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.

hotelrocknroll Continue reading

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.

jeder_der_faellt_hat_fluegel Continue reading

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]

Continue reading

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

[SPOILERS] Continue reading

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.

contacthigh Continue reading

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.

nacktschnecken Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Exit… nur keine Panik [Exit… But No Panic] (1980)

Exit… nur keine Panik

Director: Franz Novotny

Writer: Gustav Ernst, Franz Novotny
Cast: Hanno PöschlPaulus MankerIsolde BarthEddie ConstantineUlli NeumannKurt KrenKonrad BeckerPeter TurriniErnst Schmidt Jr.Peter PatzakPeter WeibelCurt A. TichyHans-Georg Nenning

Seen on: 15.6.2016

Plot:
Kirchhoff (Hanno Pöschl) has big dreams: he wants to open his own café. All he needs is his coffee machine and some funds to get going. And a place to rent. And… but instead of really going for it, he rather spends his time with his buddy Plachinger (Paulus Manker), hitting on women and coursing through Vienna, stumbling from one bit of trouble to the next, always ready to explode as long as it doesn’t get boring or serious.

Exit… nur keine Panik is a coarse film, often (but not always) charming in this coarseness. Charming or not, it is entertaining.

exitnurkeinepanik

Continue reading

Sissi (1955)

Sissi
Director: Ernst Marischka
Writer: Ernst Marischka
Cast: Romy Schneider, Karlheinz Böhm, Magda Schneider, Uta Franz, Gustav Knuth, Vilma Degischer, Josef Meinrad, Peter Weck
Seen on: 7.6.2016

Plot:
Sissi (Romy Schneider) is a wild girl who loves nothing more than to go hunting with her father, Duke Max (Gustav Knuth). That’s why her mother, Duchess Ludovika (Magda Schneider) usually tries to keep her away from society. But when Ludovika and her daughter Helene (Uta Franz) get invited to Bad Ischl to celebrate the birthday of Emperor Franz Josef (Karlheinz Böhm), they decide to take Sissi along as cover – so that nobody suspects that Ludovika and Franz Josef’s mother Archduchess Sophie (Vilma Degischer) have already long planned to announce the Emperor’s engagement to Helene there. But things don’t go quite as planned.

Despite being Austrian myself and having what feels like half of the Austrian economy depend on the Sissi cult, I have never seen the movies. After having seen the first one, I don’t know how much of a coherent comment I can make about it, because mostly I just want to say, “holy shit.”

sissi Continue reading

Thank You for Bombing (2015)

Thank You for Bombing
Director: Barbara Eder
Writer: Barbara Eder, Thomas Pridnig
Cast: Erwin Steinhauer, Manon Kahle, Raphael von Bargen, Susi Stach, Nadeem Srouji
Seen on: 25.3.2016

Plot:
Thank You for Bombing shows war reporting from the journalists’ points of view. Ewald (Erwin Steinhauer) is a seasoned war reporter but hasn’t been working in the field for a while due to anxiety. But then his editor decides to send him to Afghanistan, against his protests. On his way there on the airport in Vienna, Ewald is convinced to have discovered a war criminal from the war in Bosnia. Meanwhile in Afghanistan, Lana (Manon Kahle) is fighting to get a good story to report and to not be relegated to the sidelines constantly. She, too, takes up her own investigation. Cal (Raphael von Bargen), on the other hand, is bored by the organized reporting he gets to do in Afghanistan and drowns his boredom in alcohol.

Thank You for Bombing starts off strong and then gets increasingly weaker. In the end it just kinda fizzles out where it tries to go out with a bang.

thankyouforbombing Continue reading