Das Zimmer / The Room (1966)

Johannes Beringer


First film, first impressions of West Berlin. A room is seclusion—looking for a room is contact with the city. The Lebanese person in the rented room adopts the position of “foreignness” (standing in for the filmmaker). His radio is also another gateway to the outside. Post-war, old buildings, urban decay and reconstruction.

The film attempts a montage of inner and outer perspectives—mainly with the help of sound from the radio and a piece of music (Herbie Hancock’s “Empyrean Isles”). The movement in the first half comes to a halt approximately at the “golden cut”—and then begins again in a different manner, movement for its own sake, continuing to the blinking, yellow traffic light over the nighttime intersection. (Inspired by the “objectification” in the final sequence of Antonioni’s L’Eclisse.) (J. Beringer)

Film by Johannes Beringer with Skip Norman, Jörg Baldenius, Gerd Conradt – Camera, Assistance; Abdullah Fletani – Actor; Holger Meins – Runner (DFFB, 1966/67, 16mm, B/W, 15 Min. 18 Sec.)

Johannes Beringer belonged to the first cohort of students at Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie (dffb) Berlin in 1966. He collaborated with Skip Norman on his two student films Das Zimmer (The Room) and Situationen (Situations). Together with seventeen other students, Beringer was expelled from the film school in November 1968. Since then, he has worked as a writer (for the journal Filmkritik and many other publications), translator, and film programmer in various contexts. In the 1970s and early ’80s, he was editor and sound engineer on many of Harun Farocki’s productions.

[Suggested citation: Johannes Beringer, “Das Zimmer / The Room (1966)” Rosa Mercedes 03/B (April 2021), www.harun-farocki-institut.org/en/2021/04/30/das-zimmer-1966/]

April 30th, 2021 — Rosa Mercedes / 03 / B