2007 35mm 19 Minutes Mono Colour 24f/s 1:1.78 Edition of 5+2


In the interplay of nature and (optical) machine, the hidden becomes visible. The perverse picture at the end of this work, of an artificial sun made of flashes of light, is no more than the blurring of a choppy film shot taken peering into the depths of a stretch of woods - always included as a visual potential within it. VERTIGO RUSH is a technically extravagant experiment consisting of a series of dolly zooms: a succession of camera movements captured in individual images of forward and backward motion, while simultaneously zooming in the opposite direction. Accelerating this pendulum movement, at first gently and later drastically, intensifies the optical illusion of the space shifting together—and smoothly hands it over to the abstract, transferred to a “dissolving” image. More so than recalling Hitchcock, who established the technique of the dolly zoom in Vertigo more than half a century ago, VERTIGO RUSH is reminiscent of the clever perception experiments of New American Cinema of the 1960s, especially Michael Snow’s structuralist space and movement studies, one of which would also provide an apt name: Back and Forth. The apparently simple basic situation develops genuine cinematographic impact: While the pure tone soundtrack constantly increases in frequency - at first subliminally, soon thumping nervously - the space expands and condenses as though digitally animated while the virtually uncontrollable play of daylight leaves behind its (documentary) traces even in this system of strict cinematic regulation. With the increase in speed (and the onset of darkness) in the second part of the film, the pictorial space narrows to a nocturnal shock corridor. VERTIGO RUSH flows into a pure frenzy of distorted perspective in the controlled intoxication of speed: the serene velocity of the mechanical gaze unleashed.
Stefan Grissemann (Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt)

'Vertigo Rush' (Johann Lurf, 2007) starts with a slow and soundless Hitchcock zoom, but ends in a pulsating and electrically glowing mind fuck, which is as if Paul Sharits and Michael Snow had remade the last scene of Kubrick‘s '2001'.
International Film Festival Rotterdam in January 2008

Johann Lurfs psychedelic full-body-experience Vertigo Rush (19 min), left me thrilled at its Viennale premiere. Certainly the use of zoom-in/track-out has been inflationary ever since Vertigo. But 25-year-old Lurf drives it to full excess. The slow acceleration of camera-tracking-speed in combination with subliminal deep bass frequencies makes your skin crawl.
Maya McKechneay in Filmkrant in January 2008

Michael Snow on Chrystal Meth.
Melbourne International Film Festival in July 2008

A simple idea: find a beautiful sun-dappled verdant forest scene, then dolly zoom in and out slowly, then at incrementally increasing speed, until the image mutates into a merciless visceral assault that interrogates the very nature of human perception. Vertigo Rush is an ingenious formal experiment, representing an unyielding insistence on exploring the unique qualities of captured reality via the techniques of moving image art to quite simply blow your mind.
Jury Argument Best International Experimental Short, Leeds Film Festival in November 2008

VERTIGO RUSH [...] has strong loop potentials, meaning pronouncedly serial moments easy to get lost in. VERTIGO RUSH is pure presence and nothing but, realised from a desire to see this particular effect - with the Hitchcock-refernce thrown in as a gesture.
Olaf Möller in the catalogue for Cineplex, Secession Vienna in September 2009

Johann Lurfs stunning study VERTIGO RUSH is based on what is called the "Vertigo effect", named after the thriller for which Alfred Hitchcock developed it. (While the camera moves forward on rails, the zoom lens is adjusted to expand the angle of view. The edges of the image remain static, but the dynamic modification of the focal width makes it seem as though the image space gradually gained in depth.) Johann Lurf, a recent graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he studied with Harun Farocki, usues this technique, also called „dolly zoom“, for a structural analysis of cinematigraphic processes. For this purpose, the filmmaker set up a highly elaborate technical arrangement: he installed rails in the woods on which a camera moves, operated by a computer. While the camera repeatedly moves back and forth, the lens continually zooms out and in. This process is gradually accelerated. The pace of the forward and backward movement and the frequency with which the zoom lens is operated are independent of one another, creating both additive and subtractive patterns. Toward the end of the film, a slower recording speed and increasing exposure times mean that all the viewer can see are lines that converge in the center of the picture, a star-like image that recalls the science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey (UK/USA 1986, Stanley Kubrick). To accompany these nature shots, Lurf plays a purely synthetic sine wave tone whose frequency and volume also rise continually. What is fascinating about this „test signal“ is that it sounds different every time the film is presented, testing the limits of the specific sound system and gernerating a different accoustic event at each location. To the film-historic references we already mentioned we shouls add 1960s structural film. Most importantly, Lurf‘s film suggests the influence of the experiments conducted by the Canadian artist Michael Snow; the affinities between VERTIGO RUSH and films by Snow such as <---> (Back and Forth, 1969) and La Région Centrale (1971) are unmistakable.
Norbert Pfaffenbichler in the catalogue for Cineplex, Secession Vienna in September 2009

