Modes of perception are playfully expanded in the steadily growing body of films created by Viennese artist Friedl vom Gröller. As she says, "My artificial eye can do what the human eye cannot". Brief poetic interventions ordinarily requiring no more than three minutes constitute the usual format employed by this filmmaker. Elite characteristically consists of silent black-white images that familiarly conjure a longing for the innocence of early cinema and an associative playground of the free spirit. Images are upside down – the camera obeys no operating instructions. A gentleman's shoes tightly press up against the steps of high heels – the Milonga danced at a public space in Buenos Aires. The perspective (behind and in front of the camera) is "amateurish", that is to say, uninhibited and loving. Zooms and shakes emphasize a gestural filmic language.
The title was not invented but rather found, printed on a paper shopping bag of a traditional Argentinian chocolatier. Elite celebrates outside spaces and light flares; but the filmmaker's actual focus always rests on people she encounters with her Super-8 camera. The protagonist of this film is named Lea Kalinna, and she counters "the relationship of gender upheld by couple dancing" (F.v.G) with her solo steps. Lea presents herself, plays to the camera's eye, responds to its gaze. And this in turn unleashes the recording device which begins to dance and fly free. The visible world goes off its rails, rising, trembling, and dizzyingly turning. The roof of the pavilion under which couples sway provides a stabilizing final image: They are this film's chosen ones, those predestined by a strolling visitor – and perhaps indicated by the title of the film. (Stefan Grissemann)

Translation: Eve Heller

Orig. Title
Austria, Argentina
2 min
Orig. Language
no sound
Elite (Image)
Friedl vom Gröller
Supported by
Available Formats
16 mm (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Viennale - Vienna Int. Film Festival