Month: May 2019

lauda-the-untold-story-2014-schalle-review

LAUDA – THE UNTOLD STORY

Employing many archive footage, Lauda – The Untold Story, directed by Austrian Hannes Michael Schalle, meticulously investigates the facts, including testimonies and controversies that arose following the famous accident involving the legendary driver Niki Lauda in August 1976. And so, in this great carousel of the Formula 1 world, no one is missing.

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NORTH FACE

Fully following the canons of the mainstream television film that we all too often come across in German productions, North Face, co-produced by Germany, Austria and Switzerland and directed by German director Philipp Stölzl, doesn’t know how to exploit its opportunities (first and foremost, the climb undertaken by the four protagonists), making the whole thing excessively flat and rhythmless.

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SAMSON AND DELILAH

Few people know that one of the most important periods in Austrian cinema was the 1920s. During this period, in fact, films with a biblical or epic character were mainly produced in Italy and Austria. This is the case (if we want to remain in Austria) with Samson and Delilah – directed in 1922 by the Hungarian Alexander Korda – as well as with the famous Sodom and Gomorrah, by Michael Curtiz.

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AMOUR FOU

It is a very interesting evolutionary path, that of director Jessica Hausner, one of the most popular Austrian film directors today. After a career beginning in which the world of adolescence and self-discovery was the focus of her interest, following a brief incursion into horror cinema, her discourse gradually shifted to social issues and to all the”weirdness” that characterises the society in which we live. This is the case with Lourdes, as well as Amour Fou, the first costume drama by the Viennese director.

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THE SOUND OF MUSIC – AUSTRIA BEFORE THE ANSCHLUSS

The love felt by Georg von Trapp for his beautiful homeland is well portrayed by the skilful direction of Robert Wise, thanks to evocative pan shots and impressive long shots of the Austrian mountains, as well as a look at the precious lake areas, and the staging of important Austrian folk traditions, such as the symmetrical choreography of the famous Ländler dance or the Salzburg Festival itself, where musicians and singers from all over the world still perform today – and since 1887.

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KARL JUHASZ – THE 3D CINEMA OF THE 1910s

Who was, in fact, Karl Juhasz? Nowadays forgotten by most, he was, in his time, the inventor of the so-called 3D cinema of the 1910s (although not, of course, 3D as we are used to conceiving it today), at a time when, in Austria, rather than producing films directly, one tended to import what had previously been shot abroad.

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HELMUT BERGER – THE DAMNED

A lot has been said over the years about Helmut Berger. One cannot fail to remember, in this regard, the words of director Billy Wilder (his countryman): ‘It is curious that the greatest Italian actor is an Austrian’, or Paul Morrissey: ‘Apart from Helmut Berger, there are no more beautiful women’. But who is, in fact, Helmut Berger?

untitled-2017-glawogger-willi-review

UNTITLED

Michael Glawogger, in realising Untitled, his posthumous film, set off with his long-standing group of collaborators on a journey around the world – apparently without any final destination – filming reality as it is, without any filter, documenting destruction and rebirth, the degradation of certain situations around the world and, at the same time, the great power of human beings to recover, to rise from the ashes, to find a new purpose in life, new lifeblood.