We are in Austria, between the late 1920s and early 1930s, between the two world wars. And if the consequences of the first, terrible war are still being felt strongly, there are already hints of what will happen a few years from now. How much longer will these carefree days depicted in Von Salzburg nach Lofer last?
Suggestive landscapes, immense expanses of green and, last but not least, a vehicle full of tourists enjoying the panorama are, therefore, the absolute protagonists of this short and precious Wien – Mariazell und zurück, which, with a running time of about one and a half minutes, gives us a full idea of the beauty of the places we are visiting and all their many potentials.
At the end of the 1920s (when the film Von Mariazell über Admont nach Bad Aussee was made) a directorial approach full of virtuosity was by no means common in Austria. And this denotes above all the great foresight of director Karl Köfinger, now practically forgotten.
Von Dirnbach-Stoder nach Hinterstoder presents itself as a particularly intimate documentary, proving to be particularly close to the people who live in the places visited, who colour the whole thing with their picturesque folk traditions.
Kreuz und Quer durchs Burgenland immediately becomes an image of a happy era that was, unfortunately, about to come to an end, as well as a precious historical document realised between the two world wars and between two fundamental eras in film history: the silent era and the sound era.
When Ausflüge im Mariazeller Gebiet was made, several years had already passed since the birth of the cinematograph and also sound film was gradually taking hold. Yet in Austria this new phase would come a little later. And even during these last years of the silent era, essential and elementary directorial approaches were often to be found.
Already from the first frames, we notice how a certain irony is a real constant within Graz – Mariazell – Admont. And director Karl Köfinger, for his part, used to give all his works a mostly light and humorous touch.
Thinking back to Karl Köfinger’s early films, we recall how – alongside numerous static shots – he had opted mainly for totals to show the realities depicted in their entirety. Yet in Durch die Wachau, the human being himself is put in the foreground.
When we watch a film like Kurort Baden bei Wien today, we realise how valuable it is as a document of a bygone era. An era – between the two wars – in which people tried in every way possible to return to a normal life. A time in which – albeit somewhat later than the rest of the world – cinema had also become popular in Austria.