Christian Fröhlich, A 2006, Beta SP, Color, 5 Min
Premiere: Diagonale 2007, Festival of Austrian Film
Top Down is an art-house-film about „Rhythm of the City“, shows urban motion patterns in London‘s Leicester Square via an exposed camera (super-)position, i.e. top down. The film shows the bustling square from the very angle of a building‘s roof in a dynamic fast-motion mode, the only change vis-a-vis the reality being the speed.
However, it created a bizarre, new version of the city: a seemingly „higher“ order, an algorithm, a repetitive pattern of movement, emanating from the green phase of the traffic light system for pedestrians and cars alike, it depicted the well-regulated order of public transport (bus intervals) and repetitive taxicab trips which would not be noticeable at regular speed; a changed perception due to varying speeds – both humans and cars seem to follow a choreography which is correlated to the music; however, they maintain their self-will from the original scenario.
The architectural principle „One Buliding – One Detail“ experienced its cinematic equivalent: „One Film – One Effect“. Varying the speed yields a quasi film ballet, which consists of one take only (32 minutes becomes five, without a cut) and ends in a city backspin…
The film material has been recorded from atop the roof of the spectacular Swiss Center shortly before its demolition.
(Thanks to Luk for access)