History of Now (2015)

History of Now
Director: Nadiv Molcho
Writer: Nadiv Molcho
Cast: Nadiv Molcho, Aya BeldiKai HillebrandLea Wolfram
Seen on: 1.3.2017

Plot:
Eli (Nadiv Molcho) and Maya (Aya Beldi) were in love until about a year ago when their relationship went down in flames. By chance, they meet again at a party and take the opportunity to reflect on their relationship. As they walk through Vienna and talk things through, maybe they’ll be able to shed new light on past events.

History of Now is obviously Molcho’s passion project and it shows in every minute of the film that he is a very young man – with emphasis on both the young and the man part. The result is okay, but not really my cup of tea. Maybe because I never was a young man.

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Wilde Maus [Wild Mouse] (2017)

Wilde Maus
Director: Josef Hader
Writer: Josef Hader
Cast: Josef Hader, Pia Hierzegger, Jörg Hartmann, Georg Friedrich, Denis Moschitto, Crina Semciuc, Nora von Waldstätten, Maria Hofstätter, Murathan Muslu
Seen on: 21.2.2017

Plot:
Georg (Josef Hader) has worked as a critic of classical music for decades, but with budget cuts hitting media outlets, he is fired. When it happens, he finds he can’t tell his wife Johanna (Pia Hierzegger) who is hoping to become pregnant despite being over 40 already. So Georg pretends to go to work every day and instead finds himself in the Prater, Vienna’s big amusement park. There he runs into Erich (Georg Friedrich). Despite their differences, the two start to spend a lot of time together, starting to renovate an old rollercoaster. But Georg is also set on taking revenge on his former boss Waller (Jörg Hartmann).

Wilde Maus is a dry and very black comedy that makes you laugh more often than it’s actually funny. It could have stood more female voices, but I did enjoy it.

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Die Hölle [Cold Hell] (2017)

Die Hölle
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Writer: Martin Ambrosch
Cast: Violetta Schurawlow, Tobias Moretti, Robert Palfrader, Sammy Sheik, Friedrich von Thun, Murathan Muslu, Nursel Köse, Verena Altenberger
Seen on: 6.2.2017

Plot:
Özge (Violetta Schurawlow) is a taxi driver with anger management issues. One night she returns home just in time to see a murder  in the appartment building across the street. Unfortunately the killer sees her, too and subsequently turns her life upside down completely. Özge finds an ally, though, in grumpy police officer Christian (Tobias Moretti) who offers her a place to stay almost inspite of himself. But Özge is a fighter and she won’t be playing victim for anybody, not even a killer.

Die Hölle really didn’t work for me, despite a couple of things that I did like. It was one of those films that left me uneasy as I left the cinema and that I disliked more and more with every minute I thought about it.

[SPOILERS]

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Jenseits des Krieges [East of War] (1996)

Jenseits des Krieges
Director: Ruth Beckermann
Writer: Ruth Beckermann
Seen on: 2.1.2017

“Plot”:
In the 90s, the Wehrmachtsausstellung reached Vienna. It detailed the war crimes committed by the Wehrmacht during World War II and created a lot of controversy, as the Wehrmacht thus far had been thought to have a relatively clean record (after an extensive review of the exhibition and its materials after the criticism, they found certain inaccuracies and a few generalizations that were too big, but the core argument still stands).
Beckermann visited the exhibition with her camera and interviewed the visitors to the exhibition, most of whom were Wehrmacht soldiers themselves.

Jenseits des Krieges is an incredibly important cinematic document and one that should be much older than it actually is. It proves that we had and still have a long way too go when it comes to our confrontation with World War II.

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Die Geträumten [The Dreamed Ones] (2016)

Die Geträumten
Director: Ruth Beckermann
Writer: Ina Hartwig, Ruth Beckermann
Based on: Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan‘s letter exchange
Cast: Anja Plaschg, Laurence Rupp
Seen on: 20.12.2016

Plot:
Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan were both writers who met in Vienna just after World War II. Celan was a Romanian Jew, Bachmann an Austrian whose father was an active Nazi. But they connected and kept up a correspondence over many years, before and after having an affair, a correspondence filles with longings and what-ifs. Now singer and actress Anja Plaschg and actor Laurence Rupp are in a recording studio, reading those letters. As they uncover the depths of the relationship between Bachmann and Celan, they also learn more about each other.

I loved the idea of Die Geträumten, but I feared that it wouldn’t work for me because I’m simply bad at taking in stuff that is being read to me. And while I unfortunately was right with my fear, I still feel that Die Geträumten is a very worthwhile film.

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Kinders (2016)

Kinders (literally: Childrens)
Director: Arash T. Riahi, Arman T. Riahi
Writer: Arash T. Riahi, Arman T. Riahi
Seen on: 20.12.2016

“Plot”:
Kinders follows a group of children who all participate in a music program where they can develop outside of their often difficult family backgrounds, enjoy themselves and grow confident.