Uncompromising work made up of variations on a repeating shot of an approaching and withdrawing movement, with a very hypnotic effect.
CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, November 2009

[...] Johann Lurf’s Vertigo Rush (2007) was, nevertheless, the most captivating piece of the show. It is a self-contained work that only refers to cinema obliquely, in its use of the dolly zoom. The dolly zoom, often referred to the ‘vertigo effect’ after its use in the eponymous Hitchcock film, involves the manipulation of a zoom lens to alter the angle of view at the same time as the camera moves either forwards or backwards in space. It is a telescopic maneuver that produces a distortion of perspective with depth seeming either to expand or to contract. In Vertigo Rush the camera faces a hillside of birch and evergreen trees. The piece begins in daylight, with the sun illuminating the light green leaves of a tree in the distance, amidst the dappled light on tree trunks and the leaves in silhouette overhead. This patch of light is the focus and central point in the frame as the dolly moves forwards along the track and the camera zooms in. The constant movement of the camera (forwards and back) in tandem with altering manipulations of the zoom lens, stretches or compresses the illusion of depth.
Besides the optical effect of the dolly zoom, there is a pull and push that affects the viewer physically – drawing one in or pushing one backwards. In addition, certain combinations of the dolly and zoom seem to separate the image out into discrete layers that look like scenery flats, reminding one that depth is a matter of focal planes. At the beginning of the film one identifies with the camera and has the sense of travelling through space. This sense is still potent in later passages of the piece, even once the picture has blurred and lost some of its original definition, but one often also hast the impression that the image explodes out of the picture plane. The changing relationship between dolly and zoom, and the increasing pace of the piece, makes for a form of spectatorship (a relationship to the screen) that continually oscillates. The soundtrack to the piece is a low frequency tone that increases in volume and pitch replicating the pace of the imagery; its oscillation also affects the spectator.
Vertigo Rush is effectively a timelapse film: it was shot in a single take, but day and night are compressed into 19 minutes. A few minutes in to the film, the dolly movements and zooming seem to begin to accelerate, but the impression of increasing speed is actually the result of an incremental increase in each frame’s exposure time. (The first frame of the film was shot with an exposure time of 1/25th of a second, and by the end of the piece the exposure time for each frame was 30 seconds). The increased exposure time produces changes in the quality of the image. The image begins to blur and the patterns of light and dark also transform. The lighting conditions themselves continually change, especially as day turns to night. During the nighttime passage, under fairly long exposure times, it is only the tree trunks at the sides of the frame that are picked out; they come to look like walls of a speeding corridor. As daylight returns, there are bright white trails that momentarily freeze. At this point the exposure time for each frame was 18 seconds, the same length of time that it took the dolly to travel up or down its track. By the end of the piece the screen is a radial array of white light.
Of all the work that has been discussed here, Vertigo Rush is the piece most informed by other experimental films. It owes a great deal to Michael Snow’s Wavelength (1967) and Ernie Gehr’s Serene Velocity (1970) for example. Lurf has minded the aesthetic strategies of his predecessors, as all artists do to some degree, and it is in this respect that Vertigo Rush contributes to the tradition to which it refers, but the experience that it produces is also wholly unique.
The various work that I have discussed in this essay draw on a range of disciplines: from multimedia design principles, concerning graphic composition, interfaces and sequencing; through to cinematic aesthetics that relate to the broad heritage of visual music, the found footage film and structural film. One thing they all have in common is their exploration of new technologies. Lia and Pfaffenbichler are clearly digital artists, but so too is Lurf, in so far as Vertigo Rush was shot digitally, and structured via a complex programme. In the exploration of aesthetic strategies and the processes and the capacity of their respective technologies, the pursuits of each of these artists are resolutely modernist, which makes for work that is bold and affirmative.
Simon Payne in his Vienna Report in Sequence - Issue 1, London

