Fantastic Shorts Competition at the /slash Filmfestival 2017

A short note on all the short films at the /slash Filmfestival 2017 that were part of the Fantastic Shorts Competition. The winner was Rémy Rondeau for his short J’aime Eva Marsh.
Seen on: 22.9.2017, 25.9.2017, 26.9.2017

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Die Dritte Option (2017)

Die Dritte Option
Director: Thomas Fürhapter
Writer: Thomas Fürhapter
Seen on: 21.9.2017

With the technological advances making more and more in utero testing possible comes a new decision parents have to make: if a disability is discovered in those tests, should they have the baby anyway or should they abort?
In his documentary, Fürhapter examines that intersection of disability rights and bodily autonomy and the difficult ethics that people have to navigate because of those advances in technology.

Die Dritte Option tackles a difficult topic in an interesting way and makes some excellent points but falls incredibly short because it doesn’t consider the perspective of disabled people even once.

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Los decentes [A Decent Woman] (2016)

Los decentes
Director: Lukas Valenta Rinner
Writer: Ana GodoyAriel GurevichMartín Shanly, Lukas Valenta Rinner
Cast: Iride MockertIvanna Colona OlsenMariano SayavedraPablo Seijo, Martín Shanly, Andrea Strenitz
Seen on: 19.9.2017

Belen (Iride Mockert) finds a new job as a maid in a gated community just outside Buenos Aires. It’s a rich, proper and maybe a little boring place. But adjacent to it is another kind of gated community: a nudist swinger club. The quiet Belen finds herself intrigued and starts to visit that club more and more.

Maybe Los Decentes simply caught me at the wrong time, but for whatever reason I couldn’t get into the film and found it mostly exhausting to sit through.

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Die beste aller Welten [The Best of All Worlds] (2017)

Die beste aller Welten
Director: Adrian Goiginger
Writer: Adrian Goiginger
Cast: Jeremy Miliker, Verena AltenbergerMichael PinkMichael FuithLukas Miko
Seen on: 15.9.2017

Adrian (Jeremy Miliker) lives with his mother Helga (Verena Altenberger) and her boyfriend Günter (Lukas Miko) and things could be great. Unfortunately, Helga and Günter are both drug addicts, making all of their lives much harder. Nevertheless, Helga tries everything in her power to give Adrian the best life she can give him, filled with fantasy and adventure. But it’s clear that things can’t go on the way they are.

With Die beste aller Welten, Goiginger works through his own childhood and in this case, that’s the perfect recipe for a touching, beautiful film, even if it’s a difficult story to tell, especially because it goes as well as it does.

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Sie nannten ihn Spencer [They Called Him Bulldozer] (2017)

Sie nannten ihn Spencer
Director: Karl-Martin Pold
Writer: Karl-Martin Pold
Seen on: 24.8.2017

Marcus and Jorgo are probably the biggest Bud Spencer and Terence Hill fans there are. Both of them have a long-lasting and very emotional connection to their films: Jorgo – who is blind – always listened to them when he was a child. Marcus had a bad accident and the films helped him in his recovery. Marcus and Jorgo meet at a fan event and find kindred spirits in each other. They decide, more or less on a whim, to try and track down Bud Spencer to try and thank him for what he has meant in their lives. It’s a mission that takes them a long time and has them driving through Europe.

I went into this film expecting something different from what I got, but it was an enjoyable, albeit a little lenghty experience nevertheless.

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Die unabsichtliche Entführung der Frau Elfriede Ott [The Unintentional Kidnapping of Mrs. Elfriede Ott] (2010)

Die unabsichtliche Entführung der Frau Elfriede Ott
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Writer: Uwe LubrichMichael Ostrowski, Andreas Prochaska, Alfred Schwarzenberger
Cast: Michael Ostrowski, Andreas KiendlElfriede OttGerhard LiebmannAngelika NiedetzkySimon HatzlThomas Mraz
Seen on: 19.8.2017

Toni (Michael Ostrowski) and Horst (Andreas Kiendl) don’t really have much going for themselves. But at least Horst an live cheaply in his grandmother’s apartment. The only trouble is: his grandmother has been dead for a while and if anybody were to find out, his comfortable life would be over. So when he gets a letter from the mayor who wants to congratulate the grandmother on her 100th birthday, Horst and Toni decide to quickly borrow an old woman from the hospital. It just so happens that they manage to take famous actress Elfriede Ott (Elfriede Ott), leading to more trouble than they bargained for.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this movie, but it’s definitely one of those comedies that really don’t work for me. It had its moments here and there, but altogether it falls in the category of “it’s a thing I’ve seen now.”

