Perhaps Kubelka's best known work, Unsere Afrikareise is a collection of images from an African safari cut together through the bizarre, inter-frame dictated editing for which Kubelka is known.
The film can be best described as an experimental documentary, or put in Hollywood terms, National Geographic meets Brakhage. Scenes of both a zebra and giraffe being held down and slaughtered, intercut with bourgeois European travelers chatting on a ferry, mark some of the most vivid moments.
As mentioned, the film is cut to a very specific rhythm. Though the images and content are quite engaging in and of themselves, it is the pacing and cutting that link the piece to Kubelka's ouvre. Probably shot on Super 8mm or 16mm, the film is hard to get a hold of today. I saw a pirated copy ripped probably from a VHS. The sound and image quality are obviously aged, but together with Kubelka's compositions and editing, the aesthetic is quite spectacular.
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A Trip Through Peter Kubelka's "Unsere Afrikareise" (Our Trip to Africa)
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But as more and images are shown to the viewer, Kubelka establishes his desire for sense of initial objectivity in viewing this film, and the out-of-order edits do the trick. Not in a conventional sense, though. However, we do not see specifically where this laughter comes from, or if it is just one track of sound or even several loops of laughter played over each other; all we know is that at some point or points on this trip our Europeans were having a chuckle and Kubleka recorded it for use in this film.
In two shots, one right after the other that then repeats, the laughter of the Europeans is at full volume with no other sounds to be heard.
This might be a rather perplexing thing: All there is to be seen is two people in separate shots walking about, carrying objects that are probably to be used for their daily activities with the bawdy sounds of laughter ringing clearly in the foreground of the soundscape. Together, these things are indicative of a multi-step approach to understanding this film. These tactics are not opposing, however: It is, in this aspect, a very effective piece of persuasive filmmaking that utilizes both sight and sound in unconventional yet effective ways. Fred Camper on "Unsere Afrikareise," http: Watch "Unsere Afrikareise," http: The newsletter highlights recent selections from the journal and useful tips from our blog.
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