"Art serves to divide people"

We are quoting director João Viana during our interview at the last year's Berlinale. The first day of the Shorts Festival had to offer a suitable film, from which some colleagues of the press even fled the theater. "radical", "independent", "at times controversial", "disturbing", "testing the limits of our comprehension" 

Descriptives that only Guillaume Cailleau's "Laborat" does justice so far. The experimental film with its vividly dissected mice. Booing has accompanied the applause. This complex film experience with space to reflect upon. I want to be an animal rights activist but the film evades my dimension. How could I interpret the coloured shades? Sometimes I am the mouse, then the filmmaker and soon the blade will slowly pass my eye. Does Cailleau stretch space and time unnoticed? Does he save us from the fact, how many mice we just accompanied through the eyes of the Bolex? We can debate this!

Another time: Birds. Sometimes also the birds perspective on us people. Birds in the face of the environmental pollution by humans. That is what we think. A film goes its way and soon we don't even know where its headed. Lots of bumpy visuals, some hypnotic sounds. Bird eats bird. Bird eats a pice of rubber. "Birds" flies by. No comment, because we were already somewhere else entirely.

Irresistibly João Viana's voice reminds us:
"Art serves to divide people. When you see a film, you like it or you don't like it. If everybody likes the film…then it is consensual. It's not really artistic. Art serves you to find out on which side you stand. I like the movie or I don't like the movie. That's why films are really important because when you see films you know who you are."

However, does it have to be film? In other, more documentary styled cases: Are we only captured by the destinies we are shown? How much of a role plays the cinematic visual force? This way Block I and IV has divided the audience's opinion, but was it enough polarization? Film has to stand front and center and create a life of its own than solely be just another form of artistic expression. Play around more! We like to be laboratory rats so grab us by the throat!

So, off to the next blocks, because every Shorts screening holds another surprise for us.