Erwin

Instead of living in his house, Erwin spends most of his time right next to it – in a mobile home outfitted with his laptop, bed, coffee machine and television. Jan Soldat's portrait of the 58-year-old man likewise concentrates the essential in one small space and altogether avoids the ornamental accessories characteristic of standard home visiting documentaries. The conversation unfolds within a few soberly framed takes. Erwin shows the filmmaker his current web-cam set-up for sex chats, tells him about the two loves of his life (plus providing care for their female partners and children), familial fall-outs, and worries about impending governmental cuts to his poverty assistance. Like many of Soldat's films, Erwin takes sexual routine as its point of departure. Desire is not on display or interpreted, but instead captured as integral to common and insufficiently documented forms of lifestyle and relationship. These forms of relationship include the filmic encounter between the filmmaker and the subject he is portraying: Restrictive biographical formulas are avoided through the combination of Soldat's friendly, direct questions and Erwin's concentrated willingness to provide information and pleasure performing for the camera. Erwin's staging of himself as a "horny pig" tugging on his nipple clamps, his sexual fantasies involving his own father, the hardships of typical gay life in rural Austria as of the 1970s, territorial and social isolation inside a shuttered mobile home with a laptop serving as the only window – each piece coexists equally in the film, without one telling more about Erwin than the other. By the time a naked ass bids us farewell, Erwin has already made clear that here exposure serves the aim of self-determination and making contact. (Joachim Schätz)

Translation: Eve Heller

Orig. Title
Erwin
Year
2020
Country
Austria
Duration
16 min
Director
Jan Soldat
Category
Documentary
Orig. Language
german
Downloads
Erwin_01 (Image)
Credits
Director
Jan Soldat
Concept & Realization
Jan Soldat
Production
Jan Soldat
Available Formats
DCP 2K (Distribution Copy)
Format of Picture
4:3
Format of Sound
mono
Picture Frequency
25 fps
Format of Color
colour