Driven through the day by sound – On Krešimir Golik’s Od 3 do 22

Agnès Varda’s Cléo de 5 à 7 follows a woman in real-time, showing her psychological transformation as she faces the possibility of having cancer. One and a half hours of Cléo’s shifting ideas about herself, reflections on her past life, flowing self-interpretations, relentless outbursts of monologues, heated dialogues, and highly expressive images accompany the process. 

Od 3 do 22 also follows a woman, but unlike Varda’s iconic work, it is not the fictionalization of a life-changing moment, but a documentation of a day in the life of Smilja Glavaš, a young mother with a determined face and a worker at the Pobjeda textile factory in Zagreb.

Unlike in Varda’s work, Od 3 do 22 does not show the protagonist’s day in real-time, but condenses 19 hours into a little more than 10 minutes. Yet similarly to Varda, Golik shows time as it is perceived by the female figure. In this case, time is not filled with self-interpretation and self-reflection, it is measured by work, leaving no space for a personality to evolve. Time passes by in the repetitive nature of the worker’s actions.

She is awakened by the alarm clock and from that moment, noises dictate her rhythm. At home, it is her child’s murmur that calls Smilja to work, outside it is the buzz of the city, while the clatter and whistle of factory machinery chase her through her hours of labour. Back home the work continues, the child’s sounds are only in the background of chopping, peeling and cooking, washing, flushing, and drying. As the day ends, the ticking of the clock returns and becomes another sound in the incessant chain of noises. 

A whole day goes by without hearing Smilja talk, and the lack of speech is not a stylized exaggeration. There is no place for talking in her day, it consists exclusively of work. The monotony of her routine is set to the tempo of a metronome; in order to keep up with it, her movements need to become automatic and discussion or self-expression would merely be a distraction. 

Each of her steps has its place in the day and her gestures never last longer than possible. She is not simply in a hurry, but every movement has to fit in a tight schedule and therefore she has to be constantly conscious of time. Each movement of her body is tightly calibrated, she can never allow herself to ponder life; she always has to be alert. When she sits on the bus, she doesn’t seem to observe the city or to contemplate, but rather looks forward to the following moment. Each second is about the next one, each thought of hers is about the next station of the day. 

Motherhood is often associated with a similar kind of awareness, but what we see in Smilja’s case is rather the enforced alertness of the worker. Her role as a mother is completely subordinated to that of a working woman, her relationship to the child is about taking care of his needs, rather than giving him attention. She wakes him up, gets him dressed, feeds him, and locks him in the dark house alone while she goes to work. From a middle-class perspective in the age of parenting books and baby-monitors, such a practice appears like an act of shocking negligence.

It was probably even more extreme to see, one day after watching Pedro Almodóvar’s Madres paralelas, a film that shows motherhood and, above all, womanhood as a role that bears the responsibility not only for the child but for the whole of society as well. In Almodóvar’s film, Penélope Cruz is closely watching her baby on a baby monitor. Smilja’s situation encompasses an entirely different culture and society, in which her solution, or the lack thereof, was neither uncommon nor avoidable. It’s integral to this way of life, which is the experience of separation: separation from spare time, separation from relaxed concentration and, most importantly, separation from the child.


PATRICK HOLZAPFEL: Es geht dich nichts an, woher ich komme, wenn ich da bin, bin ich da. Heute wollen alle wissen, woher man kommt, aber mich interessiert mehr, wohin man geht. Wenn ich im Kino bin, komme ich von Nirgendwo, ich könnte überall herkommen und so soll es auch sein. Nur über das Kino habe ich genug gelogen, vielleicht auch, weil ich dort niemand erklären musste, woher ich komme. Ich war ganz einfach da, ganz so wie der Film, den wir sahen und das war alles, was zählte. So würde ich gern leben: als ob ich ins Kino ginge. Ich würde nicht handeln, nur wachsen. Es macht einen Unterschied, woher man kommt, werden alle sagen und obwohl ich ihnen nicht widerspreche, möchte ich meinen Weg für mich behalten. Du kannst selbst beurteilen, ob es geregnet hat, wo ich herkomme, oder ob die Sonne schien.

ANNA BABOS: After a day spent writing on my laptop, I want to use the walk to the cinema to look around, to see what surrounds me, not on the screen but in the world. Yet, I can’t help the bad habit of looking to the ground, looking at my feet as I put them one after another. It is quite understandable, my eyes got used to looking at a shorter distance, the 50 cm between my eyes and the laptop’s screen. So, I need a little bit of time to get used to the meters and kilometers of distance you can see when looking down the street. I also flirt with the idea that it’s maybe necessary for my brain, that it’s my body’s self-defense mechanism, since looking at the sidewalks and this monotone movement of mine is just a kind of brainwash, which helps me keep a distance from the work and the concerns of the day. It may be good for meditation but it’s sad to miss out on the vividness of one’s environment. In the end, the day’s highlight is coming out of the cinema, setting my eyes free.

