen to Siberia. A (ten-hour) video that is not a travelogue, but the journey itself. In seven parts. Free of charge.
Was übersetzt ist noch nicht angekommen
Chance monologue by taxi-driver as lesson in life. Not the essence but what passes it by.
About the influence of digitalisation on film and television aesthetics and narrative styles. The debate is a precursor to the theme programme of the 1999 festival. With e.g. Jon Jost, Johan van der Keuken, George Brugmans.
Bridge to Monticello
Travel diary. The maker visits a compatriot friend and artist Josef Schützenhöfer in the American town of Dallastown near Gettysburg. In a homey way, the artist shows the viewer around his world of life and thought.
Pieces of Dreams
Intense film version of an encounter. Jack Garfein penetrates a text by Samuel Beckett about an encounter bwteeen two men. One director meets the other. An intimate moment.
Everyday impressions of life in the capital of a poor, yet joyous and musical Cuba.
Indian Diary - Days at Sree Sankara
Unusual travelogue by leading video-maker Michael Pilz.
Gwenyambira Simon Mashoko
For anyone for whom Rotterdam is too fast, too cold and too hectic, and who yearns for lethargy, African music and warm beer. A film that goes on and on.
Across the River
A musical documentary, but then apparently in slow motion. An Austrian film maker gazes wide eyed in an African musicians' village and takes his time. As if you are sitting waiting in the square for things to happen. If anything happens.
Memories of You 7 December 2003
Journey through the home and studio of a dead friend.
Windows, Dogs and Horses
In this work, Pilz creates a new reality in which time comes to a standstill.
A prima vista
Meditative cinematographic journey by the poetic documentary maker Pilz in which pieces from his earlier work and home movies come together in a spontaneous composition. Eastern and western wisdom serve to guide the way.
Yemen Travelogue - Days at Shibam and Seiyun
Pilz follows his friend Nikolaus Scholz who is going to record music in Shibam, Yemen, which is famous for its clay 'skyscrapers'. The result is a personal, impressionistic report of this Islamic country. Without commentary, voice-over or subtitles, but filled with beautiful shots, including the special light.
Rose and Jasmine
A cinematographic poem based on the director's journeys in Iran from 2006-7. By patiently and gently observing both people and place, Michael Pilz collects images and sounds of ravishing beauty. A meditative experience.
Pilz's description of his film doesn’t even mention Rome or the hill of Gianicolo, which overlooks the Trastevere district. The film should provide a meditative view of yourself, he states. Nevertheless it is a portrait of Rome and its recent history told using sculptures in a park.
With Love – Volume One 1987-1996
Audio-visual slices from the life cinematic of Austrian maverick master Michael Pilz.