Doctor Korbes

Derek Howard

Germany, 2012.

A black screen: a circle appears on the left, with the image of a man seen on his back, and the sound of a drill. Then, a second circle on the right, identical; the man turns around, looks at us looking, turns back. The observer observed. The circles: the front door peephole of an apartment, doubled and turned into two giant eyes, observing through the hallway the front door of the neighbouring apartment and the hallway onto which it opens.

This is the essence of Doctor Korbes: a condensed, prolonged observation of the entrance to the filmmaker’s neighbour’s apartment. The observer, positioning us viewers as identical observers, is filmmaker Derek Howard. The neighbour an older man named Doctor Korbes, who invites prostitutes, runs into trouble with other tenants, collects too much junk, and eventually leaves. We witness it all without much context.

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