Bootshaus SKC Jahrmarkt


A Sunday at the boats Club house ans spring fair.


Reference / film number :  LFS 01421 8
Date :  1962
Coloration :  Color
Sound :  Mute
Running time :  00:06:27
Reel format :  8 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  Body and Health, Sport, Swimming, Environment, Outdoor activities
Archive :  Haus des Dokumentarfilms

Context and analysis

First it's only the father and the three sons who hurry down the road at the turnoff to the Engelsmühle and then look at the passing red tractor. Later in the Wallgärtenstraße also the mother is there. In Sunday dress, they stroll in the direction of the spring market. Philippsburg, in the summer of 1963. Three events attract attention: next to the spring market the canoe regatta on the old parts of the Rhein and the opening of the new outdoor pool on the lake.

The five-headed family goes leisurely to the fairground on the outskirts of the city on this day in May - and the Family was filmed. On the opposite side of the street they are barely visible between the other pedestrians. Finally, they reappear at the fair, a little inconspicuous in the medium shot, the parents in sunglasses, the mother with a headscarf and white gloves. It is the leisure time in which one also shows oneself - for the others and for the film camera: calm and a little strict they give the picture of a family in almost perfect form. The bourgeois orientation to order presents itself in an private film - in a mass and media society, which keeps more and more to the visual. The spring market in Philippsburg has also changed: after the redesign of the marketplace it has been relocated from the heart of the city to the fairground outside.

Immediately after the entrance scene with father and sons, the film first jumps to the boathouse of the ski and canoe Club Philippsburg. People in sun loungers between light and shadow, the Rhine landscape with cargo ships, a sailboat - the film itself seems to take on the wandering gaze of the one who has time before the scenery changes again to the funfair and the family, which is then simply lost in the bustle. Immediately an exotic plant comes into the picture, a bird of paradise flower, wiggling in the wind in front of a house wall - a very different atmospheric space, which does not seem quite real. The small film transforms into a medium that assembles and holds together disparates, gathers impressions of places and places them next to each other.

It follows again the boathouse and the canoe competition from May 26th 1963, one of the first showdowns in southern Germany after the beginning of the season. The banks of the Rhine with the jetties for the boats, the 'behind' with the VW buses and a food stall, the terrace with the guests - the pictures line up associatively and stand alone. They circled an event that comes as casually into focus: employees talking, a rocking motor boat with crew and again the fully occupied terrace. The new possibility of zooming does the rest to focus on the individual. This is how a fragmentary picture of an event comes together that shows itself to be a social event - an event that also evokes a relaxed approach to free time in images that work for themselves.

Is it the freedom of form that binds to the 'amateur' when a construction site bursts into the movie? The regular time of construction works, the demolition of a house on the marketplace and the subsequent sewerage work. An excavator that loads the rubble, a truck that carries it away, and in between construction workers who talk - the work's counterworld is more in the picture of the material and the factual: another fragment from this summer's chronology, which the film collects. One that falls out of the relaxed time relationship of the other events. From the construction site to the new outdoor pool on the Baggersee: the contrast could hardly be greater. At the end of August, the first construction phase was completed and the sports pool was inaugurated with the swimming and lake party. The long shot of the lake makes scattered swimmers. The sunbathers on the shore of the dredger make the leisure hours almost visible. The teenagers pull it over the long pontoon jetty to the springboard. A place appears on which time is entirely left to its flow. A place more in the six-and-a-half minutes of a film in which the images refer to themselves again and again - to the experience of time that belongs to them. The chronicle of the events of the Philippsburg summer of 1963 shows in the cinematic time again and again what one likes to overlook. The amateurish, imperfect, which does not want to adhere to a whole, puts the individual pictures increasingly into view. The trivial thing - it appears in its fleetingness in the moving images of the amateur film. Reiner Bader

Places and monuments


  1. This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.