Train Again

18 years after Kurt Kren produced his third film 3/60 Bäume im Herbst [3/60 Trees in Autumn], he shot his masterpiece 37/78 Tree Again.
18 years after I created my third darkroom film L’Arrivée (an homage to the Lumière brothers and their 1895 L'Arrivée d'un train), I embarked on Train Again. This third film in my “Rushes Series” is an homage to Kurt Kren that simultaneously taps into a classic motif in film history.
My darkroom ride took a few years, but we finally arrived: All aboard!
(Peter Tscherkassky)

The acceleration of the world and perception radically intensifies over the course of the 19th century. While the mobilization of the gaze generates unforeseen freedom, it also fuels anxiety. From the very start, cinema and the train are inextricably linked as factories of newfound upheaval and uprootedness. The audience exposes itself to the electric shadows at its own risk, guided by the Brothers Lumière who in 1895 also celebrate the arrival of animated photography on the train platform at La Ciotat – or by the young René Clair when he sends a hearse on wildly careening rails in Entr’Acte (1924). Likewise, Peter Tscherkassky's roller coaster ride through a methodically constellated frame-by-frame landscape of escalating cinema commences with frenetic action and the passing of a baton: Horse-drawn coaches and steeds compete one last time against the iron horse, the riders intercut with the train at dizzying, super-imposing velocity. Train Again is a phantom ride through the engine room of the seventh art, a ceremony of the (violent) mechanics of railway vehicles and image transporters.

Tscherkassky flits through the history of the filmic avant-garde, conceiving his work as a centrifuge of quotations from the pantheon of visionary cinema. He conjures heaven and hell, embarking on a collision course fearlessly bound for the apocalyptic. One could call this highly complex and simultaneously elemental film a darkroom action experiment, an underground blockbuster, or a kinetic painting in a thousand shades of grey. It is woven out of twitching film frames, flashing light, and spectacularly collapsing motifs – a concrete abstract cinema of meta-attractions and frenzy. Train Again is an ecstatic ode to the fragility and explosive force of the medium. Cinema in our day and age is under attack, but in this phase of its decline its fierce fighting power is – quod erat demonstrandum – utterly intact. (Stefan Grissemann)

Translation: Eve Heller

Trailer
Orig. Title
Train Again
Year
2021
Country
Austria
Duration
20 min
Category
experimental
Orig. Language
no dialogue
Downloads
Train Again_01 (Image)
Train Again_03 (Image)
Train Again_02 (Image)
Credits
Director
Peter Tscherkassky
Music
Dirk Schaefer
Supported by
Bundesministerium für Kunst, Kultur, öffentlicher Dienst und Sport / Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport, Niederösterreich Kultur
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
1:1,37
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Color Format
b/w
35 mm (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
1:1,37
Sound Format
stereo
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
b/w
Festivals (Selection)
2021
Gijon - International Film Festival (Premio Principado de Asturias for Best Short)
Ghent -Flanders International Film Festival
Mexico – Black Canvas Festival de Cine Contemporáno
Toronto - Int. Film Festival/ Wavelengths
Paris - L'Etrange Festival
Seoul - EXis (Experimental Film- & Videofestival)
Zagreb - 25fps Film & Video Festival
Melbourne - Int. Film Festival
Vila do Conde - Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens
Cannes - Quinzaine des Réalisateurs