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MOVIES IN THE MIND

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by Michael Glawogger

grade: 8

Movies in the Mind is a true declaration of love to cinema in all its forms. And cinema itself, in turn, should not be at all elitist, but, on the contrary, is something that belongs to each and every one of us. Michael Glawogger knew this well.

One film, many films

Over the years, the late director Michael Glawogger (1959 – 2014) gave us true gems of Austrian (and world) cinema. Used to devote himself to the making of both documentaries and feature films, the Graz-born filmmaker distinguished himself from the outset for his extraordinary ability to get inside every story he told, without being afraid to experiment, from time to time, with new cinematic languages. If there is, however, one film he made that can rightfully be considered unique in its genre, it is undoubtedly Movies in the Mind, made in 1996 and recently re-presented to the audience by the Austrian Film Museum as part of the retrospective Glawogger Favorites.

As we can already guess from the title, therefore, the great protagonist of Movies in the Mind is precisely our beloved cinema. How many of us, in fact, have always dreamed of making a film? Or, in any case, how many of us even imagine possible films that, in reality, will never be made? In Movies in the Mind, therefore, after careful selection, a number of possible feature films conceived by as many people were chosen and, for the occasion, were staged following the protagonists’ stories exactly. The end result is a bizarre and at times hilarious ensemble work, which is also extremely reverent towards the seventh art itself.

Personalities such as E. P. Wischin, Willy Puchner, Carl Andersen, Christoph Mayr, Viktor Tremmel, Hans Weingartner, Hans Herman Filnk, Susanne Strobl, Richard Blue Lormand, Andreas Dusl, Peter Budil and Boris Schafgans, all of whom are connected to the film world in one way or another, tell Michael Glawogger’s camera about their ideas. Meanwhile, scenes from their imaginary feature films magically come to life on the movie screen. Immediately we find ourselves in Franz Kafka’s mind. What could possibly happen? We are not in time to realise this when we see a woman (played by Maria Hofstätter) walking on crutches at the station. Following an encounter with a man, she is suddenly healed. And while we witness the love stories of a photographer (Johannes Silberschneider) or the torture by some vampires, something completely brutal is about to happen in the kitchen of a restaurant.

Movies in the Mind, therefore, does not simply offer some people the chance to make their own imaginary films, nor is it intended to be a simple divertissement. On the contrary, developing on several levels, this interesting film by Michael Glawogger takes us by the hand on a journey into the world of the seventh art in which every possible film genre is revisited on the movie screen, while at the same time offering us interesting food for thought regarding the concept of staging itself. Cinema and metacinema are analysed down to the smallest detail. Movies in the Mind is a true declaration of love to cinema in all its forms. And cinema itself, in turn, is by no means elitist, but, on the contrary, is something that belongs to each and every one of us. Michael Glawogger knew this well.

Original title: Kino im Kopf
Directed by: Michael Glawogger
Country/year: Austria / 1996
Running time: 87’
Genre: documentary, experimental
Screenplay: Michael Glawogger
Cinematography: Michael Glawogger
Produced by: Dor Film

Info: the page of Movies in the Mind on iMDb; the page of Movies in the Mind on the website of Michael Glawogger; the page of Movies in the Mind on the website of the Austrian Film Commission