1991-2000AustriaDocumentaryUlrich Seidl

Ulrich Seidl – Der Busenfreund AKA The Bosom Friend (1997)

A 1997 TV film. Two descriptions:

“Main character of this movie is Rene Rupnik, a former math teacher. He is forty years old and lives together with his mother in a desolate block of flats. Ever since his early youth women with big breasts have fascinated him, because they symbolise a kind of earth mother to him. He has never had an especially close relationship with his own mother; she was too ‘bony’ for him. Object of Rene’s fantasy is the actress Senta Berger, to him everything a woman should be. Standing by the blackboard and explaining the mathematical laws of sine and cosine (‘sinus’ is bosom in Latin), Rene sings the praises of the female curves and those of Santa Berger in particular. Filmmaker Ulrich Seidl let the former teacher speak freely about his obsessions and desires, intercutting his monologues with scenes from the protagonist’s day-to-day life.”


“Rene Rupnik is a math teacher; Senta Berger is an actress (b. 1941). For the teacher, the curves of geometry evoke only woman’s breasts, especially the breasts of the actress. He watches her films over and over, for several years he has been examining and describing her body. He tries to transform it into geometry, to give it the validity of a mathematical fact. He considers himself an expert on breasts; his obsession leads to obscure theories about an ideal bra or the shaping of perfect breasts. The actress represents the unbeatable ideal. She fascinated him when he was young; today she is his perfect sinusoid. Rupnik does not need her physical presence, she probably does not attract him as a sexual fantasy, she is not an image for masturbation. She exists only in theory; she elevates his spirits of a mathematician.

In reality, he had to leave school and he lives on welfare together with his mother – he shares apartment with her, but he avoids her – they do not talk nor eat together. He is forty years old and unable of having a normal life. The world has shrunk into an old apartment filled with old newspaper and a strange, ugly relationship – he hates his mother, she is too flat and bony, so different from the picture of the actor that does not age.

At first sight, the film shot on the large format of Animal Love is less ambitious, it focuses on a single character, it softens the tense and intimate moments (the film does not wait for the audience to look away). The method of standard television documents does not open polemics about the intended and unintended, about the internal mechanics of the authentic. There’s an absence of opulent cynicism and coldness, the images from the apartment evoke mainly anxiety. It is an exercise in directing, a television comedy with a puppet affected by a bizarre obsession and the Oedipus Complex. This seems to be a time out, but also a next chapter of Seidl’s pubic anthropology.”

426MB | 1:00:15 | 741×556 | mkv


Subtitles:English softsub

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