Arbitrary control is a tool of power, as Molly and Holly, the Watchers in Loretta Fahrenholz’ new film “Two A.M“. (2016) are well aware. There is no logical explanation for what, when, and whom they watch. The unpredictability of these mind-readers is intentional. It is expressed in their violent mood swings. Loosely based on the exile novel After Midnight (1937) by Irmgard Keun, Loretta Fahrenholz’ screenplay and socio-fiction film presents frightening analogies to a contemporary world under the influence of surveillance, capitalism, and newly emerging fascism. In her novel, Keun describes two days in the life of a young woman, Sanna, in Nazi Germany. The brevity of the period covered by her story gives the novel a degree of concentration that enables the reader to experience that period of time as a state of being. Both rationally comprehensible fear and hysterical angst are palpable. In the film, continuous social control is diffuse and can only be managed with the aid of amphetamines—as was the case in Nazi Germany. Rearmament, forced labor in the Reichsarbeitsdienst, and blitzkrieg were inconceivable without speed. Fear, indolence, and paranoia cannot be channeled into modernization efforts without MDMA. While Sanna and her lover Franz appear to successfully escape in Keun’s novel, Molly and Holly pursue the couple into the night. There is no escaping the globalized world of total surveillance.
Loretta Fahrenholz produced the film Two A.M. for her first major institutional exhibition in Germany. Three other films will be presented in addition to this new work: Ditch Plains (2013), My Throat, My Air (2014), and Que Bárbara(2011). In her post-cinematic films, Fahrenholz documents the contemporary reality that is shaped by collective fictions, staging, and media communcation.
- Loretta Fahrenholz. Two A.M., 2016