Lively, colourful, ironic and self-ironic, The Ballad of Maria Lassnig, the latest short film by the famous Carinthian painter, is a veritable hymn to life and beauty, which has always made us all feel younger, richer and happier.
It was the painter and filmmaker Maria Lassnig who pioneered the theory of ‘body awareness’. In her paintings – as well as in her films – the human figures depicted – many of them self-portraits – often appear incomplete, sometimes in unnatural poses, a perfect mirror of the society of the time, constantly observed and criticised. And it is precisely her critique of materialism, as well as a marked feminism, the common thread of all her works.
Due to the extreme care with which it was realised, Couples, by Austrian painter Maria Lassnig, looks like a very mature work, where animation, painting, photography and live action cinema come together to create a short but significant film, merging into one another in perfect harmony.
In just five minutes, Maria Lassnig has managed to represent her complete poetics in her Selfportrait, making a short film that rightfully ranks as one of her most intimate, personal and representative works, with an interesting and essential stop-motion animation.
While Baroque Statues – Austrian painter Maria Lassnig’s first short film – was already a particularly good work, Iris, her next film, made in 1971, ranks as a natural completion of her previous work, as well as the perfect summa of the artist’s poetry.
The short film Baroque Statues proves to be a decisive forerunner of the turn that would take painter Maria Lassnig’s poetics in the years to come. Perfectly faithful to what the artist had already realised in painting, the central figure is precisely the human body, always seen as a prison, whose forms take on ever less defined characteristics, aiming for an ideal final liberation.
If we think of Austrian animation cinema, particularly significant is artist Stefan Stratil’s statement “Austria is a nation of animation films without animation films”. In short: of all possible film genres, animation is the least explored in Austria today. At least apparently.