[...] The first film I watch convinces me to stay here rather than wandering off to the Albertina as planned. When I enter a claustrophobic room up the stairs, the floor is shaking and I instinctively walk across the room, past the black box on my left to the half-open window. The vibrations are becoming more intense, accompanied with the bass sound of machinery – I try to open a door but it is locked. I decide to face the box and fumble my way through a dark hole at its side leading to a small cinema-like interior. Is there someone in the corner? The light emanating from the screen is so dim that I can’t tell. My feet touch a hard surface and I sit on it. The vibrational noise stops at once and silence makes me jumped. The credits roll: I will be starting the ride from scratch. The film opens with a scene in the forest that reminds me of a painting I have seen the day before. Forest at Dusk by Albin Egger-Lienz, a beautiful, dark green leafiness with a sinister depth – a place you wouldn’t want to get lost in when night falls. The thought made me shiver as my eyes wandered endlessly over the painting yesterday. On the screen, the scene in the wood is filmed in the bright daylight, the sun flashing through the branches. It is quiet and spacious enough to feel at peace. However, this calm is momentary as I notice that the camera’s lens keeps zooming back and forth, ever so slowly at first, then increasingly faster. It feels a bit like being hypnotised. Through a series of dolly zooms, a technique using a succession of camera movements of forward and backward motion, caught in individual images while simultaneously zooming in the opposite direction, Johann Lurf’s Vertigo Rush destabilises the normal human visual perception and provokes a kind of dizziness in the viewer. While the leafy background is forever shrinking and swelling, the front trees remain the same and my brain is getting confused, losing its sense of perspectives, while being compulsively attracted and repelled by the pendulum movement of the image. I originally thought it had been digitally manipulated. Hitchcock first used the technique in his film Vertigo, developed further by the New American cinema experiments in the 1960’s. Instead of the usual symptoms of increased heartbeats and moist hands and feet, however, I get a headache and a churning stomach. In any case, it does convince of the spectacular potential of this simple cinematographic ‘craft’. When the speed of the back and forth movement reaches that of a TGV, the image suddenly forms a dense darkness from which the light flashes in patches and the silhouette of a tree passes by, once in a while, in apparent slow motion. The sound becomes unbearably intense like a concert of Sunn O))) and the image starts to flicker into splashes of nothingness. A re-enactment of the Big Bang viewed through my deceptively safe, square little black hole. Blown-out, I hold onto my seat till landing and reluctantly step out of my space-traveling machine into 21st Vienna.
nanoubix posted in stories of art on

Vertigo Rush is relatively simple. There is a camera in a Scandinavian wood. It zooms in towards a clearing, and then pulls back and changes focus. Then it does again, but a little faster. Then again, and again. As it does so, the intermittent tone that is the only soundtrack becomes faster, and as the camera pushes in and out a little more quickly so too does the sound. That‘s it. It keeps going until the tone is an electronic squall, while the picture is distorted into streaks and then artifacts of digital photography and then a pulsing smear. It keeps going until it passes from curiousity to tedium to nausea. The trees wave in the wind until they can‘t be seen as trees. The sound gets faster and faster until it ceases to be a sound, becomes a disturbance. The title seems less an attempt to categorise the film as the state it seeks to produce in the audience. It is endured rather than enjoyed. It is literally dizzying, not in the sense that a film can stun by surprising or delighting but my making audiences doubt their inner ear. If there is a line between film and art it may be that a film invites you to keep watching, if only because you might ask for a refund. One might see in Vertigo Rush the intention to illustrate that even the most bucolic of landscapes can be used to brutalise, or to have an audience ask itself about its relation to film. In that latter case it succeeds to some extent, save that no work should have its audience enquire „why am I still watching this?“ or „when will it end?“.
Andrew Robertson in Eye for Film

"Vertigo Rush" (Johann Lurf, 2007) starts with a slow and soundless Hitchcock-zoom, ending in a pulsating and electrically glowing mindfuck, as if Paul Sharits and Michael Snow redid the last scene of Kubrick's "2001".
Re Think Contemporary Art & Climate Change at the National Gallery of Denmark

In proximity of where Lurf shot ‘Cavalcade’, another interplay takes place—this time between a forest nature and a camera. Drawing upon Hitchock’s familiar “Vertigo” effect, Lurf isolates the iconic technique and creates a technically extravagant experiment on perception.
WYSYWIG in The Hague in November 2019

