Marcel Gisler, CH 2014, 113’
Director, screenplay: Marcel Gisler
Cinematography: Peter Indergand
Editing: Thomas Bachmann
Music: Barduin
Sound: Caleb Mose, Reto Stamm, Marco Teufen
Producer: Anne-Catherine Lang, Olivier Zobrist
Production: Langfilm, info@langfilm.ch
09.08.14, 11.00 – Cinema Teatro Kursaal
10.08.14, 20.00 – Rialto 1
12.08.14, 16.15 – Rialto 1

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«Why this film? To find out who is really behind the dubious façade of this elusive multi-talent and glamour boy. Who is Florian Burkhardt? A risk-taker, an artist or an imposter? Phoenix or fallen Icarus? the cinematic journey with florian leads to an entirely unexpected place.» (Marcel Gisler) Marcel Gisler Born in 1960 in Altstätten (SG), studied Drama and Philosophy at the Freie Universität Berlin. Film selection: 1985 Tagediebe (Silver Leopard, Locarno); F. est un Salaud (Swiss Film Award 1999); Rosie (Swiss Film Award 2013). Author of the television series Lüthi & Blanc. Lecturer at the dffb Berlin, among others.

The first shot of the movie is like a flash: a young man sitting on a chair in front of a bare wall. The wallpaper has been stripped off, the room is empty. It is the picture of Florian Burkhardt, a Swiss man now 40 years old, who has raced through big parts of his life as if he were riding on an express train. If there were stops on this journey, they were marked by psychological breakdowns, by panic attacks and total reclusion. Burkhardt – a glamorous, intangible, captivating all-rounder – was an inwardly haunted man. The Swiss director Marcel Gisler tries to comprehend what drove this man to lead such a hyperactive life – the account of which he also challenges: What is fiction, what is truth?

The iridescent appearances of this person are difficult to grasp and almost impossible to reconcile: Pioneering snowboard rider and promoter in Switzerland. Studies acting in Los Angeles and becomes close friends with future international stars like Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. Top model for Gucci, Prada, David LaChapelle etc. commuting between Milan, Paris, London and New York. Internet pioneer with assignments from major companies like Migros, Bank Leu and Sunrise. Successful party and event manager under the label «electroboy». Composer and performer of electronic music signed by a renowned record label. All of this in less than twelve years. Then the end: At the age of 32, Florian Burkhardt withdrew from public life. Today, he lives in Bochum, receives a disability pension, depends on medication and has trouble leaving his apartment.

In the film, Burkhardt appears to be authentic, but largely indifferent. He recounts his stories without any strong emotions – as if they were hardly worth mentioning. What at first seems to be a huge success story with some disruptions gains an additional, almost uncanny dimension in the second half of the film: the self-presentation of a family, the parents’ behaviour, the isolated childhood, the lack of any individual development. Gisler has chosen a respectful and transparent narrative style, questioning Burkhardt’s friends and partners with himself and his crew participating actively. The excellently and densely edited portrait leads the spectator into an anxiety from which there is no escape. Electroboy is an intense work about an extraordinary character, who – in the advent of the Internet in the 1990s – appears to have broken down due to the variety of possible means of expression available to him.

Madeleine Hirsiger