Fantastic Shorts Competition at the /slash Filmfestival 2016

A short note on all the short films at the /slash Filmfestival 2016 that were part of the Fantastic Shorts Competition. The winner was Ariane Louis-Seize Plouffe for her short Wild Skin.
Seen on: 25.9.2016
[Reviews by cornholio.]

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Angriff der Lederhosenzombies [Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies] (2016)

Angriff der Lederhosenzombies
Director: Dominik Hartl
Writer: Armin Prediger, Dominik Hartl
Cast: Laurie Calvert, Gabriela Marcinková, Oscar Dyekjær Giese, Margarete Tiesel, Karl Fischer, Kari Rakkola, Martin Loos, Patricia Aulitzky
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Steve (Laurie Calvert) and Josh (Oscar Dyekjær Giese) are snowboarders who are shooting a video in the alps. It’s supposed to be daring and fun but things go awry and the two of them, plus their PR manager and Steve’s now ex Branka (Gabriela Marcinková) find themselves stranded in the ski resort on top of the mountain in a hut that’s preparing to party all night. What seems like simply a bad evening turns into a really bad night when the hut is being swarmed by zombies.

Since I loved Hartl’s short films, my expectations for Angriff der Lederhosenzombies were pretty high. The movie couldn’t quite match those expectations, even though it’s really entertaining.

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Safari (2016)

Safari
Director: Ulrich Seidl
Writer: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz
Seen on: 19.9.2016

“Plot”:
A private game reserve in Namibia run by a German couple. They have mostly guests from the German-speaking part of Europe who come to Africa to hunt and collect trophies. Going on Safari in the original sense: armed with guns and eager to kill.

Safari is not Seidl’s best documentary, but it is a provocative and very revealing look at colonial structures that are alive and well today without so much as the slightest veneer of post-colonialism. Unfortunately, by centering the experiences the white people have and by almost entirely excluding black people from his documentary, Seidl does reinforce the very same structures he so pointedly lays open.

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Hotel Rock’n’Roll (2016)

Hotel Rock’n’Roll
Director: Helmut Köpping, Michael Ostrowski
Writer: Michael Glawogger, Michael Ostrowski
Sequel to: Nacktschnecken, Contact High
Cast: Michael Ostrowski, Pia Hierzegger, Gerald Votava, Georg Friedrich, Detlev Buck, Hilde Dalik, Johannes Zeiler, Jayney Klimek, Helmut Köpping
Seen on: 3.9.2016

Plot:
Mao (Pia Hierzegger) inherited an old hotel from her uncle and decides to run it together with her friends and band mates Max (Michael Ostrowski) and Jerry (Gerald Votava). They want to make it a hotel with a rock theme and lifestyle. Meanwhile Schorsch (Georg Friedrich) just happens to crash into the hotel pond after robbing a bank, which brings Schorsch’s business partner Harry (Detlev Buck) to the hotel. Since Harry owns a big hotel in the area, he would like nothing more than to take over the hotel from Mao, but she won’t give up that easily, despite everything.

Hotel Rock’n’Roll was entertaining and fun. Although it didn’t manage to blow me away, it definitely had its moments.

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Jeder der fällt hat Flügel [Those Who Fall Have Wings] (2015)

Jeder der fällt hat Flügel [der should be two commas there but aren’t and it’s making me only a little bit nervous]
Director: Peter Brunner
Writer: Peter Brunner
Cast: Jana McKinnon, Pia Dolezal, Christos Haas, Renate Hild
Seen on: 2.9.2016

Plot:
Kati (Jana McKinnon) spends her summer with her grandmother (Renate Hild) and her little sister Pia (Pia Dolezal). There’s a vulnerability in the air. Kati has asthma and seems depressed, her parents are not in the picture, her grandmother’s death seems just around the corner. Kati tries to take everything on, but she’s only 15 years old and things are bound to overwhelm.

Jeder der fällt hat Flügel manages to create an interesting atmosphere with engaging imagery but I wasn’t really able to connect with the film. In fact, my reaction was mostly boredom and a certain annoyance at the artsy-fartsy symbolism of it all.

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Das finstere Tal [The Dark Valley] (2014)

Das finstere Tal
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Writer: Martin Ambrosch, Andreas Prochaska
Based on: Thomas Willmann‘s novel
Cast: Sam Riley, Paula Beer, Tobias Moretti, Thomas Schubert, Carmen Gratl, Clemens Schick, Helmuth Häusler, Martin Leutgeb, Johannes Nikolussi, Florian Brückner, Gerhard Liebmann, Erwin Steinhauer, Hans-Michael Rehberg
Seen on: 22.8.2016

Plot:
A stranger (Sam Riley) arrives in a small village in the mountains. The villagers are suspicious. They don’t know anything about him, they don’t want him or his new-fangled photographic apparatus there. But the stranger who calls himself Greider is not to be dissuaded. He wants to stay over winter. After the six sons of the wealthiest farmer in the village give their okay, Greider is allowed to stay with Luzi (Paula Beer) and her mother (Carmen Gratl). Luzi is about to marry Lukas (Thomas Schubert), but something isn’t quite right there. And it is obvious that Greider has his own motives as well.

