documentary

INTERIM USE

documentary, 75min, D: Dariusz Kowalski link

 

Vienna’s imposing central railway station includes monochrome office buildings and apartment blocks in the city’s Sonnwend quarter, but in Dariusz Kowalski’s Interim Use it solely serves as an incidental backdrop in front of which kids from Vienna’s Favoriten neighborhood play soccer. This documentary is not about engineered urban planning, instead it is concerned with haphazardly evolved sites – a niche well hidden in the no man’s land between Vienna’s highway system and former industrial buildings.

 

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WIND

documentary, 75min, D: Martin Putz

 

“We are mad to be filming the wind; filming the impossible is what’s best in life.” The dream of making the wind graspable has stirred artists since time immemorial. Joris Ivens was not the only one fully aware of this futile endeavor. Martin Putz likewise searches the world for people and places of the wind, while mindful of the fact that only things standing in the way of the wind can provide an inkling of its workings. Without the friction and the motion the wind effects, it remains invisible. (Regina Schlagnitweit)

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THIS MOVIE IS A GIFT

documentary, 72min., D: Anja Salomonowitz  trailer

 

Daniel Spoerri arranges things into one of his assemblages as if he were contributing something to the order of life. Oskar Salomonowitz, the filmmaker´s son, vividly brings the artist´s thoughts closer to us, as if they were his own. The spoons of the late father of Anja Salomonowitz are added to the cycle of life. People die, things remain. By also updating Daniel Spoerri´s past through the child, the film courageously undertakes a new documentary path of cinematic, biographical representation. Spoerri´s father, Isaac Feinstein, was murdered in the Holocaust and Spoerri´s life was shaped by this disappearance. In his work, he says, the things found at the flea market, which he collects and nails to the wall as compositions, no longer disappear. He has captured life for a moment.

 

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SCENES FROM A WAR

documentary, 25min., D: Annja Krautgasser

 

Set in motion at the start is a game comprising fields and markings, present and past, visibility and invisibility. Fences—and ribbons, bleachers, a bit of forest, already divided into territories—refer to the inside and outside of the field, as does every image. The objects in the image and the use of the images blend once again when the members of a military history club appear to restage a battle of the red army against the Wehrmacht. The annual creation of this battlefield comprises the attempt, with maximal effort, to conjure up a realistic war scenario on the empty field. Annja Krautgasser’s film documents the event and, for its part, stages it: the arsenal of weapons meets with an arsenal of cinematic means, image tropes that are familiar to us from war films: the camera’s distance from events; the tele-objective; cut/counter-cut by means of which the conflicting parties steer towards one another; the pan with the fighter planes; the hectic zoom. The field, like the screen, must first be filled with the real-life markings of war (tanks and uniforms, pans and zooms).

 

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SEEING VOICES

documentary, 88min, D: Dariusz Kowalski  link vimeo

 

Seeing Voices leads into the hidden universe of the community of deaf people and focuses on the expressive power and magic of sign language. Through different protagonists in Vienna, Seeing Voices portrays life in a deaf world in different stages of life: The Hager family with their son Emil (1) and their daughter Caroline (3, hearing), Ayse (18), who is on the verge of a career choice and Helene (42), a politician; they all master their daily lives in different ways, walking the line between the hearing and the deaf world.

 

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HOUSE OF ATONEMENT

documentary, 90 min, D: Maya McKechneay  link vimeo

 

House of Atonement tells the story of a luckless address: Vienna, Schottenring 7. This was the site of Ringtheater were nearly four hundred people died in a fire in 1881. Where the emperor subsequently built the Sühnhaus (‘the house of atonement’) to make up for it and no-one wanted to live there. 

