by Focusfilm receveing Special Award for Aesthetics & Design:
Anm: A mistake in the Laudation, the filmaker’s name is: Michael Pfeifenberger.
Laudator: Thomas A. Bauer, ESEC president, University of Vienna
Josef Winkler – der Kinoleinwandgeher is one among other documentary films of Carinthian artists and authors, where an ambitious filmmaker, Michael Pfeifenberger, and an unsettling author, Josef Winkler, find together for a congenial creation reflecting a topic, which is Josef Winkler’s theme of life: the death between aspiration and rebellion. It is not only a surrealistic ambition to perambulate all the cults of dead and death rituals in Carinthia, in India or in Mexico, but it is much more the literary and – in parallel – the cinematic exegesis of the fear of a loving and living god. Michael Pfeifenberger interprets by means of cinematic aesthetics Josef Winkler’s interpretation of his catholic childhood in a closed mind environment. Through literature he breaks out and wraps the central symbols of the central topic of any religion: which is dead as a punishment of mislead and mistaken life by means of symbolic, cinematic and aesthetical deconstruction. That’s, why blood is the symbolic carrier of the message all over the film: blood is the hybrid reference for death and for life. The plot of the film describes the ambivalent relationship between nostalgia and distance, as well between desire and fear of an archaic re-legion and is insofar a typological metaphor of Europe’s philosophical, aesthetical and ethical discourse on religion throughout its history.
Pfeifenberger’s film essay on Josef Winkler’s obsession has come to an aesthetical translation that could not be done better, more sensitive and more empathetically. The film language balances the deepness, darkness and eartheness of contents and messages with subtle and poetical perspectives,
seizes horror with serenity and heaviness with easiness and thus considers the common in diversity of death cultures. Gerhard Lapan’s camera work and Dominik Achatz’ cut fit into that dramaturgy and find the congenial language of camera and cut and at the end of the day all of them, together with Josef Winkler’s aphorisms, they have constituted an example of European poetry on European poetry. Therefore the European Society of Education and Communication is proud to award the film essy Josef Winkler- Der Kinoleinwandgeher the Erasmus EuroMedia Special for the outstanding film-aesthetical interpretation of a complex and essential discourse.
Vienna, Oct. 16, 2009 Thomas A. Bauer, ESEC President