Fritz Lang/Michael Haneke. Two names that – except for their country of origin (Austria) – seem to have little in common. Only in appearance, however. While the former immediately experimented with new paths and new forms of film language, it is also true that the latter benefited so much from these experiments that he made them his own, thus creating a totally personal and recognisable style.
There is apparently no way of salvation for the protagonists of Götz Spielmann’s Revanche (as in any other work by the Austrian director). This implicit cosmic pessimism – filled, in its own way, with a subtle religiousness – assumes immediately a universal connotation concerning every historical period.
With a sophisticated black and white that recalls the cinematography of Katzelmacher (Fassbinder’s first film, 1969), The Pacific Ocean – the first feature by Xaver Schwarzenberger, Fassbinder’s long-time assistant – is a work that, in its own way, has become a milestone in Austrian and German cinema of the 1980s.
The first chapter of the Heimatfilm-Trilogie (which also includes Farewell, 2014, and Heimatfilm, 2016), My Father’s House, dedicated to the director’s recently deceased parents, stages – like the author’s other films – an important inner change and can rightfully be classified as his most intimate and personal work.