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Peter Kubelka: The Essence of Cinema

A rare opportunity to view the complete works to date by one of the most vital and influential filmmakers of our time.

Peter Kubelka: The Essence of Cinema

The seven films made by Peter Kubelka between 1955 and 2003 are an extraordinary demonstration of cinematic possibilities. In the ‘metric’ films Adebar, Schwechater and Arnulf Rainer, each individual element is precisely placed in relation to each other and the whole, resulting in a rhythmic viewing experience that articulates his assertion that ‘film is not movement’. The ‘metaphoric’ works Mosaik im Vertrauen, Unsere Afrikareise, Pause! and Dichtung und Wahrheit explore ways in which meaning can be constructed by the juxtaposition of images and sound. Astounding at first sight, our understanding of these films deepens with repeated viewings.

‘Kubelka’s cinema is like a piece of crystal, or some other object of nature: It doesn´t look like it was produced by man; one could easily conceive that it was picked up from among the organic treasures of nature.’ Jonas Mekas

Mosaik im Vertrauen

  • Director Peter Kubelka
  • Austria 1955
  • 16 mins



  • Director Peter Kubelka
  • Austria 1957
  • 1 min



  • Director Peter Kubelka
  • Austria 1958
  • 1 min


Arnulf Rainer

  • Director Peter Kubelka
  • Austria 1960
  • 6 min


Unsere Afrikareise

  • Director Peter Kubelka
  • Austria 1966
  • 13 mins



  • Director Peter Kubelka
  • Austria 1977
  • 12 mins


Dichtung und Wahrheit

  • Director Arnulf Rainer
  • Austria 2003
  • 13 mins

Total running time c 62mins

Mark Webber

Monument Film Installation

Kubelka first presented film as a three-dimensional sculptural object in 1958. As an integral part of his new work Monument Film, the celluloid filmstrips of Arnulf Rainer (1960) and Antiphon (2012) will be exhibited on the walls of the Atrium at BFI Southbank, making manifest the relationship between space, time, and the physical material which runs through the projector.

Atrium, BFI Southbank 10-21 October

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