Night Sight 2017

Once Upon a Time There Was Reality …

(Markus Keuschnigg, curator)

In real politics resulting in catastrophic consequences and seriously worrying stupidity, in art thoroughly desirable: #alternativefacts are the flesh and bones of the fantastic film, an insistence that behind perceptible reality there are yet other, contradictory, ecstatic truths hidden, which can only be dragged to the surface, to the screen, by means of the apparatus of fantasy.

Again this year, the Night Sight program serves five alternatives to broom-closet realism, outstanding, and maladjusted European productions, which each approach the warps and rifts of the present in their own unmistakable way: Pregnant mothers who sink sharp blades into arteries (Prevenge), alcoholics growing beyond themselves through self-destruction (Ron GoossSSens, Low-Budget Stuntman), lesbian terrorist cells destroying themselves from within (The Misandrists), rationalists overgrown by the primal forces of nature (Without Name), those with their backs against the wall, who start mutually sabotaging one another instead of sticking together (The Bar). Fantastic cinema teaches caution: Spontaneous surges of emotion are just as little to be trusted as mainstream opinions. Instead, many films of this year’s Night Sight demand taking a stance – toward oneself, toward one’s fellow human beings, toward the world around us, and that indeed in a moral, humanist sense. There is no preaching here, but instead we seek and find the essence of things in bending the truth and letting the sparks fly: castration and a shot in the head, a stab in the gut and falling-down drunk, collapsed buildings and psychotropic ecstasy. The moral of the story is: In a world like ours, where true becomes false and false becomes true, where #fakenews and #alternativefacts as the new codes of the old propaganda monster celebrate a fresh comeback in the coolness of the digital world, we have to lose ourselves before we can find ourselves again. Meltdown and over-stimulation open the door to a more clear-sighted tomorrow – and one guaranteed to be more free from side-effects than all commercially available drugs.

Then let us pray: to the goddesses and wood spirits, to those who are indecent, impertinent, and unbearable, those who have fallen, failed, and faded. They all belong to Night Sight, Night Sight is theirs. Like all the other “creatures of the night”. Amen. Or as they say in Bruce LaBruce’s The Misandrists: A(Wo)men.