In his work, German filmmaker and media theorist Harun Farocki rigorously explores how contemporary society interacts with audio-visual technology. The Appearance brilliantly combines two prominent themes from Farocki's earlier work, corporate culture (Indoctrination & The Interview) and advertising (Still Life). The Appearance gives the viewer a behind closed doors portrait of how brand identity is created. This unconventional documentary chronicles a high-profile marketing pitch from a Berlin advertising agency to a Danish optical company. The campaign, centered on the logo EYEDENTITY, is discussed in minute detail, from market research strategies to design principles and semantics. In The Appearance, Farocki skillfully probes the methods and tools used by large companies to sell products, ideas, and even a sense of self, and successfully adds another layer to the "clever" pun, EYEDENTITY. In German with English subtitles.

Harun Farocki---Germany---1996---40 mins.

This essay film from renowned filmmaker and media theorist Harun Farocki meditates on the rhetoric of film and video editing. Using clips from his past documentary work, Farocki explores the relationship between the editor and the images he or she manipulates. Interface becomes essential to our understanding of contemporary audio-visual culture by highlighting the implications of the video editor’s work. Derived from an installation commissioned by the Lille Museum of Modern Art, Interface employs a unique dual-screen composition that mimics the editing table and offers a new understanding of visual language. In Interface, the editor – whose work has become essential to the Information Age – becomes a powerful figure with a strong ethical relationship to the images, sounds, and, eventually, ideology that they help produce. In German with English subtitles.

Harun Farocki---Germany---1995---25 mins.


One of the most powerful documentaries ever made, Oratorio for Prague contains the only footage from the Soviet-led invasion of Prague in 1968. Czech New Wave filmmaker Jan Nemec (A Report on the Party and the Guests) began filming with the intention to document Prague Spring, a celebration of the newfound liberalization of Czechoslovakia, but the film's subject took a dramatic turn when Soviet tanks rolled through the streets. The invasion ended Prague Spring, leaving Nemec blacklisted and Oratorio for Prague banned. Even so, the film was able to have a profound impact. The raw footage represented the first proof that the Soviet Army had not been "invited" into Czechoslovakia and was used in international news reports, screened to a standing ovation in New York, and was sourced for Philip Kaufman's The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), and featured in Slavoj Zizek and Sophie Fiennes' The Pervert's Guide to Ideology.

Jan Nemec---Czech Republic---1968---26 mins.