filmmakermagazine, 07.07.2015

"Medium-Length Highs Over Fragmented Landscapes"
Michael Pattison

"(...) Chief among the medium-length highs this year were Boaz Levin and Ryan S. Jeffery’s All That is Solid Melts into Data and Alex Gerbaulet’s Shift. (...) Fluctuations abound in Gerbaulet’s film. A darkly comic investigation into family, labor and state, this half-hour cine-poem frames autobiography against secret histories in uncovering the last half-century of Salzgitter, an ostensibly ordinary German town that, between 1937 and 1945, was home to Reichswerke Hermann Göring — a tellingly named industrial complex and economic stronghold for the Nazis. Both works are typical of what is by now a familiar kind of essay film: found and original images stitched into a narrative logic and narrated by an actor whose detached, third-person voiceover creates a triangular mode of address between filmmaker, viewer and the various topics at hand. Each film is by turns authoritative and speculative, subjective and objective, deadpan and ironic, focused and meandering, verbose and tongue-tied, lucid and ambiguous, disciplined and self-indulgent."