Curated and presented by Mika Taanila

The experimental short film screening theme  is music and absurdism. We will review the subject through five accumulated angles of attack. The stories of these films – “tales” – infiltrate the various sectors of the subconscious without a forced plot design. As a thought experiment, one could well watch the whole screening eyes closed.

Ivan Ladislav Galeta’s structuralist water polo film Water Pulu 1869 1896 belongs to the aristocracy of sports films. As South Korean and French teams face each other few days before the Zagreb Universiade, the ball stubbornly stays in the image’s epicentre throughout the players’ double exposed choreography. As the chlorinated water glistens in the sun, Debussy’s “La Mer” turns into a stunning wall of sound of underwater recordings.

According to some experimental film dogmas, the use of music in films is too lazy manipulation of emotions. This preoccupation inspired Lewis Klahr to set the dark-toned cruising film April Snow entirely around songs by The Shangri-Las and Bruce Springsteen. Klahr – himself a master of paper collages – has called his film “a mixtape”.

Johann Lurf ’s Twelve Tales Told slices up twelve studio logos, replete with sound, triggering a hysterical adrenaline surge. Film researcher Michael Sicinski has described Lurf ’s film as “a comedic Schoenbergian twelve-tone nightmare of corporate dissonance”.

Comfort Stations by Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy is one of the most energetic and cryptic short films made in the past few years. What do we see when we see quivering jelly? The familiar evergreens on the soundtrack are interrupted time and again, producing an uncomfortable and uneasy sensation of nature’s elemental power.

The screening concludes with a modern social documentary that can also be approached as a twisted musique concrète film. Nervous animal sounds create a foundation for the minimalistic composition. Nina de Vroome’s A Dog’s Luck (Het geluk van honden) depicts the training of police dogs, both in theory and in practice.

Mika Taanila


WATER PULU 1869 1896
Director: Ivan Ladislav Galeta
Duration: 0.09
Country: Yugoslavia
Year: 1988
Language: no dialogue
35 mm


Director: Lewis Klahr
Duration: 0.10
Country: USA
Year: 2010
Language: no dialogue


Director: Johann Lurf
Duration: 0.04
Country: Austria
Year: 2014
Language: no dialogue
Format: 35 mm


Directors: Anja Dornieden, Juan David González Monroy
Duration: 0.26
Country: Germany
Year: 2018
Language: no dialogue
Format: 16 mm


Director: Nina de Vroome
Original title: Het geluk van honden
Duration: 0.23
Country: Belgium
Year: 2018
Language: no dialogue
Format: DCP