Morgen ist Heute Gestern

The short-film Morgen ist Heute Gestern (tomorrow is today yesterday) is the result of 7 students teaming up to complete a second semester video-coursework assignment for their Media Informatics studies. Everything in this film is selfmade, including the music. Our script is based on the cassandra complex which denotes the ability to foresee the future but being unable to change it. As such, our film has a similar theme to Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys (1995) or James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). Visually, we were obviously influenced by movies like Run Lola Run (1998) and Pulp Fiction (1994). Another influence (at least for me) was Wes Craven’s Shocker (1989) which features a great sequence of characters travelling through tv-channels.

The main idea in our interpretation of the cassandra complex is to have a tv presenter reading the news of the future. Our main character realizes that his tv broadcasts personalized news of his own future. Throughout the 15 minutes of the film he changes his attitude from non-active over reactive to proactive. This composition produces an accelerating pace of the plot which gears up towards the climax of the story.

The film has no dialogues and the few spoken words are those of the tv presenter reading the news to the main character. We decided to do this for two reasons:

  1. it mimics the traditional mass media producer-consumer pattern
  2. not having to deal with spoken words helped us to concentrate on the production processes that we wanted to learn about

Morgen ist Heute Gestern won the “Harzer Medienpreis 1999” which was proclaimed by Hochschule Harz, Harzer Volksstimme, Freizeit & Tourismus Center Halberstadt and the mayors of the cities of Wernigerode and Halberstadt. They never proclaimed the prize again, which makes it a kind of small one-off thing. But on the evening of the 16.7.1999 the 2 hours competition was shown to about 400 paying customers in the local cinema and it felt absolutely thrilling! Thanks to Prof. Wolfgang Kissel and Karl-Heinz Burbank for initiating that event. The film has been broadcasted on the open channels of Saxony-Anhalt in the weeks after the event.

You can find production notes on the project website (hosted by my friend Frank Rößler). Unfortunately the film doesn’t seem to be availble on his site anymore, but a third party amateur movie website called Kanal Global (not YouTube as this was 1999/2000 ;)) claims to host the film in its member section.

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