The Magic Mountain

Eitan Efrat and Daniel Mann

4K video, color, surround 5.1, BE, 2020, 69′
by Daniel Mann and Eitan Efrat

Where landscapes are traditionally understood as two-dimensional representations, and as backdrops for grand anthropogenic histories, the Magic Mountain dwells on the material substrate that makes up the territory, and on the sometimes invisible and undetectable vibrant energies that actively participate in the doing and undoing of history. Zooming in on the surface of the land and entering into the ground itself where vision is utterly diminished, the film tackles the very limits of its own, confronting the inherent failure of capturing nature as a definitive picture. Where sight is obscured, vision also implies reworking experience in the world through imagination, and imagination’s expression in the creation of images.

Underground, where darkness prevails, the body becomes a sensor that absorbs the environment directly into the blood and lungs. Underground the conventional classification of five discrete senses, while intuitively appealing in that they relate to distinct organs and locations in the body, seems to be heading towards oblivion. No one sense operates independently of the others; instead, the body becomes a muscular-skeletal, organic and neurological whole. The Magic Mountain questions whether we can imagine a landscape that operates directly on the body by either healing or killing.

Camera Eitan Efrat
Editing Daniel Mann and Eitan Efrat
Additional editing Sirah Foighel Brutmann
Sound recording and arrangement Laszlo Umbreit
Sound mix Rémi Gerard at Empire Digital
Colour grading Miléna Trivier at Studio Bruits

Produced by Messidor
Producer Sirah Foighel Brutmann

Supported by Beursschouwburg Brussels; Argos centre for audiovisual arts Brussels; Empire Digital Brussels;
General Representation of the Government of Flanders in Poland and the Baltic States; Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds FilmLab