In autumn, overripe things fall. And similarly, there seems to be no certainty for the relationships between the protagonists of 1 Verabredung im Herbst. Yet at the same time, Sebastian Brauneis stages the complexity of feelings and interpersonal relationships with an uncommon lightness.
The season of love
Director Sebastian Brauneis’ greatest peculiarity is his ability to realise incredibly vivid, involving and sincere stories with a small budget. Together with him, a big group of actors and collaborators help to turn everything into images on the big screen. And the great passion that moves each of them can be felt from the very first minutes. This was the case for the feature film 3Freunde2Feinde (2020) and it is also the case for 1 Verabredung im Herbst, which premiered at the Diagonale 2021.
Everything takes place in the space of 36 hours, in the summer of 2020, some time after the end of the first lockdown. Linda (Julia Franz Richter) lives in Vienna and is in a relationship with Anton (Lukas Watzl), who, however, is dating two other people and has always told everyone a series of lies ‘in order not to hurt anyone’. Alma (Marlene Hauser) lives in Graz and is also in a relationship with Anton. A relationship that has come to an end. At the same time, numerous other stories intertwine with those of the protagonists, creating a symphony of voices that tells us about one of the most complicated feelings between the hot summer and autumn.
In autumn, overripe things fall. And similarly, there seems to be no certainty for the relationships between the protagonists of 1 Verabredung im Herbst. Yet at the same time, Sebastian Brauneis stages the complexity of feelings and interpersonal relationships with an uncommon lightness. His feature film is incredibly fresh, ironic, humorous, light as a feather and welcome like a breath of fresh air after long months in which we all stayed indoors.
The two cities, Vienna and Graz, become silent spectators of the protagonists’ vicissitudes and are likewise treated almost as characters: while the long late-night chats between Linda and her new friend Gustav (Christoph Radakovits) remind us of the beautiful Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater, 1995), the small streets of Graz’s city centre become the stage for pulse-pounding chases. And, in fact, 1 Verabredung im Herbst gives us strong emotions right from the start, now thanks to poetic images of couples strolling in nature – further emphasised by pastel-coloured cinematography – now through mobile phone displays that light up, showing us ambiguous messages, which, in turn, give rise to a series of excuses and as many misunderstandings.
Attention to details, wild dancing in the streets of the city, many stories about to be written down and, above all, a welcome lightness that shows, above all, a strong, very strong will to live make this sincere and precious 1 Verabredung im Herbst a feature film that we will gladly watch many more times. A film that deals with complex themes with apparent simplicity, but which above all reveals a great knowledge of the human soul and, above all, a great, great passion for the seventh art itself.
Original title: 1 Verabredung im Herbst
Directed by: Sebastian Brauneis
Country/year: Austria / 2021
Running time: 105’
Genre: drama, romance
Cast: Thomas Hojsa, Marlene Hauser, Julia Franz Richter, Christoph Radakovits, Margarethe Tiesel, Michaela Schausberger, Lukas Watzl, Christoph Kohlbacher, Katharina Bigus, Franz Xaver Zach, Franz Solar, Valentin Brauneis, Noah L. Perktold, Thomas Frank, Laura Hermann, Franzi V. Harsdorf, Aeneas Fellmer, Felix Rank, Edi Mayr, Stefan Wunder, Martin Guggisberg, Emmanuel Fellmer, Constanze Winkler, Felix Kreutzer, Miloje Pajkanovic, David Valentek, Lukas Weiss, Xaver Winkler, Ida Lässer, Helmut Emersberger, Michou Friesz, Frederic Machto, Margrit Brauneis
Screenplay: Sebastian Brauneis
Cinematography: Sebastian Brauneis
Produced by: Studio Brauneis