THE OPEN UNIVERSE
(Das offene Universum)
94 Min, 35MM, 1986/90
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY KLAUS WYBORNY
with CHRISTOPH HEMMERLING, TILDA SWINTON, HANNS ZISCHLER, ECKHARD RHODE
Sound: ALFRED OLBRISCH
Sound-Mix: STEPHAN KONKEN
Executive Producers: CYNTHIA BEATT, MARION KOLLBACH
Co-Producer: ALEXANDER WESEMANN
Props and Costumes: CYNTHIA BEATT, CHRISTOPH HEMMERLING
Music, Camera, Produced and Edited by KLAUS WYBORNY
The whole world in one film:
Robert, a young Dane, is shanghaied in Marseille, and via Acapulco
he is abducted into the South Pacific. There he kills his father and seduces
his mother. Then he explores the changing world. The end finds him in a
Polynesian village, where the chief bestows him with a girl of his age-class.
A novel of adventure, a novel of love, also an oratory of some sort.
c 1990 K. Wyborny, Jarrestrasse 80, D-22303 Hamburg Tel.: 270
NARRATION AND DIALOGUE-LIST:
Gross simplifications occasionally yield plausible models.
So the world began with some kind of a bang,
and since then it has been expanding.
The measure of this expansion is the distribution of matter.
If the average density of matter in the universe exceeds a certain critical
the world will collapse into itself again.
A universe of this kind is said to be closed.
If however matter is distributed more thinly,
so that its density
is less than the critical value,
then the expansion will still be slowed
but never stopped.
In this case we talk of an open universe.
MAN: "Open Universe."
Density of matter thus determines the nature of the world,
it's average value, however, cannot be measured,
and so simplification gets lost in the fog of convictions.
Nevertheless the universe hasn't collapsed yet,
quite to the contrary it has even managed to create observers of itself,
and when these observers' searching looks rove through the skies,
they can't find enough matter there,
to close the universe.
And so we live, till further notice, in an open universe,
a world which is expanding without end,
tentatively to eternity.
But what is, eternity?
First, the stars will use up their fuel and,
collapsing under their own weight,
after some spectacular instabilities
After ten to the fouteenth years there will be no more shining
In close encounters of dead stars 90 % of matter will get flung
out of its galaxies,
and while the universe keeps on expanding,
the remaining matter concentrates in the cores of the galaxies
into supermassive black holes.
MAN: "Eternity so dark, is darkness."
Then the epoch of proton decay begins,
in which matter disintegrates
and with it the last observers.
Nothing is strange where there is a school.
The protons decay into positrons,
and within the burnt-out stars
these positrons soon encounter electrons,
with which they get annihilated into photons. In the interstellar gas, however,
the distance between the particles is meanwhile too large,
and all that remains of matter
after ten to the thirtysecond years
is a thinning gas of electrons and positrons
between diverging black holes.
After ten to the seventieth years
some electrons and positrons form bound pairs,
pathetic echos of human sexuality,
encompassing between them
a space larger than the present observable universe.
And then, after ten to the one hundedth years
even the black holes start to disintegrate,
at first slowly, but then faster with decreasing mass,
and then, in the end,
in a splendid shower of photons,
and then nothing more is going to happen,
the universe then consists only of photons and neutrinos from
luminous advertising so to speak, of the glamourous history of the cosmos.
Only occasionally is there an isolated electron or positron
and, even rarer yet, a bound pair,
whose components circle each other at unbelivable distances,
slowly tumbling inward, to finally get radiated away in a tiny flash.
HOW COULD IT HAVE GONE THAT FAR.
FRANK WAS BELOW DECK
AND CARLA WAS LIEING IN THE SUN.
I FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO AVOID HER OBTRUSIVENESS.
AND IT HAD STARTED SO SIMPLY.
I WAS STROLLING OVER THE CANNEBIERE IN MARSEILLE
LOOKING FOR THE CAFES
HAD WRITTEN ABOUT IN HIS NOVELS.
France had changed.
Where the sealevel had been in Roman times there was now grass.
The future is propaganda,
drowned under grass.
la gloire, la philosophie, le Camembert.
FRANK: "Where are you from?"
THERE I MET FRANK.
HE PULLED ME DOWN TO THE OLD HARBOUR
AND THEN WE WERE SITTING IN ONE OF THE CAFES.
FRANK: "The first thing I saw in France was three naked
hanging by their feet in a butcher's shop."
FRANK: "I once knew a Dublin girl whom I had promised to
and even slept with her on the strength
of a diamond engagement ring.
