Film director: Ulrich Seidl



In Paradise: Love we find all the constants of Ulrich Seidl’s cinema in a deeply intelligent, painful and merciless work. The cynicism and hypocrisy of human beings, the difference between social classes, but also – and above all – a deep loneliness and a desperate need for love are the absolute protagonists. Can there ever be an even faint chance of salvation? The director seems to have no doubt about it.



A cynical and disillusioned perspective focuses mainly on the numerous paradoxes that come to life when different realities are shown to us one after the other. We laugh a lot, we laugh almost from beginning to end, while watching War in Vienna. Yet, on closer inspection, what we are shown is quite disturbing. At the Viennale 2022, section Österreich real.



A strong inner conflict is the real focus of Sparta. Ewald laughs when he plays with the children. Slowly, however, his laughter turns into a cry. A cry that nobody notices, that only vents inside a car or in the retirement home where his father is. Subtle facial expressions say more than a thousand words. Ulrich Seidl (and the excellent Georg Friedrich) render all this perfectly and show us how the protagonist is actually the only real victim of his own weaknesses. At the Viennale 2022.



With a few simple shots and a single sentence repeated over and over again, Ulrich Seidl has fully conveyed the essence of his entire filmography. In Hakuna Matata – part of the collective project Venezia 70 Future Reloaded, realised on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Venice Film Festival – there is no need for anything else.



In The Bosom Friend Ulrich Seidl has once again given us a character we will not easily forget. A character who almost seems to belong to a world apart and who – according to some of the director’s own statements – after having renounced all forms of earning a living or social relationships, may also have found freedom in his own way.



With Rimini, Ulrich Seidl once again gives us a merciless portrait of the world in which we live, in which no one is given a chance to save themselves, in which there is no hope for a better future, in which old songs from World War II still echo through the corridors of a shabby retirement home and act as a sad leitmotif in our lives.


The great absentee at the 78th Venice Film Festival, Ulrich Seidl is a director from whom much is expected. Even when it comes to watching one of his early films. And in fact, even in the case of The Prom – made in 1982 – grotesque and ridicule are immediately the absolute protagonists in the images shown to us.


With In the Basement, Ulrich Seidl explores the inner self of the characters he filmed by entering their tidy, impeccable-looking homes, until he reaches their basements. And it is here that each of them finally reveals his or her true nature.