Online catalogue / Michael Palm / Willi Dorner :

body trail
body trail
AT / 2008
8 min.

Walter Benjamin once remarked about photographer Eugène Atget that his pictures of an empty fin de siècle Paris looked like crime scenes. body trail, an eight-minute black-and-white documentary chronicling an outdoor performance of Willi Dorner and Michael Palm, plays with this eeriness produced by long static shots of empty building entrances, billboards that have been torn down, parks at night and desolate telephone booths. There is no trace of bodies at first. But then, a leg suddenly protrudes from a phone booth, clusters of human bodies tumble in front of shuttered storefronts like piles of garbage, bodies pile up next to archways, apparently lifeless figures lie facedown in front of garages. At first the disordered bodies suggest victims of urban terrorism. In fast intercuts people run through Vienna at night, their faces captured in freeze frames as if a surveillance camera were on the hunt. But what seems to be a city as a crime scene at night turns out to be a tableau created by choreographer Willi Dorner, who adds to the urban space a group of dancers as human sculptures. The tangled knots suddenly form orderly stacks, or the body parts come together, forming wholes. Then the artists lie on the sidewalk in neat rows, cowering together like silver spoons in a silverware drawer. Dorner´s many-layered urban intervention alternates between surreal humor and dark visions of terrorist acts. On the other hand, its dynamic filmic clarity is a result of the sharp editing and atmospherically precise sound created by Michael Palm.

(Alexandra Seibel)

The body as tool for experiencing spatial dimensions. Body sculptures, which change and adapt to the environment, create new perspectives and insights into architecture and the city - a conceptual filling of empty urban spaces. The experimental short film body trail is based on an outdoor performance which took place in Vienna in October 2007.

(production note)

A film by:
- Michael Palm
- Willi Dorner

- dance film/video

original language:
- no dialogue

Available Prints:
- Digital Betacam PAL
- Betacam SP PAL

price: 32 EUR


rental conditions

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