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WARNING TRIANGLE

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by Virgil Widrich

grade: 7.5

Warning Triangle skilfully plays with a few, simple elements that represent, at the same time, true cornerstones of film history, never entirely obsolete, but always topical and captivating. And so, inevitably, we also notice a subtle irony, together with a sincere reverence towards not only the films mentioned here, but also towards the entire seventh art.

Four-wheel love

One of the most noteworthy names on the contemporary Austrian avant-garde and animation film scene is undoubtedly Virgil Widrich. Yes, because, in fact, the filmmaker from Salzburg has often amused himself by playing with images (now shot in person, now repertory), in order to create something totally new or even heartfelt homages to film history itself. This is the case, for instance, with the short films Fast Film (2003) and Make/Real (2010), as well as with Warning Triangle, which Widrich made in 2011 on the occasion of the exhibition Fetisch Auto, Ich fahre, also bin ich, which took place at the Museum Tinguely in Basel.

As was the case with the aforementioned works, therefore, in making Warning Triangle the director used various clips from important films of the past in order to tell the story of a bizarre love triangle in pictures. A love triangle linking man, woman and car. And so, short scenes from Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960), Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001), but also from Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996), Duel (Steven Spielberg, 1971) and Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967) give life to a completely new, simple and straightforward, but also rich in action and eroticism story.

Warning Triangle, therefore, benefits first and foremost from excellent editing, thanks to which past and present, colour and black and white create a new, exciting harmony. A man is asleep in his bed. He immediately seems rather nervous. What could he be dreaming about? Immediately afterwards, we see another man sitting in a bar. A sophisticated and elegant woman is about to get into her car. The man follows her, until the woman is forced to stop due to a breakdown. The man and the woman find themselves travelling in the same car. Things, however, suddenly take an unexpected turn.

Warning Triangle, therefore, skilfully plays with a few simple elements that are, at the same time, true cornerstones of film history, never quite obsolete, but always topical and captivating. The rhythms are tight and, as we approach the finale, become increasingly frenetic. A subtle eroticism slowly takes centre stage. An eroticism that, precisely, derives from this singular love triangle staged by Widrich. And so, inevitably, we also notice in Warning Triangle a subtle irony, along with a sincere reverence towards not only the films present here, but also towards the entire film history. And, as we well know, such love declarations have become, over the years, almost a praxis for the director. A praxis that, at the same time, manages each time to surprise us, to amuse us, to make us dream.

Original title: Warning Triangle
Directed by: Virgil Widrich
Country/year: Austria / 2011
Running time: 6’
Genre: experimental, action
Screenplay: Virgil Widrich
Cinematography: Virgil Widrich
Produced by: Virgil Widrich Filmproduktion

Info: the page of Warning Triangle on iMDb; the page of Warning Triangle on the website of Virgil Widrich