the grey star 2 – the wehrmacht
the grey star 2 – the wehrmacht is a thoroughly underhanded piece of found footage. In contrast to what its title seems to promise – the original title could also be translated as The Cataract –, this clouding of the eye´s lens, found primarily in the elderly, distorts the visibly hidden continuities of the Austrian mentality until they become recognizable. This is done by means of an off-camera chorus of voices which – while reassuring one another of the obviousness of what is being shown – do nothing more than comment on what is already visible. But this happens in the context of a perceptual horizon which antedates the visual material by two decades and places it in a different location.
As a result, this post-WWII amateur footage, with which memorable events (daily routine during military training and a vacation in southern lands) were recorded in all innocence, is transformed into a fictional record of everyday life in the German army and Argentinean exile. And why not? "Genuine" documents would also have reported on discipline, cleanliness, male bonding, comradeship, etc. "Caráoque" is the term maschek. apply to this process of analyzing the visible by means of tautologies. In this case, the voice of the narrator does not seize power over the images; it harmoniously interpolates itself into the spaces left open by the visual, allowing the question of the true meaning to be addressed. While this might vary somewhat from the original intention, it gets to the essence of the matter. And it is amusing.
Austria’s Group Maschek arose out of the foment of protest against the current Austrian government. In Grey Star 2, these audiovisual agent provocateurs have constructed a hilarious and incisive political satire using found footage of anonymous and various forms of male bonding, juxtaposed with a voice-over in a thick Austrian dialect. Images of army training and vacations in the picturesque countryside warp into cheerful accounts of experiences had during and after service in the German army. Exuberant Nazi nostalgia with an unsettling basis in reality!
(Antimatter - Festival of Underground Short Film & Video 2003)
Two men take a sentimental journey as they review their Super 8 from the original Axis of Evil. A wickedly humanistic detournment of actual home movies.
(Cinema Texas - International Short Film Festival 2002)
der graue star 2 – die Wehrmacht