10 Austrian films in one day
On the 17th of May, the new section of the Cannes Film Festival, « Tous les cinémas du monde », will dedicate an entire day to Austrian cinema ; that day will even be called Austrian Day. From morning to night, ten films made between 1982 and 2002 will be screened to illustrate the wide aesthetic and thematic variety of the different cinematic approaches to the quest for identity that have been made in Austria in the past twenty years.
The Austrian Day opens on Welcome in Vienna, where Axel Corti presents 1945 as a historical transition where antagonisms take on a different meaning : the winner is the new ‘occupier’, and a defeated idealism is replaced by another. The second film is an intriguing documentary, Blind Spot. Hitler’s Secretary, the confessions of Traudl Junge, Hitler’s assistant.
The afternoon will start with four middle-length movies by four young female directors who started their carrier in the 1990’s and for whom Cannes is not the first international festival : Barbara Albert —who graduated from the Film Academy in Vienna and whose film Nordrand got an award in Venice— will present The Fruit of Thy Womb, a film which deals with the ambiguous perception of sexuality for a child with a catholic upbringing, while Jessica Hausner —who brought Hotel to Cannes last year— and Valeska Grisebach talk about first loves in Flora and Be My Star. Ruth Mader, another regular guest of the Cinéfondation and Un certain regard, will present Punks.
Then, Copy Shop, a short film by Virgil Widrich will be screened, followed by Franz Novotny’s The Excluded adapted from a novel by Nobel Prize-winner Elfriede Jelinek by the author herself. This 1982 movie is an uncompromising and disturbing depiction of a group of young adults whose mixed feelings about the long-repressed nazi ideology resurface in the most violent way.
The Austrian day will end on Barbara Albert’s Nordrand followed by Elsewhere, a four-hour documentary in which Nikolaus Geyrhalter explores globalisation at the dawn of the new millenium.
(Translated from French)
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