documentary | music by Gregor Narholz | photographed by Richard Marcus | directed by Ernst Gossner | 94min | USA 2011
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Global Warning is a filmmaker’s journey into war. Why are societies predisposed to war? And why are completely unrelated wars fatally similar in their making? These questions are on Global Warning’s agenda as filmmaker Ernst Gossner inquires into his native Tirol’s own last war – the war between Austria and Italy on top of Tirol’s mountains a hundred years ago. What at first seems like just one more episode of WWI slowly reveals its relevance towards present events, and the grand tragedy of war in general.
This was my first adventure as a documentary filmmaker. My friend Ernst, who is a splendid director, approached me to collaborate on a film about the Austrian-Italian mountain combat during WWI, and its parallels to modern day warfare and politics. Although war is not a topic I would have chosen myself, I am a thoroughly political person, and I just couldn’t pass on the opportunity of fleshing out the similarities between George Bush, Barack Obama and Kaiser Franz Josef…
Also, I always wanted to get into documentary filmmaking, but always was too busy writing my screenplays, making music and/or keeping myself occupied with performing comedy or doing research for my projects. I welcomed the opportunity to – once having agreed to do the film – being forced to go though with it, and having to dig into the documentarian’s toolkit. And I was surprised as it felt just like home to me.
I realized in this process that making a documentary very much agreed with my way of working. Piecing things together in the editing room, adding pictures, motion graphics, animations, and throwing them out again just to try something new and better is a process that you cannot really apply to narrative filmmaking. There, all of this really has to be done in the writing process, i.e. in the head of the writer (every other approach would prove to be a very expensive endeavor). In documentary filmmaking not only do you have the greatest freedom with storytelling until the last minute, but you also have so many more visual and formal options to play with, from beginning to end. Ideal for a man who loves sitting in a small dark room, staring at the screen, and letting his imagination go wild.
I fell in love with the work and opted to start a documentary project myself once this one would be completed. And I did.