Viennale 2017: ★ von Johann Lurf

Das Konzept von Johann Lurfs erstem Langfilm ★ ist schnell erklärt. Neunzig Minuten lang sind Sternenhimmel aus über hundert Jahren Filmgeschichte zu sehen. Lurf hat sich dazu einige Beschränkungen auferlegt – außer dem Himmel, den Himmelskörpern und gegebenenfalls Wolken und Satelliten darf nichts anderes im Frame zu sehen sein, auf der Tonspur ist immer der Ton des Originalfilms zu hören. Angeordnet hat Lurf die Ausschnitte streng chronologisch, das freilich lässt sich beim erstmaligen Sehen des Films nicht mit Sicherheit bestimmen. Zwar beginnt der Film mit Passagen aus Stummfilmen, die folglich ohne Ton präsentiert werden und man kann mit Fortdauer des Films erkennen, wie die Aufnahmen technologischer ausgereifter erscheinen, doch mit Ausnahme einiger Filmschnipsel, die man je nach filmgeschichtlicher Kenntnis verorten kann, löst sich das Rätsel der Logik der Montage erst mit den Ausführungen des Regisseurs. Man kann diese Form der filmischen Anordnung kritisieren, besteht die Arbeit des Filmemachers in diesem Fall eher in der Recherche der einzelnen Filmausschnitte, als in deren künstlerischer Zusammensetzung, doch das Resultat wirkt erstaunlich rhythmisch. Der Zufall als Cutter, ordnet die Sternenhimmel mal rasant wechselnd, mal langsam fließend an, Farben, Töne und Bewegungen folgen willkürlich aufeinander an, wirken aber weniger beliebig, als man meinen sollte. In seinen stärksten Momenten wirkt der Film wie ein sorgsam konstruierter Remix, ihn zu sehen ist ein manisches und zugleich sinnliches Erlebnis.

★ von Johann Lurf

Neben der visuellen Sensation, gibt ★ aber auch Auskunft über filmgeschichtliche Konventionen. Der Zusammenschnitt der Filme aus über einhundert Jahren lässt Rückschlüsse über die filmische Gestaltungsweise von Sternenhimmeln im Laufe der Jahrzehnte zu. Verschiedene Bewegungen kommen regelmäßig vor: das Eintauchen in den Sternenhimmel beziehungsweise dessen Gegenbewegung – das langsame Zurückziehen; später das langsame Abkippen vom Sternenhimmel in Richtung Horizontlinie (das im Film immer zu Ende geht, bevor die Oberfläche erreicht ist); der Blick in den Nachthimmel, wo Sternschnuppen (oder in einer parodistischen Variation, Satelliten) vorüberziehen; rasante Fahrten durch den Weltraum in Überlichtgeschwindigkeit, in der die Sterne ihre Erscheinung verändern. Auffällig ist auch die zunehmende, wissenschaftliche Präzision der Sternendarstellung. Während anfangs noch oft willkürliche Lichtpunkte vor dunklem Hintergrund zu sehen sind, werden in späteren Filmen öfter korrekte Darstellungen des Sternenhimmels ausgewählt. Das hat sicherlich auch damit zu tun, dass erst die technischen Rahmenbedingungen geschaffen werden mussten, um überhaupt in den Nachthimmel oder in Planetarien filmen zu können (das war in größerem Rahmen erst nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg möglich), später erleichterte die Möglichkeit der Simulation des Himmels mittels Computertechnik die korrekte Darstellung von Himmelskörpern. Größer gedacht legt der Film auch inszenatorische Konventionen offen, die nicht direkt mit der Darstellung des Sternenhimmels zu tun haben: Der rhetorische Stil der Erzählerstimmen, die sehr oft zu hören sind, verändert sich, ebenso die Musikuntermalung und die Dialogregie – auch die Weiterentwicklung der Tricktechnik kann am Beispiel der Sternenhimmel nachvollzogen werden.

Im Gesamtwerks Lurf, der bisher in erster Linie mit streng komponierten und rhythmischen ausgefeilten Bild-/Tonkompositionen auf sich aufmerksam machte, ist dieses 90-minütige filmhistorische Hasardstück zugleich Ausreißer, als auch logische Weiterentwicklung. Ausreißer wegen der Länge des Films, dem Produktionszeitraum von mehreren Jahren und der Form der Montage, Weiterentwicklung, weil es sich bei ★, wie bei seinen meisten anderen Filmen, um eine experimentelle Untersuchung handelt, in der die Erfahrungsweise bestimmter Bild-/Tonfolgen getestet wird. Wenn in Twelve Tales Told noch in kleinerem Rahmen die Regeln der Selbstinszenierung von Filmstudios in Frage gestellt wurden, so setzt ★ dieses Interesse Lurfs mit seiner Betrachtung filmischer Sternenhimmel fort. Lurf hat angekündigt sein Sternenprojekt noch weiter fortzusetzen, um irgendwann alle Sternenhimmel der Filmgeschichte in einem Mammutfilm zu vereinen. Ein kaum zu erreichendes Ziel (abgesehen davon, dass sicherlich bereits etliche filmische Sternenhimmel für immer verloren sind), aber eine sympathische Utopie.

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