Film tips for the last Viennale days

We summarized a small overview with recommendations for the last Viennale days. Tickets are available online, via telephone +43-1-526 594 769 or at our box offices.

DIANE
USA 2018, 95 min, OV,  D: Kent Jones
Cast: Mary Kay Place, Jake Lacy, Deirdre O’Connell
In a sublime passage, Diane stops her car and walks through a snowy forest. The scene ends in a subjective high-angle shot in which the aesthetic emotion of the main character can be fully appreciated: Her eyes witness the beauty of the trees and how this beauty goes beyond ordinary existence. This is a decisive moment within the plot because the character’s intimacy is not fully submitted to an ecosystem and a culture, and it is therefore not by chance that we hear John Cage’s “In the Landscape.” Whereas the film’s subject is the feeling of finitude, its context is that of those anonymous and anodyne American villages where very few things ever happen.
In the presence of Kent Jones.
November 6, 2.45 p.m., Gartenbaukino
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A LAND IMAGINED
Singapore/France/Netherlands 2018, 95 min, OV with English subtitles, D: Yeo Siew Hua
Cast: Peter Yu, Liu Xiaoyi, Ishtiaque Zico
Set on the surreal industrial byways of Singapore, Yeo Siew Hua’s A LAND IMAGINED is at once a neon-lit film noir, an intimate story of friendship between men, and a trenchant critique of land reclamation and migrant labor on the peripheries of the city-state’s economic miracle. Lok, a world-weary detective attempts to track down Wang, a missing Chinese worker, who has vanished after a worksite accident. While slowly peeling back the layers of corruption and exploitation, Lok also wanders into a labyrinthine cybercafé where he finds an alternate dimension, a place where past and present fold back on each other, and space itself becomes virtual.
In the presence of Yeo Siew Hua.
November 6, 5.30 p.m., Gartenbaukino • November 8, 6.30 p.m., Urania (Last Minute)
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HER SMELL
USA/Greece 2018, 135 min, OV, D: Alex Ross Perry
Cast: Elizabeth Moss, Agyness Deyn, Cara Delevingne
If ever there was a riot grrrl, she has to live up to the mayhem of bandleader Becky Something in Alex Ross Perry’s HER SMELL. Three times we see her in preparation for a gig: the minutes before the step onto the stage, surrounded by band members, friends and family, and management (not always easy to distinguish from friends and family, and, increasingly, from foes and family). Becky is a mess. She was once an idol, and her band “Something She” apparently had its moment in popular culture. But even in the counter culture there are obligations, responsibilities, and contracts. Becky did not live up to neither.
November 6, 8 p.m., Gartenbaukino • November 8, 6 p.m., Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus
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WILD RELATIVES
Lebanon/Norway/Germany/Palestine 2018, 66 min, OV with English subtitles, D: Jumana Manna
Cast: Ghinwa Salhab, Youssef Amer, Sawsan Tawkaz
Refugee business is more profitable than agriculture,” says a young farmer in Jumana Manna’s art film, which follows the process of preserving seeds in the Global Vault Bank against disaster. In a way, the underground vaults are a metaphor for our dietary conscience: In today’s world, how often do we know the origins of our produce, or the forces behind its cultivation? Manna takes us to Lebanon, where refugee lab workers painstakingly package seeds that had once been brought from Aleppo to Norway and then back to the Middle East, to renovate the fields. Due to the region’s instability these seeds end up again in European care. Norway’s verdant pastures are far from the torment of the Arab world, yet Manna makes a subtle point that nothing in agriculture is as neutral as scientific labs, and their sterile procedures, would have us believe. Instead, the perennial imbalance of power, ideology and market forces make farming unsustainable, and along with it, threaten social progress.
November 6, 6 p.m., Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus • November 7, 6 p.m., Metro, Eric Pleskow Saal
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MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.
USA/Great Britain/Sri Lanka 2018, 98 min, OV with English subtitles, D: Steve Loveridge
Cast: Matangi Arulpragasam
MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. is not your ordinary portrait of a music star because M.I.A. is not your average pop culture phenomenon. She is a child from Sri Lanka, an immigrant growing up in Great Britain, a music video reformer, an icon, a political voice and activist, the pulsating rhythm of streets at night, an aspiring documentary director, a performer, a refugee, a reader of Frantz Fanon, a mother, an experimental provocatrix, a lover, the daughter of a terrorist. She is “fucking popular”. She embraces and resists. The film shows all of that.
In the presence of Steve Loveridge.
November 6, 11 p.m., Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus
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PUL-LIP-DEUL (GRASS)
South Korea 2017, 66 min, OV with English subtitles, D: Hong Sangsoo
Cast: Kim Minhee, Ki Joobong, Kim Saebyuk
MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. is not your ordinary portrait of a music star because M.I.A. is not your average pop culture phenomenon. She is a child from Sri Lanka, an immigrant growing up in Great Britain, a music video reformer, an icon, a political voice and activist, the pulsating rhythm of streets at night, an aspiring documentary director, a performer, a refugee, a reader of Frantz Fanon, a mother, an experimental provocatrix, a lover, the daughter of a terrorist. She is “fucking popular”. She embraces and resists. The film shows all of that.
