Together with Peter Mettler, Michael Glawogger’s work stands as the greatest personal discovery of 2018. I don’t know where should I begin in explaining the hypnotising effect this film - Untitled - has on me. Probably the man’s intention is a good starting point:
“I want to give a view of the world that can only emerge by not pursuing any particular theme, by refraining from passing judgment, proceeding without aim. Drifting with no direction except one’s own curiosity and intuition.” (Michael Glawogger)
So here it is, a collection of images shot by their maker on a journey from Hungary all the way to Liberia. It ended in Liberia with Glawogger’s death, killed by malaria. Two years later, a collaborator, Monika Willi (editor for The White Ribbon of all things), took the material and assembled it. Death certainly adds a veil of otherworldliness to the movement of Untitled, as a voice over narrator points from time to time to what Glawogger must have felt or searched for.
Anyway, besides all this, what we’re offered is never before seen images. Herzog begs for this and strives for it as well. Our world, he says, is oversaturated by the same images and this drastically narrows our capacity for imagining new ones. Never before seen images have the power to stop your body moving, like some aliens speaking to you in a language that only your body understands. Untitled is packed with this. It blew my mind.