Scene from the film L'Arrivée


  • Austria

A white screen. Tabula rasa. Panavision. L'Arrivée shines on you like pure projected light, like the white surface still waiting for the marks of the filmmaker. In L'Arrivée, Peter Tscherkassky goes back to the beginning, back to lumière and the Lumières who, once upon a time, made a film of a train arriving.
And then the dirt begins to invade, the "story", if you like. A frenzy in the soundtrack - it bangs, creaks, crackles and roars. From the right a grey veil approaches: the perforation of a strip of film. L'Arrivée makes cinema from mistakes, from derailments. Half pictures - the misty pictures of a grey delegation in station somewhere - penetrate the white surface.
From right and left they run together, crash into each other and strive to separate themselves again. The material comes from Mayerling (1968), a Habsburger melodrama from the British director Terence Young. The Eastman colour which was originally present has been exorcised by the filmmaker. What Tscherkassky does here is drastically re-configure in Cinemascope. A train arrives and collides with its mirror image. Events begin to turn head over heels. Tscherkassky hystericalises the images. He allows them to lose their certainty, crosses soundtrack with perforation strip, changes positive to negative, slits the material open. Inside out and upside down. Phantom images - behind the veil of a film still running amok as if in the grip of a panicking collaborative cinematographic machine. A filmstar staggers into the final kiss - Catherine Deneuve alights, a man (Omar Sharif - which sounds like j'arrive) hurries towards her. A kiss. Bliss. An end.
L'Arrivée is a film in the process of approaching. An orchestrated melodrama of dislocated viewing values made with sheer pleasure in disaster." (Stefan Grissemann)


  • Original Title
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Peter Tscherkassky
  • Runtime
    3 min (1-15 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Austria
  • Format
    • Black & White
  • Production
  • Distribution
  • Festivals
    • 1998 Aix-en-Provence - Festival Tous Courts
    • 1998 Austin - Cinetexas - Int. short film&video&new media festival
    • 1998 Cork - Int. Film Festival
    • 1998 Denver - Int. Film Festival
    • 1998 Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
    • 1998 London - PANDAEMONIUM - Festival of Moving Image
    • 1998 Madrid - Semana de Cine Experimental
    • 1998 Winterthur - Kurzfilmtage
    • 1999 Ann Arbor - Film Festival
    • 1999 Clermont-Ferrand - Festival de Court Metrage
    • 1999 Hamburg - Int. Kurzfilm-Festival & No Budget
    • 1999 Osnabrück - European Media Art Festival
    • 1999 Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival
    • 1999 Toronto - IMAGES - Independent Film & Video Festival
    • 1999 Uppsala - Int. Short Film Festival
    • 1999 Wiesbaden - exground on screen
    • 2000 Braunschweig - Filmfest
    • 2000 Diagonale, Festival des Österreichischen Films
    • 2000 Istanbul - Int. Short Film Festival
    • 2001 Austin - Cinetexas - Int. short film&video&new media festival
    • 2001 Brest - Festival du Film Court
    • 2001 Regensburg - Kurzfilmwoche
    • 2002 Aix-en-Provence - Festival Tous Courts
    • 2002 Athens - Film Festival
    • 2002 Aukland - New Zealand Int. Film Festival
    • 2002 Buenos Aires - Int. Videofestival
    • 2002 Cannes - Festival de Cannes
    • 2002 Cork - Int. Film Festival
    • 2002 Helsinki - Avanto Media Art Festival
    • 2002 Winterthur - Kurzfilmtage
    • 2002 Zürich - VIDEOEXperimental; Video & Film Festival
    • 2003 Brisbane - Int. Film Festival
    • 2003 Pesaro - Film Festival
    • 2003 Saarbrücken - Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis
    • 2003 Singapore International Film Festival
    • 2003 Tokyo - Image Forum Festival
    • 2003 Wiesbaden - exground on screen
    • 2004 Hong Kong - Int. Film Festival
  • Awards
    • Segundo Premio at Semana de Cine Experimental 1998, Madrid (Spain)
    • Honourable Mention at the Ann Arbor Festival 1998 (USA) is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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