In Selektion Dietmar Brehm compiled trailers of German sex films from the late sixties and early seventies to create a short study of shame and the eye. At both its beginning and conclusion a person leafs through a photo album, and Brehm leafs through his found footage in a similar way. The sexual politics seem clear, though this turns out to be a fallacy. A sequence of images showing male dominance over a woman´s body, either submissive or made so, is inscribed with a subversive story about female self-empowerment. The women´s nudity corresponds to the comic masks and props used by the men, and a woman reacts to them with a grotesquely shaped hammer with which she lays in wait for her tormentor. Brehm refracts the desire in a montage which resembles slapstick more than pornography - hands grasp into nothingness, a phallic lamp, an enormous deer-head trophy hangs over the man´s head. The women´s soundless screams (superimposed by a sine-wave sound which plays throughout the four minutes of Selektion) do not go unheard. They open up another space in which lesbian sexuality and erotic self-reference are possible. The interweaving of male violence and female autonomy becomes obvious in the final scene, which shows a naked woman in a hammock: She seems to be tied up and free at the same time.
Translation: Steve Wilder
At the start and finish, aphotography album is leafed through. A variety of images, yet not chosen by chance. That also looks like the structure of the film. Found footage from various sources, including old porn films from the 1970s, in a non-coincidental ordering. Brehm cuts a new story with a different meaning from the old material. Casual shamelessness is turned into a perceptive visual essay about the power and importance of looking.
(Festival Catalog of the Film Festival Rotterdam 2007)