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Abschied von den Eltern [Farewell] (2017)

Abschied von den Eltern
Director: Astrid Ofner
Writer: Astrid Ofner, Hans Hurch
Based on: Peter Weiss‘ autobiographical novel, translated as Leavetaking
Cast: Sven DolinskySelma BindewaldColine CisarAnna ConradiNora ConradiSven HorstPeter NestlerJohanna SchmidtLawrence Tooley
Seen on: 19.8.2017

Peter Weiss (Sven Dolinsky) grew up in the 20s and 30s. The death of his parents inspires him to revisit his childhood and youth, and reflect on his coming-of-age, as a man, as an artist, as a member of a half-jewish family in a Europe with fascism on the rise.

Abschied von den Eltern is an interesting cinematic experiment, both as a film and as an adaptation of a novel, but I was more impressed with the text than with the film.

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Die Migrantigen [The Migrumpies] (2017)

Die Migrantigen
Director: Arman T. Riahi
Writer: Aleksandar Petrovic, Faris Rahoma, Arman T. Riahi
Cast: Aleksandar Petrovic, Faris Rahoma, Doris Schretzmayer, Zijah Sokolovic, Daniela Zacherl, Josef Hader, Mehmet Ali Salman, Julia Jelinek, Maddalena Hirschal, Margarete Tiesel, Dirk Stermann, Mahir Jahmal, Rainer Wöss, Brigitte Kren
Seen on: 5.7.2017

Benny (Faris Rahoma) and Marko (Aleksandar Petrovic) have been best friends for about forever and both find themselves struggling: Benny would like to make it as an actor, but has had no luck so far, mostly because he’s usually reduced to small roles due to his darker skin. And Marko’s ad agency just went bust – and his girlfriend Sophie (Daniela Zacherl) is expecting their first child. As they try to figure out what to do, an opportunity falls into their lap in the shape of Marlene (Doris Schretzmayer), a TV reporter looking to do a hot take on immigrants in Vienna. Just for the heck of it Benny and Marko – who actually do have migration roots – turn into Omar Sharif and Tito to give Marlene all the clichés about immigrants roled into a neat little package. But when Marlene returns with the offer to do an entire reality TV show about them, the two find themselves trapped in their performance and enticed by the money and acting break it would mean for them.

Die Migrantigen is an entertaining film that nails quite a few very problematic things about the discourse on migrants in Austria in a very revealing, yet light-hearted way. Sometimes it’s a little too easy and sometimes its ideas are better than the execution, but mostly, it’s very enjoyable.

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#Single (2017)

Director: Andrea Eder
Writer: Andrea Eder, Constanze Schumann
Seen on: 20.5.2017

The documentary follows five people who try their hand at online dating in very different ways. Ruth is looking for true love – finally -, while Philipp is more interested in finding fun. Wolfgang has been divorced three times and he doesn’t want to spend his retirement alone, while Veronika is ready to settle down with the right guy. And Darko is looking for a guy who can fulfill his expectations. 

#Single didn’t bring me much new information and it sometimes lacked a critical perspective on (online) dating, but it can be used as a starting point for interesting discussions.

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Meine Schwester [My Sister] (2011)

Meine Schwester
Director: Sascha Bigler
Writer: Sascha Bigler, Axel Götz
Cast: Christiane Hörbiger, Maresa Hörbiger, August Zirner, Simon Schwarz, Cornelius Obonya, August Schmölzer, Edita Malovcic, Stella Butz
Seen on: 16.5.2017

Katharina Wallner (Christiane Hörbiger) owns a small shop. Much to the chagrin of her landlord Heinz Ortner (August Schmölzer) she has a contract for life. He would rather have her gone, so he can rent out the shop on better conditions. It’s just when he starts to put increasingly more pressure on Katharina that Katharina’s long lost sister Hannah Laval (Maresa Hörbiger) returns to Vienna. And Hannah isn’t as nice as Katharina, not by a long shot.

I stumbled into the film and since the cast wasn’t bad, I stuck around. It’s a rather solid TV production, but it’s really not a must see film.

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