Monumental visions of doom from an uncompromising outsider.
Born in West Berlin, Fred Kelemen studied art, music, philosophy, religion and drama, before he trained as a director and cinematographer at film school, and subsequently filmed for Béla Tarr on 'The Turin Horse' amongst others. He has directed five films which, aside from the trilogy in this series, count 'Kalyi' (1993) and 'Fallen' (2005).
'Hope is not a concept, I work with', Fred Kelemen has said. His vision is dystopian and nihilist right down to the aesthetics of composition, which characterize his unique and exclusive production. One of the reasons why the Hungarian master director, Béla Tarr has used him as cinematographer. Even in his work with the fundamental filmic elements of time and space, Kelemen ties his almost actionless situations around the vulnerable human figure. Kelemen also insists on the cinema theatre as a sacred room in a world without hope, and the only place where ecstatic and romantic enlightenment is still possible. This is why Susan Sontag has paid tribute to him in her famous essay, 'The Decay of Cinema' (1995), where she proclaims the young German rebel, together with visionary masters such as Sokurov and Tarr, as the last stand against the obliteration of film art. The three films in this series, 'Fate', 'Frost' and 'Nightfall', form a loose trilogy on contemporary Europe.