Who's Afraid Of RGB

Who's Afraid Of RGB continues a direction clearly evident in THE and TOUTES DIRECTIONS (2014 and 2017, both created together with Dieter Kovacic), digital works through which Billy Roisz specifically engages cinema and its formulas. Paralleling her previous treatment of the horror film and the road movie, Who's Afraid Of RGB subjects the genres of romantic movies, dramas, and melodramas to Roiszian compression.

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? stands in for these genre types, conveying an expressive, raw and impulsively out of control emotionality. The most complex emotional sequence in Who's Afraid Of RGB is seen in the reflections of 9 pupils at the center of Roisz´s film, symmetrically arranged one above the other and side by side: The black and white original, or to be more precise, its images reflected in the eye, are brought into dialog with the colors of red, green and blue, alluding in part to Barnett Newman´s Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue. A point is reached where the colors do not seem to cover over the images but rather lend the images their color. One can read this metaphorically: The eye, the reflected image, and the spreading colors transform the black and white original into an expressive, emotional storm that can only be understood in color in the eye of the beholder. Filmic experience is also emotion, primary color ratios mixing an inner color room in motion.

Roisz translates the emotionality evoked by the original film, but not merely through a single image. The sound was made in collaboration with Susanne Gartmayer and consists of a fragmented, directly evocative composition, including heart beats in synch with the pupils. The entire work represents in sound as well image the emotional twists and turns to which films of this genre subject their viewers: the blackness following a wolf´s inhalation of breath, accompanied by a deeply humming drone transmits tension despite initial quiet; staccato outbreaks of a clarinet in the middle section; the rich contrast of vibrant color in the second part resolving into the only apparently calm signal noise of the medium and the viewer as well. (Alejandro Bachmann)

Translation: Eve Heller

Orig. Title
Who's Afraid Of RGB
8 min
Billy Roisz
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Billy Roisz
Concept & Realization
Billy Roisz
Dieter Kovačič
Billy Roisz, Susanna Gartmayer
Billy Roisz
Sound Design
Billy Roisz
Dieter Kovačič
Supported by
Wien Kultur MA 7, BKA - innovative film
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
Digital File (prores, h264)
Festivals (Selection)
Jihlava - International Documentary Festival
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Hamburg - Internationales Kurzfilmfestival
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival
Ann Arbor - Film Festival (Leon Speakers Award for Best Sound Design)
Wien - Tricky Women / Animationsfilmfestival
Marseille - RISC Rencontres Int. Sciences et Film