The sky´s blue hanging above the black of a forest. Lightning flashes over a clearing. And the white ball of the moon with dark spots. These are the three suggestions that make Night Sweat an examination of a visual effect´s technical aspects.
The film was shot in analog Hi-8 video. Its poor resolution, especially in precarious light conditions, occupies the foreground in the first and third chapters. At the same time the musical accompaniment matches perfectly, with scattering beats, dubby wisps of sound and intensifying distortion effects. In the zoom of this part´s final shot the pixelated blue of the night resembles the pandemonium of bacteria under a microscope: The image exists behind the documentary appearance.
In the concluding part the picture "trembles," then condenses into an apparently familiar representation of the moon, which is in fact conveyed only through various media devices. After the camera zooms back, the horizontal layer of blocks turns out to be an outer edge of a bright circle.
Night Sweat is a reflection on perceptions and appearances that have been prefigured by media, though not without involving its audience emotionally. This is especially clear in the second chapter, in which the stroboscopic flashes of light at night are accompanied by a snarling soundtrack of noise. The elevated view of the moon collides in a consciously brutal way with the arsenal of motifs taken from horror and splatter movies.
Translation: Steve Wilder
Peter Kubelka once declared that cinema was more powerful than reality because it can recreate a lightning flash 24 times a second; Night Sweat invents a digital tempest that obliges us to reread Immanuel Kant’s texts on the sublime, since this time the lightning and its flash come from human fabrica- tion, without ever losing their striking effect.
Siegfried A. Fruhauf