ANDREW CHRISTOPHER GREEN: I rarely ever watch films at the cinema, but the past week on account of my being in Berlin I’ve taken a taxi from work to go to the Arsenal. They’ve programmed a series of films written by Yoko Mizuki and Sumie Tanaka and directed by Mikio Naruse. My job entails preparing a set of previews and checklists for upcoming fairs and exhibitions. The days have grown into twelve-hour stints. My boss sits next to me and tells me to shrink this image, move that one, make this one bigger, find a detail of this work… it’s like my spine has fused with the desktop I’m working on and his commands are also controlling the expansion and contraction of my stomach muscles. I don’t have any more thoughts by the time I get into the taxi. My mind is totally blank and I can experience it all without my thinking getting in the way. Thankfully my passivity doesn’t get taken advantage of; Naruse is a generous director. He’s neither manipulative nor calling attention to himself or the techniques he’s employing. Everything about his films and the sad stories they tell is incredibly subdued. And so, in the mornings, when I sit in the garden cafe at the Literaturhaus and journal what happened in the film the night before, it’s like I’m recalling a dream, surprised to discover that what has cast a mood over the day was all a product of the imagination.

DAVID PERRIN: Waren es nicht eher die langsamen hinausgezögerten Heimwege, nach dem Erlebnis eines Films, die mich aufatmen ließen, als die Wege ins Kino? Wenigstens war das fast immer meine Erfahrung und es war nicht so sehr ein Ins-Kino-Gehen, als ein Ins-Kino-Flüchten. Flüchten wovor? Vor allem möglichen: dem Lärm der Stadt; dem stumpfsinnigen Ich-Gefühl, das man überall mit sich herumtragen muss und den täglichen Fehlern, die man begeht; dem formlosen Wirrwarr der Gesten, in denen jeder Griff nach einem Gegenstand (einem Bleistift, einer Kaffeetasse) ins Dunkel geriet, wo jeder Schritt mit einem Stolpern ins Nichts bedroht ist.

Wie schön und selbstverständlich die Welt einem schließlich erscheint, wenn man mit neugeborenen Augen zuschauen kann wie ungeschickt und unbeholfen der James Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance als Kellner herumhantiert und fummelt und man spürt, wie die im Körper angesammelte Spannung sich endlich auflöst. Man tritt aus dem Kino und ist einverstanden mit seinem Dasein, spürt eine Empfindung des Getragen-Werdens, des Auf- und Anblickens der Welt, während man sich langsam auf dem Heimweg macht.

Doch es gab auch Wege ins Kino, die mich beflügelten und mir mein Lebensgefühl zurückgaben. Zum Beispiel, dieser Septembertag vor drei Jahren auf dem Weg ins Filmmuseum in Wien und mein kurzer Spaziergang davor im Burggarten: das warme Licht des Sonnenuntergangs; die auf den Grasflächen spielenden Kindern und die Erinnerung an die längst aus den Augen verlorenen Freuden der Kindheit; das Rauschen der Bäume und das Zwitschern der unsichtbaren Spatzen in den Ästen; das Flugzeug im Himmel und die dünnen hingehauchten Wolken; der wehende Wind zwischen meinen ausgespreizten Fingern und schließlich das Herbstgefühl, das sich einstellte und das mit jedem neuen Blick bestärkt wurde und wo ich dann dachte: Ja, das ist das wirkliche Kino. 

Und dann auch in einer anderen Stadt, zu einer anderen Jahreszeit, das Aufleuchten der Glühwürmchen im Friedhof gegenüber des Anthology Film Archives. Kleine Lichtpunkte, die in der Dämmerung vom Boden senkrecht in der Luft schwebten und bei diesem Anblick, das Gefühl, das der Tag, trotz der späten Zeit, erst jetzt wirklich anfing. Ein Bild, das ich mit ins Kino hineinbrachte. 

Und dann auch, schon wieder in einer anderen Stadt, das Leuchten des Schnees auf dem Asphalt, die wirbelnden Flocken in der Abendluft, die Kreischen der Vorortzüge in der Bahnsenke da unten und das allein stehende Kind, das auch ich einst war, vor dem Kino, dessen Türen noch geschlossen sind.

RONNY GÜNLGegenüber den architektonisch beeindruckenden Filmpalästen haben mich immer jene abseitigen Kinos angezogen, die sich etwas schüchtern in den schmuddeligen Nebengassen versteckten. Sie erscheinen erst auf den zweiten oder dritten Blick, während man durch eine noch fremde Stadt schlendert. Man durchstreift die Straßen in einem fiebrigen Gemisch aus Überforderung und Gelassenheit und plötzlich funkeln sie unversehens auf. Ihre schweigsame Präsenz erweckt den Anschein, als könnten sie den ganzen Trubel um sich herum aufsaugen.

