Austrian director Nikolaus Geyrhalter explores what we do with waste in the fascinating and exceptionally beautiful documentary “Matter Out of Place”, which premiered on Wednesday at the Locarno Film Festival’s international competition. But, from a broader perspective, he is trying to better understand the human race, and its impact on the planet, he told to type.
The film was shot in a wide range of locations: from the mountains of Switzerland to the coasts of Greece and Albania, to waste incinerators in Austria, to Nepal and the Maldives, and finally to the Nevada desert for Burning Man.
Same as previous films – such as 2019’s “Earth,” winner of the Berlin Film Festival Forum Universal Jury Prize and Sheffield International Airport International Prize. Documentary Festival – After the project was approved, the research process was not over, and as filming progressed, new locations were being sought. However, due to With the pandemic, some of the locations they wanted were not accessible, but “we were able to cover all the topics we wanted to cover in other locations,” Geyrhalter said.
Geyrhalter’s on-site crew is small – a core team of four to six, including assistant director Sophia Laggner, as well as translators and restorers when needed. Geyrhalter is produced through his own company NGF – Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion GmbH, which was established in 1994 and has partnered with Markus Glaser, Michael Kitzberger and Wolfgang Widerhofer since 2003. The company has produced more than 70 documentaries and TV documentaries over the past 20 years, won more than 150 international awards and has multiple TV documentary series. The company’s fiction film “Breaking the Ice,” a queer coming-of-age story set in the world of ice hockey, premiered this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Th cinematography in the film is beautiful, but because it shows trash ruining the landscape, it evokes a sense of sadness. This creates dissonance and the audience feels conflicted. Gerhardt felt that way when he shot these scenes, too, but it speaks to his theme: Man is producing trash faster than it can dispose of it. “We live on a beautiful planet, but I don’t think we’ll find any square meter on its surface where you won’t find any kind of garbage,” Geyrhalter said. However, the director did not go out on a mission or deliver a message. “It’s boring to deliver a message. I think what the audience will do is watch, and think for themselves. They might leave the movie theater thoughtfully. It’s much more effective and longer lasting than the filmmaker talking about his feelings or opinions.”
Geyrhalter has started a new project called Melt, looking at places that are currently covered by ice and snow but are shrinking rapidly as climate change impacts global sales of “Matter Out of Place” are handled by Outlook Filmsales.