In Austria the word "Hallo" is used not only as a greeting, it´s also an expression of surprise and acknowledgement. Dietmar Brehm chose this title as a reference to the moment he found some footage which inspired him. In this particular case it´s a 16mm Soviet movie from WWII. A 39-second sequence from it was mounted in a loop: In Hello the glaring artillery fire tearing into the black night sky goes beyond its own historical context. It takes on an abstract beauty which Brehm puts in a new perspective by means of the soundtrack. Normal, everyday sounds in a bathroom can be heard: One person´s shaving, another urinates, which is followed by the loud noise of the toilet flushing. Hello represents filmmaker Dietmar Brehm´s determination of his own position. By juxtaposing the sounds´ commonplace nature and the war motif, which has been intensified through repetition and removed from its context, he communicates "everyday" life in a "grand" context which is accessible to the artist second-hand only rather than through personal experience. He makes it his own by examining not the original meaning but its subsequent fascinating aspect. In Hello the destruction that all war movies involve is sent into the hors champ of the countershot which never comes, and into the sound off camera, where vegetative processes take place. And so in Hello Dietmar Brehm transforms a war movie into a mysterious peace movie.
Translation: Steve Wilder
In 1997, in the former Movies-Center- Vienna, I found an old film can contain- ing a 16mm Russian film from WWII with lots of wild battle scenes. I espe- cially liked a 39-second starkly flaring night shot of artillery fire. This scene was copied into a loop. When I saw the result, I thought, “Hello!”, which was an obvious choice for the title.
For the soundtrack I adapted a shot of someone shaving for an unusually long time while a second person urinates for the film’s second half, leading to an extended sound of a toilet flushing.
"Hallo" - texte français
7 min 5 sec