Thorsten Fleisch is not only blessed with a wonderful name (”Fleisch” means “meat” in German), he is an experimental filmmaker who combines a cinematographic eye with an interest in microscopic structures and generative processes. Using physical phenomena (burning filmstrips, growing crystals or leaving fingerprints on the film itself), he investigates aspects of the physical world that normally go unseen. In this he follows traditions of experimental film, where the depiction of reality is abandoned. Think Man Ray and his “rayograms”, exposures of physical objects placed on raw film.
For his most recent film Energie Fleisch recorded high voltage electric discharges on photographic paper. Arranging them in time, he creates a dramatic sequence of an event that the eye on its own would be unable to perceive. Recently previewed at the Liquid Space.05 workshop during Club Transmediale, Energie is a hypnotic record of complex structures.
Gestalt is an exception from the analog approach, using purely digital techniques to investigate structures in 4D fractal equations. But contrary to the fractal masturbations of the mid-90s, Fleisch effectively uses sound and editing in combination with a restrained expression, imbuing the film with qualities far beyond simple cliché. The result is strangely reminiscent of black and white horror films.
It should be noted that Thorsten Fleisch is a musician as well as a filmmaker, enabling him to use sound to great effect in his films. An early career in metal music also explains some of his more esoteric film titles, notably “Blutrausch” and “K.I.L.L.”.
Gestalt and other films can be downloaded from the Fleischfilm site. Energie is yet to be released for download, but should be out shortly.