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Mads Mikkelsen, Kopenhagen
random and causality
Filmkatalog CPH:DOX 2011


Is an event still coincidental if we percieve it as being the opposite? The German psycho-physicist Dr. Johannes Hagel illustrates what he himself calls the 'contingency principle' in a remarkable experiment with a model train linked to a computer, which - if his hypothesis turns out to be right - will help us to understand that feeling of pre-determination that one can have when something unexpected happens.

Confused? No reason to panic. The bearded professor explains his ideas in a way where one actually understands him. But at the same time, a parallel plot takes place to a disturbing effect. His football-loving son is wandering around in something that could be a parallel dimension. Everything is basically possible in Romeo Grünfelder's enigmatic and bizarrely suspenseful film, which turns mathematical and physical states such as causality and the relationship between independent systems into a question of editing and pictorial style. The grainy and saturated Super 8 images are paradoxically shot in Cinemascope, which makes it appear even less grounded in a specific time and place. The elliptic plot is trimmed like a thriller where nothing happens by coincidence. Or does it? Either way, 'Prinzip Zufall' is made of the stuff that causes sleepless nights.