It has only taken me two short films to reach the conclusion that German filmmaker Alexander Tuschinski is not your ordinary filmmaker. Having only been introduced to Tuschinski by, well, Tuschinski himself as a result of the completion of his latest short film The Songwriter of Botnang, I was perhaps not quite prepared for Tuschinski's reputation as one of Germany's more avant-garde cinematic voices.
Woyzeck, not to be confused with Herzog's 1979 film by the same name, seals the deal. Tuschinski is, indeed, one of Germany's most unique, inspired, and one could easily say avant-garde cinematic voices.
He's also pretty incredible.
Woyzeck is a pretty incredible film to watch, a 13-minute short film currently available for viewing on Amazon Prime that wraps itself one central question - How much can a simple man endure until he loses his humanity?
It's a simple question, though a powerful one, and the way that Tuschinski brings it to life here is nothing short of mesmerizing and wildly thought-provoking even though, or perhaps because, Tuschinski crafts the film as a silent film that actually looks and feels like a silent film.
Tuschinski utilizes an antiquated, scratchy yet hypnotic original score that hints at militarism and allegiance and fits perfectly with everything that unfolds on the screen as brought to life by the fantastic Thomas Goersch, Julia Csatary, and Dirk Helbig along with the rest of the film's terrific ensemble. Tuschinski's lensing for the film is impeccable and he also handles the film's precise, effective editorial work.
There's no question that Woyzeck won't appeal to everyone, though avant-garde filmmaking never does and I'll take a genuinely unique, creative spirit any day over the usual Hollywood dreck. Woyzeck is an inspired effort, its message coming through loud and clear amidst the silence that says so much. For true cineastes, it should be considered a must-see.