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Stephanie Winter & Salon Hybrid

Austria 2007

A ride in the Paternoster allows three types of movements: upwards, downwards but also circular. Without slowing down or halting it picks up the passengers and drops them off again. They and not the engine decide when the ride is over. In Stephanie Winter‘s Paternoster it is the audience who determines not only the beginning and end of the film, but also its plot and duration. The artist has put the vertical principle of an endlessly rotating elevator in relation to the horizontal continuum of a circle, creating an enigmatic ensemble of images, which rejects the common perception of cinematic storytelling. Twelve filmic miniatures are exposed to a temporal and spatial but at the same time narrative frailty and arbitrariness.


Paternoster is full of riddles and cracks but still not a puzzle leading to only one possible solution. Protagonists seem to lay a thread through the labyrinth, but they are just tempting trails, their traces soon to be lost again. The audience is free to and indeed must construct its own version through intuition by spatially leaving the security of the circular line, contextualizing not only the Before and After, but also the Now of each frame itself. A hotel – a place of alienation and constant transiti- on – supplies the narrative background for this open composition, creating a cosmos of chilled and erratic poetry in different rooms, at the reception or at the bar, gliding off into dark corners of fears and nightmares, eventually leading towards a feast of color and imagination, through endless cycles within a disturbingly beautiful poem.

by Karin Schiefer,  Austrian Film Comission

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