Sunday December 21st 2014, Life in Loops – A Megacities RMX. Directed by Timo Novotny, 2006, 80 minutes, with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm.
Radioglaz and the Global City
Glawogger captured the grinding routine of everyday labor and escapism of people on the outskirts of the metropolises New York, Mexico City, Moscow. and Mumbai in his awarded documentary essay Megacities. By finding a film language that not only reflects Zygmunts Bauman’s (1997: 328) assumption of globalization’s force to stratify the world population in globalized wealthy and localized poor, but that also offers an idiosyncratic insight beyond the description of urban peripheries as slums, the filmmaker came close to the poetics of his (aesthetic but not political) role model Dziga Vertov.
However, it was not until 2006 that the Austrian video artist Timo Novotny reviewed the original footage of Megacities in order to rearrange it in the spirit of Dziga Vertov’s radioglaz (3), a film concept and montage policy that counts on the “complex interaction of sound with image’ (Vertov in Hicks 2007: 77). sometimes even favoring the sound as the overriding rhythmizing element over the image. Whereas Megacities tells twelve geographically interspersed but serf-contained stories of survival, Life in Loops breaks them open and uses the audiovisual fragments to paint only five portraits of clandestine ways of living and working in global cities against the backdrop of a filmic contemplation on urban topographies. That way, Life in Loops traces, like Megacities, the conditio humana in relation to glocal subalterntiy, though making use of Vertov’s radioglaz in a more radical way.