Since time immemorial, humankind has gazed with awe upon the stars painting the night sky. Austrian director Johann Lurf explores how cinema has captured this cosmic tapestry, cutting together over a century of film starscapes in an ethereal documentary at once minimalist and majestic.
In the cinematic universe, a starry sky is something to stare at while dreaming of being somewhere else. According to Jiminy Cricket, when you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you. It's no wonder that soon after the birth of cinema, filmmakers were trying to capture the night sky. The thing is, stars don't photograph all that well, so most of the images that contain them are animated in some way or another. For ★, structural filmmaker Johann Lurf collected all the filmed images of starscapes he could find from high quality sources and assembled them in chronological order, rejecting the clips that had trees or people or spaceships or text. The result is a hypnotic journey through film history starting in 1905 and going all the way through 2017. The earliest clips are silent, of course, but as we travel through time (and space) we see the advances of the cinematic form as the images expand, gain color, and hand-drawn animation becomes computer generated. He also keeps the sound from the clips, which go from silent to mono to stereo to surround sound, and start and stop in random spots, blaring music or narration or nothing at all. It's a supercut of starry skies that's perfect for the dreamer in all of us.
Born in Vienna in 1982. Since 2002 he has studied at Vienna's Academy of Fine Arts. 2009 diploma at Harun Farocki's filmclass.
Sponsored by Tito's Handmade Vodka
- Original Language Title: ★
- Director: Johann Lurf
- Premiere Status: Seattle
- Country: Austria
- Year: 2017
- Running Time: 99 minutes
- Producer: Johann Lurf
- Screenplay: Johann Lurf
- Editors: Johann Lurf
- Music: Nils Kirchhoff
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: Various
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- US Distributor: Sixpack Film America
- International Sales: sixpackfilm