Kinos anderer Städte zu besuchen, besitzt den anrüchigen Geschmack, ein Geheimnis zu entdecken. Das, mit dem man zu Hause so vertraut zu sein scheint. So sehr, dass sich sein magischer Schleier zu einem Nebel des Alltäglichen verwandelt hat. Zuhause ins Kino zu gehen geschieht selten spontan und noch weniger beiläufig. Zu oft ähnelt der Gang dem belanglosen Charakter einer alltäglichen Besorgung. Er verflüchtigt sich erst in dem Augenblick des Innehaltens, während man, angekommen am Kino, die vorübergehenden Menschen betrachtet.

Der Weg zum Kino ebnet sich, als warte man darauf, dass endlich irgendetwas passiert.

Ich trauere diesen verlorenen Gelegenheiten reumütig hinterher, als ich selbst ein fremdes Kino passiere. „Hätte ich denn etwas Besseres zu tun gehabt als ins Kino zu gehen?“, frage ich mich. Das Kino ist geschlossen, stelle ich mit einem Blick ins dunkle Innere durch die Fenster enttäuscht fest.

SEBASTIAN BOBIK: In the 1980s my mother lived in a small apartment in Santiago de Chile, right above a cinema called “Cine Arte Normandie”. She often tells me about her life then and the neon sign on the building across the street that would illuminate her bedroom at night. She loved to go downstairs at midnight or even 2 in the morning and take a seat in the theatre to watch films. The cinema itself was considered an arthouse theatre and she can recall experiences like seeing the films of Ingmar Bergman or Blue Velvet there for the first time. Whenever she tells me these stories of the small apartment and Cinema Normandy I can’t help but romanticise it and imagine what it would be like if I could live right above that cinema. I envision a warm summer night with an open window and the noise of traffic. My way to the cinema is the shortest I could wish for. I close the window of my bedroom and head through the kitchen and out of the door. I make sure I lock it and leave. Then all it takes is two flights of stairs that I rush down. Sometimes I meet neighbours on my way. They might be returning from a dinner they had in a restaurant or going out to a discotheque. I head past them and to the ground floor. There is a small ticket counter there. The young woman selling tickets already knows me. I come here all the time. I buy a ticket and immediately head into one of the small screening rooms. Except for me there are three or four, sometimes even five more people there, who are also curious spectators of the night. The room is rather small, the chairs have a leather cover that is already worn off in some places. During the summer it occasionally gets too hot, but in the evenings, it cools down again. We take our seats; the lights dim and the screen begins to shine. I dream of this being my personal way to the cinema, but I will probably never live this dream. These days the Cinema Normandy does not exist in the same building in which my mother lived anymore. It has moved to another location in Santiago. They still show films there.

IVANA MILOŠ: Sometimes I wonder what I enjoyed more – the path or the arrival. Racing on my bike through Vienna’s first district or towards Zagreb’s Tuškanac forest, almost falling over myself more often than not, another welcome addition to the gallery of screwball comedy characters I tend to keep close to heart. Always, always, a coil of unique energy unraveling in me, something close to a high, all just because I am about to meet the cinema. Something akin to that rapturous sensation of nurturing an age-long unrequited love in the very last moment of hope that it may be returned. Swift delight suffused with a sense of jubilation because I will meet those who will not talk back, where I myself will be able to remain silent while they enter my bloodstream. What makes up the shimmering embers of anticipation? What turns me into a firefly about to glow in the dark? None of these thoughts are present in the moment, they rear their heads only upon reflection. The moment itself is free, full of unknowing, and perhaps that is its saving grace. It is a gentle kind of craving about to be transformed by whatever emerges from the darkness. It is a secret, and my last footsteps towards the cinema are of the secretive sort. After the race, a moment of calm settles in. I got here early; I have ten minutes to spare. Depending on the fickle nature of my infatuation for what is to come, I will spend them lingering, loitering, and shuffling my feet awkwardly, or staring at objects, clouds, the sun or the rain. What I will never do is seek out attention or company. This is my own journey, and it does not end with the arrival to the cinema. Even if I meet someone I know inside and we end up seeing the film together, I have already set sail for what will live on in me a long time ago. Back when I started hurriedly throwing on clothes and urging my bike on as if it were a mythical horse of inexhaustible energy, back when leaves were flying in my wake as the first autumnal screenings filled up the first film theaters, back when the spring put a spring in my step as I breathed in the blossoms on my route over the Ringstraße, back when I fostered the kind of memories ready to disappear the moment I enter the darkness enveloped.

