Index (from Vienna)

Milestone, Flicker Alley, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild...they're all here.
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jon abbey
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#1 Post by jon abbey » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:54 pm

I wanted to let people know about a very cool new DVD imprint based in Vienna, Index.

I don't know nearly as much about film as most of you guys (my specialty is music and the label I run, Erstwhile, check my web link), but a lot of what I've seen on here so far has been really impressive, Kurt Kren, Peter Tscherkassky, Gustav Deutsch, and many others. I believe there's an article in the current issue of Film Comment also, although I haven't seen that yet.

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Gregory
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#2 Post by Gregory » Sun Feb 20, 2005 8:46 pm

I don't believe I've seen any of those films, but they all look very interesting. I might like to blind-buy a few, but $40 -- ouch. Will you be posting any reviews on the site? The descriptions at the Index site don't say much.

A little off-topic, but I've got to say I'm a longtime Erstwhile listener. I haven't been able to hear as many of your discs as I'd like, but I'm a great admirer of the albums I've heard with Thomas Lehn, and the ones with Keith Rowe, too. I welcome you as a posting member of the forum and commend you for your fine label.
Note to others: I'm neither a friend nor business partner of Jon's. :)

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#3 Post by jon abbey » Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:01 pm

thanks, Gregory. as I said elsewhere, I've been lurking here for quite some time, through a few site crashes.

but I'm a music guy, I haven't seen much point in posting my opinions here on (for instance) Fanny and Alexander or Werckmeister Harmonies after seeing each of them once (loved them both, preferred Scenes From a Marriage to F&A). the knowledge level about film here intimidates me a bit, which is funny to anyone who's met me in real life or been on a music discussion board with me.

I haven't seen too much of the Index stuff myself yet, it just arrived a week or so ago, and I just finished moving for the first time in sixteen years. but what I've seen so far has been sporadically inspirational, to the point where I'm thinking about releasing more DVDs myself (only one so far, a film by Jonas Leddington about a festival I put on in Tokyo, titled balance beams). I watched a promo DVD-R which had one excerpt from each of the fifteen discs, and from that bought wholesale and not inexpensive copies for myself of five of the fifteen for now:

002 Kurt Kren - Structural Films
008 Peter Tscherkassky - Films from a Dark Room
011 Manfred Neuwirth - [ma] Trilogy
012 Gustav Deutsch - Film ist. (1-12) DVD-Version
014 Sonic Fiction - Synaesthetic Videos from Austria

I've started watching a few of these, but only for maybe 10-15 minutes a day. in my work with Viennese musicians, I've come into contact with some of the young visual improvisers there, a couple of whom have work on 014, Billy Roisz and Michaela Grill. besides them, this is all totally uncharted territory for me, and one of the more exciting things I've discovered in a while.

so really my point for posting here was to find out more about these filmmakers, if anyone knows anything (I thought at least Kren and Tscherkassky were known), and to let people know that they were available, from the label or from me, if they wanted them. as I wrote in the other thread, I only got a few copies of each one to start, trying to figure out the demand (if any). sorry if I came off too strong.

has anyone seen the piece in the Jan/Feb Film Comment about these? is that worth my hunting down (as it doesn't seem to be well stocked in NYC magazine stores these days)? thanks for any insight...

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Steven H
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#4 Post by Steven H » Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:26 pm

Thanks for the post, this Gertrude Moser-Wagner sounds very interesting ( a couple of those other artists sound really familiar, but if I get a chance to watch experimental shorts they're usually travelling in competition or part of a batch collection and I'm just not organised enough to keep tabs). When I get some money together I'll try and pick at least one of these up, though I always feel like I'm missing something seeing experimental non narrative films at home on video. But owning them still feels extremely important, I always feel lucky that something like this is available. Thanks again.

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Gregory
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#5 Post by Gregory » Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:38 pm

Jon, there was a mention of the Index label on the Frameworks listserv several months ago. You may want to subscribe to Frameworks, if you have not already, to ask for more information about some of the filmmakers and to announce that they're now available in the US. Archived threads and information about joining is here: http://www.hi-beam.net/fw/index.html

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zedz
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#6 Post by zedz » Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:46 pm

I'm glad to see the Gustav Deutsch films have come out on DVD. They're a series of terrific mini-compilations of ancient archival footage, organised thematically with considerable wit and intelligence. I have no idea how the "DVD Version" differs from the film version, however.