Im Zusammenspiel von Natur und (optischer) Maschine wird Verborgenes sichtbar. Das perverse Bild jener aus Lichtblizen gebildeten künstlichen Sonne am Ende dieser Arbeit ist nichts als die Verwischung einer bewegten, in die Tiefe eines Waldstücks blickenden Filmeinstellung – und als visuelles Potenzial darin immer schon enthalten. Die technisch aufwendige Versuchsanordnung VERTIGO RUSH besteht aus einer Serie von dolly zooms: einer Folge von in Einzelbildern aufgenommenen Kamerafahrten vorwärts und rückwärts, bei gleichzeitigem Zoom-Einsatz in jeweils gegenläufiger Richtung. Die optische Täuschung des sich zusammenschiebenden Raums wird durch zunächst sanfte, später drastische Beschleunigung dieser Pendelbewegung intensiviert – und stufenlos der Abstraktion überantwortet, in ein „sich auflösendes“ Bild überführt.
VERTIGO RUSH lässt – mehr noch als an Hitchcock, der vor einem halben Jahrhundert die Technik des dolly zoom in Vertigo etabliert hat – an die kühnen Wahrnehmungsexperimente des New American Cinema der 1960er Jahre denken, insbesondere an Michael Snows strukturalistische Raum- und Bewegungsstudien, von denen eine auch diesen Film benennen könnte: Back and Forth. Die scheinbar so simple Grundsituation entfaltet genuin kinematografische Wirkung: Während in der – erst unterschwelligen, bald nervös pochenden – Sinustonspur die Frequenz stetig erhöht wird, dehnt und verdichtet sich der Raum, als wäre er digital animiert, während das kaum kontrollierbare Spiel des Tageslichts seine (dokumentarischen) Spuren sogar in diesem System strengster filmischer Reglementierung hinterlässt. Mit der Geschwindigkeitsanhebung (und dem Einbruch der Dunkelheit) im zweiten Teil des Films verengt sich der Bildraum zum nächtlichen Schock-Korridor. VERTIGO RUSH mündet in die reine Raserei der perspektivischen Verzerrung, in den kontrollierten Rausch der Geschwindigkeit: die serene velocity des entfesselten Maschinenblicks.
Stefan Grissemann

Johann Lurfs fulminante Studie „VERTIGO RUSH“ greift auf den von Alfred Hitchcock für den gleichnamigen Thriller entwickelten „Vertigo“-Effekt zurück. (Während die Kamera auf Schienen nach vorne führt, wird das Zoom synchron in die entgegengesetzte Richtung geöffnet. Der Bildrand bleibt dabei statisch, durch die dynamische Veränderung der Brennweite wird der Bildraum scheinbar zunehmend „tiefer“.) Johann Lurf, der gerade sein Studium bei Harun Farocki an der Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Wien abgeschlossen hat, setzt dieses Verfahren des „dolly zooms“ ein, um eine strukturelle Analyse kinematografischer Prozesse durchzuführen. Er konstruierte hierfür ein höchst aufwendiges, technisches Setting: Der Filmemacher installierte Schienen in einem Waldstück, auf die er eine von einem Computer angesteuerte Kamera montierte. Die Kamera fährt nun beständig auf den Schienen vor und zurück und das Zoomobjektiv wird permanent geöffnet oder geschlossen. Die Geschwindigkeit mit der dies passiert wird kontinuierlich gesteigert. Die Frequenz der Kamerabewegung und des Zooms sind voneinander autonom, wodurch sich additive wie subtraktive Muster ergeben. Gegen Ende des Filmes sind aufgrund der Aufnahmegeschwindigkeit und der Belichtungszeiten nurmehr pulsierende, sternförmig in der Bildmitte zusammenlaufende Linien zu erkennen, welche Erinnerungen an den Science Fiction Klassiker „2001“ (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) wachrufen. Die Naturaufnahmen unterlegt Lurf mit einem rein synthetischen Sinuston, dessen Lautstärke und Frequenz sich ebenfalls kontinuierlich erhöhen. Das faszinierende an diesem „Testton“ ist, daß er bei jeder Vorführung anders klingt. Es werden die Limits der jeweiligen Tonanlagen ausgereizt und somit an jedem Ort unterschiedliche Klangereignisse generiert. Neben den bereits genannten Referenzen muß an dieser Stelle auch noch der strukturelle Film der 1960er Jahre angeführt werden. Allen voran dürfte Lurf von den Experimenten des Canadiers Michael Snow beeinflußt gewesen sein, zu dessen Filmen wie „<--->“ (Back and Forth, 1969) oder „la région centrale“ (1971) eine klar ersichtliche Verwandtschaft besteht.
Norbert Pfaffenbichler im Ausstellungskatalog zu Cineplex in der Secession im September 2009

