Perfect Black 2017 - 2018

Director: Tom Fröhlich | Documentary | ca. 80 min.

Five people reveal their interpretation of the perfect black and explain their search for it.

The story begins with a view through a vast telescope in the Thuringian Forest. Dr Eike Günther, an astrophysicist specializing in discovering Earth-like planets, is on nightshift. But he’ll never find perfect black in the real universe as it only exists as a definition on paper.

Gerhard Wiesbeck is a tattoo artist. Getting a tattoo is a moment when the mask comes off, a moment of love, he says – and returns to the totally black pattern he is producing on his client’s back. His speciality is to colour bodies completely black.

Even in the depths of the ocean where light cannot penetrate, life still exists. The aphotic or ‘midnight’ zone is explored by marine biologists like Professor Antje Boetius. The black depths are her home.

Can you hear black? There are a handful of synaesthetes who associate colours with sounds. Perceiving colours as feelings is a rare phenomenon; hearing colours is almost unique. But Katja Krüger has this ability. And being a musician, she can make these sounds audible, even if she’s the only one who can feel them.

If you dedicate your life to death, you’re surrounded by black. But that’s a popular misconception, says Dorothea Stockmar, artist and formerly part of the hospice movement. Everything in life is colourful – including mourning and death. Perfect black is far more important than life or death, for by giving everything a shape it enables us to see things.

What is perfect black? The answer might be that it doesn’t exist. The five protagonists’ search for meaning is a metaphor for all the moments in which we think we know the answer.

 

Perfect Black VR

Perfect Black VR is an attempt to create a new experiential dimension. Our aim is to go beyond the limitations of the film by translating Perfect Black into a 360° VR experience with 3D surround sound, enabling perfect black to be experienced.

Wearing their choice of video headset and headphones, people can look anywhere in the 360° sphere surrounding them. If they like, they can use a controller to steer the narrative and play an interactive part. Perfect Black VR is a 360° experience in a designed virtual world. Thematically, the experience deals with the ‘perfect black’ of the documentary film. Users immerse themselves in the world of our protagonists and experience their interpretation of perfect black close-up, enhancing the associations between the film and the VR experience.

Script:

Tom Fröhlich

Photography:

Michael Throne

Producer:

Jürgen Kleinig, Neue Celluloid Fabrik

Funding:

Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung MDM