pl

Uliisses

dir. Werner Nekes
FRG 1980 / 94’
subtitles: Polish and English

Uliisses is an exceptional work within Werner Nekes’ filmography. The director who made anti-narrative the basis of his cinematographic work now tries his hand at literary material. Three works inspired the script: Homer’s Odyssey, James Joyce’s Ulysses and the experimental 22-hour performance of Neil Oram’s play The Warp. Nekes weaves fragments of this performance into a story that chronicles a journey through life and through the history of cinema. In successive episodes whose titles echo the adventures of Odysseus, we follow the journey of the protagonists: Odysseus/Bloom is Uli, a photographer from Rhur, Penelope/Molly is his model, and Telemachus/Stephen Dedalus is projected by Phil – a protagonist in Oram’s play. Dialogues from the literary prototypes intermingle with images of modern England and Germany, while theatrical scenes meld with the experimental cinematography inherent in Nekes’ films. Uliisses is one of the most formally radical works by the German artist, exhibiting his style at its most accomplished, but also showing his sense of humour. It is a transformation of literature into Lichteratur – it is writing with light.

Prepared by: Marta Miś

awards

Mannheim IFF 1982 – Goldener Filmdukat; London IFF 1982 – Film of the Year; German Film Critics Award 1984 – Best Film; Ann Arbor IFF 1986 – Best Experimental Feature

Werner Nekes

German avant-garde film producer and collector. Werner Nekes was born in 1944 in Erfurt and studied linguistics and psychology in Freiburg. He then went to Bonn in 1964 where he was a head of the University Film Club and later chairman of the FIAG. He developed friendships with film directors, sculptors and painters. These included Dore 0., his companion and collaborator since 1967. He began painting in 1965 with diverse materials and objects. He started his practice of film with 8mm and went on with 16mm. He decided to free the film from narration and psychology and organized his films according to temporal units and structural systems.

Filmography:

1965 Tom Doyle i Eva Hesse / Tom Doyle und Eva Hesse / Tom Doyle and Eva Hesse (short)

1966 Falstart / Fehlstart / The False Start (short)

1966 Start / The Start (short)

1966 Przedmiot / Artikel / The Item (short)

1967 Łuk / Bogen / The Bow (short)

1967 Cięcia dla ABABA / Schnitte für ABABA / Cuts for ABABA (short)

1967 cip cip cip / put-putt / chick, chick, chick (short)

1967 jüm-jüm (short, co-dir.)

1967 Seminarium / Das Seminar / The Seminar (doc., co-dir.)

1967 gurtrug nr 1 / gurtrug Nr. 1 / gurtrug no. 1 (short)

1967 gurtrug nr 2 / gurtrug Nr. 2 / gurtrug no. 2 (short)

1967 Bo nikt nie wie o tym / Ach wie gut, daß niemand weiß / Oh, I Am Glad That Nobody Knew (short)

1967 C/iało / K/örper / B/ody (short)

1967 Filmy drapane, kąsane, naświetlane, dziurawione i łatane / Kratz-, Beiß-, Licht-, Loch- und Flickerfilme / Scratch, Bite, Light, Hole and Patch Movies

1967 Operacja / Operation / The Operation (short)

1968 vis-à-vis (short)

1968 Film grupowy / Gruppenfilm / The Group Movie (short)

1968 Zipzibbelip (short)

1968 Mamo, tam stoi mężczyzna / Mama, da steht ein Mann / Mama, There’s a Man Standing There (short)

1968 Walka Tarzana z gorylem / Tarzan’s Kampf mit dem Gorilla / Tarzan’s Fight with the Gorilla (short)

1968 Mucząca krowa / Muhkuh / The Moo-Cow (short)

1968 Kelek

1965–1969 Palimpsest

1969 Mgławica / Nebula

1970 Abbandono (short)

1971 Spacecut

1972 T-WO-MEN

1972 Z Altony / Aus Altona / From Altona (short)

1973 Arbatax (short)

1973 Otomana / Diwan / The Divan

1974 Makimono (short)

1975 Photophthalmia (short)

1976 Amalgamat / Amalgam

1976 Falun (short)

1977 Lagado

1978 Mirador

1978 Bei der Lichtbildnerin (short)

1979 Horly (short)

1979 Hurrycan

1979 Mała noc / Little Night (short)

1980 Peggy i inni lub gdzie są awangardowcy? / Peggy und die anderen oder Wer trägt die Avantgarde? / Peggy and the Others or Who Carries the Avant-Garde? (co-dir.)

1981 Beuys (short, co-dir.)

1980 Uliisses

1982 Nekes (doc., co-dir., short)

1982 Spojrzenie ze zgodnego więzienia / Blick aus dem harmonischen Gefängnis / A Look from the Harmonious Prison (short)

1983–1985 Optyczne abecadło / Optisches ABC / Optical ABC

1985 Johnny Flash

1986 Media Magica I – Film przed filmem / Media Magica I – Was geschah wirklich zwischen den Bildern? / Media Magica I – Film Before Film (doc.)

1988 Archeologia filmu / Vorgeschichte des Films / The Archeology of Film

1992 Mitchell Feigenbaum (short, co-dir.)

1993–1996 Światowy teatr cieni, I–IX / Schattentheater der Welt, I–IX / The Shadow Theatre of the World, I–IX (video, doc.)

1995 Anthony Moore – muzyk / Anthony Moore – Musician (video)

1995 Aus der Meistergilde der Schüttelreimer (video)

1996 Media Magica II – Co się kryje za obrazem / Media Magica II – Durchsehekunst / Media Magica II – Beyond the Image (doc.)

1996 Media Magica III – Ożywione obrazy / Media Magica III – Belebte Bilder / Media Magica III – Pictures Come to Life (doc.)

1996 Media Magica IV – Wielotysięczny seans filmowy / Media Magica IV – Vieltausendschau / Media Magica IV – Multi-Thousand Picture Show (doc.)

1996 Media Magica V – Obraz i przestrzeń / Media Magica V – Bild-Raum / Media Magica V – The Ambiguous Image and Space (doc.)

1996 Media Magica VI – Cudowny bębenek / Media Magica VI – Wundertrommel / Media Magica VI – The Magic Drum (doc.)

1997 Dzień malarza / Der Tag des Malers / The Day of the Painter

2004 Teatr cieni Richarda Bradshawa / Richard Bradshaw’s Shadowtheater / Richard Bradshaw’s Shadow Theatre

2008 Loplop (short)

Prepared by: Marta Miś

Cast & Crew

director Werner Nekes
screenplay Werner Nekes, based on The Odyssey of Homer, Ulysses by James Joyce, The Warp by Neil Oram
cinematography Bernd Upnmoor
editing Werner Nekes
music Anthony Moore, Helge Schneider
cast Volkhart Armin Wölfl, Tabea Bloomenschein, Russel Denton, Shehzad Abbas
producer Werner Nekes
sales Werner Nekes
language English, German
colouration colour