Nevrland (2019)

Director: Gregor Schmidinger
Writer: Gregor Schmidinger
Cast: Simon Frühwirth, Paul Forman, Josef Hader, Wolfgang Hübsch, Anton Noori, Markus Schleinzer
Seen on: 17.9.2019

Jakob (Simon Frühwirth) is 17 years old, lives with his father (Josef Hader) and grandfather (Wolfgang Hübsch) and jobs in a slaughterhouse with his father. If all of that wasn’t hard enough, Jakob also has anxiety disorder that complicates things further. When he meets the 26-year-old artist Kristjan (Paul Forman) online, Jakob is fascinated by the older man and they soon meet in-person as well. But things take an unexpected turn for Jakob.

I was pretty impressed with Nevrland, especially considering that it’s Schmidinger’s debute feature. It is really well-made brain fuck, but also an excellent character study of Jakob. It’s not the kind of film you’d say you enjoy, but it is definitely worth a watch.

The film poster showing Jakob's (Simon Frühwirth) silhouette against a red background.
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Cops (2018)

Director: Stefan Lukacs aka Istvan
Writer: Stefan Lukacs
Cast: Laurence Rupp, Anton Noori, Maria Hofstätter, Roland Düringer, Anna Suk, Michael Fuith
Seen on: 17.10.2018

Christoph (Laurence Rupp), called Burschi (“little boy”), has finally achieved what he has always dreamed of: he is training with the WEGA, Austria’s police special forces unit, under Konstantin Blago (Anton Noori), his big idol. His father Heinz (Roland Düringer) who is also a cop, but turned away from his career towards a more social role in the force sees Christoph’s dream with a critical eye. On a seemingly routine call Christoph ends up shooting a mentally ill man (Michael Fuith) who attacked. Celebrated as a hero by his squad and criticized by the public, Christoph starts to struggle with the events and his role in them.

I was pretty impressed by Cops as it takes a deep dive into police culture – which also means looking very sharply at masculinity. It’s sociological analysis in movie form and one I had yet to see from an Austrian perspective. Istvan handles it very well.

The film poster shwoing a police officer in riot gear with police tape running across his mouth.
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