- Matthias Muller |
- 2003 |
- 8.16 minutes |
- COLOR |
Rental Format(s): 35mm film
co-directed and co-produced by Christoph Girardet
"Girardet and Müller have made a movie out of the hiatus, the pause... the caesura. A woman, a man, both in evening dress; at some sort of gathering, or the ruins of a party. Isolated, unspeaking, rarely in the same shot, the froideur between them is palpable. It seems like the end of a love affair, or the revelation of betrayal, or at the very least a sudden surge of mistrust. Except that these are not the routine questions that this film inspires. The tableaux in which the figures stand like statues are animated by light alone. A light that glimmers, or suffuses a room like smoke, or crackles and fizzes from overhead lamps in long corridors. It polishes a grand piano, soothes the cheek of the pensive woman, surrounds the man with glassy halations and then makes him vanish, as if his part was over, before the room in which he stands disappears. It describes separation, illuminates solitude, removes these figures from their surroundings. This sense of disassociation is increased, moreover, by a mysterious division-as it were between reality and reflection-in the film. You hardly notice it at first, but there is a vertical fissure running down the centre of the image. It turns out there are not one but two images, separate halves projected through separate lenses that unite to create one motif. Without a centre, a meeting point, the figures are forced even further to the edges. And the effect is extraordinarily subtle and rich. Fragility made tangible, beautiful, beguiling. Paralysis made unexpectedly dramatic. The more you watch, the more you wonder not about what has been said or done by these people but at the terrible distance between them, how sealed and impenetrable each has become to the other: glacial as a mirror image."
- Laura Cummings, The Observer, London, 2004
"The elegant protagonists flit enigmatically in and out of view, but the real star of the show is the light. Sumptuous, formally composed cinematic images, all surface and suggestion, convey the split in a couple's connection through patterns of light that isolate and separate them. It's a haunting piece."
- Tina Jackson, The Guardian, London, 2004
"The absent other in MIRROR is (...) the non-existent greater portion of a feature film - or, perhaps, the active part of a life. We're in a hotel, or a large private house, where the artificial lights sputter like candles - though less through dodgy wiring than a desire to evoke narrative drama - and plunged into a succession of reflective pauses between missing flashpoints of action. (...) But there is a clear theme here, one familiar to viewers of Antonioni's films (which the artists claim as an influence; there's a dash of Robbe-Grillet in there too): that of individuals unable to propel their own narratives."
- Martin Herbert, Art Monthly, no.10, London, 2004
Awards: Distinction "recommended", German Commission of Valuation; "Best lighting", Ann Arbor Film Festival