The Fox might at first seem to be one of the many (too many?) films that depict a special friendship between humans and animals. And when approaching such stories, the risk of creating something overly rhetorical is higher than ever. Adrian Goiginger, fortunately, has managed to avoid such mistakes, focusing mainly on the childhood traumas of the young protagonist. At the Diagonale’23.
Alma & Oskar is not only the genesis of some of the most important paintings of the last century. Alma & Oskar is passion, desire, anger. A feature film that is extremely refined in its staging and is inspired by what has been made overseas, while showing its own, marked personality. At the Diagonale’23.
In De Facto, there is no need for complex set designs, archive material, many actors or the on-set reconstruction of certain historical events. On the contrary, the director focuses on simplicity and the essential, opting for a well-thought-out and strongly minimalist mise-en-scène, which, however, perfectly succeeds in its intentions.
We do not see in Louis van Beethoven a composer at work. We do not witness the creative process that led to the birth of some of his most famous compositions. Not the end result, but what, fundamentally, led to it. An undoubtedly winning idea, which, however, made Niki Stein’s feature film an excessively dispersive work, in which the director himself seems too cold towards his protagonist and his works.
In Nikolaus Leytner’s Half a Life, alongside a clear television character, far more complex moral issues concerning anger, resentment, deep sorrow and, last but not least, a heartbreaking sense of guilt are raised.
Pepe Danquart’s C(r)ook pis inspired by US gangster movies, but is also closely reminiscent of contemporary French comedies, thanks to a successful mix of genres, between polar and real comedy.
There really is a lot to be enjoyed in dealing with all the numerous ideas that the life of this brilliant artist has to offer us. All depends on knowing how to handle them well, in order to make a never predictable or didactic work that is able to portray one of Austria’s most important artistic personalities as passionately and faithfully as possible. And Dieter Berner has perfectly succeeded in this never easy and by no means banal task with his Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden.
An approach more suited to television is the first thing that we notice when watching The von Trapp Family – A Life of Music, directed by Ben Verbong. An excessively overexposed cinematography, together with a basically weak screenplay that, thanks also – and above all – to what has been written and shot in the past, seems to work almost on autopilot, are among the weakest elements of the film.
It is a clumsy directorial approach that has made Reinhold Bilgeri’s Erik & Erika into a weak film with a TV character that, despite its interesting initial ideas, inevitably loses its edge even at key moments.