FINDS: Internationale Sportfilmtage Oberhausen 1968–75

Thursday 5. June | 21.45 Uhr | Lichtmess

It’s the little guy against the vastness, the battle against one’s own body and the triumph over all forms of resistance, including those of psychological and frequently political natures.

Sports films have always been celebrating their own myths. In the end they all still contain the same meta story, like the one of the great genre cinema. The voice of a reporter and a documentary camera are intended to attest the superlatives and fix the fairy tales of triumphs or defeats firmly in reality. It is precisely in the voice-over’s gasping speeches and failing voices where you can find the pathos of a very unique hysteria which, at least between the 60s and 80s, had been almost exclusively male. This does not only turn the portrayed gladiators of high performance sports into the heroes of their proud possessing nations, but also into phantasms of extremely personal desires.

In the late 60s, the “Sportfilmtage Oberhausen” annually assorted and awarded submissions from all over the world, and they still offer an impressive stock of films from that genre. Thanks to Christian Schön’s (archivist at the Oberhausener Kurzfilmtage) overview and connoisseurship of the genre, we can show you a small slice of its imageries and intellectual world. This in turn allows us to compare it with the notions, manipulations and passions of contemporary sports images of television and cinema.