Heavy Metal Detox

Heavy Metal Detox
Heavy Metal Detox
Heavy Metal Detox

Josef Dabernig´s films are always highly calculated, based on a meticulously detailed script. In a self-reflexive move, he is also turning his attention to the mechanical side of life and its absurdly scripted elements. Traffic regulations and slot machines, routine cleaning and fitness monotony in his films reveal the deeply comical character of our existence, in ironical accordance with the famous Henri Bergson´s theory of mechanical as the source of the comical. In Heavy Metal Detox, the dental drilling machine and a highly precise order of medical procedures, are one of these comical devices, with an important twist: here, the artist himself is undergoing the treatment, which means that he has to surrender control. Not completely (the film is still carefully edited), but enough to evoke the humility of humans confronted to the powerful higher force, here of a mighty dental surgeon. It is from his perspective (unknown to most of mere mortals unless they are dentists themselves) that we are primarily watching the film.
The procedure was linked to Dabernig´s medical condition of that year that required, among other things, the replacement of all of his amalgam filling. Here, the human body is added new spare parts, repaired like a mechanism or even updated like software. With this, the body is also cleaned from disease remnants. The very modernist dialectics of the "purified" and the "unpurified" (that we could also call "real") is at the core of many Dabernig´s films. He is never deserting the awkwardness of the Real in favor of the artistic perfection of the Pure; in his films, they often quarrel and struggle in a hilarious way. Here, for instance, the organ music by Christoph Herndler that "elevates" the scene is subtly mixed with real construction site noises, compressors and drills. (Ekaterina Degot)

Heavy Metal Detox as an aesthetic paraphrase on the removal of amalgam dental fillings. The procedure - mirrored from spiritual, sarcastic, existential and nihilistic perspectives - condenses into a cantata in film format.

More Texts

Viennale Katalogtext 2019

Beim Titel könnte man ja ans Chillen nach einem heftigen Rockkonzert denken, doch bezieht er sich auf toxische Schwermetalle im Mund. Wenn Dabernig zum Zahnarzt muss, wird daraus ein Schwarzweißfilm, und es wäre nicht Dabernig, hätte dieser nicht auch quasi liturgische Qualitäten. Will heißen: So hat man eine Zahnarzt-Behandlung noch nie gesehen und v.a. noch nie gehört (Musik: Christoph Herndler, Sounddesign: Michael Palm). Dass mit Dentist Dr. Schintlmeister ein Kapazunder seines Fachs die zweite Hauptrolle spielt, weiß der Autor dieses Textes übrigens aus eigener Erfahrung. (Roman Scheiber)

Viennale catalogue text 2019

Although films by Blake Edwards or John Cassavetes use dentistry as the basis for black comedy, they lack something: the camera is never close enough to really study the process. Placing himself in the frame as the anaesthetized subject, Dabernig trusts his crew to record everything in pure black-and-white: drills, wires, pipes, clamps, drool, blood, floss. No abstract poetry as in Brakhage’s autopsy film; only a calm soundtrack of synthesized tones and buzzing machines. As often in Dabernig’s multimedia work, social obedience squares of with the strange ecstasy of abandoning oneself to fate. (Adrian Martin)
Orig. Title
Heavy Metal Detox
Year
2019
Country
Austria
Duration
12 min
Director
Josef Dabernig
Category
experimental, Documentary
Orig. Language
no dialogue
Downloads
Credits
Director
Josef Dabernig
Script
Josef Dabernig
Cinematography
Christian Giesser
Music
Christoph Herndler
Editing
Josef Dabernig
Sound Design
Michael Palm
Actor/Actress
Josef Dabernig, Kristina Balcanovic, Cornelia Schintlmeister, Josef Schintlmeister
Production
Josef Dabernig
Supported by
Wien Kultur, BKA - innovative film
Available Formats
DCP 2K (Distribution Copy)
Format of Picture
1:1,85
Format of Sound
Dolby 5.1.
Picture Frequency
25 fps
Format of Color
b/w
35 mm (Distribution Copy)
Format of Picture
1:1,85
Format of Sound
Dolby 5.1.
Picture Frequency
25 fps
Format of Color
b/w
Festivals (Selection)
2019
Toronto - Int. Film Festival/ Wavelengths
Viennale - Vienna Int. Film Festival