Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz – Ich seh, Ich seh AKA Goodnight Mommy (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

In the heat of the summer. A lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields. Nine-year-old twin brothers are waiting for their mother. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before. The children start to doubt that this woman is actually their mother. It emerges an existential struggle for identity and fundamental trust. Continue reading

Johannes Holzhausen – Das große Museum AKA The Great Museum (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
The documentary THE GREAT MUSEUM is a curious, witty and humorous peek behind the scenes at a world-famous cultural institution. Director Johannes Holzhausen and his team spent more than two years gathering material at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Shot in the attentive style of direct cinema – with no off-screen commentary, no interviews and no background music – the film observes the various processes involved in creating a perfect setting for art. From the managing director to the cleaning services team, from the carriers to the art historians, the staff members at the museum are all interdependent cogs in the same machine. Continue reading

Ulrich Seidl – Im Keller AKA In the Basement (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
In the Basement (Im Keller) is a 2014 Austrian documentary film directed by Ulrich Seidl about people and their obsessions, and what they do in their basements in their free time. It was part of the Out of Competition section at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

Corpulent sex slaves, tuba-playing Nazi obsessives, reborn doll fantasists — just a regular stroll through the neighborhood, then, for patented guru of the grotesque Ulrich Seidl, who makes an intriguing return to documentary filmmaking with “In the Basement.” Grabby and grubby in equal measure, this meticulously composed trawl through the contents of several middle-class Austrians’ cellars (a space, according to Seidl, that his countrymen traditionally give over to their most personal hobbies) yields more than a few startling discoveries. Continue reading

Johannes Grenzfurthner – Die Gstettensaga: The Rise of Echsenfriedl (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Instant Cult Film from Austria.

Allegedly on a €5.000 budget!

Brilliant commentary on the Euro Crisis, international politics, internet and DIY culture … see farmers worshipping EU application forms as “holy scripture” and the NASDAQ crowd talking about dark energy! Continue reading

Jessica Hausner – Amour Fou (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
Berlin, the Romantic Era. Young poet Heinrich wishes to conquer the inevitability of death through love, yet is unable to convince his sceptical cousin Marie to join him in a suicide pact. It is whilst coming to terms with this refusal, ineffably distressed by his cousin’s insensitivity to the depth of his feelings, that Heinrich meets Henriette, the wife of a business acquaintance. Heinrich’s subsequent offer to the beguiling young woman at first holds scant appeal, that is until Henriette discovers she is suffering from a terminal illness. AMOUR FOU is a “romantic comedy” based loosely on the suicide of the poet Henrich von Kleist in 1811. Continue reading

Michael Haneke – Benny’s Video (1992)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
The second part of Haneke’s “glaciation trilogy” begins with a buzz and a bang: the white noise of a television screen snow shower and then the bang of a pig being shot on the subsequent home video. Benny’s Video is the most accessible film of the trilogy, but still never departs from Haneke’s powerful concoction of brutal images and laconic montage. Benny is a neglected son of rich parents in Vienna. He spends his days and nights in his room lost in a cobweb of video equipment, cameras, monitors and editing consoles. He keeps his shades drawn at all times and experiences the outside world mediated through the camcorders he has set up outside his windows. He obsessively reviews the farmyard killing of a pig in forward and reverse, slow motion and freeze-frame. Intermittently, he flips through channels full of news on neo-nazi killings, toy commercials, war films and reports on the incipient war in Yugoslavia. One day he meets a girl at the video store and invites her back to his empty house. He shows her the stun-gun used to kill the pig and shoots her with it. The girl’s death is shot visually out of the camera’s frame although the audience is privy to excruciating minutes of screams and whimpers. In the end, Benny foils his parents’ perversely cynical attempt to cover up the murder. Continue reading

Michael Haneke – Funny Games (1997)

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000EHQU3U.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V1140039079_.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
What do you do if a stranger comes to your home and politely asks to borrow some eggs?

So far, it doesn’t sound like a good film, but Funny Games isn’t a good film. There’s no way it can be middle-of-the-road, it’s either brilliant or awful, depending on your point of view. Consider that when this film was first shown at Cannes, a lot of the audience walked out, including some professional film critics. In short, this is a film you need to see to have any true appreciation of how it works. I could describe everything that happens in minute detail, and still not impart what actually happens. Continue reading