Corinna Schnitt
Living a beautiful life

Sep 13 - Okt 18, 2003


Imagine a life you always dreamed of as a child? A perfect life.

In a way that seems entirely naïve, Corinna Schnitt takes the common wish and the usual notion of a happy life literally, and then presents them mercilessly before our eyes and ears in a quasi-documentary setting. It shows a woman and a man, both good-looking, who live in a tasteful villa high above Los Angeles, reporting alter-nately to the camera that they own all the things about them, and that this is what others can only dream of. Like Blade Runner replicants, they list all the components of the beautiful life, at least as it is imagined in the Western world. The spectator is only barely able to take this exhausting litany of total happiness, and feels himself further provoked by the contemplative mood of these well-composed scenes. And if in the meantime you think that everything will explode at the end, like in Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point, you’re wrong.

As grotesque as this wallowing in cliches of the beautiful might seem, Corinna Schnitt goes far beyond simple parody, and refuses to use cheap effects or to make easy points. She is a master of the dramaturgically effective method of subtly weav-ing together the artificial and the naturalistic. This is a fundamental aspect of Schnitt’s film work: she leaves us—perhaps even with a bit of malicious pleasure––with an irritating ambivalence, which insures an undecidedness that is in one moment amusing, then disconcerting. In her strange, ethnological fictions, she uncovers para-realities just where we thought we already knew it all, and thus very gently and very friendly pulls the floor from beneath our feet while we watch these barely moving images.

Kay von Keitz