From a Year of Non-Events Screen 4 articles

From a Year of Non-Events

2017

From a Year of Non-Events Poster
  • It takes care to show plenty of the lush, overgrown environment in which Uncle Willi Recalls His Past Lives, leaving us with an indelible sense of a place, a man, and the histories lurking within... The eminently pleasant From a Year of Non-Events acquaints us with a kinder, gentler understanding of nothingness, which just might be part of the antidote to today’s more widespread and decidedly less compassionate attitudes about being in the world.

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    Film Comment: Jordan Cronk
    May 03, 2017 | May/June 2017 Issue (p. 25)

    Renninger and Frölke's images of routine pleasure and domestic ruin strike a distinctly poignant chord, less anthropological than ontological in their sensitive rendering of life's perpetual cycle of death and rebirth. It's one of the young year's most pleasingly tactile, tender evocations of the tides of time.

  • While countless films would try and pretend that everyday life is being shown “as is,” the filmmakers are careful to inscribe their own presence into the situation, turning their work into as much a portrayal of Willi's daily reality as a record of how this portrayal was achieved. When Renninger and Frölke state in their notes on the film that they have no idea of what it's like for Willi when he's alone, their unusual awareness of the limits of documentary observation shine through.

  • Once you accept the inevitability of these voids in the record, small actions protracted selectively throughout the film become stirring. Every time Detert screams for his cat to come in, each moment we hear the screeching sound of his DIY stroller against the muddy road up to the farm – these limited movements begin to forcefully guide the film. In response, Renninger and Frölke’s focus expands, in intricately beautiful patterns, to all the life that one fragile being might coexist with.

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