Drag Racing. A Popular Sport as a Revenant of American Mythology
Part of an artistic research project, the documentary film essay Motorcity (2022, 86 min.) examines the afterlives and revival of the tradition of automobile drag racing as they can be observed today in the US’s former car capitol Detroit. It analyzes social and economic backgrounds and motivations, as well as differences in American and European worldviews, and the living environment of a heterogeneous milieu is stylized into a cinematic narrative. The specific narrative is linked to broader questions about film and epistemology. Documentary film is a controversial category, oscillating between poetry and factuality, and pursuing two seemingly contradictory goals in the process: it produces its own cinematic reality while at the same time thematizing another, non-cinematic reality. The decisive feature of a reference to reality suggests a proximity to non-fictional literature, such as academic texts. The artistic research project also considers this relationship.
Arthur Summereder is a filmmaker, film editor, visual artist, and PhD researcher (University of Arts Linz). His work investigates the relationship between filmic representations of non-filmic realities and, more recently, specific aspects of mobility studies and metaphor theory in relation to film. He studied film and public art (e.g., at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Villa Arson, Nice) and has taught at universities in Austria and China.
Es ist streitbar, was einen guten Dokumentarfilm ausmacht oder ob diese Kategorie überhaupt noch sinnvoll ist. Ungeachtet dessen existiert eine Praxis des Filmemachens, die mit ausgesprochener Affinität zur Wirklichkeit operiert.