Gummo

For our penultimate screening we welcome Nina Wetzel for a screening of Harmony Korine’s Gummo, and welcome you all to a special FRIDAY edition of HOW DOES THE WORLD BREATHE NOW? 

In Gummo (1997), Harmony Korine leads the viewer through an absurd, and at times disturbing, trip across a tornado-ravaged Ohio town. Inspired by, and filmed in, his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, Gummo defies traditional narrative structures to present a series of vignettes and meditations on the apocalyptic landscape that its characters inhabit. 

Speaking with Werner Herzog, a fan of Korine’s and of this film, the director explained that “With Gummo I wanted to create a new viewing experience with images coming from all directions. To free myself up to do that, I had to create some kind of scenario that would allow me to just show scenes, which is all I care about. I can't stand plots, because I don't feel life has plots. There is no beginning, middle, or end, and it upsets me when things are tied up so perfectly.” (1999 Telluride Film Festival) 

Nina explains her choice as follows: 
When this film was released in 1997, it seemed to me to be one of the most important films, and today, twenty years later, it still is. Harmony had written the script when he was in his early twenties, and directed the film as well. It showed the perspective of a different generation, of our generation. It was a new way of looking at people who had never been represented enough, and especially a way of looking at youth and pop culture with an incredible poetry and melancholy in its mixing of film and video sequences, creating images that burn themselves into your memory. I felt that it was also a taking stock of the state our society was in. 

In an interview, Harmony described his way of shooting as a joint experience, in which he is open to things that happen. In my work I am also interested in things that happen, in coincidence, and in inventing spaces that carry a smell or a story or a kind of melancholy. Many of the images come from my past, often from images from my youth.

Nina Wetzel (born 1969) studied stage and costume design at the Ecole supérieure des Arts et techniques, Paris. Since 1996, she has done set and costume design for theaters such as: Volksbühne am Rosa - Luxemburg- Platz, Berlin; Burgtheater Wien, Vienna; Schauspielhaus, Hamburg; Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz,Berlin Festival d‘Avignon. She has worked with artists and directors including Thomas Ostermeier, Schorsch Kamerun, Stefan Pucher, Alexander Kluge, Marius von Mayenburg, Mikael Serre, Christoph Schlingensief and the Zentrum für politische Schönheit. She also created installations for Wiener Festwochen (Container Project ”Bitte liebt Österreich”), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Folkwang Museum, Essen (Children of Berlin), among others. 
Wetzel lives and works in Berlin.