The Dark (2018)

The Dark
Director: Justin P. Lange
Writer: Justin P. Lange
Cast: Nadia Alexander, Toby Nichols, Karl Markovics, Sarah Murphy-Dyson, Dan Beirne, Margarete Tiesel
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2018
1-gif-review

Content Note: abuse

Plot:
Alex (Toby Nichols) was kidnapped by Josef (Karl Markovics) a while ago, but Josef has to make a run for it. With Alex, traumatized and blinded, in the trunk of his car, he drives off and ends up at an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. Only that the house isn’t quite as abandoned as he thought: Mina (Nadia Alexander) lives there. Mina finds Alex and since she, too, has experienced unspeakable violence, the two bond and find strength in each other.

The Dark might be a little too long and a little too thin in the story department, but I enjoyed watching it, even if I don’t agree with the story’s angle.

The film poster showing the silhouettes of two kids holding hands in the woods.
Continue reading

Murer: Anatomie eines Prozesses [Murer: Anatomy of a Trial] (2018)

Murer: Anatomie eines Prozesses
Director: Christian Frosch
Writer: Christian Frosch
Cast: Karl Fischer, Alexander E. Fennon, Melita Jurisic, Ursula Ofner, Karl Markovics, Gerhard Liebmann, Roland Jaeger, Doval’e Glickman, Rainer Wöss, Erni Mangold, Susi Stach
Part of: Diagonale
Seen on: 13.3.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
In 1963, Franz Murer (Karl Fischer) is a pillar of his Austrian community, a politician and one of the richest men in the area. But during the Second World War, he was an important men for the Nazis and ran the ghetto in Vilnius where he was known for his cruelty. Simon Wiesenthal (Karl Markovics) has been fighting to get him in front of a judge, and finally he succeeds: Murer is tried for his war crimes. But will he be found guilty?

Murer: Anatomie eines Prozesses is an excellent film in all areas and a condemnation of Austria, especially with regards to the lack of accountability for our participation in World War Two – a lack that still haunts us to this day and causes nothing but problems. It’s hard to watch but absolutely necessary.

Continue reading

Re-Watch: Komm, süßer Tod [Come, Sweet Death] (2000)

Komm, süßer Tod
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolf HaasJosef Hader, Wolfgang Murnberger
Based on: Wolf Haasnovel
Cast: Josef Hader, Simon Schwarz, Barbara Rudnik, Michael Schönborn, Bernd Michael Lade, Nina Proll, Karl Markovics, Reinhard Nowak
Seen on: 13.7.2015

Plot:
Simon Brenner (Josef Hader) used to be a police man, but after a, let’s call it a disagreement with his boss, he lost his job and now works as an ambulance driver together with Berti (Simon Schwarz). Brenner is not a very ambitious person and has settled in that life. But when a nurse and a doctor are murdered, and shortly afterwards one of his colleagues and another colleague is accused of the crime, his routine gets shaken up and Brenner finds himself investigating, rather in spite of himself.

Komm, süßer Tod has an excellent sense of humor and an interesting crime story, so it’s not surprising that it was the start to probably Austria’s most successful cinema series, even though from a film-making perspective it’s actually quite abysmal.

kommsuessertod Continue reading

Superwelt (2015)

Superwelt
Director: Karl Markovics
Writer: Karl Markovics
Cast: Ulrike BeimpoldRainer Wöss, Nikolai GemelAngelika Strahser, Thomas Mraz
Seen on: 14.4.2015

Plot:
Gabi (Ulrike Beimpold) is a supermarket cashier, stuck in her routine. Her kids Ronnie and Sabine (Nikolai Gemel, Angelika Strahser) are grown, her husband Hannes (Rainer Wöss) is distant. She spends most of her spare time trying to lose weight. But all that changes when Gabi starts hearing voices. At first she fights for her routine, but she is soon overpowered by the cacophony of questions and demands in her head. Is she going crazy? Or has she actually been chosen by god?