[...] Weniger spekulativ in einem histographischen Sinn, dafür spektakulär als filmische Übung ist „Vertigo Rush“ des Österreichers Johann Lurf. Er geht von dem berühmten „dolly zoom“ aus, den Alfred Hitchcock erstmals gebraucht hat – die räumliche Bewegung der Kamera und die technische raumüberbrückung des Zooms erzeugen, zusammen und in entgegengesetzter Richtung eingesetzt, einen irritierenden Effekt. Lurf spielt dieses paradoxale „Bewegungsbild“ in einem Wald nach und lässt es allmählich, wie in einer filmischen statt einer mathematischen Funktion, in sich selber kollabieren. „Vertigo Rush“ ist ein Beleg dafür, dass das experimentelle Kino in seiner Untersuchung der Mechanismen des geläufigen Kinos noch keineswegs alle Möglichkeiten ausgeschöpft hat – wie eine Kommentarspur zwischen Theorie und Massenunterhaltung verläuft diese Auseinandersetzung.
Bert Rebhandl in der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung

Christoph Huber, die Presse

[...] Husarenstücke wie Johann Lurfs Zoom-Crescendo Vertigo Rush (2007) [...] Lurf überantwortet die menschenleere Natur der (die Außenwelt buchstäblich deformierenden) Maschinenlogik seines Films.
Stefan Grisseman Mosaik im Misstrauen in kolik film 11/2009

Konzentriert, pulsierend, am Ende schon fast unerträglich: „Vertigo Rush“, ein zwanzigminütiges Kameraexperiment (Zoom vor, Fahrt zurück) von Johann Lurf. Wie auf einer Schaukel zoomt Johann Lurf den Zuschauer eine gefühlte Ewigkeit vor und zurück und allmählich aus dem Kinosaal heraus. Warum muss Avantgarde manchmal so grausam sein?
Tagesspiegel 9. Februar 2008

Hitchcock hat den Vertigo-Effekt berühmt gemacht, Johann Lurf ihn analysiert ... verblüffend.
Michael Omasta im Falter 37/09

Vertigo Rush hat die Jury nicht nur formal-ästhetisch überzeugt. In seiner konzeptuellen Klarheit entwickelt der Film eine enorme Wucht. In knapp 20 Minuten verbindet er zwei Gegenpole mit den ureigensten Mitteln der Cinematographie. Vom realen Abbild zur völligen Abstraktion durch Bewegung und Beschleunigung.
Jury-Begründung film:riss 2008 Preis für besten Kunstfilm

Vor und zurück, in entgegengesetzter Richtung, bewegen sich die Kamera und ihr Zoom in dieser Arbeit und halten dabei auf eine Szenerie in einem nicht näher bestimmten Waldstück. Einen schwindelerregenden Effekt, der auf Alfred Hitchcock zurückzuführen ist, stellt Lurf hier gleichzeitig nach und aus. Durch die zusätzliche Erhöhung der Geschwindigkeit der Bilder und der Lautstärke des begleitenden Sinustons im Verlauf des Videos führt er Besuchern grundsätzliche kinematographische Prozesse vor.
Der Standard 12.10.2009

„Vertigo Rush“ setzt uns im Wald aus, um auf der Rückseite der Netzhaut wieder rauszukommen. Er zeigt uns etwas, das bald nicht mehr zu sehen und vorerst noch nicht zu hören ist. Über die andauernde Verschiebung der Wahrnehmung wird eine physische Involvierung erzeugt, die die Priorität des Blicks auflöst. Parallel dazu breitet sich der Ton unmerklich in Raum und Körpern aus. Dies erzeugt einen unentrinnbaren Sog, der eine aktive, existenziell-körperliche Kino-Erfahrung bewirkt: denn „Vertigo Rush“ ist eine Feedbackschleife zwischen buchstäblicher physischer Präsenz der ZuseherInnen im Kinosaal, selbstreflexiver Wahrnehmung und immersivem Filmerleben. Der Wald wird nie mehr das sein, was er einmal war.
Jurybegründung Diagonale 2008 Preis für Innovatives Kino

Johann Lurfs Auseinandersetzung mit dem erstmals von Hitchcock in Vertigo angewandten Verfahren des dolly zoom (eine Kamerafahrt und ein Zoom in zueinander entgegengesetzter Richtung), gerät zu einer berückenden Liebeserklärung an das Kino und an die Reichhaltigkeit der Filmsprache: Als überaus wirksamer Schock-Effekt in zahlreichen Kinofilmen (Jaws, Goodfellas) verwendet, steht der Drehschwindel („vertigo“) experimentierfreudige zwanzig Minuten lang erfahrbar im Mittelpunkt, seine medizinische Beschreibung gerät in Vertigo Rush zur Kinophilosophie: Ein Phänomen aus widersprüchlichen Informationen an Sinnesorgane, die am Gleichgewichtssinn beteiligt sind.
Viennale im Oktober 2007

