V’16: OCTOBER 20 – NOVEMBER 2, 2016

A Masque of Madness (Notes on Film 06-B, Monologue 02)

Norbert Pfaffenbichler
 (
Austria
2013
)
© Viennale

In this feature length experimental film the British actor Boris Karloff (1887–1969) embodies approximately 170 different characters. An acting career spanning 50 years (1919–1969) is compressed into one mindfucking movie. The protagonist experiences a schizophrenic horror trip in which he faces only versions of himself in different masks, at different ages, of different genders and races. Karloff started his career in the silent era and continued working constantly until his death, so one can witness the aesthetic and technical developments of the medium in one single film. All in all he appeared in more than 200 films, TV-series and -shows of almost every genre. The range of quality of these productions could not be greater. He played in unforgettable cinematic masterpieces and worked for directors like John Ford, Howard Hawks, Douglas Sirk, Peter Bogdanovich or James Whale but also appeared in a series of low-budget horror movies and cheap TV-shows. This nightmarish concept movie is an homage to a great actor and also a crazy film history lesson. (Norbert Pfaffenbichler)

In the presence of Norbert Pfaffenbichler.