196 BPM

[2003] / buy

196 bpm is Romuald Karmakar’s documentary of the 2002 Berlin Love Parade, from the perspective of three sites on the sidelines of this techno jamboree. Using one uninterrupted shot apiece and without dialogue or commentary, he uses the original sounds of the sites, consisting mainly of music and a few scraps of overheard conversations. Unlike the usual documentaries about the Love Parade, which focus on the number of participants and the chaos and litter they leave behind, drug abuse, etc., Karmakar’s film collects impressions of the musical styles that fall under the loosely-defined term ‘Techno’. The music, the dancers, the locations and a DJ take the foreground.

The first part (Intro) shows the area in front of the entrance to the Linientreu nightclub. Loudspeakers pump music out of the club’s bowels onto the street outside. A young man dances like a rubber ball, passers-by dance along.The second part (Gabba) takes the viewer to Breitscheidplatz, where a DJ’s mixing desk has been set up in a requisitioned kebab stand. Outside, the revellers are dancing wildly under the pressure of 196 bpm.The third part (Hell at Work) is another single-setting shot, though this time interrupted once by a 360-degree pan, focussing on techno and house DJ Hell doing what he does best.

Posted in film on November 25th, 2010 by Victor Plastic | 31 Comments

31 Responses to ' 196 BPM '

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