Vertigo Rush ist mehr ein Zustand als ein „Film“, ist aber auf Film, sogar auf 35mm gedreht und schon im Material ein Genuss. Im Wald kommt der Rausch, frei entwickelt nach Hitchcocks berühmten Kameratrick (auf ein Objekt zufahren und von ihm weg- zoomen, oder vice versa, aber jedenfalls gleichzeitig), zuerst langsam und sich aufladend mit all der Energie und Anspannung aus dem Publikumsraum. Tieftöne dringen weniger ins Ohr, sondern übers Bein ein und versetzen den Körper in Schwingung, machen ihn zum Resonanzraum, endlich wieder. Die Filmgeschichte weiß, dass US-Horrormeister William Castle schon mal Elektroschocker an den Kinostühlen anbringen hat lassen, die auf Regisseursgeheiß und in Abstimmung mit der Dramaturgie des Films, aktiviert worden sind. In „Vertigo Rush“ ist das Körpergefühl subtiler und feingliedriger, nichtsdestotrotz gewaltig und zärtlich. Der Rausch wird immer ärger, schneller, brutaler, leidenschaftlicher, abstrakter: das anfängliche Naturbild (der Wald) mutiert durch den Apparat UND das Dispositiv des Kinos, es wird zur Struktur, zum strukturalistischen Film, der flackert, zittert, galant ist. Vom fotographischen Abbild zur Avantgarde in zwanzig Minuten; eine Geschichte des Kinos en miniature, einer der reizvollsten, reizflutendsten Filme des letzten Jahres
Markus Keuschnigg auf

Johann Lurf beginnt sein ‚Vertigo‘-Experiment ganz langsam, lässt den Effekt der gleichzeitigen Vor- und Rückwärtsbewegung langsam auf die Zuschauer wirken, testet Geschwindigkeiten und Lichtverhältnisse aus. Bald wird dem Zuschauer schwindlig, bald wird aus den starren Bäumen ein pochendes Herz. Und irgendwann lösen sich Raum und Zeit scheinbar ganz auf – ein atemberaubendes Experiment in 19 Minuten.
Daniel Ebner für Viennale Propositions im Oktobe 2007

Naturaleza y máquina óptica. Un bosque para una cita con Hitchcock. Acelerar y acelerar (la imagen) hasta que la realidad y la percepción ya no sean las mismas.
BAFICI 2018, Cortos Johann Lurf