Only paste, really.
The day before the wedding she lost a foot,
cut off by a Dalkey tram, and hurriedly I left Dublin
(note: a Dalkey tram is a tram that goes to Dalkey, which is
a suburb of Dublin)
FRANK: "But Robert, she was a lovely,lovely girl before
HE TOLD ME ABOUT HIS DESPAIR AND ABOUT THE FEW CHANCES
ONE ENCOUNTERS IN A LIFE-TIME.
AND JUST NOW HE HAD GOT HOLD OF ONE, ONE OF THOSE OPPORTUNITIES,
ONE YOU WILL NEVER GET AGAIN.
FRANK: "Keep it, really. Only paste."
HE ASKED ME IF I HAD ANY PLANS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE.
IN HIS GREY SPARKLING EYES
THERE WAS A GLEAM OF FEAR.
THREE DAYS LATER WE MET CARLA IN ACAPULCO.
FRANK HAD GOT TO KNOW HER IN LAS VEGAS THREE WEEKS BEFORE.
CARLA: "Say something!"
CARLA: "What do YOU do?"
FRANK: "I sell buoys."
FRANK: "Buoys, sailboats, rafts."
CARLA: "Oh, I see..."
CARLA: "So sell me a boat."
Keys the lips to paradise
CARLA: "Come in!"
So much effort, just to stay alive
The pleasures of money were simple
CARLA: "No, you can't touch me there."
FRANK: "Are you afraid I would go away."
CARLA: "If you want to go, go. Here's the door."
FRANK: "I would have to be sure that that was what I wanted."
CARLA: "Do you want me to go?"
FRANK: "No, stay here."
THEY GOT MARRIED AT ONCE
AND WERE READY FOR ANYTHING.
FRANK: "Are you still afraid?"
CARLA: "I don't know."
FRANK: "If you knew who I was, you would be more afraid than ever."
THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THEIR HONEY-MOON.
I COULD NEVER UNDERSTAND WHY CERTAIN WOMEN WERE SO WILD ABOUT CERTAIN MEN.
FRANK TOLD CARLA THAT I KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT DIESEL-ENGINES.
FRANK: "The man with the diesel-engines."
AND ON A HOT SEPTEMBER MORNING WE LEFT ACAPULCO.
AROUND NOON WE CROSSED A FOG-BANK.
AT NIGHT WE LET THE BOAT SIMPLY DRIFT.
A BOAT IS GLIDING THROUGH THE WAVES OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN.
Victims of geograpy
FRANK: "Four more days to go."
CARLA: "Oh, no."
FRANK: "Why don't you hammer a few maggots out of our ship-biscuit."
FRANK: "New course west by southwest."
As a man of precaution Frank explored the potential of his survival
FRANK: "This survival-food is even worse than our ship-biscuit."
Carla writes on a postcard:
This trip was a terrible mistake. Frank does not love me.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO
CARLA: "I'm so sick of ship-biscuit, sick! Let's fly in
CARLA: "I have a headache."
FRANK: "Oh, my dear, give me the hammer."
CARLA: "Oh, that feels good."
ROBERT: "A fish, fish."
France: the state, philosophy, enlightenment.
FRANK: "As a token of esteem from the management."
READING WAS OUT OF THE QUESTION:
AS SOON AS YOU OPENED A BOOK YOU FELL ASLEEP.
La France: Les croissants, la raison, la Force de Frappe
CARLA: "There's one spoon missing... ROBERT!"
ROBERT: "I don't have a spoon."
ROBERT: "I didn't have it."
FRANK: "So this is what you want. Or is it this? Or this?...
Suddenly Robert had the feeling, that among strong forces
there are only repulsive ones that drive us apart,
and only occasionally was there a feeble weak one
that kept people together.
FRANK: "Or is it this?"
CARLA: "Why don't you look at me like at a thing. You see, I'm a thing.
A thing, just like other things.
Nothing more than a thing."
Carla writes on a postcard:
Finally I understand everything. Frank wants my money and so he has
TO KILL ME
Poor little Europe
FRANK: "Don't look at me like that"
ROBERT: "Like what?"
FRANK: "I can't tell, a nasty look."
ROBERT: "You can't control your way of looking. If you want, I won't
look at you at all. I'll close my eyes."
When Robert closed his eyes he could see Frank as what he really
was, a brave man in a brave world.
FRANK: "That won't do."
ROBERT: "So how am I supposed to look at you?"