The Dark Valley was really successful and got some great reviews, but honestly, I don’t get it. It was boring, confusing where it wasn’t obvious and took some seriously misguided steps in the soundtrack department. Disappointing.

dasfinsteretal[Vague SPOILERS]

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Meine Tochter nicht [Not My Daughter] (2010)

Meine Tochter nicht
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Konstanze Breitebner
Cast: Lisa Martinek, Bernhard Schir, Nikola Rudle, Christopher Schärf, Mercedes Echerer, Karl Fischer, Raimund Wallisch, Max SchmiedlHary Prinz, Gerhard Liebmann, Sissy Höfferer
Seen on: 20.8.2016

Plot:
Maria (Lisa Martinek) and Paul Hofer (Bernhard Schir) have a great life – and a wonderful daughter in Nadja (Nikola Rudle). But shortly after Nadja’s sixteenth birthday, trouble arrives in the form of Nadja’s boyfriend Robi (Christopher Schärf). He is older and obviously from a social background that is nowhere near the Hofer’s lifestyle. But worst of all: Robi takes drugs – and he starts to drag Nadja into his addiction, despite her parents’ desperate attempts to keep her safe.

Meine Tochter nicht comes with a strong cast and hits some notes very accurately, but unfortunately loses almost all points in its resolution of the story and its moralizing tone.

meinetochternicht

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Contact High (2009)

Contact High
Director: Michael Glawogger
Writer: Michael Glawogger, Michael Ostrowski
Sequel to: Nacktschnecken
Cast: Michael Ostrowski, Raimund WallischPia Hierzegger, Georg Friedrich, Detlev BuckHilde Dalik, Alina Pölzl, Jeremy Strong, Anna Frances Dioso
Seen on: 15.8.2016

Plot:
A spanish drugdealer forgot a bag in Poland, so he asks his partner/employee Harry (Detlev Buck) who works in Vienna to retrieve it for him. Harry passes on the job to Schorsch (Georg Friedrich) who in turn asks Mao (Pia Hierzegger) because he wants to watch the 24 hour Le Mans race. But Mao has to babysit, so she sends Max (Michael Ostrowski) and Johann (Raimund Wallisch) to do it instead. But those two can’t necessarily be trusted, and Harry is anxious to see the bag home safe and sound. While Max and Johann think of the entire thing as a nice adventure and an excellent opportunity to make some much-needed cash, Harry convinces Schorsch to follow them and make sure that they fulfill their mission.

Contact High is often funny and sometimes stronger than Nacktschnecken, but for the most part it’s clearly weaker.

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Nacktschnecken [Slugs] (2004)

Nacktschnecken [Slugs is the correct translation, but literally it means “naked snails”]
Director: Michael Glawogger
Writer: Michael Glawogger, Michael Ostrowski
Cast: Michael Ostrowski, Raimund Wallisch, Pia Hierzegger, Iva Lukic, Sophia Laggner, Georg Friedrich, Mike Supancic, Brigitte Kren, Christoph Grissemann, Andreas Kiendl, Detlev Buck
Seen on: 14.8.2016

Plot:
Johann (Raimund Wallisch), Max (Michael Ostrowski) and Mao (Pia Hierzegger) are constantly looking for opportunities to make a little money. While Johann works as a postman, Max simply dreams and Mao occasionally sells drugs. Through that work she meets Schorsch (Georg Friedrich) who tells her that the easiest way to  make some money is to shoot a porn film. Inspired by that, Johann, Max and Mao jump at the chance. They find two women (Iva Lukic, Sophia Laggner) willing to participate, grab a camera and get going. But maybe shooting a porn isn’t quite as easy as they imagined.

Nacktschnecken is a fun film without much pretense at anything else than wanting to be fun. While I couldn’t go along with it all the time, I did enjoy it most of the time.

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Vor der Morgenröte [Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe] (2016)

Vor der Morgenröte
Director: Maria Schrader
Writer: Maria Schrader, Jan Schomburg
Cast: Josef Hader, Aenne SchwarzBarbara SukowaMatthias BrandtCharly HübnerTómas LemarquisLenn KudrjawizkiHarvey FriedmanNicolau BreynerIvan ShvedoffAndré SzymanskiValerie PachnerDaniel Puente Encina
Seen on: 16.6.2016

Plot:
Stefan Zweig (Josef Hader) is a successful writer of wide renown. As an Austrian Jew, he decided to leave Europe behind after Hitler’s rise to power and now lives in Brazil with his wife Lotte (Aenne Schwarz). But the political situation in Europe follows him even into his exile, as people all seem to expect something of him, a statement, taking position, outright help – and Zweig really doesn’t know how to handle this pressure as his attempts to distance himself from everything continue to fail.

Vor der Morgenröte captures an awkward, uncomfortable atmosphere perfectly and tells a World War 2 story from a perspective that is unusual, and definitely fascinating.

vordermorgenroete

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