Gerhard Ertl & Sabine Hiebler b. 1933
Definitely Sanctus (1992)
Directors: Gerhard Ertl & Sabine Hiebler
Year: 1992
Time: 3 mins
Music: Gerhard Ertl & Sabine Hiebler

Having worked on the fringes of Austrian film for many years, Ertl & Hiebler achieved some notoriety with their 2002 feature drama Nogo. Previously, the duo had been associated with a wave of Austrian filmmakers, like Gustav Deutsch, Peter Tscherkassky and Martin Arnold, who in the 90s were doing to cinema what many musicians were starting to do with music: digging through the memories of outdated artefacts and scrapping ready-made products in order to capture de-contextualized materials and subvert or reconsider the sources from which these had ben stolen. Definitely Sanctus focuses on a very particular set of sources - the tradition of Heimat films of the 50s - to reconstruct a highly coherent narrative about a successful reindeer hunt in the Alps. Set against a wicked soundtrack that mixes a continuous, almost hypnotic yodelling sample with a deep bass resonance, the film elegantly orders clichés from the cinematic pastoral fantasies of the 1950s without offering any explicit commentary on the materials: even the violence inherent to the sacrificial act or the religious ceremony that concludes it seem to be mere visual episodes that merit no more attention than the preceding sequences. Definitely Sanctus thus seems to be a strictly formal exercise in which the authors - legitimately, of course - do not offer any perspective on the internal logic of their materials; or, to put it differently, in which Ertl & Hiebler appear to be more interested in the lexicon of the Heimat film than in its grammar. - Sound of Eye