Funny Games

Funny Games Austria (1997) Dir. Michael Haneke Before he became an Oscar nominated darling of the arthouse film fan with such sublime works as Hidden, The White Ribbon and Amour, Michael Haneke was something of an enfant terrible of European cinema with low budget affairs like this psychological shocker, which he later remade for Hollywood … Continue reading Funny Games

Revanche

Revanche Austria (2008) Dir. Götz Spielmann Often the default scenario for a revenge thriller is a fast-paced action heavy drama, set in a bustling metropolis, with mysterious phone calls, car chases and excessive violence, starring a glamorous cast. Austrian writer-director Götz Spielmann eschews all of this with his gritty, low key and authentically human take … Continue reading Revanche

Dog Days (Hundstage)

Dog Days (Hundstage) Austria (2001) Dir. Ulrich Seidl Having recently seen Austrian provocateur Ulrich Seidl’s other works, including his sublime Paradise trilogy, I was somewhat prepared to explore his controversial feature debut - at least I thought I was. Having graduated from making documentaries, which also caused some concern among the more sensitive audiences, Seidl … Continue reading Dog Days (Hundstage)

Amour fou

Amour fou Austria (2014) Dir. Jessica Hausner It probably won’t appear as such but this film based on the final year in the life of the noted German poet and novelist Heinrich von Kleist, who committed suicide in 1811, is purported to be a comedy. A black comedy of course, given the subject matter, but … Continue reading Amour fou

Paradise: Hope (Paradies: Hoffnung)

Paradise: Hope (Paradies: Hoffnung) Austria (2013) Dir. Ulrich Seidl And so we reach the final instalment in the stark and confrontational Paradise trilogy from Austrian provocateur Ulrich Seidl. The third family member to be put under the spotlight is 13 year-old Melanie - or Mellie - (Melanie Lenz), the daughter of  Theresa from Love and … Continue reading Paradise: Hope (Paradies: Hoffnung)

Paradise: Faith (Paradies: Glaube)

Paradise: Faith (Paradies: Glaube) Austria (2012) Dir. Ulrich Seidl Following on from Paradise: Love, Ulrich Seidl presents us with the second film in his Paradise trilogy concerning the singular events in the lives of three women of one family. Taking centre stage this time is 50 something Anna Maria (Maria Hofstätter), the sister of Love’s … Continue reading Paradise: Faith (Paradies: Glaube)

Paradise: Love (Paradies: Liebe)

Paradise: Love (Paradies: Liebe) Austria (2012) Dir. Ulrich Seidl This is the first film in a trilogy which was originally conceived as one film with three parallel running stories concerning three women from one family, until the editing process revealed the run time would be far too long, so splitting the stories into three was … Continue reading Paradise: Love (Paradies: Liebe)

Michael

Michael Austria (2011) Dir. Markus Schleinzer Tackling a sensitive and contentious subject as paedophilia requires some sensitivity and chutzpah, especially if you are a first time director. Former actor and casting director Markus Schleinzer is the one who has taken on this unenviable task for his directorial debut, which is said to have its roots … Continue reading Michael

Breathing (Atmen)

Breathing (Atmen) Austria (2011) Dir. Karl Markovics 18 year-old Roman Kogler (Thomas Schubert) has spent all his life in orphanages and following the death of another teenager is now in a juvenile detention centre. As a result he is sullen, insular and uncommunicative and is unable to keep a job, an essential requirement to create … Continue reading Breathing (Atmen)