Friday, January 19, 2007

"The Conquest of Happiness" (2005) by Oliver Pietsch

"The Conquest of Happiness" (2005) by Oliver Pietsch, Video, 45 min, Courtesy of Goff + Rosenthal, Berlin

Oliver Pietsch, an emerging video artist and filmmaker working in Berlin, demonstrates that in art and filmmaking there are no "final hits" - no conclusive imagery or idea in film that cannot be recycled, renewed and reinterpreted. Born in Munich in 1972, the artist lives and works in Berlin. He has received numerous awards for his work and has been in many group exhibitions across Europe.

Pietsch's film, The Conquest of Happiness, forty-five minutes long, took two years of research and editing to finish. It encompasses more than three hundred drug-related video clips taken from the history of film. It is organized according to the particular drug being addressed--heroin, cocaine, marijuana, etc--and set to a soundtrack devised by Pietsch. The soundtrack includes music by the Eggs, the Mooseheart Faithstellar Groove Band, Neil Young, F.S. Blumm, Neu, Pass into Silence, Pascal Schäfer, Spaceman 3, Roy Orbinson, John Carpenter, M.T. Fern, Brian Eno, and Daniel Lanois. Music is a key element of production for Pietsch, as he says it "has to work with the pictures, to hold all the different material together like glue and at the same time transport a certain feeling or point of view." Says Pietsch, "'The Conquest of Happiness' is equal parts documentation, experimental film and music clip. It is a compilation film about drug-use and its representation in movies."

There's a video of Cat Power's "Maybe Not" directed by Oliver Pietsch on YouTube.

Sources: text | image

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