In our VIENNALE DAILIES you'll find everything you need to know about what's happening around the festival!
QUOTE OF THE DAY
I'm curious about people.
NEED SOME FILMTIPS? HERE ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS:
R: Andrea Pallaoro
THU, 27.10. 6 pm: GARTENBAUKINO
Returning home to care for an elderly, ill parent as an essential rite of passage forms the focus of Andrea Pallaoro’s third feature MONICA. Its delicate turns and poignant silences revolve around the title character’s affirming, yet often vexed experiences of gender transition and womanhood. Estranged from her strong-willed conservative mother, played with an uncanny mix of imperviousness and fragility by Patricia Clarkson, Monica must reconcile her conflicting feelings of hurt and revolt but also enormous empathy towards the heartbreakingly vulnerable matriarch.
In this nuanced chamber piece structured as a duet of wills, two women’s prodding glances, dialogues and gestures play off each other, in a constant push-and-pull of fearful exploration, primal love and yearning for recognition and acceptance. Trace Lysette’s Monica is quietly enthralling as a woman torn between the demands of familial duty, with its appeal to selflessness, and a desire for personal freedom and equally all-consuming self-discovery. Katelin Arizmendi’s sensuous, reflective and chiaroscuro-laden cinematography beautifully enhances the film’s atmosphere of secretiveness and trepidation. (Ela Bittencourt)
MANTO DE GEMAS
R: Natalia López Gallardo
THU, 27.10. 10.30 pm: STADTKINO IM KÜNSTLERHAUS
SUN, 30.10. 11 am: URANIA
As an accomplished editor who has worked with Lisandro Alonso, Amat Escalante, and Carlos Reygadas, Natalia López Gallardo has mastered a unique form of cinematic pacing, one equally committed to hypnotic rhythm and gradual narrative explication. She brings that mastery to bear on her directorial debut, a complex web of systemic violence and individual culpability. MANTO DE GEMAS explores life in rural Mexico, an environment beset with cartel activities, sudden kidnappings and the constant, violent degradation of women. As the film details these various horrors, it also suggests how they become routinized and banal, contributing to a permanent state of trauma. Eugenia is a thoroughly crooked police captain who, despite her own implication in the system, is terrified when she learns that her son Adán has become a low-level gang member for the cartels. Meanwhile Marí, whose sister was abducted several years ago, herself becomes an accomplice to further kidnappings. López Gallardo’s film weaves in and out of various lives impacted by loss and devastation, showing how criminality eventually becomes its own inescapable logic, consuming everything around it. A radical work of New Mexican Cinema, MANTO DE GEMAS is a tableau of absolute dissolution. (Michael Sicinski)
For such a wordless film, it’s strange that TERRA QUE MARCA begins with words, although perhaps the idea is to reference their very insufficiency: “It is told that two wrongdoers came to serve their sentence by taking care of this land.” The film will not follow their story, but rather that of the land, although few stories dispense with standard structures to such ravishing effect. Survey or exploration might be better epithets, although they imply rigidity and empiricism when fluidity and digression are the order of the day.
The camera simply scours the earth and observes all the processes it sees there, with gentleness, patience, calm: the picks that break up the soil, the slurry sprayed over it, the water channeled over its surface, the plants that push their way up through the sods, the hands that pick up the potatoes from the ground. On Mini-DV, everything looks at once closer and further away, the light, the textures, the colors, the dark. Not everything is idyllic here though, as soil can also be covered by concrete, trees can be felled, and when fire rages over earth, it doesn’t always stop. If the earth does indeed leave marks, on hands, hooves and bodies alike, each mark made in it carries its own weight in turn. (James Lattimer)
O TRIO EM MI BEMOL
R: Rita Azevedo Gomes
DO, 27.10. 6 pm: METRO, HISTORISCHER SAAL
In 1788, Mozart finished his Divertimento for String Trio. In 1988, Eric Rohmer wrote and directed his first play, Le Trio en mi bémol. In 2020, Rita Azevedo Gomes shot O TRÍO EN MI BEMOL, a film that revolves around both. Rohmer’s play and his melomaniac sentimental education are staged together with a question: how do things work? The film shifts between two realities: that of the play itself, with leads Rita Durão and Pierre León, and that of a filmmaker, embodied by the great Ado Arrieta, who is making a film and is not fully satisfied. Rohmer’s play is a screwball comedy in slow-motion, with its pauses serving to show how the film team act like a group of indiscreet witnesses to the action, sometimes paying close attention and at other times just going about their own business, having fun here and there on a sunny winter day. Everyone slinks between the fiction and its making. The characters chase each other elegantly and sharply, a script is left outside, two people sing and laugh at a distance, someone has a nightmare, and the script is overturned several times. Between this and that, something is truly discussed and worked through as in every Rohmerean endeavor. A definition of what everyone could be looking for: love, tenderness and passion. (Lucía Salas)
WATANI, UN MONDE SANS MAL
R: Med Hondo
THU, 27.10. 12.45 pm: FILMMUSEUM
Shot in black and white on a shoestring budget in a minimalist mode and with winks toward silent cinema and hip hop culture, WATANI was inspired by news of the daily humiliation of migrants and a general context of fear.
The film contrasts the lives of two characters who lose their job the same day: Patrick Clement, a married bank clerk with two daughters and a wife now in a wheelchair following a terrorist attack, and Mamadou Sylla, an African immigrant and a father of two, who is a garbage collector. While the latter seeks employment in vain, the former drifts slowly into the hands of extremist right wing groups who attack and kill black and Arab migrants in the dark of the night. Symbolically rich, the film has important resonances with the longer history of France’s relationship to its former colonies, namely the famous October 17, 1961 massacre of Algerian migrants in Paris directed by the-then police chief himself in reprisal against the FLN’s independence struggle.
In this film, Med Hondo de-emphasizes speech and stresses the cine-discursive potential of the articulation of sound and image tracks, making this a genuine montage film and leaving it up to the spectator to make the necessary connections.
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VIDEO OF THE DAY
Werner Herzog on stage at Gartenbaukino after the screening of THE FIRE WITHIN: A REQUIEM FOR KATIA AND MAURICE KRAFFT.