Austria

Ruth Beckermann – Waldheims Walzer AKA The Waldheim Waltz (2018)

A film about truth and lies or “alternative facts”. About individual and collective consciousness.  

“Waldheim no, Waldheim no” shouts a crowd in the center of Vienna in 1986. Ruth Beckermann was one of the activists trying to prevent the election of Kurt Waldheim and documented the political events with her camera. More than 30 years later she goes back into her own archive and additionally uses international TV-material to analyse this turning point in Austrian political culture.  Read More »

Marie Kreutzer – Die Vaterlosen AKA The Fatherless (2011)

A large, somewhat dilapidated house in the country. Although Niki, a doctor living and working in Munich, manages to arrive at his father’s deathbed just in time, the man who spawned him fails to give him the belated acknowledgement and love for which he so longs. Shortly after the father dies, his other grownup children arrive. These include Vito, an extrovert, and idealistic drifter; Mizzi, who is much younger and suffers from a neurophysical disorder and – although nobody expected it, even Kyra, who is the product of the father’s heady days of alternative living and free love. Niki and Vito haven’t seen this sister since their parents’ acrimonious separation twenty-three years ago. Read More »

Ruth Beckermann – Ein flüchtiger Zug nach dem Orient AKA A Fleeting Passage to the Orient (1999)

Elisabeth of Austria left the scene long before her death. “I want to travel the world,” she said, “the Wandering Jew will be a homebody compared to me. I want to sail the seas, roam as a female Flying Dutchman until I have sunk and disappeared.” This is the start of Ruth Beckermann’s cinematic journey.

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Willi Hengstler – Fegefeuer AKA Purgatory (1989)

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Willi Hengstler’s adaptation of Jack Unterweger’s autobiography.

Johann “Jack” Unterweger (16 August 1950 – 29 June 1994) was an Austrian serial killer who murdered prostitutes in several countries. First convicted of a 1974 murder, he was released in 1990 as an example of rehabilitation. He became a journalist and minor celebrity, but within months started killing again. He committed suicide following a conviction for several murders. Austrian psychiatrist Dr. Reinhard Haller diagnosed him with narcissistic personality disorder in 1994. Read More »

Michael Haneke – Amour (2012)

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Cinema feeds on stories of love and death, but how often do filmmakers really offer new or challenging perspectives on either? Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ is devastatingly original and unflinching in the way it examines the effect of love on death, and vice versa. It’s a staggering, intensely moving look at old age and life’s end, which at its heart offers two performances of incredible skill and wisdom from French veteran actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva.

The Austrian director of ‘Hidden’ and ‘The White Ribbon’ offers an intimate, brave and devastating portrait of an elderly Parisian couple, Anne (Riva) and Georges (Trintignant), facing up to a sudden turn in their lives. Haneke erects four walls to keep out the rest of the world, containing his drama almost entirely within one apartment over some weeks and months. The only place we see this couple outside their flat, right at the start, is at the theatre, framed from the stage. Haneke reverses the perspective for the rest of the film. The couple’s flat becomes a theatre for their stories: past, present and future. Read More »

Franz Novotny – Die Ausgesperrten aka The Excluded (1982)

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Two young characters in this story of rebellious youth are named after two Germans, brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl who were imprisoned and executed for their anti-Nazi stance during World War II. In this film, the rebels do not have such a clear-cut enemy but nevertheless, they cannot accept the way life is heading in Austria of the 1950s and they revolt by stealing, mugging, and trying out terrorist methods (bombs). Their future seems to be inexorably heading on a collision course with the forces that have “locked them out.” Read More »

Peter Kubelka – Mosaik im Vertrauen / Adebar / Schwechater / Arnulf Rainer / Unsere Afrikareise / Pause! (1955 – 1977)

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PETER KUBELKA : BIOGRAPHY

Peter Kubelka (b. 1934) is a multifaceted artist and theoretician who has worked in the art forms of film, cuisine, music, architecture, speaking and writing. Since the beginning of the fifties he has been a leading exponent of the international avante garde film and has had screenings in all the European countries as well as in the USA and Japan.

In 1964 Kubelka co-founded the Austrian Film Museum and has been its curator ever since.

Kubelka has been involved in creating avante garde film collections, a music ensemble and has taught at various universities in the USA and Europe. In addition, he has been a professor in film at the Art Academy in Frankfurt since 1978 where he also served as Rector in the period of 1985-88. As a theoretician he has held numerous lectures and participated in many symposiums among others, “Non-Industrial Film – Non-Industrial Cuisine”. Already in 1967 Kubelka created his first theoretical work in cuisine as an art form and in 1980 his teaching position was expanded to include “Film and Cuisine as Art”. Another of his large projects has been his plan for the ideal cinema – The Invisible Cinema – the first draft of which he finished in 1958. It was created again in 1970 for Anthology Film Archives in New York where he was also a co-founder. It was created once again nineteen years later for the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna. Read More »