Johann Lurf riprende la tecnica del dolly zoom, chiamato anche effetto Vertigo dal film di Hitchcock e ripreso più volte al cinema e in maniera varia e interessante dal cinema sperimentale (Michael Snow e Ernie Gehr i due più famosi), per compiere questo particolare cortometraggio, Vertigo rush (Austria, 2007, 19'), che richiama appunto tale l'effetto. L'incremento del tempo di esposizione di ogni fotogramma darà poi l'impressione di maggiore velocità, acuito dal passaggio dal giorno alla notte, dando così per finire la particolarità maggiore del presente cortometraggio, dove l'immagine raggiunge non solo una maggiore sfocatura, la quale, aggiunta alla velocità, risulta molto suggestiva, ma anche e soprattutto un effetto che ha del fantasmatico, cioè come di ciò che non si vede se non per alterazioni di coscienza, siano esse date da particolari condizioni psico-fisiche, che da una certa sensibilità a percepire lo straordinario e, insieme, da ambienti energetici (il che non significa per forza che siano luoghi specifici, con determinate coordinate geografiche e temporali, piuttosto ci sembra più opportuno riferirci a una concezione che vede l'ambiente come ciò che è abitato e allo stesso momento si è anche abitati dal luogo medesimo). La velocità aumenta sempre di più e di questo ne siamo consapevoli, ma tuttavia c'è una particolarità del cortometraggio in questione. Partendo dalla descrizione del procedimento tecnico, possiamo dire che c'è piuttosto un effetto velocità, più che un'effettiva velocità e lo stesso dicasi del sopracitato effetto Vertigo. Ma tutto questo parlare di effetto ha come unica conseguenza la descrizione della tecnica, così da spiegarci il perché si è indotti a sentirsi in un certo modo nel momento della visione. Ma al di là dell'esplicazione del fenomeno, c'è dell'altro, ovvero il tentativo di aprire la scena a nuove possibilità per il tempo stesso. Proviamo a spiegarci meglio. Noi esperiamo la velocità, ma questa è data da un effetto. Possiamo dire di capirlo per studio del cortometraggio. Mettiamoci a provare noi stessi con una videocamera, eccetera. Il punto fondamentale di Lurf però non è solamente la tecnica, pur partendo da questa ed essendo questa necessaria, come il suo studio. Durante Vertigo rush abbiamo la netta sensazione che il tempo nel mentre che si velocizzi, si dilati pure nel suo opposto, ovvero si comprima sempre più. Ora, parlare di effetto o effettivo è quantomeno assurdo, nel senso che non ha alcun senso, non solo perché non si distinguono, ma perché il tempo è qui preso nel suo senso sia umano, reale, che straordinario, possibile. Questa è una cosa che già Michael Snow in Wavelength (Canada, 1967, 45') iniziava a concepire. Non avrà senso perché non si tratta unicamente di compiere particolari suggestioni per chi guarda, ma di fare in modo che il tempo venga preso per la molteplicità dei suoi possibili modi di essere implicato e, soprattutto in Vertigo rush, in un modo del tutto particolare. Non si tratterà quindi tanto di una misurazione (che è ciò che permetterà l'accelerazione) o di un'esperienza (relegando la tecnica a mero strumento per creare effetti per l'uomo), quanto piuttosto di una possibilità che violenta l'ambiente in questione, il bosco stesso. È questo, infine, che prolifererà la maggiore variazione, non come ciò per cui viene fatta agire la macchina da presa e quindi subisce un certo effetto, o, ancora, non come ciò che muta e registra il tempo, ad esempio, attraverso le circonferenze all'interno dei tronchi (in una visione comunque antropocentrica). Precisamente, non è il luogo a mutare, a essere attivo o passivo - queste considerazioni si annullano in discorsi teorici - ma la variazione all'interno di esso, che si paleserà attraverso la tecnica fine a se stessa e quindi non per l'uomo, ma come ciò che può aprire il tempo a un suo dilatarsi e comprimersi: non ordinario sì, ma non nel senso di non normativo, bensì nel senso di non reale, cioè come di ciò che è semplicemente manifestato e così rimane.
Francesca Rusalen on August 3rd 2016 at L'Emergere del Possible

