The Hills Are Alive Austrian Competition 1

  • , Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus 70 min Ticket

Not all Austrian films are about Austria (thankfully), but this program brings together works which evoke the very particular atmosphere of the country and its residents. Mountain View and Water And Clearing are bracing celebrations of the landscape; Guy Proposes To His Girlfriend On A Mountain drags the “Bergfilm” firmly into the 21st century. Sisters uses the “sticks” as ambiguous backdrop for family matters, while Far From Past and But Then I Realized present two “Oma” faces to wry effect. The Outlander, finally, moves to Vienna: the city at the center of the universe. (ny)

The Astronaut (VIS Trailer 2019)

AT 2019 01 min World premiere Director Anna Vasof

Completely alone, in front of a tall wall, stands the astronaut in a space suit. Ready for liftoff, ready to take off and go over the wall—or far beyond. The future, after all, is forged in courage! The fuse is lit, the sound of a long fall rings in the countdown. Liftoff is imminent—but the body is weary and only the spirit is free. (de)

The Astronaut (VIS Trailer 2019)

Mountain View

AT 2018 02 min 40 sec Director Markus Maicher

As they say in Haiti: “beyond mountains, more mountains.” Markus Maicher’s fleetingly brisk experiment takes three different zooms into the same typical Austrian landscape as the starting point for a highly pleasurable discombobulation. With a frame of reference that stretches back to the Romantic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich, Maicher amply succeeds in his stated aim of revealing perceived reality to be nothing more or less than a “phantasm.” (ny)

Markus Maicher will be present.

Screenplay Markus Maicher Editing Markus Maicher Camera Markus Maicher

Mountain View

Schwestern

Sisters

AT 2019 19 min 40 sec Vienna premiere Director Florian Moses Bayer

Florian Moses Bayer proves he’s a writer-director of consequence in his own right with this perfectly pitched character-based drama. Karoline Kucera and Nancy Mensah-Offei are just terrific as siblings brought together in their rural home village by the death of their mother. A powerfully direct exploration of grief, guilt and the meaning of family, the film is unashamedly “Austrian” in tone but universal in its penetrating emotional truth. (ny)

Florian Moses Bayer, Clara König and Lukas Allmaier will be present.

Screenplay Samuel X. Deisenberger Production Clara König Editing Lukas Meissner Camera Lukas Allmaier Cast Karoline Kucera, Nancy Mensah-Offei Sound Benedikt Palier, Ken Rischard

Schwestern

Eigentlich Vergangen

Far from past

AT 2018 14 min 58 sec Director Nicole Foelsterl

Nicole Foelsterl balances friction, humor, and intimacy to delve into the story of a remarkable lady: her own grandmother. A member of the German-speaking minority in Hungary before and during World War II, as a teenager she escaped the advancing Russian forces before settling in rural Austria. Skillfully juggling archival and fresh material, Foelsterl paints a tender portrait of a woman who must be carefully coaxed to revisit the ghosts of her history. (ny)

Nicole Foelsterl will be present.

Screenplay Andreas Veiel Production Nicole Foelsterl Cast Marianne Schneider

Eigentlich Vergangen

Water and Clearing

AT 2018 05 min 18 sec Director Siegfried A. Fruhauf

Notably prolific but admirably consistent in his eye-popping explorations of cinema’s outer limits, Siegfried A. Fruhauf deals here in repetition, disorientation and distortion via the journey of a water-filled wooden bucket along a cable in a verdant eastern Tyrolean setting. From the simplest means, he whips up what one observer described as “a thunderstorm of natural impressions” to craft a bracing, colorful blast of semi-abstract exhilaration. (ny)

Siegfried A. Fruhauf will be present.

Camera Siegfried A. Fruhauf Sound Siegfried A. Fruhauf

Water and Clearing

Guy proposes to his girlfriend on a mountain

AT 2019 12 min 48 sec Vienna premiere Director Bernhard Wenger

The course of true love once again runs rough in Bernhard Wenger’s painfully hilarious chronicle of a bumbling twenty-something and his wildly elaborate but decidedly ill-advised attempt to “pop the question” in a spectacular Alpine setting. In a film whose synopsis is its own YouTube-ish title, Wenger’s one-take marvel ruthlessly satirizes millennials’ drive to document every facet of their existence with a view to social-media exploitation. (ny)

Bernhard Wenger will be present.

Production Bernhard Wenger, Chris Dohr, Adrian Bidron, Clara Bacher Cast Christopher Schärf, Clemens Berndorff, Laurence Rupp, Michaela Schausberger

Guy proposes to his girlfriend on a mountain

But Then I Realized

AT 2018 05 min 02 sec Vienna premiere Director Simon Spitzer

The greatest special effect in cinema may be a close-up of the human face undergoing changes in emotion. Case in point: musician/filmmaker Simon (“NOMIS”) Spitzer’s But Then I Realized. A single shot shows us the luminous face of his grandmother as she listens to his new song. The music stirs happy memories of childhood, then of a delightful visit to Oktoberfest. But then ... A “music video” of sorts, but also a truly artistic film of delicate skill. (ny)

Simon Spritzer will be present.

Camera Simon Spitzer Cast Isolde Modlmayr

But Then I Realized

The Outlander

AT PT BG 2018 05 min 16 sec Director Ani Antonova

Winner of two prizes at the latest Two Day Animation Festival, Ani Antonova’s beguilingly stripped-down cartoon tells the astonishing and rather tragic story of Suleiman, the 16th century Sri Lankan elephant who, via aristocratic caprices, traversed Europe to become Vienna’s biggest celebrity. Firmly entrenched in city lore, Suleiman has inspired artists of all kinds for centuries and emerges here as mute, hapless hero/victim of an epic picaresque. (ny)

Ani Antonova and Dimiter Ovtcharov will be present.

Screenplay Ani Antonova Production Omega Films Editing Dimiter Ovtcharov Cast Ani Antonova Sound Valeria Popova Animation Ani Antonova, Dimiter Ovtcharov

The Outlander