Ralfs Farben (Ralf’s Colors): A Film by Lukas Marxt

Saturday, March 7 at 8 PM

Doors 7:30 pm; $5 admission.

Ralf´s Farben is an experimental portrait of a schizophrenic person living in Lanzarote (Canary islands), whom I accompanied for over 5 years. The film shows the struggle of his inner life in contrast to  the deserted volcanic surroundings. (Lukas Marxt)

Deserted landscapes have long been the primary subject in Marxt’s images. Shot in Lanzarote, his second feature might at first appear to cover familiar ground. The contrary is true: it deep dives into the inner life of a human protagonist, Ralf, who lives a quiet life busy with his thoughts.
Oscillating between madness and genius, Ralf guides Marxt towards an alternate understanding of the world and a film language to convey it.
(Julian Ross)

“We can´t use the same light, we have to use completely new keys with completely new light and even these can be found to a limited extent,” says Ralf at one point. The schizophrenic man´s words accompany much of this experimental portrait by Lukas Marxt, layered over footage of Lanzarote, where the protagonist lives in seclusion. Landscape and cinema form an amalgam here, being both interior spaces of thought and feeling, and projected images of an outside. The thinking of the film´s main character does not run along straight lines, moving instead in circles, spirals, and Möbius strips, shaping the overall structure of the film: the viewer gets lost in this space, in time, in distances, searching in vain for a position in the actual physical sense, finding it instead (and as the result of this uncertainty) in an attitude, a specific formation of thinking which — paradoxically — is permanently moving, in a “succession of changing states” (Deleuze).

Stasis in motion, ongoing but frozen, a painting in time, Rousseau and Tarkovsky, a thought that takes shape in the process of thinking. Documentary? Science-fiction? Mindfuck? It is dizzyingly hard to describe what one sees and hears, because the reality in front of the camera could also be a wholly imagined future, or pictures from a time before cinema. In this film, language, writing, pictures, and music are both understated and exuberant, emptied and too full to generate meaning in the conventional sense. As if asleep, but more awake than ever, we look at the world, Ralf´s world, in which children are “built” and lives are “written,” a “half-fantasy” and a “new life” in which the weather is “recomputed,” like in a movie. Cinematographic madness and a precise portrait of a human being, dancing in the wind of Lanzarote, in the night, in the stroboscopic flickering of a streetlamp, in a completely new light. (Alejandro Bachmann)

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