Online catalogue / Michael Palm :

Sea Concrete Human (Malfunctions #1)
Sea Concrete Human (Malfunctions #1)
AT / 2001
29 min.

This film concludes with "The vanishing of man was not mourned." At the same time, Nietzsch´s claim that the last human will live the longest is also true: He or she will survive in any notes or records which are left behind. In the same way as the scientist in an Antarctic research station who survives the death of the human race and takes notes on her studies of changes in the biosphere. Her enigmatic film and video footage is interpreted by a post- or extra-human intelligence. The cause of the disruption in the evolutionary process – a biological weapon? a plague? – is never revealed; we can see a coast with flotsam and jetsam and blocks of concrete, and can hear a spectral computer voice read the researcher´s diary in the background. Alien archeology as "artificial intelligence" – though Palm´s anthropology/epistemology has more in common with Kubrick than Spielberg. As suggested in the title, humans are regarded in concrete terms: as apparitions, archival traces, precarious constructs subject to time and the tides. Mankind is revealed by its pictorial ruins. The past presents problems for translation: text-to-speech conversion, the absorption of remnants of human media by the cosmic evolutionary memory, the transition of interrupted observation into dismal knowledge, and finally the transfer of memory particles from horror and sci-fi film to an experimental setting (this is an experimental rather than an avant-garde film: a clinical re-construction). In an empty "région centrale," the melancholy of La Jetée 2001 meets Carpenter´s Antarctic station, fog and indistinct phantoms, sounds and quotes from Alien 1 & 2. Just as in early Cronenberg, filmed series of tests fail due to the willfulness of the living, memory effects and ghost images supersede the will to know as in paranoid fake documentaries. A film which implies a great deal though it remains scarce. A Foucaultian sci-fi thriller. Uncanny vitality is demonstrated in a tentative journey through the atmospheric quality of matter and memory.

(Drehli Robnik)

A film by:
- Michael Palm

- Fiction

original language:
- english

Available Prints:
- 35 mm

price: 120 EUR


rental conditions

more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Michael Palm