Ludwig Wüst is one of the truly most unusual phe- nomena not only in Austrian auteur filmmaking. The expansion of experiential spaces is an im- portant focus of his work. And that‘s exactly what Wüst is doing at this year‘s film festival with FILM & WOODLECTURE: from the cinema screen to wood- work.
Thus, he presents two German premieres at once in cinema, I AM HERE! as well as ABC, and a two-hour WOODLECTURE for interested people.
When and where
about 25 years ago, i once made a so-called family line-up, for which i “lined up” my numerous family members and myself. at the end of the day, the head of the seminar came to me and said: mr. wüst, do you know what room you lined up in? you put yourself in a room that doesn’t exist. in one word: YOU DON’T EXIST!
this statement was quite a shock. since that day i have been striv- ing to locate myself in my current living spaces, in order to be able to say: I AM HERE! it was not clear to me at the time that i would someday make a film with the same title, let alone make films at all. this was about to change.
a few weeks later i made a guest appearance as an actor with a small theatre production in cairo. in my luggage i carried a book by ingeborg bachmann: “the case of franza”. a fellow actor had given it to me for my trip with the words: “this will be your first film!” and she was right.
after our guest performance, we stayed in cairo for a few more days. during this time, i met an egyptian desert guide who spontaneously invited me to join him on a trip into the sinai desert. i immediately agreed. those days in this infinitely beautiful and empty landscape was a decisive experience for me: i came back from the desert having decided to become a filmmaker. since then, in an unbelievable frenzy of work, i have made 12 feature-length films and created many scenarios for new film and theatre projects, which i would like to realise with my team in the coming years.
I AM HERE! celebrated its world premiere in rotterdam this year thanks to the tireless support of my great colleague maja savic. we are both very happy to play another home game with this film at the international hofer filmtage 2023.
about 3 years ago, during the first corona-lockdown, i started to look through film fragments in my archive that had been lying dormant for many years, waiting to be “exploited”. in the process, i came across my very first video works, made in cairo and the egyptian desert in 1999, in preparation for my first film “egyptian darkness”. over the last 20 years, several edited versions have been created from this material, which i have never published. now i wanted to use these recordings for a new, as yet untitled work.
a second, for me personally very important unreleased film fragment had the working title “cain & abel”, which was made with some friends in a quarry near vienna during the summer of 2018 and was also waiting to be realised as a feature-length film. when i viewed the last cut, i knew: the film was finished! so a second short film was completed.
in the summer of 2021, encou- raged by my wonderful colleague gudrun fürlinger, i started working with analogue film.
i borrowed a super 8 camera from her and drove to my home village in bavaria. during those summer days I made my first analogue recordings, a very important moment for me, similar to the time when i began my film work in 1998 and made the first video recordings of my home village and my father’s house using my mini dvcam. those first digital recordings from back then went missing in the course of time. the analogue super 8 images i shot will endure.
the now finished three-part film is entitled ABC because it presents my cinematic canon in a poetic way. i hope all viewers who have become curious now will enjoy the projection!
when i left secondary school in 1983, all my friends and relatives expected me to go to munich to study painting. i had been producing countless self-taught works of art such as drawings or paintings ever since i could hold a pencil or a brush in my hand,
and yes, i had a fierce desire at that time to pursue a career as a visual artist. then, however, i thought to myself: perhaps it would be better and more useful to learn a down-to-earth craft first, and then dedicate myself to artistic flights of fancy. no sooner said than done: i rode my bike to a neighbouring village to apply for a job with a local carpenter. after three years of training, i decided to leave my home village in the upper palatinate to become a piano maker in vienna. things turned out differently: after training in acting, directing and singing, i was able to embark on an incredibly creative voyage of discovery in vienna, my new home of choice, which is still continuing, looking to lend expression to my human existence in a wide spectrum of craft and artistic disciplines: I AM HERE!
nota bene: i have kept up the woodworking to this day. for this reason, i would like to present a sensual taste of it at this year’s hof film festival. i will work on a beautiful wooden board by hand with a dozen lucky people and then share it with all those present, who can take this analogue event home, putting this practical piece of wood to good, practical use in the years to come. may this project have every success.
3 notes on autobiographical events
DCP, Farbe / s/w, 78min
dt. OF m. ohne UT
DCP, Farbe, 71min
dt. OF m. engl. UT