The Field Guide to Evil (2018)

The Field Guide to Evil
Segment 1: Die Trud [The Sinful Women of Höllfall]
Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Writer: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Cast: Marlene Hauser, Birgit Minichmayr, Karin Pauer, Luzia Oppermann
Segment 2: Al Karisi [Haunted by Al Karisi]
Director: Can Evrenol
Writer: Elif Domanic, Can Evrenol
Cast: Naz Sayiner, Sureyya Kucuk
Segment 3: Kindler i dziewica [The Kindler and the Virgin]
Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Writer: Robert Bolesto
Cast: Andrzej Konopka, Kordian Kadziela
Segment 4: The Melon Heads
Director: Calvin Reeder
Writer: Calvin Reeder
Cast: Sarah Navratil, Jilon VanOver, Claude Duhamel, Paul Ford, Kannon Hicks
Segment 5: What Ever Happened to Panagas the Pagan?
Director: Yannis Veslemes
Writer: Yannis Veslemes
Cast: Vangelis Mourikis, Antonis Tsiotsiopoulos, Vasilis Kamitsis, Panagiotis Papadopoulos, Nikos Dallas
Segment 6: Palace of Horrors
Director: Ashim Ahluwalia
Writer: Ashim Ahluwalia
Cast: Niharika Singh
Segment 7: A Nocturnal Breath
Director: Katrin Gebbe
Writer: Katrin Gebbe, Silvia Wolkan
Cast: Thomas Schubert, Lili Epply
Segment 8: The Cobblers’ Lot
Director: Peter Strickland
Writer: Peter Strickland
Cast: Fatma Mohamed, Károly Hajduk, László Konter, Péter Jankovics
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2018
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The Field Guide to Evil collects eight different segments from eight different countries that all build from a local legend. As usual with anthology films, Field Guide to Evil is a mixed bag of beans. There are some very good segments, but also some that didn’t really work for me. But I would say, it’s worth seeing because the good parts are really very good.

The film poster showing a young woman lying on her back, her eyes rolled back, her mouth open with a man's hand at her chin.

[More about each of the segments after the jump.]

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3 Tage in Quiberon [3 Days in Quiberon] (2018)

3 Tage in Quiberon
Director: Emily Atef
Writer: Emily Atef
Cast: Marie Bäumer, Birgit Minichmayr, Charly Hübner, Robert Gwisdek, Denis Lavant, Vicky Krieps
Seen on: 25.4.2018

Plot:
Romy Schneider (Marie Bäumer) has withdrawn to a spa hotel slash rehab center to attempt to get her life under control again. Her friend Hilde (Birgit Minichmayr) comes to visit and support her, as she always does. Joining them are two journalists from the STERN magazine, Robert (Charly Hübner) and Michael (Robert Gwisdek) who want to interview Romy. Over the course of three days, they try to get past the surface while Hilde tries to shield Romy from their invasive questions.

3 Tage in Quiberon has an amazing cast and a good story, but I nevertheless had trouble staying with the film sometimes. Still, I did get the sense that those three days were a very special event.

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Tiere [Animals] (2017)

Tiere
Director: Greg Zglinski
Writer: Jörg Kalt, Greg Zglinski
Cast: Birgit Minichmayr, Philipp Hochmair, Mona Petri, Mehdi Nebbou, Michael Ostrowski
Seen on: 1.12.2017
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Plot:
Anna (Birgit Minichmayr) and Nick (Philipp Hochmair) are on their way to a cabin in the alps for a bit of time removed from the bustle of the city. They both want to write – Anna a new novel, her first for adults and Nick a cookbook. They hire a housesitter, Mischa (Mona Petri) and drive off after Nick takes his leave from the woman he sleeps with, Andrea (Mona Petri). But on their way to the cabin, they hit a sheep and things become stranger and stranger.

Tiere is an interesting film that plays nicely with reality in its entangled narrative, creating an out of this world feeling that is enjoyable and confounding.

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Jack (2015)

Jack
Director: Elisabeth Scharang
Writer: Elisabeth Scharang
Cast: Johannes KrischCorinna HarfouchBirgit MinichmayrPaulus MankerSarah FrickValerie Pachner
Seen on: 16.9.2015

Plot:
In 1974, Jack Unterweger (Johannes Krisch) kills a young girl. It’s not his first offence and his is found out pretty quickly. He uses the time in jail to read a lot and starts to write himself. His writing slowly garners notoriety and critical acclaim and his release 15 years later finally draws near. Jack has been exchanging letters with Susanne (Corinna Harfouch), a married architect who is obsessed with Jack and who provides him with an apartment upon his release. Jack is also in touch with journalist Marlies (Birgit Minichmayr) who opens the possibility for him to keep writing and to build his fame. But soon sex workers start dying again. Is it just coincidence, or is Jack to blame?

