Albie Thoms

on Klaus Wyborny's "The Adventurous but Luckless Life of William Parmagino"

(in Afterimage 2 / Autumn 1970, London, p. 48)

Klaus Wyborny has made ten films since 1966, and his most recent films explore film narrative, rejected by most of the German avant-garde. THE ADVENTUROUS BUT LUCKLESS LIFE OF WILLIAM PARMAGINO (1969) has elements of a science fiction drama and bears comparison with Godard's ALPHAVILLE. However, it is much less conventional in its structure and characterisation, relying on repetition and juxtaposition. The narrator ironically refers to "the poetic fim about life we have all hoped for", yet the images show people haunted by death, given five days to live. Love affairs seem hopeless, useless charades which people compulsively indulge until they vanish, literally disappear. Among the underground there is a general consensus that the narrative is dead, and that only poetic films and formalistic films about film aesthetics are possible. But Wyborny has made a film that is a narrative, poetic, and at the same time turning in on itself, raising questions about the art of film-making.