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#7 Post by yoshimori » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:09 am

I have the Austrian Tscherkassky disc and I was glad to get to see "Dream Work" for the first time.

I also have a disc called "Experiments in Terror" which contains, among other not-so-interesting pieces by other filmmakers, Tscherkassky's pretty fabulous "Outer Space" -- a reworking of a scene from a Barbara Hershey / Sidnie Furie B-horror called The Entity, iirc. My impression was that the print of "Outer Space" on the Austrian disc was much inferior to the one on the r1us.

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#8 Post by jon abbey » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:24 am

that's interesting, that's one of the few I've seen so far (the Index version), and the print did seem less than ideal.

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mingus
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#9 Post by mingus » Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:08 am

New Top Quality DVD Series: Austrian Experimental Films

You can get an overview here. It is a very well produced DVD series of Austrian filmmakers, some are actual very well known (e.g.: Valie Export, Kurt Kren, Peter Tscherkassky, Gustav Deutsch, ... ) for their work in Experimental Film.

I just bought two of these and must say that i am very delighted, each comes with a booklet as introduction to the filmmaker.
On the downside they are expensive (35EUR; 45USD incl. shipping) for their mostly very short running time (DVD-5), but they are definitely "something else".

I am in no way affiliated with this production, i just post this here for "patriotic" reasons. :)

I haven't been visiting the board that often in the recent month due to work overload and so the index.dvd discussion completely went under my radar.

I just bought three of them: Valie Export, Kurt Kren (Action Films) and Peter Tscherkassky. My first impression was: great, simple but elegant packaging, a thick booklet, wow, ...
but as you guys mentioned, on further inspection it seems the whole quality issue wasn't followed through to the actual and most important content the films themselves.
Very low bitrate, around 4.5 Mb; if you want to watch a single frame, there is massive pixelation, ... (a very bad encoding job) what makes it even more frustrating is the fact that although only DVD-5s were used (which is o.k for running times around 40 minutes) they didn't even use that space effectively. :(

So in the end, a great design team, a bad restoration effort, a bad encoding job, but very edgy films that have still impact after all this years.

A missed opportunity in my eyes, all of the filmmakers deserved better treatment and a broader audience, that picture quality is not for archiving.

[My advantage here in Vienna is, that all public libraries carry them and so i haven't to "waste"(a bit to hard maybe) my money on the rest of them....]

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Gregory
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#10 Post by Gregory » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:56 am

DVD Beaver review of the Peter Tscherkassky DVD.. The reviewer gives it very high marks, but doesn't say much explicitly about transfer quality so I still tend to believe mingus (above). The captures appear soft and a bit contrasty, but it's difficult to tell.
Re-reading this thread, I'm not sure why I didn't recognize Tscherkassky's name at first. I have seen Outer Space before and would very much like to see more of his work, though the price of this is still prohibitively high (around US$60 shipped).

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#11 Post by spencerw » Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:14 am

A new review of Volks Stöhnende Knochenschau : A Historic Video News Reel Project, a DVD released by the Index label, can now be found at DVD Times.
Last edited by spencerw on Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.


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#13 Post by antnield » Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:36 am


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lord patchogue
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#14 Post by lord patchogue » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:15 am

I've just received a newsletter from them. New DVDs on the way.
INDEX is pleased to announce the release of 12 new DVDs:

-> 14th of July 2006:

INDEX016 DIETMAR BREHM ­ Black Garden
INDEX020 KURT KREN - Which Way to CA?
INDEX022 JOSÉF ROBAKOWSKI. The Energy Manifesto!
INDEX023 AS SHE LIKES IT ­ Female Performance Art from Austria (compilation)
INDEX025 LINDA CHRISTANELL - The Nature of _Expression
INDEX026 PÃœRRER / SCHEIRL - Super-8-Girl Games
INDEX027 MICHAEL PILZ - Facts for Fiction. Parco delle Rimembranze

-> September 2006:

INDEX017 LEO SCHATZL - Farrago
INDEX018 MARTIN ARNOLD - The Cineseizure (TBC)
INDEX019 JAN PETERS ­ ... but I still haven't figured out the meaning of life
INDEX021 VALIE EXPORT - Unsichtbare Gegner/Invisible Adversaries
INDEX024 PETER WEIBEL - Depiction is a Crime. Video Works 1969-1975

