The case of Josef Fritzl, an outwardly respectable man from Amstetten in Austria who imprisoned and raped his daughter for 24 years in a specially built cellar dungeon, resulted this summer in urgent new critical attention being paid to Austria’s cultural figures warning of a terrible malaise lying beneath their country’s prosperous surface, and that of western Europe generally. In the London Review of Books, Nicholas Spice wrote about Fritzl in relation to Gier, or Greed, the latest novel from Austrian Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek about the murder of a teenage girl by a police officer. Jelinek had written on her website: “Austria is a small world in which the big world holds its rehearsal. The performance takes place in the very much smaller cellar dungeon in Amstetten.” Continue reading
Die Rebellion (The Rebellion). 1993. Austria. Directed by Michael Haneke. With its silent-era aesthetic of sepia tones and muted color tints, and its interweaving of realism and fantasy, Haneke’s haunting adaptation of Joseph Roth’s expressionistic 1924 novel is an homage to the great Weimar cinema of G. W. Pabst and F. W. Murnau. In a heartbreaking performance, Branko Samarovski plays Andreas Pum, a soldier who loses his leg during the Great War and becomes an organ-grinder to earn a few coins a day. To this loyal citizen of the State, the veterans and firebrands who march in protest against society’s neglect are lazy, insubordinate “heathens.” But when an ugly tram incident condemns Pum to a life of penury and loneliness, his soul is awakened to the bitter waste of a life spent in duty to God and Empire. In German; 90 min Continue reading
From PT’s website:
Aderlaß is a youthful attempt to process the inheritance of the Vienna Actionists through the use of a super 8 camera. In front of the camera is a performance from Armin Schmickl Sebastiano (Peter Tcherkassky). A game with light and sound that explodes out of the calm into a delirium of movement and finally returns, after the “blood-letting”, to rigidity.
Liebesfilm is an ironic attack on one of the durables of the Hollywood clichés – the film kiss. A short take of mouths approaching each other is shown 522 times. But the kiss never takes place, merely the speed of the movement is continually increased. This excessive repetition of the theme destroys the “happy clarity” that inhabits “the film kiss” myth. Continue reading
Peter Herzl, social worker and Left sympathizer from Wuppertal is, assaulted and robbed on the way back from Yugoslavia to Germany. Due to some misunderstandings the police examined him as a suspected terrorist. In Vienna, he finds shelter with the prostitute Kathi. Kathi has an incestuous relationship with her adolescent daughter. Fascinated she watched her mother and Peter during lovemaking. Soon they would also participate in the game. Meanwhile the search for Peter is at full speed. And Kathi`s pimp sees an opportunity to get easy money by betrayal… Continue reading
From PT’s website:
The target of Tabula Rasa is the heart of cinema. Voyeuristic desire as the pre-condition for all cinema pleasure is at stake here. What Christian Metz and Jacques Lacan have established in theory is rendered as film in Tabula Rasa. At the beginning we can recognize only shadows from which the picture of a woman undressing herself hesitantly emerges. But exactly at the point when one believes one can make out what it is, the camera is located in front of the object. Tabula Rasa takes distance, the fundamental principle of voyeurism, in so far literally, as it shows us the object of desire but continually removes it from our gaze. Continue reading
FLAMING EARS is a pop sci-fi lesbian fantasy feature set in the year 2700 in the fictive burned-out city of Asche. It follows the tangled lives of three women — Volley, Nun and Spy. Spy is a comic book artist whose printing presses are burned down by Volley, a sexed-up pyromaniac. Seeking revenge, Spy goes to the lesbian club where Volley performs every night. Before she can enter, Spy gets into a fight and is left wounded, lying in the streets. She is found by Nun–an amoral alien in a red plastic suit with a predilection for reptiles, and who also happens to be Volley’s lover. Nun takes her home and subsequently must hide her from Volley. It’s a story of love and revenge, and an anti-romantic plea for love in its many forms. An avowedly underground film which was shot on Super 8 and blown up to 16mm, FLAMING EARS is original for its playful disruption of narrative conventions (the story is a thread rather than a backbone in the film), its witty approach to film genre, and its visual splendor. Continue reading
Engaged to the daughter of an aging baron, an ambitious advertising executive wishes to renovate the baron’s crumbling castle into a holiday getaway for the social elite. In his zeal to seal the deal, he manages to alienate his friends, lose his fiancee, and end up with nothing.
Based on Gerhard Fritsch novel, nominated for the Academy Awards. With avantgarde jazz music by Friedrich Gulda. Considered the first film of New Austrian Cinema in 1968. Continue reading