Licht [Mademoiselle Paradis] (2017)

Licht [literally: Light]
Director: Barbara Albert
Writer: Kathrin Resetarits, Barbara Albert
Based on: Alissa Walser‘s novel Am Anfang war die Nacht Musik
Cast: Maria Dragus, Devid Striesow, Lukas Miko, Katja Kolm, Maresi Riegner, Johanna Orsini-Rosenberg, Stefanie Reinsperger, Christoph Luser, Susanne Wuest, Theresa Martini, Julia Pointner
Seen on: 23.11.2017

Maria-Theresia Paradis (Maria Dragus) is a gifted musician who lost her eyesight at a young age for no apparent reason. Now her parents have heard about the revolutionary methods of physician Franz Mesmer (Devid Striesow) and they are hoping that he will be able to restore her eyesight. So Maria-Theresia is brought to his castle where Mesmer sets to work. Soon their relationship becomes very intense and there seems to be improvement in her condition.

I was hoping I would like Licht more than I actually did. Unfortunately I was unhappy with the way the film dealt with disability and I felt that it had considerable lengths.

Continue reading

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.


Continue reading

The Shaman (2015)

The Shaman
Director: Marco Kalantari
Writer: Marco Kalantari
Cast: Danny Shayler, David Sayers, Susanne Wuest
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 4.11.2015

In the future a global war has broken out, a war that is thought with the help of giant battle machines who come with their own AI. But at the same time that technology has seen this giant leap, there has also been a resurgence of magical knowledge, in particular shamanism. Shamans like Joshua (Danny Shayler) believe that everything has a soul, even objects like the battle machines. Thus they become the best weapon against battle machines through the dangerous process of converting their souls.

The Shaman is an interesting mix of technology and spiritualism and with it of science fiction and fantasy. But it feels that to me like the concept was a little much for a short film – I felt a little overwhelmed by it all. But that doesn’t make the idea less interesting or the special effects less good. I’m just not a hundred percent sold on it.


Ich seh, Ich seh [Goodnight Mommy] (2014)

Ich seh, Ich seh (German version of “I spy with my little eye”, literally “I see, I see”)
Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Writer: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Cast: Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, Lukas Schwarz
Part of: /slash Filmfestival (Suprise Movie X)
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Lukas (Lukas Schwarz) and Elias (Elias Schwarz) spend their summer playing in and around the rather lonely country house at which their mother (Susanne Wuest) is recuperating from cosmetic surgery. But their initially idyllic summer is disrupted when the twins start to doubt that their mother is actually their mother. It seems that someone or something else came back from that surgery.

A few months ago I saw a testscreening of the still unfinished film and was less than convinced by it. It seemed decent enough, but nothing to write home about. The finished product, though, is another beast entirely. It is a tense, gripping and absolutely fantastic piece of cinema.


[SPOILERS] Continue reading