AV05 – Christoph Janetzko: Lowlands




AV05 / Region Code 0 / SlimCase

Total DVD running time: 123 mins

German with English subtitles.
Produced with generous assistance of Nordmedia Hannover.

Christoph Janetzko is one of the most important German filmmakers of the post-iconic era. This collection is the first-ever reproduction of his films on DVD.

35 years of filmmaking. Of struggling, of not succumbing. Of resisting, of fighting, of succeeding. In short: a working life of highest artistic integrity. A working life of films not about art but films as art “Experimental films are narrative as well. They tell stories about time and space.” (Janetzko).

Almost all of his films are reflections of places he lived or worked in. (M = Manhattan; Fenster and Change = Brunswick; River Colors = Chao Phraya, Sisom = Bangkok. But also On Ludlow In Blau = New York belong here). So with some justification they could also be classified as alternative documentaries. ‘Alternative’ like in contemplative and poetic, like documents about an artificial reality, never determined by ideological views but by the expressiveness of its visions and the logic of its sequential order (River Colors, Poetry and Reggae…). Janetzko prefers to look at surfaces, the topography of things which in turn often lends itself to more and more meditative views. Meditative views that can be experienced on different levels while watching his films (particularly in Change). In order to achieve these imagined surfaces, he often was forced to test the limits of available technology: from in-camera (Fenster) via the optical printer (SN) to digital post on analogue shots (Sisom) and back to chemistry (and sticky tape) (Axe). Arguably, he even made the first-ever Experimental Film shot in RAW and 4K (Arnos Tonlabor).

Janetzko’s influences stem from different places all over the world. Born in 1951 in Katowice in Poland he received his formal education at the Brunswick University of Arts in West-Germany, initially studying ‘art’ and ‘graphic design’, later on ‘film’. For longer periods of time he lived and worked – partly on scholarships – in both New York and Bangkok. Beside his own artistic projects he is working in the industry in different capacities and isn’t even afraid to tackle commercials. Over time, several awards helped balancing his income as lecturer at arts and media colleges in the US, Thailand, the Philippines and Germany. His numerous festival participations stretch from China to the US, from Brasil to France. Currently, Janetzko is a resident of Berlin.

The title of this compilation refers to the German state of Lower Saxony where Janetzko lived and worked for longer stretches of his life. This state awarded him some funds for all three film included here. It is the first-ever reproduction of Janetzko’s films on DVD.

Titles included in the DVD (in running order):
S1, 1985, 15 mins

Vom Fluss – River Colors, 1994, 60 mins

Arnos Tonlabor, 2010, 8 mins

Self-Portrait, 2014, 42 mins
Self-Portrait (2014) was conceived and produced by Janetzko exclusively for inclusion as bonus material on this DVD.

A comprehensive pdf about Christoph Janetzko containing texts, documents and photographs can be downloaded free-of-charge on purchase of the DVD (download code on inner DVD cover).