DIN 18035

A soccer pitch emerges based on a process standardized down to the last detail. Layers of sand and soil are piled up and leveled, pieces of turf are rolled out and cut to size. Nothing is left to chance. Only when nature has been cast into shape can the game begin. (Diagonale catalog 2024)

The first shot is soil. It could be a furrowed field, but the ground is actually too flat and too stony for that, and disorientation sets in. Over the course of the film this is dispelled, as the images slowly reveal the subject and disclose their secret. The wind blows loudly over what must be a large area; detailed shots show the surface texture. In combination with the sound, the reddish mixture of earth shining in the sun almost seems to be microscopy. This dichotomy of heavy-sounding space and carefully observed image decreases with each new shot. 

A Monster Machine makes deep furrows, and like a gigantic earthworm, the black hose cuts through the plain; a little later it is transplanted into the ground. Very slowly the object of the lush and carefully framed shots becomes clear: the production of artificially natural green, in other words, sports turf. It is mixed like a giant pile of dough with soil and sand, heaped, rolled out, covered and allowed to swell, formed into roulades, and served – i.e. laid out. In some sections the images place the material in perspective as if it were ancient masonry, like vacation greetings from Petra, Jordan, as if the old stone buildings thousands of years old had set up camp on the grounds of the turf production company. Sometimes there’s rumbling as if an entire mountain range were eroding. Like the Sandworms we all always wanted to see, with their foil cover torn off by the wind, the rolls of turf lie on their breeding ground waiting to become one with it. 

Simona Obholzer’s film is characterized by analogies and associations of this kind, and the method is clever and entertaining as DIN 18035 tells the story of the creation of a third-order nature. No wild ground, no meadow, just squares of grass that are cut to the ideal size like pizza. Shortly before the end, the plastic worms spread above ground again –quite a battle of materials for such a puny mini-lawn. On the other hand, it is fun and eerily beautiful to follow the filmic process and to be amazed at where this amount of work leads. 

Today I sow, tomorrow I mow, the day after tomorrow a soccer match. 
(Melanie Letschnig) 

(Translation by John Wojtowicz)

Orig. Title
DIN 18035
13 min
Simona Obholzer
Avantgarde/Arts, Documentary
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Simona Obholzer
Simona Obholzer
Michael Schindegger, Simona Obholzer
Simona Obholzer
Sound Design
Sara Pinheiro
Additional camera
Sonja Aufderklamm, Florian Lubeniqi-Wurzer
Available Formats
DCP (Distribution Copy)
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films (Innovative Cinema Award)