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Launch: Peter Weiss on Filmform VOD

Peter Weiss

Following Claes Söderquist retrospective on VOD, Filmform is proud to present a selection of documentary and experimental films by Peter Weiss.

The programme, which highlights some of the most well know films in his œuvre, consists of 11 titles from the 1950s and early 1960s. From the visually playful experimental Study films that explore formal and narrative structures of film as a medium, to powerful and somewhat controversial documentaries like According to Law. Weiss played a crucial role in the avantgarde film culture in Sweden during these decades before he emerged into an internationally acknowledged novelist and playwright in the German language.

As a filmmaker Peter Weiss was heavily influenced by the avant-garde of the Surrealism of the 1920s, but he succeeded in creating a style of his own through his eye for the everyday realities that surrounded him. Something which actually makes his filmic dreams even more convincing, though they were produced with very low budgets. His visions remain vital contributions to the Swedish – and European – experimental film culture.


Studie I: Uppvaknandet (Study I: Awakening), 1952, 6 min
The first film in a series of five shows a man waking up on a very grey morning. The routines of the morning are executed in monotonous movements.

Studie II: Hallucinationer (Study II: Hallucinations), 1952, 5 min
Visually constructed around twelve separate dimensions of time and space in succession.

Studie III (Study III), 1953, 5 min
Silent experiment that highlights the movement of a man and his alter ego.

Studie IV: Frigörelse (Study IV: Liberation), 1954, 8 min
Elaborating the theme of the self from Study III, this time with more stylized imagery and surrealistic overtones.

Studie V: Växelspel (Study V: Interplay), 1955, 8 min
The last film in the Study series explores sequences of photographic abstractions that are balanced against more realistic sections depicting two lovers.

Ateljéinteriör (The Studio of Dr. Faust), 1956, 10 min
The only film that Weiss shot in colour presents the surrealistic images of Faust-Mephisto in his fantastic laboratory.

Ansikten i skugga (Faces in Shadow), 1957, 13 min
This lyrical ‘cinema verite’ shows the neighborhood surroundings in the Stockholm’s old town where local old men create a microcosmos which Weiss brilliantly documented.

Enligt lag (According to Law), 1957, 20 min
In the longest film in this programme, Weiss gives a more penetrating documentation of claustrofobia, alienation and sexual frustration in a youth prison in Uppsala.

Anna Casparsson, 1960, 13 min
A documentary film about the 99 year old artist Anna Casparsson, interviewed by Peter Weiss in her home in Saltsjöbaden. Shot together with Staffan Lamm.

Tagning narkomaner, 1960, 6 min
In a single room, Weiss has captured the environment of two drug addicts, without ever showing their faces in the film.

Tagning Öyvind Fahlström (Öyvind Fahlström), 1961, 11 min
Uncompleted portrait of an artist. Fragmentary images from Öyvind Fahlström’s studio, with paintings, collages and Fahlström’s circle of friends gathered around a table.

The retrospective on Peter Weiss is introduced in a text composed by Lars Gustaf Andersson – Professor of literary studies, film and media at Lund University. The films are available to rent on Prices per individual film range from 3€ to 4€ depending on the duration. A special package that includes all five Study films is available for 7€, as well as the whole retrospective for 10€.

All titles are available internationally.