Nice Fuck! (a proposito di Vertigo Rush)
François Truffaut ha appena fatto in tempo ad esprimere un pensiero a voce alta, ricordando la lentezza di Vertigo, che Alfred Hitchcock lo incastra subito, fulminandolo con lo sguardo. «Esatto, ma questo ritmo è perfettamente naturale, perché raccontiamo la storia dal punto di vista di un uomo emotivo. Le è piaciuto l’effetto di distorsione, quando Stewart guarda nella tromba delle scale del campanile; sa come è stato fatto?». La risposta di Truffaut non tarda ad arrivare: «una carrellata indietro, combinata con un effetto di zoom in avanti».
Era dai tempi di Rebecca che Hitch aveva in mente di realizzare questo particolare effetto visivo. «Già quando stavo girando Rebecca, nella scena in cui Joan Fontaine sveniva, volevo mostrare che provava una sensazione speciale, che tutto si allontanava prima della caduta». Ma all’epoca c’era un problema da risolvere: «Restando fisso il punto di vista la prospettiva deve allungarsi». Il tempo passa e il problema trova la sua soluzione una quindicina di anni dopo, in Vertigo, grazie a dolly e zoom usati simultaneamente. Un modellino della tromba delle scale appoggiato orizzontalmente per terra: carrellata-zoom sul piano.
Una cinquantina di anni dopo il film di Hitchcock, un giovane filmmaker austriaco, Johann Lurf, ha ripreso in mano questa soluzione tecnica, riducendola a soggetto di un suo film, Vertigo Rush. Una corsa vertiginosa. Mentre la macchina da presa si muove, arretra o avanza sulle rotaie del carrello, le lenti dello zoom si attivano modificando il nostro angolo di visione. L’effetto è spiazzante: l’inquadratura sembra quasi immobile, eppure assistiamo ad un’amplificazione, una distorsione della profondità di campo. La prospettiva insomma si allunga o si ritrae a seconda del movimento combinato, in avanti o indietro. Lungo i 19 minuti di film, Lurf forsenna temporalmente questo “effetto vertigo”, esplorandone tutte le potenzialità. Con un’acredine e un’attenzione “strutturalista”, gira il film in una sola ripresa, pianificando con un computer il tempo di esposizione dei fotogrammi: si passa da 1/25esimo di secondo a 30 secondi. Transitiamo dal giorno alla notte in 19 minuti. Il risultato è un’alterazione qualitativa dell’immagine. Un lavoro di accelerazione e compressione temporale inaudito, capace di captare tutta l’instabilità della luce fissata su pellicola 35mm.
Girato in un paesaggio boschivo, Vertigo Rush somiglia a uno di quei gesti compiuti nel paesaggio dagli artisti di Land Art. Un’esperienza telescopica, in cui la variazione e la ripetizione di un gesto tecnico articolano la nostra percezione del paesaggio, permettendoci di testarne i limiti, lavorando su una serie successiva di sfasature temporali. Risultato: il sito, da luogo arcadico, luminoso, comincia a perdere definizione, si sfalda. La continua accelerazione dovuta al lavoro di time-lapse, trasforma lo spazio in un ambiente cromatico: la luce si altera, giunge a noi modulata dalle nuvole, fino a venire divorata, dando luogo a pattern monocromi verde, rosso, fino al nero: il bosco si trasfigura. È la notte che avanza. Lo spazio si deforma, gli alberi sembrano porsi lateralmente, creando un corridoio naturale per semplice capriccio ottico; col buio i tronchi si trasformano in pareti marroncine poste ai lati di uno spazio profondo, cieco. Finiamo in una vera e propria esplosione di luce bianca, in un crescendo di onde sonore, un riverbero elettronico che ricorda - è fin banale ricordarlo - Wavelength di Michael Snow.
Insomma, una macchina compie esercizi fisici all’aria aperta. E a pensarci bene, forse in Vertigo Rush, come nei romanzi di Raymond Roussel, in Alfred Jarry, come in <------> o La Region Centrale di Michael Snow, questa macchina è celibe. È una macchina impossibile, inutile, che non ha uno scopo preciso se non quello di captare vibrazioni atmosferiche, o magari di essere «vista, nello stesso tempo, nella prospettiva immediata come immagine sessuale, e nella prospettiva anteriore come figurazione del Tempo».
Filmare delle intensità luminose. Oppure, un amplesso. Michael Snow non ha mai fatto mistero del suo interesse per il sesso. «Wavelength literally "cums" at the end: the last thing you see is liquid», argomenta in un’intervista con Scott MacDonald. Vertigo Rush, con quel suo movimento percussivo in crescendo, fino alla scarica luminosa finale, non risulta estraneo a tutto questo.
In un questionario su Wavelength, alla domanda: perché un film di 46 minuti? Snow aveva risposto: «Nice Fuck!» Vertigo Rush ne dura 19. Resta ugualmente memorabile.
Selezionati per anni al Milano Film Festival, i film di Lurf sono stati mostrati nel 2015 a Filmmaker Festival, in un programma curato da Tommaso Isabella.
Per Hitchcock, si veda F. Truffaut, Il cinema secondo Hitchcock, Pratiche, Parma, 1977; sui tempi di esposizione della pellicola, rimandiamo a S. Payne, “Sequence”, #1,, London; per le macchine celibi, M. Carrouges, “Come inquadrare le macchine celibi”, in H. Szeemann (a cura di), Le macchine celibi, Electa, Milano, 1989; l'intervista a Michael Snow appare in, S. MacDonald, A Critical Cinema 2. Interviews with Independent Filmmakers, University of California Press, 1992; per il questionario su Wavelength, vedi S. Hartog, “Ten Questions To Michael Snow”, ora in The Michael Snow Project, The Collected Writings of Michael Snow, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1994.
Rinaldo Censi, Film Parlato 21 November 2016

Lyset som medie spiller en særlig rolle for naturens optisk fremtrædende karakter i denne filmiske sekvens. I samspil med natur og teknologi frembringes en forestilling om naturens foranderlighed. Beskueren bliver hyldet gennem et sansende apparatus. Der leges som et eksperiment med teknologiens effekter, der tilvejebringes af velkendte træer belyst af den naturlige sol, hvilket her fremstår med en fremmed karakter. Lurf frembringer en frekvens af kameraets ‘dolly zoom’ som en kinematografisk oplevelse med associationer til Alfred Hitchcocks tilsvarende titel Vertigo. Kameraets zoombevægelser lader perspektivet og størrelsen af baggrunden forandres. Subjektet forbliver i rammen af billedet. Effekten lader som resultat det usynlige blive synligt for øjet. Rummet ekspanderer i billede og lys, der understøttes af en tones stigende frekvens spændende mellem det dulmende og nervøse. Det fredfyldte billede af en skov forvrænges i Vertigo Rush til det obskure. Den genkendelige skov efterlader til sidst kun spor i den filmiske transformation.
Copenhagen Architecture Festival x Film, March 2015


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