Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

This is incomplete, terrifying. It is bereft of meaning, being lost in a box of decaying photographs, bound in a cage made of the white bars of a Polaroid picture. The soundtrack is reminiscent of Tom Waits at his most electric, a stuttering snarl of noise. There is dialogue that is itself little more than noise. There is movement that is little more than blurs.

Something is happening. Something bad, something that is not clear. There is a girl, a woman, enough to say she is, and then there is more; more of the nothing, more of the almost, more of the uncertainty.

The titular fawn is there, weak legged. Fragile, beginning, undeveloped. There is obesiance too, it seems, and a tinge of brown; the rub of nicotine and leaking vending machine cups in a 1970s actuarial office, a mixture of age and decay.

As part of the Glasgow Film Festival, Magic Lantern have been screening this film (among others) in the windows of old cinemas. Without sound it becomes an even more alien landscape, a nearly formless flicker. Director Christoph Rainer's work is so tightly tied, noise and shadow, that to cut back to subtitle alone, to lose the distorted audio is to set the audience even further adrift. It is incomplete, as if it were found footage, an almost stroboscopic stutter. With vision alone, panic sets in.

Unease. Disquiet. Foreboding. It leaks and jumps and squeaks and weighs ever more heavily. Are we as an audience trapped or complicit? Observer or participant? Is watching enough to make us involved? We can't know without knowing more, and we don't. We cannot help but feel the worst, we are invited to fall in that direction. That which is missing is darker in our imaginations, we hope. It could be worse. It may yet be.

Reviewed on: 24 Feb 2009
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From contours and shadows, the indistinct impression of a girl emerges from faint images that bode ill.

Director: Christoph Rainer

Writer: Christoph Rainer

Year: 2007

Runtime: 6 minutes

Country: Austria


Glasgow 2009

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