Sonne halt! (1962) - Ferry Radax

Language: German (with a few French titles)
Country: Austria

 "A sailor arrives at the port of 'Buenos Aires'. while at the same time appearing as a Dandy at Fegina, the 'Riviera' of Monterosso al Mare (Konrad Bayer in a double role). Both are connected in a mysterious way through some kind of 'inner monologue'. A stylish, cool beauty (Suzanne Hockenjos) is getting bored by the Dandy, so he shoots down the sun from the sky, possibly in order to impress her. But a very erotic Eve (Ingrid Schuppan) catches the sun and takes it away from the Dandy. Now he shoots down the moon as well, but also this fails to impress the cool blonde. Angered by her indifference, the Dandy destroys his whole strange world, and subsequently loses Eve. Grief about her death and despair about the Lady's rejection make him turn into a sailor again. Again, the sea is waiting for him."

Shot in 1959 in Monterosso al Mare (Italy) and edited between 1960-62, SONNE HALT! (Sun, Stop!), is the masterpiece of legendary Austrian filmmaker Ferry Radax (*1932) and probably the best Austrian avantgarde movie ever made (at least one of the most enjoyable).

This "tour de force" of image-sound montage is partly based on the unfinished novel "Der sechste Sinn" (The Sixth Sense) by the Viennese dadaistic poet Konrad Bayer, who committed suicide in 1964. Bayer also appears prominently in the movie and his voice can be heard constantly on the soundtrack.

Much of the movie's humour lives from its satirical use of language, so I will see that subtitles will be provided in the future - though the play on words and the use of Viennese dialect can hardly be translated. Even then it is hard to make sense of what is happening, but this non-narrative structure was of course intended by Radax and Bayer. But also without proper understanding of the text spoken by Bayer and of the "story", this film can be enjoyed for its visual poetry and excellent editing.

Only a few of Radax' 125 (!) films are available today, and this is his best-known work.

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