2+2=22 [The Alphabet]Berlin Film Festival 2017
There can be something enthralling about the use of real cinema in documentary filmmaking, wherein the camera simply observes the proceedings without any intervention from those making the work (other than their very presence). And then there is 2+2=22 [The Alphabet], an observation of the 2013 recording process that led to the album ABC from the German band Kreidler. For mystifying reasons, this process takes place inside the Kartuli Pilmi film studios in Tbilisi, Georgia.
An audience member might just as easily be sitting in the corner of the actual studio, unable to approach the musicians, with any insight into the creative process gleaned from barely heard conversations and relentless observations of the repetitive nature of the recording. These sequences go on for what feels like rather a long time, and the camera just sits there, pointed at the three members of the band as they create in a fairly insular manner. These static shots in fact go on for so long that the mind begins to wander around the frame, noting peculiarities, such as a drum cymbal angled so that it looks like the Lindt Gold Bunny is being repeatedly bludgeoned with a drum stick.
The whole meandering process is intercut with shots of the streets of Tbilisi, overlaid with an esoteric voiceover that frequently lunges into pretension. This narration is primarily concerned with roads, in both the literal and figurative sense. At one point it does nothing more than list the types of roads in existence, again for reasons that mystify and do not link to the footage of the band in any manner that can be discerned. The true joy of the piece comes when Kreidler come together to record some scintillatingly good music that seamlessly merges electronica and analogue, suddenly imbuing the proceedings with life. While director Heinz Emigholz has embarked upon an interesting approach to documenting the creative process with 2+2=22 [The Alphabet], an interesting approach does not always result in an interesting end product.
2+2=22 [The Alphabet] does not have a UK release date yet.
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