The New Suit

If clothes indeed make the man, one might well be excited at the prospect of a new suit. For a new outfit not only alters outward appearance but also has invisible consequences. Perhaps this is why Friedl vom Gröller had herself fitted for a new suit at the office of her psychoanalytic practice, where no mirror reflects outward appearances — instead, family members and friends attend the fitting. The camera slowly scans the faces of women and men, including vom Gröller’s mother Lore Bondy, her daughter Louise Kubelka, and her future husband, Georg Gröller – as they sit or even lie on the couch and make themselves at home, until the moment the dressmaker proudly presents the new garment. After a formal greeting the client and host begins to undress, yet while the camera unsuccessfully seeks the reactions among those present, the film images shift to photographs (taken by Louise Kubelka), as a sequence of stills. Although this shift is attributed to a technical failure (“My 16mm camera suddenly stopped working and so we made use of a Nikon photo camera and my Super 8 camera”), these photographs prove to be a stroke of luck: The snapshots function as a temporal distillation of vom Gröller’s metamorphosis, accompanied by close-ups of her smoking audience – until the film camera again abruptly resumes its job and the dressmaker completes her work with the perfect placement of the collar. The new suit is to be worn by the artist on the occasion of being given the Austrian State Prize for Photography – the images of the film were shot in 2005; that said, this is a wonderful study about the charged pleasure of watching and psychology on the occasion of being given a piece of clothing.

(Michael Pekler)

Translation: Eve Heller

Orig. Title
Das neue Kostüm
2 min
Orig. Language
no sound
The New Suit (Image)
Friedl vom Gröller
Concept & Realization
Friedl vom Gröller
Albert Sackl
Supported by
Innovative Film Austria
Available Formats
16 mm (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Berlin - Int. Filmfestspiele Berlinale - Forum Expanded
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Hamburg - Int. Kurzfilm-Festival & No Budget
Bruxelles - Festival L´age d´or