Matter Out of Place
Waste on the shores, the mountains, ocean floors, and deep down in the earth. The term “matter out of place” refers to objects in places where they do not originate or belong. Many such objects can be found in the places Nikolaus Geyrhalter visits for this film. Through his unique imagery consisting of minutely composed pictures, the director traces immense amounts of waste across our planet: from the mountain tops of Switzerland to the coasts of Greece and Albania, into an Austrian refuse incinerator, on to Nepal and the Maldives, and finally to the deserts of Nevada. The film about the human-made refuse that constantly surrounds us. On his journey, Geyrhalter illustrates the sheer endless struggle of people to gain control over the vast amounts of waste that we produce every single day. Collecting, shredding, burning, burying – a Sisyphean task, which ostensibly solves the global problem of rubbish that is stealthily growing.
Director, producer, writer and cinematographer, Nikolaus Geyrhalter was born in Vienna, Austria in 1972. Geyrhalter's static-camera, well-paced observational films tackle their subjects head-on, whether it's exploring the terrain in Chernobyl, Ukraine (Pripyat), tracing the route of the Dakar Rally (7915 Km), or investigating the production of processed foods (Our Daily Bread). At the age of 22, Geyrhalter started his own production company, Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion (NGF). Geyrhalter examined night labor in Europe with Abendland (2011) and landscapes of urban decay across the world in Homo Sapiens (2016). The latter film played at the Berlinale Forum, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Cinéma du Réel Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and the Viennale. In 2015, Berlin's Arsenal Cinema programmed a retrospective dedicated to his work. The 38th Cinéma du Réel Festival programmed a sidebar on his documentaries. Geyrhalter's films have also screened at the Museum of Modern Art's Doc Fortnight.