A Cure for Wellness (2016)

A Cure for Wellness
Director: Gore Verbinski
Writer: Justin Haythe
Cast: Dane DeHaanJason IsaacsMia GothIvo NandiAdrian SchillerCelia ImrieHarry Groener, Tomas NorströmJohannes KrischSusanne Wuest
Seen on: 28.2.2017

Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) works for a company in trouble. They need their CEO Pembroke (Harry Groener), but he has been unreachable in a retreat in the Swiss mountains for a long time, so they send Lockhart there to get him. Once Lockhart arrives there, he is involved in an accident even before he gets to see Pembroke. His broken leg traps him at the retreat and he realizes that something strange is going there. The director Volmer (Jason Isaacs) may be hiding something. And what’s the deal with Hannah (Mia Goth), the only young person there who has spent basically her entire life at the retreat?

A Cure for Wellness is a clusterfuck of epic proportions. It’s overly long, makes no sense and is incredibly sexist, racist and ableist to boot. It’s pretty but that’s all it has going for it.


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Jack (2015)

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

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.



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Im Labyrinth des Schweigens [Labyrinth of Lies] (2014)

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens [literally: Labyrinth of Silence]
Director: Giulio Ricciarelli
Writer: Elisabeth Bartel, Giulio Ricciarelli
Cast: Alexander FehlingAndré SzymanskiFriederike BechtJohannes KrischHansi JochmannGert Voss
Seen on: 26.2.2015

Johann Radmann (Alexander Fehling) is an ambitious attorney, always on the look-out for new career opportunities. One of those presents itself when journalist Thomas Gnielka (André Szymanski) shows up with a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, Simon Kirsch (Johannes Krisch). Simon has seen one of the former Auschwitz guards, working as a teacher in a school and he wants him investigated and arrested for the crimes. But the memory of World War 2 is still fresh and people would rather forget. After all, the Nürnberg trials happened already and isn’t that enough? But Johann doesn’t want to leave it be. He takes up the investigation, slowly uncovering the atrocities that were committed there.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens focus on the slow process of dealing with the aftermath of World War 2 and does so rather effectively, if sometimes a little formulaic.



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Where I Belong (2012)

Where I Belong
Director: Fritz Urschitz
Writer: Fritz Urschitz
Cast: Natalie Press, Matthias Habich, Johannes Krisch, Karl Fischer, Cornelius Obonya

Because of World War 2 Rosemarie (Natalie Press) came to the UK from Austria with her father Friedrich (Matthias Habich), when she was just a little girl. Her father still dreams of being able to return to their villa in Austria, while they live in pretty poor circumstances. One day another exiled Austrian and friend of Friedrich’s, Anton (Johannes Krisch) shows up and Rosemarie falls in love. But she still isn’t sure where her place in life is.

Where I Belong tries pretty hard, but unfortunately fails in most aspects. The end product had me rolling my eyes so much, I got vertigo. Makes me pretty glad that I won tickets for the showing instead of paying to see it.


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360 (2011)

Director: Fernando Meirelles
Writer: Peter Morgan
Based on: Arthur Schnitzler‘s Reigen (loosely)
Cast: Lucia Siposová, Gabriela Marcinkova, Johannes Krisch, Jude Law, Moritz Bleibtreu, Jamel Debbouze, Dinara Drukarova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Rachel Weisz, Juliano Cazarré, Maria Flor, Ben Foster, Anthony Hopkins

Starting with a whore Mirka (Lucia Siposová) and her pimp Rocco (Johannes Krisch) in Vienna, 360 moves through various stories that are all somehow connected. From Paris to London and Denver it takes a look at the various kinds of relationships, infidelities and betrayals.

360 is a bit uneven. It has a good cast and some of the stories work perfectly, while others are bland or don’t fit. In short, it just doesn’t really come together.

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Die Vaterlosen [The Fatherless] (2011)

Die Vaterlosen is the first film by Marie Kreutzer, starring Andrea Wenzl, Philipp Hochmair, Andreas Kiendl, Emily Cox and Johannes Krisch.

When their father Hans (Johannes Krisch) dies, the children come together in the house they grew up in, where Hans had built a commune together with friends. Even Kyra (Andrea Wenzl) shows up, who was out of touch for the past twenty years. As Kyra re-connects with Niki (Philipp Hochmair) and Vito (Andreas Kiendl) and meets her little sister Mizzi (Emily Cox) for the first time, old tensions mostly with Hans are dragged up from the past and start to escalate.

For a debut film, Die Vaterlosen isn’t bad. The movie starts off strong, the characters are well drawn and the cast is mostly very good. But in the end, there’s a lot of untapped potential and the plot just doesn’t work that well.

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Vielleicht in einem anderen Leben [In Another Lifetime] (2010)

Vielleicht in einem anderen Leben is Elisabeth Scharang‘s adaptation of Silke Hassler‘s [link is German] and Peter Turrini‘s play [they’ve also written the script), starring Ursula Strauss, Johannes Krisch, Péter Végh, Orsolya Tóth and Franziska Singer.

April 1945: a group of Hungarian Jews is led through an Austrian village. They are supposed to go to Mauthausen, but stop in the village for a few days. There they are locked into the Fasching’s barn. Mrs Fasching (Ursula Strauss) and her Farmhand Poldi (Franziska Singer) take pity on the locked up Jews and bring them food and water. Among the prisoners is Lou Gandolf (Péter Végh), an opera singer. He offers to mount an operetta as a thank you for Mrs Fasching, which doesn’t sit too well with Mr Fasching (Johannes Krisch) or the rest of the village.

Vielleicht in einem anderen Leben is one of those movies you wish weren’t that good. It’s excellently played and well-written. Also, it’s like a slap in the face.

[Slightly SPOILERy]

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Revanche (2008)

Revanche (in English: Revenge) is the new movie by Götz Spielmann. It’s nominated for the Foreign Language Oscar. [Yay! Go Austria!]

Alex (Johannes Krisch) works as a bouncer/guy for everything in a brothel in Vienna. He’s in love with one of the prostitutes, Ukranian immigrant Tamara (Irina Potapenko) and she with him. When things go bad with the owner of the brothel (Hanno Pöschl), because Tamara declines a “promotion”, they decide to run away. To get the  money necessary for that, Alex decides to rob a bank, which ultimately connects his life to the lives of police man Robert (Andreas Lust), his wife Susanne (Ursula Strauss) and Alex’ grandfather (Johannes Thanheiser).

The movie is rather slow and very intense. It has a wonderful cinematography. And the cast is mostly very good. It could have been a bit shorter, though.



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