Beautifully maintained and well located

A mansion, a lawn, some trees: an unmoved frontal view, 9 minutes long. We hear an off-screen voice: co-director Lukas Marxt commands/directs what goes on in the image. He calls up participants in a remote-controlled choreography: a certain "John" and his lawn-mower, remote-controlled by him; a "Mandy" whose drone ("camera 2") hovers above the house; and co-director "Jakub" Vrba, the only on-screen person, who climbs a ladder and holds up a cornetthat emits smoke and sparks.

Marxt´s orders make it happen: a strange ritual of 'order' in a bourgeois home which, as the film´s title says, is Beautifully maintained and well located. Maintenance provides continuity; here it locates us in a reversal of time: In this film, things don´t just go forward (order–>execution); there is also retroactivity at play. Not least in relation to three antecedents which are films: First, there is Marxt & Vrba´s companion piece In a beautiful and quiet location in which smoke and off-screen instructions penetrate a landscape. Second, there is John Smith´s 1976 film Girl Chewing Gum, toying with its director´s fantasy according to which every single detail in a long shot of a busy city street happens according to his orders. Fittingly, the Well maintained-ritual starts with "John! You can move the lawn-mower into the frame now!". Third, this lawn-mower is a grand-child of the remote-controlled lawn-mowers in the telematic mansion of Jerry Lewis´ 1962 It´s Only Money.

Remote-controlled from outside, from long ago, everything that appears here is part of a power regime. But who´s in control here? And who´s behind that control? Is there an origin of power? Could it be dad? "Dad! You can show up on the balcony now!" Briefly appearing in a house-owner´s pose, he is just one of the film´s on- and off-screen motifs. So who is in control when it comes to ground and housing? An author posing as a leader? Another posing on a ladder? Is it money? (It´s only money...) We remain in suspense, hovering, remote-controlled, under a title that quotes from the real estate market. (Drehli Robnik)

Orig. Title
Sehr gepflegt und gut gelegen
Austria, Germany
9 min
Experimental, Artist Film
Orig. Language
Lukas Marxt, Jakub Vrba
Concept & Realization
Lukas Marxt, Jakub Vrba
Sound Design
Marcus Zilz
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
Digital File (prores, h264)
Festivals (Selection)
Duisburg - Filmwoche - doxs! kino
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films