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THE OTHER WAY AROUND

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by Anna Vasof

grade: 7.5

In The other Way around, Anna Vasof first and foremost wants to talk in a completely innovative way about the world we live in, about what our society has become or is becoming, while at the same time offering us new perspectives, new ways of considering our own everyday life. At the Vienna Shorts 2024.

New perspectives

‘Television creates oblivion, cinema has always created memories,’ said the great Jean-Luc Godard. How could we disagree? Especially in the wake of the pandemic, a process has been accelerated that has seen streaming platforms play an increasingly central role in our daily lives, at the expense of cinemas. What awaits us in the future? And, more generally, what will we become when objects and machines have definitively ‘taken over’ from human beings? This complex question is reflected in the interesting short film The other Way around, directed by Anna Vasof and presented as part of the Vienna Shorts 2024 programme, within the ÖW – ‘Österreich Wettbewerb’ section.

As we had already seen in Issues with my other Half (2022), Anna Vasof is particularly fascinated by all the possibilities of playing with images that cinema (and editing) offers us. In The other Way around, therefore, we see a series of short scenes in which everyday objects are used in a completely innovative way, often ‘substituting’ themselves for hands and feet and using the latter as objects themselves.

The very opening of The other Way around immediately gives us interesting food for thought: the director herself is sitting in front of the television. The logo of a well-known streaming platform appears on the screen. Then, suddenly, something happens that we do not expect: a hand holding a remote control appears on the screen, points it in the direction of the protagonist and she ‘switches off’, collapsing on the desk she is sitting at. But this is not all. In the following moments we see, in fact, fish being used to catch fishing rods, forks being eaten, two people holding a hammock on which a tree branch is lying, a hand with many pens instead of fingers, trying in vain to draw something on a tablet and glasses with eyes instead of lenses.

The other Way around is all this and much more. And in presenting itself as a playful and entertaining short film, it turns out to be far more serious and complex than it might initially seem. Yes, because, in fact, in her highly experimental and visually captivating work, Anna Vasof first and foremost wants to talk in a completely innovative way about the world in which we live, about what our society has become or is becoming, offering us, at the same time, new perspectives, new ways of considering our own everyday life and thus inciting us to rebel against a system that attempts to manage our lives in an increasingly overbearing manner.

This, then, is the common thread that unites Anna Vasof’s films. Hers is a highly political, extremely topical and courageous cinema, which aims to make the spectator critical and active. And is this not, perhaps, one of the main tasks of our beloved cinema? Anna Vasof seems to have understood this well. Her short and precious The other Way around continues a discourse that began some time ago, while revealing a strong, very strong personality.

Original title: The other Way around
Directed by: Anna Vasof
Country/year: Austria / 2023
Running time: 7’
Genre: animation, experimental
Cast: Anna Vasof
Screenplay: Anna Vasof
Cinematography: Anna Vasof
Produced by: Anna Vasof

Info: the page of The other Way around on the website of the Vienna Shorts; the page of The other Way around on the website of the sixpackfilm