SIMON PETRI: There is no time to go home and detach the trailer carrying 20-30 kilograms of posters yet to be distributed or hanged on fences. Moreover, how could I lock the bicycle in a way that also protects the trailer and the posters? Maybe I can push it into the dumpster storage of the Film Museum’s café? The staff will surely be over the moon when I tell them the idea. And would the posters soak up the smell? It would be the 4D revolution of advertisement. On the other hand, imagine that weight behind me and how it accelerates my ride down Mariahilfer Straße. People would have to jump away in fright from the unhinged cyclist, pacing down with a psychotic look on his face, hoping to get to the cinema punctually. After a certain tempo, most of the posters would fly out of the trailer anyway. The kindly pedant citizens of Vienna would pick up the posters and put them on the fences, surrounding the ugly construction sites on Mariahilfer Straße. And everything would be fine in the end.

SIMON WIENERAuf dem Weg ins Kino geht mir durch den Kopf, was im Kino alles schief gehen könnte. Man hört von Menschen, die vom einen Moment auf den anderen ohne Fremdeinwirkung erblinden. Daran denke ich fast immer, wenn ich den Saal betrete, und meine schon leise ein Säuseln in den Augen zu vernehmen, ärgere mich ob der Schlieren, die mein Blickfeld durchziehen und langsam nach unten wandern. Skeptisch begutachte ich sie und warte fingertrommelnd darauf, dass sie sich konzentrisch ausbreiten, das Blickfeld in einen Nebel verwandeln. Auch eine Migräne beginnt mit Sehstörungen. Obwohl ich nur selten daran leide, glaube ich sie oft während des Vorspannes sich ankündigen zu sehen und blinzle abwechselnd mit den Augen, um zu kontrollieren, ob da nicht eine Unschärfe, ein blinder Fleck die Leinwand befallen hat. Was, wenn mich mitten in der Vorstellung ein Schwindel befiele, vom vielen ungewohnten Hochschauen vielleicht, oder von der Konzentriertheit dieser Farben, die mich unsanft überschwemmen; wenn ich das Bewusstsein verlöre, einen Herzanfall bekäme, und matt zur Seite sackte? Ein Zuschauer hinter mir vernähme wohl nichts Ungewöhnliches an meinem Absacken und glaubte viel eher, ich wäre eben zur Seite gerückt, um so angenehmer oder andächtiger die Leinwand beobachten zu können; staunte vielleicht gar anerkennend, dass jemand diesem Schrottfilm eine solche Andächtigkeit entgegenbrachte. Selbst ein stundenlanges Verharren in dieser Schräglage fiele nicht auf, und nach dem Film, nach dem Wiedereinschalten der Lichter, meinte der Zuschauer, ich wolle eben auch den Abspann nicht verpassen, wolle meinen Gedanken zum Film eben nachhängen, nicht gestört werden, die Augen geschlossen, den Mund schräg geöffnet; sei halt dem Film gänzlich verfallen, hätte mich ihm mit Inbrunst gewidmet, und müsse ihn nun, so wie sich das eben gehöre, erst einmal verarbeiten.

JAMES WATERS: 23.05.21 – On this day, I watched the new restoration of Chun gwong cha sit for the expressed purpose of hearing its final needle drop in a cinema setting. I remember driving with my Mum to see it, arriving 10 minutes late and in the wrong cinema.I wasn’t sure, upon arriving home, if the cinema setting benefitted the song in any way. The desire for the big screen when watching it at home was stronger than any feelings from the cinema itself. I only remember the before – rushing up the stairs in a way that makes me shudder when thinking about it – and after. It’s the type of running one does when they’re about to miss a train, its cinematic equivalent an exasperated self-deception that “the ads surely must still be playing”, only to resignedly sink into a cinema seat realising that 15 minutes have already gone by.

Then afterwards, there was the disappointment at not having The Turtles’ eponymous song ringing in my ears. After this point I made three strict rules for myself:

  • When watching a film for the first time, always watch it in the cinema
  • Don’t sit and watch a film whose first 10 minutes you’ve missed, it’s like being dragged from a runaway train
  • When watching something at home on a repeat viewing, don’t get up from the film

28.08.2021 – As of today, I haven’t followed these rules, and even when I have, the dividing line between a “cinematic” and “living” space is non-existent. But were they ever? Here are two photos where – given the time of day – the befores and afters of each film (watched for the first time and not in a cinema) felt unaffected by the same, relatively unchanged daylight. Or is it that the daylight felt unaffected by the film’s end? The screen, in these and many other cases, appeared darker than ever. 

(20.08, watching Das Mädchen und die Spinne by Ramon and Silvan Zürcher)
(26.08, watching One Plus One 2 by C.W. Winter and Anders Edström)