Film: The Visitor by Katarina Schröter

Tuesday, 11/01/16
494 Wurster Hall

The city is always about glimpsing other lives.
There’s something about the city which breeds the fantasy of human interchangeability.
-Tim Etchell

Part documentary and part performance, the experimental film The Visitor subverts notions of ethnography, journalism, and fiction in a surprising journey through Mumbai, Shanghai, and São Paulo.

“The visitor,” a silent figure enacted by the filmmaker, roams through three mega-cities, creating wordless encounters with random people, following a dramaturgy of chance, in which both the protagonist and the outcome of each story is not predetermined. First simply a mute presence, she becomes an intruder, friend and even beloved who shares the daily life of her protagonists, their sleeping places and their worries. Through this new presence in their life, not only does the loneliness of the  people becomes apparent, but, as the relation intensifies, the border between “I” and “the other” starts to blur.

The Visitor” was created entirely through un-staged improvisations with random encounters on the streets of the three cities. Without script, with no previous idea of what was going to happen, the filmmaker and her camerawoman threw themselves into some of the biggest metropolises in the world, trying to overcome borders of fear while examining and sometimes flipping narratives of South/North and East/West.

Katarina Schröter's original plan was to become a journalist. But because she mistrusted objective reporting, she instead became a director, actress and author for theatre and experimental cinema. She discovered filming in public space as a way to report about stories of our time while creating them. Katarina Schröter (1977) studied  acting in Leipzig, dramaturgy in Munich, did her Master in Performing Arts at Dasarts Amsterdam and worked amongst others for the National Theater Dresden, the Residenztheater Munich, the Campo theatre Gent, the Kaii-Theatre Brussels, the Brut Wien, the Melbourne International Arts Festival as a performer, director and author. From 2010 till 2013 she worked at the company of the Neumarkt Theater Zurich as a director, author and actress. Her work has been shown in various international festivals. “The Visitor" (2014), her first feature movie, successfully ran in cinema and on festivals worldwide.

Part of the Cities and Bodies colloquium. (no speaker, film only)

IMPORTANT: 494 Wurster is in the SOUTH Tower of Wurster Hall. If you are on the fourth floor in the North Tower you cannot walk across to the South Tower unless you go down to the third floor.  When you enter Wurster Hall's main (west) entrance, turn right and take the single elevators in the South Tower up to the fourth floor. If you take one of the double elevators you are in the North Tower.