Ming-liang Tsai – Xiao Kang (2015)


This year, the Viennale has once again succeeded in garnering a great director of world cinema for the creation of the traditional festival trailer. At the Viennale’s invitation, the Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang, known through works such as REBELS OF THE NEON GOD, THE RIVER, THE HOLE and WAYWARD CLOUD, created a short, approximately two-minute homage to Lee Kang-sheng – the actor who has appeared in almost all of Tsai Ming-liang’s films over the past thirty years and significantly influenced his entire oeuvre.

The film XIAO KANG shows Lee Kang-sheng roaming through a bamboo forest in a succession of simultaneously mysterious and unintentional movements. These again are alienated by the projection of silent black-and-white footage, accompanied only by the sound of a projector. It’s a fine, minimalist work, oscillating between dream and memory and kept entirely in the style of Tsai Ming-liang’s great films. Continue reading

Kevin Jerome Everson – Park Lanes (2015)


With a screening time equivalent to a full day’s work, Everson turns the cinema into a factory floor. Workers are observed while performing specific tasks, as well as while taking breaks. His humble approach paradoxically results in a monumental film.

By inviting his audience to spend much more time with his subject than the comfortable duration of a fixed film format, or a furtive visit to an installation, Everson directly sollicits our sense of time management. But beyond that, the rethoric of his meditation on history, economy and the place of the individual avoids the manipulative. Without any comment or contextualization, and with no clear sense of what type of objects are being produced, the working performance gains a sculputural quality all of its own. The title refers to the name of a bowling alley in Everson’s hometown, Mansfield Ohio. This film about a full day’s work in a factory that produces bowling alley supplies, requires an eight-hour experience in real time. It is above all a reflection on the relentlessness, but also the dignity, of everyday working life. Continue reading

Thom Andersen – The Tony Longo Trilogy (2014)


Although he has been limited to bit parts, actor Tony Longo is an axiom of American action cinema: the giant who is too softhearted for the job. Composed of three short movies, “Hey, Asshole!,” “Adam Kesher” and “You Fucking Dickhead!,” The Tony Longo Trilogy brings together all of the actor’s scenes in three of his most memorable films: “The Takeover” (Troy Cook, 1995), “Living in Peril” (Jack Ersgard, 1997) and “Mulholland Dr.” (David Lynch, 2001).
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Jörg A. Hoppe & Heiko Lange & Klaus Maeck – B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989 (2015)


Music, art and chaos in the wild West-Berlin of the 1980s. The walled-in city became the creative melting pot for sub- and pop-culture. Before the iron curtain fell, everything and anything seemed possible. B-MOVIE is a fast-paced collage of mostly unreleased film and TV footage from a frenzied but creative decade, starting with punk and ending with the Love Parade, in a city where the days are short and the nights are endless. Where it was not about long-term success, but about living for the moment – the here and now. Continue reading

Richard Linklater – Slacker (1991)


Richard Linklater’s Slacker presents a day in the life of a subculture of marginal, eccentric, and overeducated citizens in and around the University of Texas at Austin. Shooting the film on 16mm for a mere $23,000, writer/producer/director Linklater and his close-knit crew of friends eschewed a traditional plot, choosing instead to employ long takes and fluid transitions to create a tapestry of over a hundred characters, each as unique as the last, culminating in an episodic portrait of a distinct vernacular culture and a tribute to bohemian cerebration. Slacker is a prescient look at an emerging generation of aggressive nonparticipants, and one of the keynote films of the American independent film movement of the 1990s. Continue reading