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THE WHITE GOBLIN

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by Marvin Kren

grade: 7

In The White Goblin we see an unexpected Vienna. A Vienna that comes to life when everyone is asleep. A sparkling, opulent Vienna, but also the realm of the underworld, where money seems to play the leading role even – and above all – when the love of art and beauty should have the upper hand. At the Diagonale’22.

It happened one night

We have already noticed the talent of director Marvin Kren for several years. Yet the young filmmaker from Vienna always surprises us and even when directing a comedy for the first time, he proves to be perfectly up to the task. Such is the case with the feature film The White Goblin, which is part of the ORF series Stadtkomödie and was premiered at the Diagonale’22.

The White Goblin is a wild ride through the streets of Vienna, a night in which everything happens, a series of hilarious paradoxical situations in which art and the underworld meet, collide, and create unusual artworks. Freddy (played by an excellent Frederick Lau) leads an altogether boring life: a job in a shipping company, a boss he can never keep up with, a hot tea ordered every time after work. One day, however, the man begins to suspect that his boss has contacts with criminals and starts to investigate. That same evening he happens to meet Ema (Maya Unger), who asks him to pretend to be her brother Martin (whom she cannot contact at the moment) and to go with her to an exhibition of paintings by Martin himself. Gradually, however, things take an unexpected turn and the two find themselves running away together through the streets of the city, facing one setback after another.

A nocturnal, underground Vienna. The home of a millionaire who deals in art, but who, in reality, understands nothing about art. A promising young artist who seems to have found a ‘white goblin’ capable of giving him the necessary inspiration. And again, drug trafficking, trendy clubs, taxi drivers who want to charge ten times as much for a ‘faster than expected’ ride. The White Goblin immediately stands out for its breathtaking rhythms, but also for a welcome black humour that elegantly makes fun of certain realities without wanting to judge at all costs.

Although Marvin Kren made this feature film of his for television, it must immediately be acknowledged that The White Goblin does not look at all like a television film, thanks to a dynamic direction that handles time and space well (including the numerous car chases and thrilling races) and a cinematography masterfully directed by Martin Gschlacht.

In The White Goblin we see an unexpected Vienna. A Vienna that comes to life when everyone is asleep. A sparkling, opulent Vienna, but also the realm of the underworld, where money seems to play the leading role even – and above all – when the love of art and beauty should have the upper hand.

Marvin Kren staged all this in an amusing and entertaining way, never taking himself too seriously, but proving himself perfectly up to the task while dealing with a comedy for the first time. The White Goblin is the film we don’t expect. And what awaits us is undoubtedly a pleasant surprise.

Original title: Der weiße Kobold
Directed by: Marvin Kren
Country/year: Austria / 2022
Running time: 89’
Genre: comedy
Cast: Frederick Lau, Maya Unger, Simon Steinhorst, Thomas Mraz, Zoe Straub, Michael Thomas, Pislik88, David Oberkogler, Paul Basonga, Gabriela Schmoll, Michael Rziha, Tobias Wagner, Nadiv Moicho, Sasa Barbul, Brigitte Kren, Martin Grandits, Kida Khodr Ramadan, Kirsten Kren
Screenplay: Marvin Kren
Cinematography: Martin Gschlacht
Produced by: Bayerischer Rundfunk, Lotus Film, ORF

Info: the page of The white Goblin on iMDb; the page of The white Goblin on the website of the Lotus Film