HOMMAGE TO HANS HURCH
14 Friends, 14 Films
Hans Hurch always planned the Viennale in the awareness that cinema is an important medium of technical progress but one that has been threatened from the very beginning by the serious problem of commercialization. His vision of moving pictures was directed against the concept of cinema as an illusion machine that excludes conscious awareness, and against the accelerated dictates of the present. Instead, he propagated the slowness and simplicity of a film art committed to the truth, political partisanship and a visual reflection of social affairs.
As a result of his rigorous stance, many works of primarily profit-oriented consumer and genre cinema were never presented at the Vienna film festival. On the other hand, those directors, cameramen and actors whose works were in line with Hans Hurch’s artistic preferences were often repeatedly invited, becoming friends of the Viennale and its director. The festival has now asked 14 of what might be called Hurch’s “aesthetic accomplices” to choose one film each that they would like to dedicate to the memory of Hans Hurch. These include the documentary filmmaker and multiple award-winning cameraman Ed Lachmann, who selected FAA YEUNG NIN WA (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) by Wong Kar-wai. Actress Tilda Swinton, a long-time artistic partner of Derek Jarman, suggested AU HASARD BALTHAZAR by Robert Bresson. And Klaus Wyborny, the experimental filmmaker and founder of the Hamburger Filmmacher Cooperative, chose the adaptation of Friedrich Hölderin’s ANTIGONE by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub. In this film the leading actress says at one stage: “Who lives like me with many ills surely receives some small advantage, dying?”