Part Time Heroes

The search for fame´s elevator goes up and down, the ego´s bust and boom. Each character is isolated in his or her anachronistic, film-star dressing room, left alone, subjected to the sinister fittings: a hopelessly out-dated microphone, radio, crutches for communication. Each character gets a small chance to show that he or she alone is better at embodying that self, which is just as good as every other self. However, as though it were an uncanny copy machine of star production, the golden room, which houses the greatest striptease talent - since she constantly undress yet is never naked - generates a momentary double. The film checks these beings, isolated through their hero competition, into the lonely heart hotel where they eavesdrop on one another through thin walls, often over a film cut. Frivolous encounters slip in. A helplessly obscene seduction attempt mutates to telephone terror, confirmed by the humorous play of the eyes from the other side. From out of the elevator, an elevator technician - a show master, so to speak, a running gag, a lascivious "cursor" in a boiler suit - creeps down the hallways. He alone seems to connect everything, but finds no one. Until the final take, a generous long shot in which all three heroes are left to their own showcases, whereby they attempt all together, each alone, to seduce their audience. Yet unimpressed passersby give our heroes the cold shoulder, making the camera on the other side of the street their only audience. The Department Store Dichter, furnished with technology from days gone by, lends eccentric historicity to one of the programmatic statements: "How do I become timeless?>" that releases this outcry for fame in a hopeless but unique vitality.

(Katherina Zakravsky)

Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt

The choreographer Chris Haring uses collaged sounds and ironically appropriated gestures to develop an aesthetic of the cry, to stress the ugly, the painful and also the lustful. In Part Time Heroes the performers resemble puppets in constantly varying poses and outfits. Would-be stars are holed up in thin-walled hotel rooms, connected by telephones, radios and an elevator, which is supervised by a central mechanic. The use of mirrors and glass surfaces makes it clear that their seductive poses are a matter of projection.

(Christa Blümlinger)

More Texts

Hans Schifferle in der Süddeutschen Zeitung (dt) (Critique)

"Ein kleines Meisterwerk hat auch Mara Mattuschka geschaffen. Mit
'Part Time Heroes', ein getanztes B-picture, das in einem verlassenen
Wiener Kaufhaus spielt. Ein Pas de deux für Körper und Location."
Hans Schifferle, SZ, 11.5.07
Orig. Title
Part Time Heroes
33 min
dance film/video
Orig. Language
Chris Haring, Mara Mattuschka
Josef Nermuth
Mara Mattuschka
Giovanni Scarcella, Johnny Schoofs, Stephanie Cumming
Assistant Director
Christoph Parzer
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat
Aspect Ratio
Digital File (prores, h264)
Festivals (Selection)
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Oberhausen - Int. Kurzfilmtage
Wien - VIS Vienna Independent Shorts
Bochum - Videofestival
London - BFI International Film Festival
Winterthur - Kurzfilmtage
Victoria - Antimatter Underground Film Festival
Paris - Festival des Cinemas Differents Collectif Jeune Cinema
Linz - Crossing Europe Film Festival
Rotterdam - Int. Filmfestival
Dortmund / Köln - Internationales Frauenfilmfestival
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival (Award for best short film / Int. Competition.)
Marseille - FIDMarseille International Film Festival