Close Up

23 April 2015: Jan Peters …but I still haven’t figured out the meaning of life


For part #5 of our Teaser Screening series we present Jan Peters’ auto-biographical work-in-progress …but I still haven’t figured out the meaning of life, 18 self-portraits shot on various formats from Super-8 to mobile phone, covering his complex existence from 24 to 40 years old. "This cycle (…) represents a highly original contribution to the body of German-language experimental film." – Claus Löser

…but I still haven’t figured out the meaning of life
Jan Peters
1984 | 75 min | Colour & B/W | Digital

"In 1990 I stood in front of my Super-8 sound movie camera for the first time to record a stocktaking of my life. The final product was the film Ich bin 24 in which I talk about my life for the length of a roll of Super-8 film (almost three minutes) until I’m cut off in the middle of a sentence at the end. One year later I shot Ich bin 25 and so on until the present (40). The unfinished series was released under the title ...but I still haven’t found out the meaning of life, in which confused ideas mingle with great knowledge: I flitted over imaginary borders between the tidied up and the disorderly, read the future from the toilet bowl every morning and claimed I told the truth 24 times each day, made desperate attempts to connect mathematics with reality. All that in a single flow of words which often breaks through the sound barrier of my own thoughts. Not permitting anything to stop me from finding the meaning. In 1999 I hoped that a constellation of planets could give me the answer. When the sun darkened on August 11th, I didn’t stop talking into the camera for my film Ich bin 33. And maybe it’s my doing that it reappeared." – Jan Peters