Director: Johann Lurf

Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival


A film that defies easy explanation, ? is filmmaker Johann Lurf’s inventive examination of how outer space has been portrayed in movies.

You don’t have to be a scientist to find space fascinating. Few things in the universe have enthralled, perplexed, and inspired such a diverse group of people, from astronomers and philosophers to artists and ordinary people walking at night. Artists were so inspired by the heavens that they created artwork of celestial objects—even when you see a “photo” of other planets and stars, it is often an artist’s rendering.

Lurf playfully shows how cinema turned the stars into endless metaphors, dreams, and warm blankets. There is no story or characters—only movie scenes worked together outside of their contexts. We put our own thoughts into the stunning scenes while each clip’s sound design presents us with ambience, brief dialogue, or loud music. The editing enthralls us as space is not depicted the same in every clip. If you have a love affair with movies and the sky, ? is the ultimate romantic art film.

— M.P.

Screening Details

  • Section: New Frontier Films & Performances
  • Film Type: US Narrative Feature
  • Country: Austria
  • Language: Japanese/French/German/Russian/Spanish/Dutch/Italian/Swedish/Hindi/Finnish/Norwegian/Bulgarian/Portuguese
  • Run Time: 99 min.
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