Superwelt was a fascinating, touching and engaging film, further cementing Markovics skill as a director (I mean, he is a really good actor, but I wouldn’t mind if he would start directing movies full time) and Beimpold’s everything.

superwelt Continue reading

Halbe Welt [Half the World] (1993)

Halbe Welt
Director: Florian Flicker
Writer: Florian Flicker, Michael Sturminger
Cast: Rainer Egger, Dani Levy, Mercedes Echerer, Maria Schrader, Goran Rebic, Allen Browne, Michael KreihslMara Mattuschka, Karl Markovics
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
The sun has turned deadly, so life in the remaining megacities on earth now happens at night, where the sale of postcards showing sunny spaces without the threat of death is booming. Katz (Dani Levy) takes full advantage of that – dealing with everything that people might need, in particular every reproduction of nature he can get his hands on that is not owned by the “Whites” who sell it to the rich. Herzog (Rainer Egger) on the other hand didn’t manage to adapt to the new situation as well as Katz – he misses the sun and every day at dawn, he tries to stand outside as long as possible. And Sunny (Maria Schrader) sees all of them in her bar where the different spheres come together.

Halbe Welt is a very weird film. I’d understand if it was too weird for somebody, but I really enjoyed it.

halbewelt Continue reading

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Based on: Stefan Zweig‘s writing (very loosely)
Cast: Ralph FiennesTony Revolori, F. Murray AbrahamJude Law, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Karl Markovics, Bob Balaban

Plot:
Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is not just a concierge, he is probably the best concierge there ever was and he has his fans. One of them is his newly acquired protégé Zero (Tony Revolori), another a frequent guest at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton). When she is f0und dead, though, suspicion falls on Gustave and he has to try and clear his name and to claim his inheritance, all with Zero in tow.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably the best film Anderson made since The Life Aquatic, if not his best film so far, period. It is crazy, enjoyable, funny, aesthetic and weird and has an awe-inspiring cast. Wonderful.

grandbudapesthotel

Continue reading

Atmen [Breathing] (2011)

Atmen
Director: Karl Markovics
Writer: Karl Markovics
Cast: Thomas Schubert, Karin Lischka, Georg Friedrich, Gerhard Liebmann, Stefan Matousch

Plot:
Roman (Thomas Schubert) is in juvie, and has been there since he was fourteen. Five years later and a possibility for parole comes up, but only if he manages to find a job outside – and hold it for a while. After a few false starts, Roman chooses a job at a morgue where he starts working under supervision. But the upcoming change in his future doesn’t only mean figuring out what’s going to happen, but also coming to grips with his past.

Atmen is an extremely confident and competent debut and a frankly fantastic movie. I’m very impressed, not only with Karl Markovics as a director, but also with Thomas Schubert and the rest of the cast.

Continue reading

Unknown (2011)

Unknown is the newest film by Jaume Collet-Serra, starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, Karl Markovics and Frank Langella.

Plot:
Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) travels with his wife Elizabeth (January Jones) to Germany to attend a conference. While Elizabeth checks into the hotel, Martin ends up in a car accident. Cab driver Gina (Diane Kruger) saves his life, but Martin ends up in the hospital in a coma. When he wakes up after four days, he barely remembers anything. Slowly his memories return, but when Martin tries to find Elizabeth it is only to find himself replaced with another Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn) and Elizabeth not knowing him.

Unknown is exactly what it promises to be: a rather mindless action flick with a convoluted story and very mixed performances. It entertains, but not much more. Nothing less, either.

Continue reading

Novecento

A couple of weeks ago, Karl Markovics read Alessandro Baricco‘s Novecento at the Wiener Konzerthaus, accompanied by Béla Koreny on the piano.

Plot:
Danny Boodman T. D. Lemon Novecento was born on a ship, the Virginian, where he was found by a machinist. The machinist practically adopts him and takes care of him until his death, when Novecento is 8 years old. Novecento disappears for a couple of weeks – and when he’s back, he knows how to play the piano. And he’s a wonderful pianist.

Markovics is a wonderful actor and he reads the text very well. Béla Koreny is (as far as I can tell) a good pianist. Unfortunately, they didn’t find the right balance between text and music and they didn’t pick the right songs, either.

Continue reading

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.

Plot:
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.

Continue reading