RATHER BLACK   [SCREEN]
INFLORESCENCE [SLOWLOOP-06]
2020, 2K DCP, 8' / ∞ INFINITE LOOP, 5.1, COLOR, 16:9 Info-Sheet

Autumn again on planet earth. A couple of rosy rose petals in eternal solidarity enduring great trouble of a heavy thunderstorm.
A Romantic Conceptualism Bedtime Fable of resistance&redundance, or the awkward ambivalence of truth, dream, life and love. Let‘s unite to inflorescence.

“They come, they come To build a wall between us
We know they won‘t win Don‘t let them win“

(1986, Neil Finn “Don’t Dream It’s Over”)

“Well, well, well, let us realize Oh, that a change can only come
When we Stand together as one, yeah, yeah, yeah”

(1985, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie “We Are the World”)

“We could fly so high, Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel you are all my brothers”

(1992, Michael Jackson “Heal the World”)

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Inflorescence seen through the eyes of Kai Hermann:

"The sky is grey, a thunderstorm is looming on the horizon, there is a threatening atmosphere. A limited landscape – probably a private garden – forms the entire cinematic scene. In the centre is a rose bush. Delicate, light pink and whitish flowers. Almost innocent. They are swaying in the wind, sometimes wildly, sometimes more gently – depending on the wind’s strength. The only sound is excerpts from “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House, in particular parts of the chorus on repeat, layered in a slow-mo effect as the scene continues.
Throughout the full eight minutes of Inflorescence, director Nicolaas Schmidt takes us to different places in a single scene. The viewer might catch themselves waiting for a twist or a change of location. Perhaps we will see the roses explode into pieces or simply leave the image. Perhaps a bolt of lightning will strike and the flowers will vanish completely. The possibilities are countless. In the end, it is a slightly nerve-wracking observation of a protagonist fighting against all the odds. Good against evil, David against Goliath, a tiny rose against the big storm.
This dramaturgy is strongly supported by the choice of soundtrack. Throughout the years, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” has cemented its place as an indie pop anthem of hope, love and, most importantly, resistance. A musical ode to never giving up on yourself. When things get tough, fight the storm and keep pushing on.
Most parts of the frame are filled with grey and earthy tones. The dark roof of a small house, the gloomy bushes, those strong trees and, of course, the aggressive sky. The only colourful and bright element is the family of roses. A symbol of otherness in a monotonous, dark world?
The roses perhaps portray the outcasts, the rebels. Those who are not willing to give up without a fight. Those who are aware that this fight, this storm, will not last forever. The winds will calm down, the clouds will vanish, the sky will turn blue and the sun will shine again. Until then, there is nothing more left to do other than hope. And, as much as the roses may look delicate and fragile, their inflorescence is a force of power, covered with thorns that are ready to protect the blossoms. A shield that the strongest storm will not destroy.

The beauty of Inflorescence lies in its multiple possibilities of interpretation. Each viewer will create their own story, whether political, metaphorical or simply personal. Nicolaas Schmidt serves us a visually tender film, filled with nostalgic vibes and a feeling of hope. Even the smallest, loneliest individual is strong enough to resist it all."


Kai Hermann, Berlinale Shorts
„Another seemingly simple film is German experimental film Inflorescence (Nicolaas Schmidt). A pink flower waves in the breeze as an extract from Crowded House’s ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ plays on an almost repeated loop. It first seems an exercise in nothing but absurdity, but as it goes on, the film morphs into a moving paean to the ability to stand one’s ground and keep hope, no matter what the circumstances.“
Laurence Boyce for Cineuropa

„A pink rose floats in the wind while a storm brews in the distance. Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over plays on a stuttering loop, reminding us not to let those who “build a wall between us” win. What could it possibly mean? The German flag in the background suggests the struggles of reunification, but this oddly compelling piece — perfect for museum installations — can be taken in a variety of ways.“
Redmond Bacon for Directors Notes

„Weitaus simpler angelegt, aber nicht weniger überzeugend ist Nicolaas „Inflorescence“: Acht Minuten lang sehen wir eine karg-graue Landschaft – und im Vordergrund eine Rose, die vom Wind durch das Bild getrieben wird- heftig durchgeschüttelt, aber standhaft. Dazu läuft der 1980er-Jahre-Hit „Don’t Dream It’s Over“ – verlangsamt, geloopt und verzerrt entwickelt er ungeahnte Kräfte. Ganz am Ende dieser hypnotischen acht Minuten steht ein unerwarteter politischer Appell, der hier aber nicht verraten werden soll.“
Fabian Wallmeier für RBB 24