Seems to Be

Based on Morton Feldman´s "Madame Press Died Last Week at Ninety", Seems to be plays with the levels of optic and aural perception, with the deception of eyes and ears as well as the tension between two-dimensional reproduction and three-dimensional spatial recreation.

(production note)


Accompanied by murmuring, the sound of scribbling and hummed snatches of music, the camera sweeps over a collection of materials on a desktop, seemingly reflecting a creative frenzy. Musical notes and memoranda, pads and pencils, patterns of various kinds, mixed with slips of paper, half-full Martini glasses, ashtrays, death´s heads - then the picture swings around (the coffee cup along with it!) and an ensemble arranged according to musical instrument has been committed to paper. Constant movement, metamorphosis, variation and pleasant uncertainty: a concert hall? A movie theater?
The picture´s square remains, becoming in the course of the switch a bright square within the picture: a projection screen with an ensemble in the form of a projection screen in front of the ensemble, which is suddenly no more than a shadow of itself. Madame Press is dead. The imagination lives on. At least that seems to be the case.

(Christoph Huber)


A meditation on the certainties of being and perceptual illusions, a circling search in time and space, and at the same time a trompe l´oeil; the spatial dimensions of Morton Feldman´s steady, apparently timeless music are taken literally in the film: The sketched arrangement of a musical ensemble about to perform Feldman´s composition fills with "real" musicians caught in the paper´s two-dimensionality, only to move to the spatiality of the Vienna Konzerthaus. But what is real here, what is a visual fake? Seems to be dances on this platform of ambivalences, juxtaposing the metaphysics of a solid existential foundation and the agnostic skepticism of an abandonment of being marked by a visual chimera.
Godless Feldman, merciless abyss! What we see is looking back at us.

(Thomas Miessgang)

Translation: Steve Wilder


Morton Feldman’s “Madame Press Died Last Week at 90” is more sober and constricted than Mr. Furrer’s score. It revolves mostly around two repeated chords, and its instrumental textures are comparatively steady. In Schein Sein (“Seems to Be”), Ms. Minck again shows the players as they drop in and out of the score, but she also pulls back to show the musicians on the screen, the screen on a stage and the stage in a hall with an audience. It was an appealing if self-conscious solution, if making the films a matched set was the goal.

(Allan Kozinn, New York Times)


In Schein Sein (“Seems to Be”) Ms. Minck pans across a desk cluttered with significant Feldman cues — a Mondrian painting, a rug pattern, the voice of John Cage — before playing perceptional games to the tune of Mr. Feldman’s “Madame Press Died Last Week at 90.”

(Steve Smith, New York Times)

More Texts

"Être paraître" / texte français

Être paraître

Sur un fond sonore de chuchotements, de grattements et de bribes de rumeurs bourdonnantes, la caméra survole une multitude d’objets que la passion créatrice semble avoir accumulés sur un bureau. Notes et mémentos, cahiers et crayons, échantillons de toutes sortes éparpillés parmi les feuilles volantes, verres de Martini entamés, cendriers débordants, têtes de mort et puis, sur une subite inversion de plan (incluant une tasse de café !), une feuille représentant la distribution des instruments dans un ensemble musical. Mouvement incessant, métamorphose, variations et bienfaisante incertitude : une salle de concert, un cinéma ?
Le rectangle de l’image s’estompe pour finir par n’être plus, tout au long du travelling, qu’un rectangle lumineux dans l’image : l’écran, avec son ensemble, se fait écran devant l’ensemble, et ce dernier n’est soudain plus que l’ombre de lui-même. Madame Press est morte. L’imagination est bien vivante. C’est tout au moins ce qu’on pourrait croire. (Christoph Huber)

Méditation sur la certitude de l’existence et les illusions perceptives, mouvement de quête circulaire à travers l’espace et le temps tout autant que trompe-l’œil, ce film prend au mot dans sa dimension spatiale la musique de Morton Feldman, dédramatisée et apparemment placée hors du temps : l’esquisse représentant l’ensemble qui s’apprête à interpréter la composition de Feldman s’emplit maintenant de musiciens « réels », tout d’abord prisonniers de la bidimensionnalité du papier pour être par la suite basculés dans la spatialité du Konzerthaus de Vienne. Mais quelle est ici la part de vérité, la part de falsification visuelle ? Être paraître joue sur cette scène des ambivalences en opposant à la métaphysique d’une solide assise existentielle le scepticisme agnostique d’un abandon de l’être marqué au coin de la chimère visuelle.
Feldman le mécréant, abîme sans pitié ! Ce que nous voyons porte le regard sur nous. (Thomas Miessgang)

Traduction: Claude Manac’h

Orig. Title
Schein Sein
Year
2008
Countries
Austria, Luxembourg
Duration
8 min 10 sec
Director
Bady Minck
Category
Animation/Computeranimation
Orig. Language
no dialogue
Downloads
Seems to Be (Image)
Seems to Be (Image)
Credits
Director
Bady Minck
Script
Bady Minck
Cinematography
Martin Putz
Music
Morton Feldman
Editing
Frédéric Fichefet
Recording
Peter Böhm
Digital Postproduction
Peter Saghegyi
Actor/Actress
Morton Feldman, Klangforum Wien, Beat Furrer
Production
Minotaurus Film, Amour Fou Filmproduktion
Executive Producer
Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Bady Minck, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu
Assistant Director
Eni Brandner
Supported by
Wien Kultur, ORF, Innovative Film Austria, Filmfund Luxembourg
Available Formats
35 mm (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
1:1,66
Sound Format
Dolby digital
Frame Rate
25 fps
DCP 2K flat
Digital File (prores, h264)
Festivals (Selection)
2008
Berlin - Int. Filmfestspiele Berlinale - Forum Expanded
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Poznan - Animator, Int. Animation Film Festival
Seoul - Jecheon Int. Music Film Festival
Belgrad - Balkanima Anim. Film Festival
Istanbul - Int. Short Film Festival
2009
Brisbane - Int. Film Festival
Ourense - Film Festival