FRANK: "How I look at you. Like this. Meltingly."
ROBERT: "Oh I see, meltingly"
CARLA: "What a delicious engine."
Oh you Islands of men and girls
CARLA: "It's so beautiful."
In Frank there stirred no empathy, he felt alone, a tired wanderer
in a cooling world, he was alone, a sea of alone.
CARLA: "He has blood on his hands."
Tired wanderer in an abandoned world
SONG: Oh don't tell me how tired I am
The sea, caricature of infinity
FRANK: "Let's play thumbs, the winner gets the looser's
ROBERT: "Good, it's an open universe."
So what did these people actually want, what was it, they were
CARLA: "Reef-infested waters"
CARLA: "Are you crazy, what's got into you now, biting?"
FRANK: "You lost."
FRANK: "Yes, you lost, I want your thumb."
ROBERT: "You're crazy."
DURING A GAME OF CHECKERS A FIGHT STARTS BETWEEN ROBERT AND
FRANK IN THE COURSE OF WHICH THE YACHT GETS STRANDED ON A REEF.
FRANK IS EATEN BY A SHARK,
And he so much wanted to be buried in a buoy.
ROBERT ESCAPES AND CARLA FINDS HIM ON THE BEACH.
ROBERT: "I didn't have the spoon."
A gift from the dead.
CARLA: "Ship-biscuit! No! No!
CARLA: "Above all, let's not be dramatic.
It's true, my husband is dead, but life has
to go on as usual, without any change."
The Dead, alway a minority
THE SUN IS A PITILESS LOSER.
FOR THREE DAYS ROBERT AND CARLA SLEEP TOGETHER.
HUNGER DRIVES THEM APART.
Yes, Children afraid of the night
Lost in a wicked wood
They have never been happy
and no way to ever be good.
Never, yes never again did she want to sense a body
between her and the sun.
Always new ways to stay in the human universe
CARLA: "And when I wake up, he will bring water in his bare
and I will drink water out of his hands,
and I will not have fear of him any more."
CARLA: "What a hostile, hostile world."
Out into the strange wide world.
The way is dying, said someone,
but there he was, Robert, the what-in-the-world, on his way, to aquire the
right to say "I".
AND ROBERT IS ALONE.
THE BLUE OF THE SKY ROLLS IN HIS VEINS. HE FEEDS ON PLANTS AND BIRD'S EGGS.
OH, WHAT A BLESSING IS THE FRUIT OF THE TROPICAL BREAD-FRUIT
We are food, food.
AND HOW HARD IT CAN BE TO SET A TRAP FOR AN ANIMAL.
In the green world
the time of this moment
a song of simplicity
AND ROBERT IS DEALING WITH HIS LONELINESS.
A HUT MADE OUT OF PALM BRANCHES SINGS HIM TO SLEEP.
RAINSTORMS LASH HIS DREAMS.
OH YES, ROBERT KNOWS HOW TO LIVE.
A TRAIL OF SMOKE IN THE DISTANCE ANNOUNCES THE EXISTENCE OF
ROBERT APPROACHES THEM.
BUT HE IS SCARED.
HE IS AFRAID THEY ARE CANNIBALS AND SO HE GOES BACK.
BACK TO HIS LONELY NIGHTS, BACK TO HIS BRAVE DEEDS.
HE DISCOVERS CARLA'S TRAIL.
HE FEELS HER BURNING BREATH.
AND YET HE CAN'T FIND HER.
disgusting swamp of the half forgotten.
"5 YEARS LATER"
AND SO HE IS DRAWN TO THE DISTANT PEOPLE.
AND THEY ARE CANNIBALS INDEED.
like all the young with a dream of wildness
in the human village - finally
THEY RECEIVE HIM KINDLY.
THEY TEACH HIM SOME OF THEIR WAYS.
ROBERT: "Typee mortakee"
ROBERT TRUSTS THEIR TABLE MANNERS.
CANNIBAL1: "Say something!"
CANNIBAL2: "Say something!"
CANNIBAL3: "Say something!"
CANNIBAL4: "Say something!"
CANNIBAL2: "Say something!"
CANNIBAL4: "Say something!"
ROBERT: "Say something!"
AND SO THE TOUCHING SCENE IN THE CHIEF'S HUT COMES ABOUT, IN
WHICH ROBERT MEETS THE GIRL HE ONCE PLAYED WITH WHEN HE WAS THREE YEARS
OLD IN LIVERPOOL.
But you see, nothing lasts
The ground is now the sky.
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