Train Again (2021)

Peter Tscherkassky

Train Again Peter Tscherkassky Austria35mm > digital20 min 2021

An ecstatic work of superimposition by a master of materialism, Peter Tscherkassky’s Train Again conjures the thrill and spectacle of early cinema, while paying tribute to his late contemporary Kurt Kren. – TIFF

Train Again is a phantom ride through the engine room of the seventh art, a ceremony of the (violent) mechanics of railway vehicles and image transporters. Tscherkassky flits through the history of the filmic avant-garde, conceiving his work as a centrifuge of quotations from the pantheon of visionary cinema. He conjures heaven and hell, embarking on a collision course fearlessly bound for the apocalyptic. One could call this highly complex and simultaneously elemental film a darkroom action experiment, an underground blockbuster, or a kinetic painting in a thousand shades of grey. It is woven out of twitching film frames, flashing light, and spectacularly collapsing motifs—a concrete abstract cinema of meta-attractions and frenzy. Train Again is an ecstatic ode to the fragility and explosive force of the medium. – Stefan Grissemann

Streaming Details

This film is available to stream in Canada.

Program Partners

This film is co-presented with sixpackfilm.

Image credits: all artworks, stills, and portraits courtesy of artist © Peter Tscherkassky and sixpackfilm. Special thanks to Dietmar Schwärtzler and Gerard Weber.

about the artist

Peter Tscherkassky (Austria) is a filmmaker, theorist, and curator born in Vienna in 1958. He grew up between Enzersfeld and Mistlebach, and attended Kalksburg College (1969–1975) before obtaining diplomas in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Vienna (1977). He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Vienna (1983). His first encounter with avant-garde film occurred during a five-day lecture and screening series delivered by P. Adams Sitney at the Austrian Film Museum (1978). He has completed 30+ films since 1980, including Parallel Space: Inter-View (1992), L’Arrivée (1998), Outer Space (1999), Dream Work (2001), Coming Attractions (2010), and The Exquisite Corpse (2015), which have widely exhibited at festivals, museums, and galleries internationally, including the Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam, New York, Toronto, London, and Melbourne Film Festivals, Künstlerhaus Wien, Mori Art Museum, European Media Art Festival, Tate Modern, the Louvre, and five previous editions of Media City Film Festival, including a retrospective screening in 2005 where he met his long-time partner, the American filmmaker Eve Heller. Tscherkassky is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film, Venice Film Festival (1988, 2010); Illy Prize, Cannes Film Festival (2015); Prize for Innovative Cinema, Diagonale (1999); Grand Prize, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2002); and the Austrian Art Prize for Film (1996). He co-founded the Austrian Filmmakers Cooperative (1982) together with VALIE EXPORT, Peter Weible, Moucle Blackout, Marc Adrian, and others. Tscherkassky is also a co-founding member of UFVA – Unabhängiger Film & Video Austria (1984) and sixpackfilm (1990), one of Europe’s most significant distributors of artists’ film. His writings have appeared in numerous journals, periodicals, and publications. He is editor of Film Unframed: A History of Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema (2012), the first English language publication dedicated to the historical and aesthetic evolution of the subject. A monograph on his extensive body of work Peter Tscherkassky (2005) was published by the Austrian Film Museum. He lives and works in Vienna, Austria.