Twelve Tales Told

Twelve Tales Told
Twelve Tales Told
Twelve Tales Told

After a sojourn in a more contemplative series of films observing the looming ominousness of large scale architecture, Johann Lurf returns to the frenetic structural analysis of found footage with Twelve Tales Told. A dozen logos for Hollywood production companies play before you as they would precede a normal Hollywood production; appropriately in 3D if watching digitally, in 2D on 35mm—and self-aggrandizing in any format. Only, each logo sequence, some animated with glossy grandeur (Disney, Paramount), some more restrained (Regency, Warner Bros.), is stutteringly interwoven image by image into the others, beginning with the longest and ending with the shortest. The resulting visual effect is of a sustained anti-climax of bombast: the fanfare for the main attraction is drawn out and aggravated to become the main attraction. Since new production logos are progressively feathered into the mix, the manufactured desired climax of full logo revelation—say, of Disney´s beloved castle and fireworks—is continually delayed by other interfering companies. This suggestion of nefarious corporate perpetuity and competition is echoed in the film´s playful title: count the logos and you´ll find an unlucky thirteen told tales. But look closer still: Disney owns Touchstone (and once owned Miramax), which itself is partnered with Dreamworks, 20th Century Fox owns part of Regency, and both Columbia and TriStar are owned by the unseen Sony Pictures Entertainment. So here´s a fourteenth tale, or perhaps the only real one: a tale of overlapping corporate dominion of culture. Lurf repurposes the iconography and production values of Hollywood literally as a digital brand rather than, as in traditional found footage films, Hollywood as a producer of photographic images. The visual omnipotence of these companies—the insistent onslaught of their recurring brand imagery—and the accompanying aggressive musicality of their chopped up soundtracks are integrated and combined into a singular, homogenized mega-brand thundering HOLLYWOOD. Who needs stories when the brands create their own?

(Daniel Kasman)


Johann Lurf’s maximalist, 35mm barrage of Hollywood studio logos, transforms the iconic corporate prelude to the big production-to-come into a sustained, stuttering spectacle in which fractured and fantastical worlds collide into a bombastic anti-climax. Like a riff on Jack Goldstein’s looping Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1975, Twelve Tales Told has an aggressive musicality that resonates with our sonic memory, and rather ingeniously creates desire for the dominion that is Hollywood.

(Andréa Picard, Toronto International Film Festival 2014, Wavelengths)


Disney’s charming signature tune is played, we descend through delicate clouds into the night-time panorama of a fairy-tale world. But the illusion is abruptly ruined when the logos and tunes of other Hollywood studios break into the picture in staccato mode. Lurf condenses the symbolisms of self-aggrandisement and big gestures to a new anthem of gigantism and composes a song, which exposes the ostentatious exaggeration through repetition. The intro becomes the principal part and is newly arranged, while that, which wishes to stand out, is debunked as always being the same.

(Vienna Independent Shorts, May 2015)

Orig. Title
Twelve Tales Told
Year
2014
Country
Austria
Duration
4 min
Director
Johann Lurf
Category
Avantgarde/Arts
Orig. Language
no dialogue
Downloads
Credits
Director
Johann Lurf
Concept & Realization
Johann Lurf
Available Formats
DCP 2k 3D (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
CinemaScope
Sound Format
Dolby Surround
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
colour
DCP 2K (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
CinemaScope
Sound Format
Dolby Surround
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
colour
35 mm (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
CinemaScope
Sound Format
Dolby stereo
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
colour
Festivals (Selection)
2014
Toronto - Int. Film Festival / Wavlenghts
Viennale - Vienna Int. Film Festival
Milano - Filmmakers Festival
2015
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Busan - Intern Short Film Festival
Ann Arbor - Film Festival
Vila do Conde - Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival (Special Mention)
Wien - VIS Vienna Independent Shorts
Kiev International Short Film Festival
Weimar - back-up festival. new media in film
Karlovy Vary - Int. Film Festival
Melbourne - Int. Film Festival
Belo Horizonte - Festival Int. de Cortas Metragens
Limassol - Cyrus Int. Short Film Festival
Zagreb - 25fps Film & Video Festival
München - UnderDox, Festival für Dokument und Experiment
Timisoara - Timishort Film Festival
Wiesbaden - exground on screen
Victoria - Antimatter Underground Film Festival
2016
Poznan - Shorts Waves Festival
Bratislava - Febiofest
Nijmegen - Go Short Film Festival