Austria

Michael Pilz – Himmel und Erde AKA Heaven and Earth (1983)

Michael Pilz’s 285-minute Himmel and Erde is an essay film or an ethnographic documentary about life in the Styrian mountain village of St. Anna. It contemplates the finite lot of individuals as part of a continuum of human experience in the natural world. Himmel und Erde, which translates to Heaven and Earth, was recorded between 1979 and 1982. The documentary invites the viewer to contemplate the disruptive effects of technology on economic and social ties through circumscribed vignettes of village life which are oft repeated either as recycled footage or variations on a theme. The film is a meditation on time, nature, and the struggles of man, as well as a record of a lifestyle ceasing to exist. “If you let it happen, the film will pull you into its cosmos; it is one of those works that teaches you to see and listen again.” Read More »

Jessica Hausner – Lourdes (2009)

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In order to escape her isolation, wheelchair-bound Christine makes a life changing journey to Lourdes, the iconic site of pilgrimage in the Pyrenees Mountains. Read More »

Götz Spielmann – Revanche (2008)

Criterion wrote:

Revanche begins with a reflection of trees in a lake at twilight. They’re seen upside down—an image of nature reversed—yet the earth is eerily calm. This almost otherworldly illusion arouses a viewer’s awareness of perspective, which is then disturbed by the splash of an object tossed into the middle of the lake. Widening ripples shatter the impression of stillness, and a genuine sense of mystery sets in. Such an intimation of the supernatural typifies Austrian writer-director Götz Spielmann’s unique vision in this film. Read More »

Michael Glawogger – Megacities (1998)

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This documentary deals with work, poverty, violence, love and sex. A film about human beauty in twelve chapters which tells the tales of people from Bombay, Mexico City, Moscow and New York, who are all struggling for survival, with ingenuity, intelligence and dignity. They all share the dream of a better life. Read More »

Jessica Hausner – Lovely Rita (2001)

kinopoisk.ru

For her directorial debut, Jessica Hausner has created an honest and revealing portrait of Rita, a wilful and unruly teenager on the verge of womanhood. Her sexual awakening leads her to intimacy with a schoolboy too young and a bus driver, too old. Her efforts to break out of her solitude and claustrophobic environment isolate her even more, until one day she crosses the line… Read More »

Michael Glawogger – Das Vaterspiel AKA Kill Daddy Good Night (2009)

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Ratz wishes he could kill his father who is an Austrian Minister. At least virtually. He develops a computer game that allows him do so as often as he pleases. On the opposite path, we follow Jonas’ suspenseful journey who has devoted his entire life tracking the Nazi Official who killed his father and who, as the records state, is in hiding. One day, Mimi, Ratz’ first love, calls him up from New York to join her and renovate a cellar. She promises him in return to help him sell his video game. This will unexpectedly bring Ratz face to face with uncomfortable questions about history and his own filial relationships to his father. Read More »

Josef Aichholzer & Ruth Beckermann – Wien retour AKA Return to Vienna (1983)

Franz West (1909-85) remembers his youth in Vienna: the variety of the Jewish population of the so called Matzah-Island, his commitment to the worker’s movement of the Red Vienna and the rise of Austro-fascism and National Socialism. West’s masterly narration combined with impressing archive footage illustrate and elucidate the complex Austrian history between WW1 and WW2. Read More »