There is a lot of cuteness in Kinders and every once in a while I felt that the film was getting closer to a bigger point, but before it got there, it always veered off course, thus never really realizing its full potential.

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Liebe möglicherweise [Love Maybe] (2016)

Liebe möglicherweise
Director: Michael Kreihsl
Writer: Michael Kreihsl
Cast: Devid Striesow, Silke Bodenbender, Edita Malovcic, Hary Prinz, Gerti Drassl, Eva Sakálová, Christine Ostermayer, Astrit Alihajdaraj, Otto Schenk, Francis Okpata, Jana McKinnon, Norman Hacker
Seen on: 12.12.2016

Plot:
After Michael (Devid Striesow) loses his job, he is reeling and his attentions focus on actress Leila (Edita Malovcic) who happens to be his friend’s Roland (Norman Hacker) girlfriend. Meanwhile Michael’s wife Monika (Silke Bodenbender) feels that Michael is keeping his distance and looks for intimacy with Roland. And Michael and Monika’s daughter Viktoria (Jana McKinnon) doesn’t exactly have an easy time navigating puberty.

Liebe möglicherweise tries very hard to be poignant, but it doesn’t even manage to be memorable. I had practically forgotten it the moment I left the cinema.

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Stille Reserven [Hidden Reserves] (2016)

Stille Reserven
Director: Valentin Hitz
Writer: Valentin Hitz
Cast: Clemens Schick, Lena Lauzemis, Daniel Olbrychski, Marion Mitterhammer, Simon Schwarz, Stipe Erceg, Dagmar Koller
Seen on: 7.11.2016

Plot:
Vienna in the not too distant future. People have lost their right to simply die: after you pass away, your body is reanimated, put into a vegetative state and used as processing power or storage device, put to work to pay off the debts you’re sure to have left behind. The only thing that will keep you from becoming a computer part is a death insurance – and Vincent (Clemens Schick) is the best salesman of this of course very expensive insurance. When his boss (Marion Mitterhammer) gives him the task of convincing Wladimir (Daniel Olbrychski) of getting an insurance, he finds himself confronted with Wladimir’s daughter Lisa (Lena Lauzemis) who is fighting to get everybody their right to death back.

I saw Stille Reserven a while ago at a test screening where they showed an almost but not quite finished version of it and asked for feedback. I was not particularly taken with it then, but I wanted to see it once more as a finished product (also to support Austrian SciFi) before judgding it completely. Unfortunately, neither the film nor my impression of it changed much in the meantime. There was just too much about it that was utterly familiar.

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Egon Schiele: Tod und Mädchen [Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden] (2016)

Egon Schiele: Tod und Mädchen
Director: Dieter Berner
Writer: Hilde Berger, Dieter Berner
Cast: Noah Saavedra, Maresi Riegner, Valerie Pachner, Marie Jung, Larissa Breidbach, Elisabeth Umlauft, Thomas Schubert, Daniel Sträßer, Cornelius Obonya, Michael Kreihsl
Seen on: 7.11.2016

Plot:
Egon Schiele (Noah Saavedra) and his sister Gerti (Maresi Riegner) are close and she supports him in his art, generally and by posing as a model for his paintings. But Gerti is not the only woman who inspired and supported Egon’s art. Next to Gerti, the most important is Wally (Valerie Pachner) who started out as a model for Gustav Klimt (Cornelius Obonya) and becomes Egon’s biggest love. His mostly nude or half-nude portraits of Wally and other women become a great provocation in Austrian society.

Egon Schiele: Tod und Mädchen is an interesting biopic that gives a good idea of Schiele’s (short) life and work and manages to entertain while it’s at it.

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Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert [We Used to Be Cool] (2016)

Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert [literally: What ruined us so much]
Director: Marie Kreutzer
Writer: Marie Kreutzer
Cast: Vicky KriepsPia HierzeggerPheline RogganMarcel MohabManuel RubeyAndreas Kiendl
Seen on: 4.11.2016

Plot:
Stella (Vicky Krieps) and Markus (Marcel Mohab), Ines (Pia Hierzegger) and Chris (Manuel Rubey), Mignon (Pheline Roggan) and Luis (Andreas Kiendl) are three couples who have been friends for a long time. As they’ve passed their 30th birthday, the question of children starts to arise. It just so happens that after Stella and Markus decide they want to have a kid, Ines finds herself accidentally pregnant and Mignon pressures Luis, maybe just to not be the only one who isn’t pregnant. So all three couples find themselves expecting a kid, but not really expecting their lives to change or wanting it.

Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert comes with a lot of praise, but I wasn’t all that taken with it. It is funny and it has a lot of charm, but it didn’t resonate with me all that much.

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