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

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.

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The Giacomo Variations

The Giacomo Variations is a play/opera devised by Michael Sturminger [German], featuring the music from operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte. It stars John Malkovich, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Martene Grimson* and Andrei Bondarenko*.

Giacomo Casanova (John Malkovich) reminisces about his life. He gets a visit from Elisa von der Recke (Ingeborga Dapkunaite), who becomes his woman of the moment, while she tries to get a look at his memoirs. So we start hearing about Casanova’s life little by little, helped by the music from Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni and Le Nozze Di Figaro.

The Giacomo Variations builds from a good idea and has a good cast. Unfortunately, its director is not that good and the cast, albeit good actors, were wrong for the play. Or the play was wrong for them – whichever way you want to see it.

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The Infernal Comedy

[In case you were wondering, we’re now at the beginning of July with my reviews. ;)]

The Infernal Comedy is a play written by Michael Sturminger [German] about Jack Unterweger, famous serial killer and society guy. It stars John Malkovich.

Jack Unterweger (John Malkovich) is in hell, where he does a reading of his autobiography to an eclectic audience (us). With him, there are two singers (Laura Aikin and Aleksandra Zamojska) who play the various women in his life, while performing – with an orchestra – various arias from different operas.
[You can read the entire script at the homepage I linked to above.]

It’s an awesome play, capturing the fascination Unterweger had on Vienna’s high society (especially the women) as much as the gruesome murders he committed. Despite the dire topic, it has some really good laughs and the music is very well chosen.

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