Online catalogue / Stefan Zlamal :

Heinrich and Mary-Jane
Heinrich und Mary-Jane
AT / 2005
12 min.

A man and woman sit on a couch. They were once a couple. Whether they still are or not isn’t quite clear, not even to them: “Sometimes I hate you for all the things you’ve done to me,” she says. “You know, I love you,” he says. “That’s the thing.”
Stefan Zlamal’s “Heinrich und Mary-Jane” is a somewhat unusual kind of found-footage film. Instead of rearranging previously shot material, Zlamal worked with two “found” soundtracks, allowing them to collide with a 12-minute continuous tracking shot of the space inhabited by the two, filmed with a handheld camera: The young woman with the casual zippered jacket (Astrid Rausch) whispers, sighs and yells in the voice used to dub Liv Ullmann in the German version of Bergman’s “Scenes from a Marriage.” Her visitor in a tight red T-shirt (Wolfgang Dangl) replies with passages from a reading given by Berlin writer Sven Regener.
While Zlamal’s handheld camera, close to the actors’ bodies and faces most of the time, suggests authenticity, the tone and echo of their voices indicate different spaces apart from this living room, which is furnished in a manner typical of university students. Their choice of words also provides evidence of other times and social settings, such as the woman’s coolly cultivated analysis: “Pardon me for putting it this way, but it was a purely sexual relationship.” And the man’s flippant attempt at covering up his own vulnerability: “Wow, I have no idea what to say.”
The speech which should resemble quotes, which Brecht demanded from good actors, is in this case actual quotes. The form of what is being portrayed contains more information than its content, and so “Heinrich und Mary-Jane” is also about perception in cinema: For both the quarreling couple and us as viewers, the “synchronicity,” literally “togetherness in time,” is revealed to be the grand illusion that it is.

(Maya McKechneay)
Translation: Steve Wilder

A film by:
- Stefan Zlamal

category:
- Short fiction

original language:
- german

Available Prints:
- Betacam SP PAL

price: 48 EUR

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more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Stefan Zlamal