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Hell’s Bells

John Bock

This video is no longer available

John Block, Hell's Bells (still), 2017.

e-flux presents Me, You, and Everyone We Know Hell’s Bells
John Bock
2017

60 Minutes
Courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ, London

Date
August 4–18, 2021

Join us on e-flux Video & Film for an online screening of John Bock's Hell's Bells (2017), streaming from Wednesday, August 4 through Tuesday, August 17, 2021.

Developed over five years and shot in Germany in 2016, the feature-length Hell's Bells is styled as a contemporary Western. It interweaves the familiar storylines and stock characters of the genre with the theatrical and anarchic mode of Surrealism for which Bock has become known. The story unfolds in a gloomy, nocturnal realm—an indistinct conflation of reality and dream—centering on an unnamed town. Against a backdrop of simultaneous industrialization and grinding poverty, Bock tells the story of a stranger (Bibiana Beglau) who arrives in town pursued by mysterious guilt. She is accompanied by a young deaf girl, who emerges gradually as a powerful force—telepathically controlling the course of the story. A conflict develops between two other characters—the local priest (Frank Seppeler) and a diabolical, dandified villain (Lars Eidinger) who plays with Death in the style of a medieval demon. Each character is revealed to be burdened by a different kind of guilt—stemming variously from the loss of a child, the loss of morality, and the loss of religion.

Hell's Bells is presented here as one of six films in Part Four | Frames for Alterity (Ethnography, Human Rights, Class, and Race), the final of four programs in the online series Me, You, and Everyone We Know: Interrelationality, Alterity, Globalization programmed by Irmgard Emmelhainz for e-flux Video & Film. The series will run in four thematic parts from June 23 through August 18, 2021. Each part will include a two-week group screening, and a live discussion. The series concludes with a repeat of all films from parts one through four on August 18.

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

Category
Religion & Spirituality, Film
Subject
Surrealism, Storytelling, Fiction, Germany
Return to Part Four | Frames for Alterity (Ethnography, Human Rights, Class, and Race)
Filmmaker

John Bock (b. 1965, Gribbohm) is an artist and filmmaker living and working in Berlin. Slapstick and mind-bending, his practice stages theatrical actions, installations, and films that play with disparate and often discomforting materials, objects, bodies, sounds, and images. Usually set in alternative worlds, his grotesque films employ an idiosyncratic amalgamation of cinematic genres and techniques and often star amateur actors. Recent solo exhibitions include those at Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim (2019); n.b.k. Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2019); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2018); and Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2017).

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