Father, Mother, What Should I Film Today?

Isabell Spengler

2012, 52:00 minutes, colour, German with English Subtitles


“The idea for Father, Mother, What Should I Film Today? came to me one summer when I was visiting my parents at their vacation house in France. While they were working in the garden, my father and mother would call out to me at least five times a day: ‘Isabell, quick, there‘s a praying mantis/a snail/a flower, etc., you have to film it!‘ Provoked by this other idea of how to make films, I decided to do interviews with my parents, in which they could describe their film wishes as precisely as possible. Then I made some of these wishes come true. Father, Mother, What Should I Film Today? juxtaposes my parents‘ descriptions of films with my own translations into film: wishes for films in words are followed by the wished-for films in images.” (Isabell Spengler)

Father, Mother, What Should I Film Today? is part of a series of experiments with visual description, carried out between friends, relatives, and the public; between filmmakers, interpreters, and the audience. The experiments mark out clear positions for those involved–behind, in front of, and in the film image. Spengler‘s split-screen video installation Telephathy Experiment I was shown in the Forum Expanded in 2007. Two friends attempt to send thoughts over a spatial distance (and from one half of the image to the other). While Telephathy Experiment I operates with the links between simultaneous streams of signs, Father, Mother, What Should I Film Today? presents verbal descriptions and their visualizations in succession. The film is also the portrait of a family with a passionate relationship to the image of nature.

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