ZWEIUNDDREISSIG RICHTUNGEN DER WINDROSE
A movie by Guido Wenzl
Germany 1994/95 60 min 16 mm col.
THE DIRECTIONS OF THE WINDROSE shows how a film expedition is confronted
with extremes that pushes them and the project to the limit: from 180
meters below sea level (CERN in Switzerland) to 5200 meter above sea level
(in Tibet), the film traces the extensive filming surrounding TRANSATLANTIS.
Filming which demanded the ultimate commitment from the team and the actors.
It is an extraordinary filming of a vision, not only in regard to the
artistic, but as well as the organisational implementation.
Christian Wagner's last film WALLERS LETZTER GANG (Wallers last trip)
was very successful. His latest film, TRANSATLANTIS, tells the tale of
a personal search for the lost continent of Atlantis and takes the main
character, NEUFFER, to the highest peaks in the world: to the Himalayas,
to the "roof of the world". The idea that Atlantis is not truly
lost causes NEUFFER and with him the entire film crew to embark on an
unusual journey. Its end is an insurmountable obstacle. This journey,
with its difficulties and impediments, its fascination and beauty are
documented in THE DIRECTIONS OF THE WINDROSE.
The documentary examines questions regarding the essence and purpose of
such a complex undertaking in an original way. It follows the development
of the idea, work with the actors, the elaborate production and extreme
difficulties encountered during filming in the Alps, trekking in Nepal,
and, finally, after having reached the "roof of the world" in
Tibet. It includes observations of the efforts and struggles with the
actual filming and extreme conditions involved with sending a film crew
supported by sixty porters into the Himalayas. It presents the search
for unusual images in deserted regions as a means of tracing the secrets
of Atlantis and thus the reason for our existence.
In a homogeneous style, the documentary combines the different levels
of observation during filming, statements from the participants, and quotes
from the film excerpts to weave a creative flowing documentary narrative.
In addition to the classic 16 mm film and Betacam formats, a small Hi8
camera was used under extreme con-ditions. This medium gives an air of
authenticity to "being able to observe events unobserved" and
generates a very intimate atmosphere. The documentary's suspense is created
by the complex interweaving of background information, moods, and statements
of the most important participants, the director and author, Christian
Wagner (Wallers letzter Gang), the well-known Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski,
the famous cameraman Thomas Mauch (Aguirre, Fitzcarraldo), Peter Przygodda
(Chief editor for Wim Wenders) and many others.
Through a composition of visual and acoustic transitions, THE DIRECTIONS
OF THE WINDROSE excites the viewer's curiosity through smooth documentary
narrative with its accompanying pictures and interviews that are presented
without comment. This curiosity goes beyond the feature format of a
standard TV documen-tary. The fantastic pictures of the original locations
attest to the documentary's optical independence. It is a film in its