Rimini (2022)

Director: Ulrich Seidl
Writer: Veronika Franz, Ulrich Seidl
Cast: Michael Thomas, Tessa Göttlicher, Hans-Michael Rehberg, Inge Maux, Claudia Martini, Georg Friedrich
Seen on: 23.4.2022

Content Note: (critical treatment of) racism, fascism

Richie Bravo (Michael Thomas) is a “schlager” singer whose heyday has long been over. He lives in Rimini now where he barely gets by with performances for busloads of German-speaking tourists, the occasional sex work and renting out his house to fans while he himself goes to stay in a shabby room in one of the many hotels that are empty for winter. When his estranged daughter Tessa (Tessa Göttlicher) shows up to demand money from him, Richie needs all his (more or less sleazy) survival skills to comply with her request.

Rimini is a typical Seidl movie in a way, but there is an almost optimistic note at the end of the film that is rather untypical. In any case, it’s the portrait of a sleazy man that spares nothing, as it is the portrait of a tourist town without tourists.

The film poster showing Richie Bravo (Michael Thomas) performing on an empty stage in front of a glitter curtain.
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Hagazussa [Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse] (2017)

Director: Lukas Feigelfeld
Writer: Lukas Feigelfeld
Cast: Aleksandra Cwen, Celina Peter, Claudia Martini, Tanja Petrovsky, Haymon Maria Buttinger
Part of: /slash Filmfestival Christmas special
Seen on: 21.12.2017

Albrun (Celina Peter) lives with her mother (Claudia Martini) in a small hut in the alps. Their lives are withdrawn and lonely, the mother being suspected by everyone in their village of being a witch. After her mother’s death, the by now grown Albrun (Aleksandra Cwen) remains completely on her own and equally shunned. But after she gives birth herself and receives a present from the village priest (Haymon Maria Buttinger), there does seem to be a present in her hut that isn’t supposed to be there.

Hagazussa is a film from a promising filmmaker that isn’t quite as good as it could have been. But it’s definitely interesting enough to warrant keeping an eye out for what Feigelfeld does next.

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