It is pretty much impossible to grow up Austrian and not know who Jack Unterweger is. And it’s not the first time I saw a fictional take on his life and case. Scharang now tries to give Unterweger a fresh start with this character study. While I don’t think she always succeedes, her attempts are nevertheless worth watching.

jack

 

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Der Knochenmann [The Bone Man] (2009)

Der Knochenmann
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolfgang Murnberger, Josef Hader, Wolf Haas
Based on: Wolf Haas‘ novel
Sequel to: Komm, süßer Tod, Silentium
Cast: Josef Hader, Josef BierbichlerBirgit MinichmayrChristoph LuserPia HierzeggerSimon SchwarzDorka GryllusStipe ErcegIvan Shvedoff
Seen on: 13.8.2015

Plot:
Simon Brenner (Josef Hader) is getting by. With the help of Berti (Simon Schwarz) he can earn a little money by repossessing things. When Berti sends him to find a guy and his car, Brenner ends up at an inn in the middle of nowhere looking for him. The guy’s car is there, but nobody admits to knowing him. Sufficiently intrigued by circumstances and with nowhere else to go, Brenner decides to stay for a bit. Despite the foreboding presence of owner Löschenkohl (Josef Bierbichler) whose daughter in law Birgit (Birgit Minichmayr) may have something to do with Brenner’s interest. But a missing guy is only the beginning of the weird events at the Löschenkohl inn.

While the Brenner movies continue their increasing technical proficiency here, regarding plot and script Der Knochenmann is the weakest movie in the series so far.

knochenmann

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John Gabriel Borkman

John Gabriel Borkman
Director: Simon Stone
Writer: Henrik Ibsen
Cast: Martin Wuttke, Birgit Minichmayr, Caroline Peters, Max Rothbart, Nicola Kirsch, Roland Koch, Liliane Amuat
Part of: Wiener Festwochen
Seen on: 28.5.2015

Plot:
Ella Rentheim (Caroline Peters) returns home to see her estranged twin sister Gunhild (Birgit Minichmayr) and Gunhild’s husband, John Gabriel Borkman (Martin Wuttke). Borkman was disgraced in a financial scandal and hasn’t left the attic since he was released from prison. Gunhild, too, is eccentric, to say the least. Only Gunhild’s and John Gabriel’s son Erhart (Max Rothbart) has a halfway normal life – which he had to fight for. Ella’s arrival makes all of them confront the past and try to rearrange their lives.

The play, unfortunately, didn’t work for me at all. Judging by the audience’ enthusiastic reaction though, my boredom and exasperation at the show seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

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The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich (2012)

The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich
Director: Antonin Svoboda
Writer: Antonin Svoboda
Cast: Klaus Maria Brandauer, Julia Jentsch, Jeanette Hain, Jamie Sives, Birgit Minichmayr, Kenny Doughty, Gary Lewis, David Rasche
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Wilhelm Reich (Klaus Maria Brandauer) used to be a psychoanalyst who started studying orgones after leaving Germany for the USA. Orgones were supposed to be this cosmic life force. But the FDA gets wind of the whole thing and puts Reich on trial, convicting him of fraud and forbidding him to continue working and distributing his theories.

I am a huge fan of Antonin Svoboda’s first film – Spiele Leben – so I did expect a lot from this one, too. Maybe it was because of my high expectations, maybe not, but unfortunately I was bitterly disappointed and very much bored by the whole thing.

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Das weiße Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte [The White Ribbon] (2009)

The White Ribbon is Michael Haneke‘s newest movie, starring Christian Friedel and Ulrich Tukur (and Birgit Minichmayr in a mini-mini-role).

Plot:
A German village just before World War I. Strange things start to happen, attacks that seem like punishments, and everything seems to point into the direction of the abused and supressed children of the village. The story is told from the point of view of the village teacher who tries to get to the heart of things.

I have to admit that when I left the movie, my first comment was that it was really unsatisfying [and yes, I did sound like a snob saying it]: this movie doesn’t have an ending! Having had some time to think about it, I think it’s more satisfying than I actually thought it was (if that makes any sense). In any case, it’s beautifully shot, well acted and extremely cruel.

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Alle Anderen [Everyone Else] (2009)

Alle Anderen [translates to Everyone Else] is a movie by Maren Ade, starring Birgit Minichmayr and Lars Eidinger.

Plot:
The couple Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) and Chris (Lars Eidinger) spend a summer vacation on Sardinia. Chris is an architect struggling with his career, Gitti is a PR representative. When meeting an old friend of Chris’, Hans (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and his wife Sana (Nicole Marischka), Chris and Gitti compare their values. Chris feels that Gitti is too free-spirited, Gitti doesn’t understand Chris’ sudden uptightness.

Alle Anderen sharply dissects the couple’s life. The dialogue is witty and to the point. The acting is great. Unfortunately, the ending sucks.

alle-anderen_de

[SPOILER WARNING]

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Video Vriday

Die Toten Hosen are one of the biggest German bands, though they had their peak in the 90s. Now they are back in the limelight with a new album and a surprisingly calm sound, at least the first single, Auflösen. I like it a lot.

Birgit Minichmayr is an Austrian actress, probably one of the most famous ones working today. And rightly so, since she’s amazingly talented. She’s good friends with Toten Hosen singer Campino and apparently they just decided one day that making a single together would be great. And they were right.

Die Toten Hosen und Birgit Minichmayr – Auflösen

The video was shot by Wim Wenders, which is usually a very good thing.