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Low Definition Control – Malfunctions # 0
dir. Michael Palm / Austria 2011 / 95’
subtitles: Polish and English

Film description

This experimental documentary examines a dimension of visual culture that is pervasive, yet all too easy to miss in the everyday – the recording of our lives by various industrial cameras. Compiled from fragments of public space security footage, photoradar cameras, brain scans and ultrasounds, Low Definition Control offers a neo-futurist monochrome vision akin to science fiction. Yet, this is science fact. The incessant recording of modern life imposes conformist behaviors, intensifies vanity, delimits normality, and defines suspicion and risk. Our public behavior is under constant surveillance and everything that goes outside certain norms, no matter how trivial, is potentially suspicious – such as stopping a bit too long in one place to eat a sandwich. By analogy, every unexpected physical feature picked up by a CAT scan is also treated as a potential risk. We live in a panopticon, argues Michael Palm argues in this visionary study of control, which he sees as extending in all directions through omnipresent cameras. Palm leaves us to pondering the implications of unabated surveillance. What future we are making for ourselves in a world of digital omniscience?

Prepared by: Ewa Szabłowska

Information about director

Michael Palm

Born in 1965 Austrian filmmaker, editor, film composer and theoretican. Publishes on the theory and aesthetics of film and cinema. Lectures at the University of Vienna, the Technical University of Vienna and at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna

Selected filmography

2001 Sea Concrete Human (short)

2004 Edgar G. Ulmer – The Man Off-screen (doc.)

2006 The Mozart Minute (doc., short)

2009 Laws of Physics (short)

2009 Body Trail (short)

2011 Low Definition Control – Malfunctions # 0 (doc.)


Prepared by: Ewa Szabłowska


director: Michael Palm
screenplay: Michael Palm
cinematography: Michael Palm
editing: Michael Palm
music: Trevor Duncan, Maurice Ravel
producer: Johannes Hammel
production: Hammelfilm
sales: Sixpack Film
language: German, English
colouration: b&w
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