For more information please go to: www.index-dvd.at

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#15 Post by putney » Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:45 pm

the outer space print on the index is far better...the kren discs are pretty evenly divided between his own independnt works, and the works using aktionist performances as his materal. while the latter are more famous, if you can onyl get one, i reccomend the first... i first saw his stuff on german tv of all places about 18 years ago, and it was all these works, so maybe i'm biased/nostalgic, but they are pretty great.
the valie export disc is more in the straight exp. video/performance document mode than her hybrid films (like the three available on facets) but they are fascinating. the upcoming discs of hers and peter weibel's have really great stuff. i'm quite a fan of export's narrative-hybrid films.

putney

jon abbey
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#16 Post by jon abbey » Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:39 am

INDEX is pleased to announce the release of 12 new DVDs
FYI, I have all of these for sale now in the US (I'll ship worldwide), check my web link for details (ErstDist section). I'm excited about the Martin Arnold, hoping to get to that soon...

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#17 Post by yoshimori » Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:04 am

INDEX018 MARTIN ARNOLD - The Cineseizure (TBC)
Can anyone comment on the quality of the transfers?

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#18 Post by ouatitw » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:37 am

yoshimori wrote:
INDEX018 MARTIN ARNOLD - The Cineseizure (TBC)
Can anyone comment on the quality of the transfers?
The transfers on this looked acceptable to me. It's hard to tell how they are supposed to look.

Plus Martin Arnold's stuff is great, I would recommend it..

Also right now until December 31 2007, Index is having a buy two get one free sale. I plan to get several of these during the course of this month. Any recommendations are welcome:

I got these on the first round:

Linda Christanell - The Nature of Expression
Granular Synthesis - Remixes for Single Screen
Lisl Ponger - Travelling Light
Last edited by ouatitw on Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#19 Post by Cabiria21 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:04 am

ouatitw wrote:Any recommendations are welcome:

Linda Christanell - The Nature of Expression
Granular Synthesis - Remixes for Single Screen
Lisl Ponger - Travelling Light
Martin Arnold - Cineseizure, it's a knockout

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ouatitw
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#20 Post by ouatitw » Wed Dec 26, 2007 12:05 am

Has anyone seen the following Index titles, what did you think of them and would you recommend them?

007 Volks stöhnende Knochenschau - A Historic Video News Reel Project
013 Gertrude Moser-Wagner - Concept & Coincidence
015 Oliver Ressler - This is what democracy looks like! / Disobbedienti
019 Jan Peters - ...but i still haven´t figured out the meaning of life
023 As she likes it - Female Performance Art from Austria
027 Michael Pilz - Facts for Fiction / Parco delle Rimembranze

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Re: Index (from Vienna)

#21 Post by jon abbey » Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:21 am

up, because I wanted to let people know that I have virtually all of these in stock for the first time in a while, but also that the prices have been lowered, from $40 across the board to $33 for some and $24 for others. I also put out a related DVD on my own imprint since starting this thread in 2005, from the duo of Toshimaru Nakamura and Billy Roisz, info here.

apologies for the promotional nature of this post, but I just wanted to let people know that this label is available from a US distributor (I'll ship anywhere, of course). the niche nature of the imprint should hopefully make the promotion a bit more palatable, but if not, apologies again.

a nice review of a Martin Arnold film

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Re: Index (from Vienna)

#22 Post by sevenarts » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:54 am

At my blog, I'm going to be doing a lot of reviews of Index's catalogue over the course of the next month or two. So far, I've posted an overview of Kurt Kren's Aktionist films and Maria Lassnig's animation works.

This label has a lot of very interesting work and I hope this series will spotlight it and bring some attention to what they're doing.

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Re: Index (from Vienna)

#23 Post by sevenarts » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:21 am

I've reviewed another great Index disc, of the documentary Notes on Marie Menken. The doc review is here, and I've also reviewed some of the extras: a selection of shorts and Menken's great Lights.

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antnield
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Re: Index (from Vienna)

#24 Post by antnield » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:03 pm

Latest release: Ferry Radax's 50-minute TV doc on Thomas Bernhard, Three Days.

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Re: Index (from Vienna)

#25 Post by antnield » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:03 pm


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