Wie man leben soll [The Way to Live] (2011)

Wie man leben soll
Director: David Schalko
Writer: David Schalko, Thomas Maurer
Based on: Thomas Glavinic‘ novel
Cast: Axel Ranisch, Robert Stadlober, Thomas Stipsits, Marion Mitterhammer, Bibiana Zeller, Josef Hader, Emily Cox, David Wurawa, Michael Ostrowski, Lukas Resetarits, Robert Palfrader, Thomas Müller, Thomas Maurer, Elisabeth Engstler, Armin Wolf, Roberto Blanco, Oliver Baier

Charlie Kolostrum (Axel Ranisch) is a “sitter”, according to one of his self-help books. Not a doer, but one of the people who sit around waiting for things to happen. So he sits through school where he is in love with his girlfriend’s (Stefanie Reinsperger) best friend (Katharina Strasser), mostly ignored by his mother (Marion Mitterhammer) and overfed by his aunt (Bibiana Zeller). And then he sits through university, where he studies Art History [not because he has a particular interest but because according to the study adviser (Michael Ostrowski) is has the prettiest women – and that’s everything Charlie can muster some kind of enthusiasm]. Dividing his time between uni and his membership in the socialist students union the years pass.

Wie man leben soll is by no means a bad movie but I didn’t really like it a whole lot because I just couldn’t stand Charlie. But despite that the film had its moments.

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Black Brown White (2011)

Black Brown White is the first fiction film by Erwin Wagenhofer and stars Fritz Karl, Clare-Hope Ashitey, Theo Caleb Chapman, Karl Markovics and Wotan Wilke Möhring.

Don Pedro (Fritz Karl) is a truck driver. Together with his friend Jimmy (Karl Markovics) he has a company that ships vegetables across Europe and to North Africa. To fatten up the budget a little bit, they also bring fugitives from Africa to Europe. On the current trip, there’s a young woman, Jackie (Clare-Hope Ashitey) and her son Theo (Theo Caleb Chapman) who refuse to be treated as the other fugitives, locked in a hidden compartment in the truck. Against his better judgment, Don Pedro goes along with her request and together they make their way to Europe.

Black Brown White has a good cast, awesome cinematography and good characters. The story would have been sufficiently layered, but its constant attempts to educate the viewer are too annoying for its own good. But I guess if you like your films with a healthy dose of finger-wagging, this is for you.

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Hass [Hate]

Hass is a play based on the truly terrific movie La haine by Mathieu Kassovitz. It was directed by Volker Schmidt [German link] and stars Karim Cherif, Daniel Wagner [German link] and David Wurawa.

In the outskirts of Vienna, the young people are restless. Every so often, there are fights with the police. During one of these fights, Karim’s (Karim Cherif) brother is hurt pretty badly and falls into a coma. Karim manages to steal the gun of one of the policemen and swears that he will kill a policeman, should his brother die. His best friends Daniil (Daniel Wagner) and David (David Wurawa) try to talk some sense into him but sense is hard to get when your existence is shaped by destruction and hate.
[Wasn’t that last sentence utterly poetic? *eyeroll* Anyway, moving on.]

The play takes place at an old, empty factory which gives Schmidt a lot of opportunity to play with the locations and the audience, and he does so with joy. Though that doesn’t always work perfectly, the talented cast and the story itself make more than up for the shortcomings there.

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Todespolka (2010)

Todespolka [Polka of Death] is an Austrian movie by Michael Pfeifenberger, written by Stephan Demmelbauer and starring Stefano Bernadin, Viviane Bartsch, David Wurawa, Tamara Stern and Alexander Pschill.

Austria, in the very near future: the last elections have brought Austria a radically right prime minister, Siglinde Führer (Tamara Stern). Now, Austria is out of the EU, has got the Schilling back and is about to re-introduce the death penalty and basically making itself into a totalitarian state.
Most of the people are happy with her but some find the development worrying. One of the latter group is Raphael (Stefano Bernadin), a medical student. His best friend Michael (David Wurawa), another medical student, is black and therefore in the target group of the hate attacks. But both Michael and Raphael remain convinced that they are safe – they are doing nothing wrong, aren’t they?
Unfortunately, that’s not how mobs work…

Todespolka starts off with an interesting idea, but unfortunately the writing isn’t up to the challenges. The characters remain one-dimensional at best and I could have told you the ending after the first five minutes of the movie.

[Translation: Through chemical castration of perverts and pedophiles! Our country is safe!]

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