A premonition of a horror film, lurking danger: A house — at night, slightly tilted in the camera’s view, eerily lit — surfaces from the pitch black, then sinks back into it again. A young woman begins to move slowly towards the building. She enters it. The film cuts crackle, the sound track grates, suppressed, smothered. Found footage from Hollywood forms the basis for the film. The figure who creeps through the images, who is thrown around by them and who attacks them is Barbara Hershey. Tscherkassky’s dramatic frame by frame re-cycling, re-copying and new exposure of the material, folds the images and the rooms into each other. It removes the ground from under the viewer’s feet and splits faces, like in a bad dream.
From the off, from outer space, foreign bodies penetrate the images and cause the montage to become panic stricken. The outer edges of the film image, the empty perforations and the skeletons of the optical sound track rehearse an invasion. They puncture the anyway indeterminate action of the film. Cinema tearing itself apart, driven by the expectation of a final ecstasy. Glass walls explode, furniture topples over. Tscherkassky puts his heroine under pressure, drives her to extremes. Time and time again she appears to hit out against the cinematic apparatus, until the images begin to stutter, are thrown off track. Outer Space is a shocker of cinematographic dysfunction; a hell-raiser of avant-garde cinema. It conjures up an inferno which pursues the destruction (of cinematic narrative and illusion) with unimaginable beauty. —Independent Film and Video Database
Born in 1958 in Vienna, Austria. Lived in Berlin 1979-84. Studied philosophy. Doctoral thesis: “Film as Art. Towards a Critical Aesthetics of Cinematography” (1985/86). Founding member of Sixpack Film. Organized several international avant-garde film festivals in Vienna and film tours abroad. Since 1984 numerous publications and lectures on the history and theory of avant-garde film. 1993 and 1994 artistic director of the annual Austrian film festival “Diagonale”. Editor of the book “Peter Kubelka” (1995; with Gabriele Jutz). Films since 1979. Recent book: Alexander Horwath, Michael Loebenstein (Ed.), “Peter Tscherkassky” (germ./engl.; Vienna 2005). —http://www.tscherkassky.at
Reminiscent of E.T. spying through the kitchen window on Elliott's mom, except E.T.'s vision doesn't work the same as ours; he's got the multifaceted compound eye of an insect; and he's a violent menace to humanity. As E.T.'s rage peaks, his vision disintegrates into seizure-inducing strobe effects. The woman or women (?) in the film get swallowed into a white light, which might be a tractor beam, for further study.
In this Tscherkassky experimental short film consisting exclusively of found footage of Barbara Hershey starring in The Entity (1982) as a woman frequently assaulted by malevolent invisible forces… read review