Siebzehn (2017)

Siebzehn
Director: Monja Art
Writer: Monja Art
Cast: Elisabeth Wabitsch, Anaelle Dézsy, Alexandra Schmidt, Christopher Schärf, Reinhard Nowak
Seen on: 2.5.2017

Plot:
Paula (Elisabeth Wabitsch) is in love with her classmate Charlotte (Anaelle Dézsy). But Charlotte has a boyfriend, Michael (Leo Plankensteiner). So Paula starts dating the nerdy Tim (Alexander Wychodil) instead, but Tim actually likes her. And then there’s also Lilli (Alexandra Schmidt) who knows how to handle boys and loves to get under Paula’s skin.

I really enjoyed Siebzehn. Not only was it shot where I live and features a bisexual protagonist, it’s simply a strong coming-of-age film with a pretty cool soundtrack. That’s how Austrian cinema should be.

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Immer nie am Meer [Forever Never Anywhere] (2007)

Immer nie am Meer
Director: Antonin Svoboda
Writer: Christoph Grissemann, Dirk Stermann, Heinz Strunk, Antonin Svoboda, Jörg Kalt
Cast: Christoph Grissemann, Dirk Stermann, Heinz Strunk, Philip Bialkowski, Christopher Schärf
Seen on: 15.10.2016

Plot:
Baisch (Dirk Stermann) is an archaeology professor who believes that his ex-wife will at one point want him back. His ex-brother-in-law Anzengruber (Christoph Grissemann) is less uptight than Baisch and pretty sure that ex will stay ex, but comes with his own problems. The two of them met at an event and are now on their way back into town. They stumble upon Schwanenmeister (Heinz Strunk), a musician/comedian, who hitches a ride with them. And then they crash their car and while they end up unhurt, they are unable to leave the car. And so the three men are trapped with each other – and tensions will have to rise.

I liked the idea of Immer nie am Meer, but the film was a homophobic, antiscientific and unfunny mess that dragged more than its short runtime should have made possible.

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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

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Einer von uns [One of Us] (2015)

Einer von uns
Director: Stephan Richter
Writer: Stephan Richter
Cast: Jack Hofer, Simon Morzé, Christopher Schärf, Dominic Marcus Singer, Birgit Linauer, Andreas Lust, Markus Schleinzer, Rainer Wöss
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 3.11.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
A young boy is shot in a supermarket. Just before that happens, the summer holidays stretch seemingly endlessly before Julian (Jack Hofer). In his small town there is barely any place to hang out for teenagers like him, they usually meet in the supermarket parking lot. That’s where Julian meets Marko (Simon Morzé) who just returned from a youth detention center, and through Marko Victor (Christopher Schärf) who is older but likes to be the big guy amid the teenagers. There is not much else that one can aspire to where they live. Select few, like Michael (Dominic Marcus Singer) find a job – in Michael’s case in the supermarket. For the local police, especially for Georg (Rainer Wöss), the teens who are hanging out are an eyesore that should be banned. In the summer heat all of these things come together in an explosive mix.

Einer von uns is more or less based on an actual shooting that happened in Lower Austria in 2009, where the police shot a 14-year-old dead in a supermarket and injured a 16-year-old. Instead of reconstructing the particular events of that shooting, Einer von uns attempts to explain how such a shooting could happen with fictional characters in a real story. It’s a sensitive, critical and thoughtful attempt that I can only recommend watching.

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Planet Ottakring (2015)

Planet Ottakring [Note: Ottakring is one of the poorer districts in Vienna with a rather high immigrant population.]
Director: Michael Riebl
Writer: Mike Majzen
Cast: Michael Steinocher, Cornelia Gröschel, Sebastian Wendelin, Serkan Kaya, Sandra Cervik, Maddalena HirschalSusi Stach, Lukas Resetarits, Erika Deutinger, Christopher Schärf
Seen on: 19.8.2015

Plot:
After the death of his mentor Disko, who pretty much ran Ottakring, Sammy (Michael Steinocher) has to find Disko’s business papers. Otherwise Frau Jahn (Susi Stach) is threatening to take over Ottakring entirely with her loan shark business. At the same time German economics student Valerie (Cornelia Gröschel) comes to Vienna to write a paper on the economic and social structure of Ottakring. Valerie soon runs into Sammy and despite initial antagonism between the both of them, they realize that they might have more in common than they think.

Austrian movies usually shine with their bleak take on social realism. Quite contrary to that, Planet Ottakring was a sweet film that wins you over with its idealistic vision of how the world could be and its easy romance.

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Das ewige Leben [Life Eternal] (2015)

Das ewige Leben
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolfgang Murnberger, Josef Hader, Wolf Haas
Based on: Wolf Haas‘ novel
Sequel to: Komm, süßer Tod, Silentium, Der Knochenmann
Cast: Josef Hader, Tobias Moretti, Nora von Waldstätten, Christopher Schärf, Roland Düringer, Margarete Tiesel, Johannes Silberschneider, Hary Prinz, Sasa Barbul
Seen on: 18.8.2015

Plot:
Simon Brenner (Josef Hader) should retire. Problem is: with his precarious employment situation in his past, he doesn’t have the necessary insurance coverage to do so. All he owns is his grandfather’s house in Styria that is slowly falling to pieces because Simon swore never to go back there. But now he has no choice. Returning to the house, though, also means returning to his past, in the shape of his old friends Köck (Roland Düringer) and Aschenbrenner (Tobias Moretti). Their relationships are strained, events from the past still have their echoes in the present and to round things off, Brenner’s migraines are getting increasingly worse. But Brenner being Brenner, he can’t just leave things be.

Das ewige Leben is the last Brenner movie (so far) and also the strongest of the four films. It looks good, it’s funny, but it also doesn’t pull any punches and the cast is excellent. It’s not flawless, but it gets closer than any of the films that came before in the series.

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