November 6, 1.30 p.m., Urania
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GIRL
Belgium/Netherlands 2018, 105 min, OV with German subtitles, D: Lukas Dhont
Cast: Victor Polster, Arieh Worthalter, Oliver Bodar
Lara, a 15-year old transgender girl, has recently moved to a new town where she lives with her father and brother. Before a sex reassignment operation, she starts a hormone treatment. Lara’s dream is to become a ballerina and she fights hard to achieve it. The film follows her day to day, focusing especially on her training routine, family life, and visits to doctors and psychologists. By presenting Lara’s entourage as mainly sympathetic and supportive, Lukas Dhont’s promising debut feature eschews many of the clichés associated with transgender stories.
November 7, 3.30 p.m., Gartenbaukino
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BLAZE
USA 2017, 128 min, OV, D: Ethan Hawke
Cast: Ben Dickey,  Kris Kristofferson, Alia Shawkat
Ethan Hawke’s BLAZE is a lyrical, meandering portrait of a life that was short and raucous. Recounting the story of hard-living, larger-than-life country musician Blaze Foley – a.k.a. Michael Fuller, a.k.a. Deputy Dawg – BLAZE is a film full of memories and memories-within-memories. Through a vivid lead performance by newcomer Ben Dickey, the film tracks the legendary singer’s path through back roads and honky-tonks with plenty of Blaze’s own characteristic blend of dirty jokes, tall tales, and country-and-western folklore along the way.
November 7, 6 p.m., Gartenbaukino
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DAMSEL
USA 2017, 113 min, OV, D: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner
A likably offbeat combination of western, comedy and romance, DAMSEL delights in upending audience expectations at every turn. The early stretches promise a larkish but heartfelt love-story as besotted young fop Samuel Alabaster travels across the 19th century Old West to meet his bride-to-be Penelope, with a miniature horse named Butterscotch and the “preacher” he’s brought along to perform the marriage ceremony. But when the supposed “lovebirds” finally meet up, all manner of hell very quickly breaks loose.
November 7, 11 p.m., Gartenbaukino
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SHORT FILM PROGRAM 6
TWO BASILICAS
Denmark/Germany 2018, 36 min, OV, D: Heinz Emigholz
GERTRUD & TIEDERICH
Austria 2018, 10 min, OV with English subtitles, D: Josef Dabernig
In the presence of Josef Dabernig
REVELATIONS
USA 2018, 23 min, no dialogue, D: Dominic Angerame
November 7, 6 p.m., Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus
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LEMBRO MAIS DOS CORVOS (REMEMBER THE CROWS)
Brazil 2018, 80 min, OV with English subtitles, D: Gustavo Vinagre
Cast: Julia Katharina
A long journey into a night of confessions between insomnia and glasses of wine. In LEMBRO MAIS DOS CORVOS, Gustavo Vinagre invites us to meet his collaborator and friend Julia Katharine. In this exercise of confessional cinema where through the device of interview, director and actress structure a narrative that explores the memories, stories, desires and dreams that have led to the present identity of the Japanese-Brazilian trans-actress. In a progression guided by clear questions by Vinagre – always of-camera – Katharine is fully explored and exposed in his confessional tour de force, full of simple and revealing gestures. Without fear of facing the director directly, Julia questions her own story as well as the film itself..
November 7, 4 p.m., Filmmuseum • November 8, 1 p.m., Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus
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GANG-BYUN HOTEL (HOTEL BY THE RIVER)
South Korea 2018, 96 min, OV with English subtitles, D: Hong Sangsoo
Cast: Ki Joobong, Kim Minhee, Song Seonmi
Hong Sangsoo returns with this wintry, minor-key work that follows an aging poet to a riverside hotel where he awaits his own death. Once there, the poet summons his two estranged adult sons to join him: one concealing a recent divorce; the other a modestly successful maker of “ambivalent” films. A typical Hongian comedy of discomfort ensues: the sons reenact longstanding petty squabbles, while the poet narcissistically soaks up the admiration of two adoring fans – who happen to be beautiful young women. And, as it always does in Hong’s films, the soju flows.
November 8, 1 p.m., Gartenbaukino
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AQUARELA
Great Britain/Germany/Denmark/USA 2018, 89 Min, OV with English subtitles, D: Victor Kossakovsky
A stunning documentary that might perform well at the box-office and should be definitely seen on a big screen with appropriate sound system. It was shot in 96 frames per second, “because the rain could be seen as separate drops of water, so it was clear that this was the right speed for water” (Victor Kossakovsky). Siberia, Greenland, the Atlantic Ocean or Venezuela are some of the locations the director picked to show the beauty and the power of water in any shape and conceivable color.
November 8, 3.30 p.m., Gartenbaukino
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EL ÁNGEL (THE ANGEL)
Argentina/Spain 2018, 114 Min, OV with German subtitles, D: Louis Ortega
Carlitos is 17 years old. We watch him walk the street with his long blond hair and angel face before he casually breaks into a suburban house. After checking that he is alone, he begins to drink some whiskey and starts dancing to a tune he recites in Spanish: “It’s useless to try and understand or interpret his acts ...” This is how Luis Ortega introduces us to his first big production. A dramatization of the life of Carlos Robledo Puch, the most famous young serial killer in Argentine history, terrorizing the nation in the 1970’s with murder, robbery and other crimes.
November 8, 11 p.m., Gartenbaukino
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