Out of Your Clothes / Raus aus seinen Kleidern

Corinna Schnitt

1999, 07:30 minutes, Colour, German with English subtitles

TAPECODE 1081.02

What do you have to do to feel good? The penetrating voice of a young woman intones off. She is reflecting on how things should be and taking immaculate care of her “wardrobe” would seem essential to constituting her identity. She sounds almost philosophical while arguing that a clothes-dryer is the cause of and symbol for the chaos and “uneasiness” in the world. The absurdly compulsive yet appealingly whimsical quality patently underlying her obsessive monologue continues on to the pictorial plane: a close-up shows a young woman in front of a line hung full of washing that is fluttering in the wind. She is shaking out a garment in a monotonous movement. In one continuous movement the camera zooms back from the domestic idyll. A roof terrace enters the picture, followed by an urban landscape of stereotyped office buildings and high-rise housing blocks, into which the protagonist – paradoxically still shaking out the piece of clothing – keeps on disappearing. Finally there is a surprising turnaround and the scene, up to now a plausible documentary, is exposed as fiction. A petty bourgeois living room is revealed, then a woman in an armchair: it is the narrator herself, who, in invoking her alter ego as a projection by speaking, makes risible the visual convention that usually induces the interlocking interpretation of sound and image.
-Heike Ander

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