Adria Holiday Films 1954-68 (Film–School of Seeing I)
Adria is a scientifically exhilarating analysis of the vacation film that is concerned with a naive mode of looking – in some cases more revealing than masterful
filmmaking. Deutsch pursues what the anonymous traveler considers memorable and discovers remarkable regularities, an optical recidivism when it comes to filming architecture, family and leisure time: Adria is a pure foundfootage film, characteristically systematic, organized according to camera movements.
When working with the historical remnants of daily routine, there is a great temptation to overemphasize their curiosity value. In Deutsch´s case, comical sequences and unintentional peculiarities can be found, however they are not used against their original authors. In the compilation film b>Adria, where tavelogues made by tourists in the 1950s and 1960s serve as archeological finds, there is no apparent scorn of the species of tourist that „cultural critical“ intellectuals have been joking about for decades. The filmmakers´ pleasure in finally being able to travel to the sea is always tangible.
It is these images created by pioneers that Deutsch is carefully sorting. By assembling comparable standard sequences from private films (e.g., frontal or side-window scenes shot from a moving vehicle, the play of waves, or the view of the coast), he makes it clear how much of our daily media consumption is based on a standard repertoire of „subconsciously acquired“ images and points of views. By using them as teaching material for a school of seeing, Gustav Deutsch reminds us that they indicate a collective cultural achievement on account of their normality and calculability.