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Mario Pfeifer, A Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue, 2010, still from a color film in 35 mm transferred to HD video, 50 minutes.

Mario Pfeifer

Kow Berlin

Mario Pfeifer, A Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue, 2010, still from a color film in 35 mm transferred to HD video, 50 minutes.

To describe Mario Pfeifer’s A Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue, 2010, in a formal manner, as the work’s title suggests we should, one would have to say that it involves slow-paced action, sweeping camera movements, a diversity of real-world sounds, frequent swatches of vivid blues, and intermittent yellows. Shot in 35 mm on location in Mumbai, the footage has been transferred to digital video. In this, Pfeifer’s first solo gallery exhibition, four screens presented the work’s ten short sequences—not eleven, as the title might indicate—which, with their consistent styling, recurring characters, and landscapes both urban and rural, construct a patchwork narrative relating obliquely to India today.

However striking these films are, visually and sonically, one may ask why their maker, who was born in 1981 in Dresden and now lives in Berlin, was drawn to film

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