Where Sigmund Freud opened a practice when he was still unknown. And moved out again after a patient lunged to her death in the staircase.
 The Gestapo put the place to the torch in order to destroy files, successfully annihilating the emperor’s allegedly ‘incombustible’ legacy. Here, Cold War fear was cast in concrete: Vienna’s control centre for cases of breakdown, 18 meters under the earth and untouched to this day. The essayfilm House of Atonement takes an associative look at monarchy, First and Second Republic and connects images, events and thoughts that do not seem to have much in common, at first glance. As a ghost house movie without ghosts it uses a piece of property’s history as an occasion to look for real skeletons in Austria’s cupboard.

 

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DREAMS REWIRED

documentary, 90min, D: Martin Reinhart, Thomas Tode, Manu Luksch  link  vimeo

DREAMS REWIRED traces the desires and anxieties of today’s hyper-connected world back more than a hundred years, when telephone, film and television were new. As revolutionary then as contemporary social media is today, early electric media sparked a fervent utopianism in the public imagination – promising total communication, the annihilation of distance, an end to war. But then, too, there were fears over the erosion of privacy, security, morality. Using rare (and often unseen) archival material from nearly 200 films to articulate the present, DREAMS REWIRED reveals a history of hopes to share, and betrayals to avoid.

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DOUBLE HAPPINESS

documentary, 82 min, D: Ella Raidel  link vimeo

Among the Chinese double happiness refers to the happiness that’s increased twofold when a couple decides to spend the rest of their lives together. Ella Raidel chose this beautiful and optimistic concept as the title of her first full-length documentary. But, calling it a documentary possibly isn’t fitting, and it’s certainly not like the conventional kind of report on globalization. On the contrary, this is an extremely pointed film essay made with a great deal of sensitivity and a fine touch.

Starting with the widely known but rather banal fact that “the Chinese” near the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen have more or less rebuilt to scale the Upper-Austrian tourist attraction of Hallstatt, or at least parts of it, Raidel takes an extremely precise look at contemporary China which shows she’s completely unimpressed by the opposites characterizing the West’s current view of the country.

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documentary

 

 

 

THE 272 DAYS WITHOUT KARAMO

documentary, 82min, D: Anka Salomonowitz   trailer

(Österreichischer Filmpreis 2014, Nominierung Beste Kamera, Bester Dokumentarfilm)

“Anja Salomonowitz´s artistically constructed documentary The 272 Days Without Karamo tackles a difficult and at times moving issue – the tough immigration law in Austria – with compassion and engagingly quirky edge. It is elegantly shot, artistically framed and gently emotional, with Salomonowitz making especially good use of Bernhard Fleischmann´s impressive score and playfully layering in some clever sound design quirks that make what could have been an unrelentingly dry subject all the more human and insightful.” Mark Adams, chief film critic, Screen Daily.

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TOWARD NOWA HUTA

documentary, 84min, D: Dariusz Kowalski

(Grosser Preis Diagonale 2012)  vimeo link

Young people spin their cars around in the closed-down industrial grounds.

A newlywed pair has their picture taken in dilapidated barracks.
A tourist guide drives visitors through the city in his Trabant, pointing out the sites of clashes from 1989.
Three scenes from Dariusz Kowalski’s documentary Toward Nowa Huta, which offer splendid illustration of its organization: present and past mutually penetrate and comment on one another rather than forming two separate planes. The film does not have to search for a direct confrontation with the past; the theme presents itself automatically, as it were, like an onsite prop that one would have to pass by, anyway, sooner or later.

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Young people spin their cars around in the closed-down industrial grounds.
A newlywed pair has their picture taken in dilapidated barracks.
A tourist guide drives visitors through the city in his Trabant, pointing out the sites of clashes from 1989.
Three scenes from Dariusz Kowalski’s documentary Toward Nowa Huta, which offer splendid illustration of its organization: present and past mutually penetrate and comment on one another rather than forming two separate planes. The film does not have to search for a direct confrontation with the past; the theme presents itself automatically, as it were, like an onsite prop that one would have to pass by, anyway, sooner or later.

Young people spin their cars around in the closed-down industrial grounds.
e to pass by, anyway, sooner or later.