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

Orig. Title
Train Again
20 min
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Train Again_01 (Image)
Train Again_03 (Image)
Train Again_02 (Image)
Peter Tscherkassky
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
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Color Format
35 mm (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Seoul - EXis (Experimental Film- & Videofestival)
Cannes - Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
Vila do Conde - Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens
Paris - L'Etrange Festival
Melbourne - Int. Film Festival
Zagreb - 25fps Film & Video Festival
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
Kyiv – Linoleum Festival of Int Animation and Media Art
Gilching - Fünf Seen Film Festival
Sao Paulo - Short Film Festival
Hong Kong - Int. Film Festival
Chicago Underground Film Festival
Sodankylä - Midnight Sun Film Festival
Annecy - Festival Int. du Cinema d'Animation
Wien - VIS Vienna Shorts
Zürich - VIDEOEXperimental; Video & Film Festival
Krems - Donaufestival
Seattle - Int. Film Festival
Jacksonville - Sleeping Giant Fest
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
New York - The Art of the Real
Chicoutimi/Saguenay - REGARD sur le court métrage
Ann Arbor - Film Festival
Regensburg - Kurzfilmwoche
Windsor - Media City
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival
Trondheim - Minimalen Short Film Festival
Clermont-Ferrand - Festival de Court Metrage
Dresden - Filmfest
Urbino - Festival International Signes de Nuit (Jury Award)
Aix-en-Provence - Festival Tous Courts (Grand Prix of the Experimental Competition)
Vilnius - Scanorama. European Film Forum
Lima - MUTA Muestra Int de Apropiación Audiovisual
Bangkok - Signs of the Night (MAIN AWARD in the CINEMA IN TRANSGRESSION SECTION)
Thessaloniki - International Film Festival
Toulouse - Le Festival International du Film Grolandais FIFIGROT
Lille - Recontres Audiovisuelles
Bueu - FICBUEU International Short Film Festival
Las Palmas - Film Festival
Rome - UnArchive Found Footage Fest
Laterale - Film Festival
Buenos Aires - Synchro Filmfest
New York - Monticello Park Film Festival
Warsaw - Timeless Film Festival