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March 28th – April 2nd, 2017 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului & Cinema Elvire Popesco / the 7th edition


Directed by: 
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 18:00
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Saturday, April 1, 2017 - 16:30
Written by: 
Max Grau
Max Grau
Max Grau
Bucharest Premiere
With the support of

What do John Travolta, Olivia Newton John, Karl Marx, Jean Baudrillard, American Apparel and Bob Dylan all have in common? They’re cultural signifiers looking for a common narrative in Max Grau’s contagious essay film. Cornering the viewer in a locked groove, Grau isolates a musical-narrative motif from the 1970s film Grease and repeats it ad-infinitum, as he opens up a frank discussion of pop-culture’s infiltration in mass-consciousness. Once «[...] craving for narrative»’s kernel of culture is planted, we’re winding through Grau’s rhizome of thought, taking detours at every reference point (be it personal, political, social or cultural) and understanding our individual tendencies of cultural consumption, assimilation and regurgitation. By the time we’re kicked out of Grau’s eternal return, nothing will ever look, read or hear the same. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)

Max Grau

Max Grau (*1988) works with film, text, performance, photography and music. His work addresses the relationship between the self and the social, and contemporary forms of communication. He studied Fine Arts in Saarbrücken, Berlin and Los Angeles. Besides doing things individually, he’s interested in friendship-based modes of collaboration. His work has been shown internationally in art spaces and film festivals. He lives and works in Berlin.

Festivals, awards: 
  • Special Jury Mention, German Competition - Hamburg International Short Film Festival 2016
  • Videorama Award - Timishort Film Festival
  • Uppsala International Short Film Festival
  • IndieLisboa
  • WNDX Festival of Moving Image Winnipeg
  • Shnit International Shortfilmfestival Basel
  • Winterthur International Short Film Festival
  • Short Wave Festival, Poznan 2015
Director's statement:
The video is almost exclusively based on found footage. Besides found imagery, there’s a text based narration happening in the lower region of the screen (or projection), where normally the subtitles would be. This narrative... has a beginning and an end. The clip from Grease is continuously looped throughout the whole piece. Those two modes of temporality – linearity and the loop – might be one of the basic concerns of the video. All the footage is assembled in a digital white non-place... A clip like you’ll find gazillions more times on YouTube. Each one uploaded by a person for whatever reason... Also there’s the whole thing about seductiveness... Since the video is trying to make sense of this seductiveness, it’s important to keep it going. Not dismembering it completely, but to cool it down a little. So you can get a chance to behave yourself differently towards it, than the movie wants you to. The animated text in the lower region of the video tries to make sense of that... The animation emulates the unfolding of words in time, varying its' tempo to give it a slight touch of an actual person speaking. I thought it would be necessary for the narrator to be there and not there at the same time... An absent presence... But then again, how much void can there be, when John Travolta sings I got chills...? (Max Grau)