Low Definition Control

Low Definition Control
Director: Michael Palm

Austria, Documentary, 2011, 95 min, german with english and lithuanian subtitles, V

“Low Definition Control” is a film about images. Regardless of where we walk or where we stand, we’re being watched: in a society in which the public space is primarily regarded a source of risks, nearly everything depends on constant surveillance. And so the most banal of activities (such as eating a sandwich or carrying a suitcase), when performed in inner cities of the developed world, are filmed and decoded by grid programs. Grainy documentary images of human movements and everyday gestures in public spaces as well as virtual images made by medical apparatus are counterpointed by an interdisciplinary scientific conference on the soundtrack. The experts focus on imaging procedures discerning between comformity and delinquency, health and disease, normality and deviance. In times of terrorist threat, risk prevention and all-embracing control phantasms these images foreshadow a possible future. “Low Definition Control” is a glimpse into this future.


2012 – Second Prize in Best Original Full-length Film category at the Documenta Madrid International Documentary Film Festival (Spain).

About the director:

Michael Palm was born in 1965 in Linz, Austria. He graduated from the Film Academy in Vienna (Austria) and took further studies at the University of Vienna, focusing on philosophy, film and media studies. Michael Palm is the author of numerous lectures and articles on theory and aesthetics of film and cinema. A former film critic, he is a lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Since 1988 he is working as freelance editor and sound designer, since 2001 as director of short films and documentaries. In 2001 he started his “Malfunctions” series which fathoms the twilight zone between science fact and science fiction, and focuses on technological progress and the social dilemma but as well the hidden „creative“ potential produced by it. “Low Definition Control”, Michael Palm‘s latest documentary film, is also a part of “Malfunctions” series.

Section: Identity

Screenplay: Michael Palm

Dir. of Photography: Michael Palm

Music: Trevor Duncan, Maurice Ravel