7.1/10
520
3 user 14 critic

Animal Love (1996)

Tierische Liebe (original title)
In conurbations where hundreds of thousands live alongside one another, in the era of a highly technological society, in which communication has never played such a significant role, man ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Franz Dolesch
Renée Felden
Franz Holzschuh
Peter Kristek
Fritzi Schmied
Herbert Scholz
Ernst Schönmann
Gabi Tairi
Erich Wögerer
Christina Yildiz
Gerti Zieger
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Storyline

In conurbations where hundreds of thousands live alongside one another, in the era of a highly technological society, in which communication has never played such a significant role, man has become lonely. Disappointed by his fellow human beings, he turns to animals. Dogs and other domestic animals serve him as companions, life partners, cuddly objects and bedfellows. Written by Austrian Film Commission

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animal | dog | pet | love | interview | See All (6) »

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Release Date:

29 August 1996 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Animal Love  »

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1.66 : 1
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Soundtracks

Du darfst nicht weinen
Performed by Bernhard Brink
Written by Petrik / Gahlen
Hansa Musikprodktion GmbH
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User Reviews

 
A bizarre documentary - but not Seidl's best

"Hundstage" is a masterpiece. This however is not. None of the characters (apart from perhaps the swingers) are particularly nice, but one thing is for sure: as with "Hundstage", these people are really quite bizarre. And there's loads of them.

Most of the characters appear either to be in a troubled relationship, or have recently come out of one. You have the austrochavs with the ferret, two old queens with a violent dog, the swingers (perhaps the most normal and happy relationship in the film), the former sexpot who reminisces over her love letters, a beggar with a rabbit, and a few more other examples from the underbelly of Austrian civilisation - as far from the tearooms of Vienna that we could possibly get. As a documentary, it certainly shows there is this side to Austria that Mozart could never have contemplated, and for that we thank Seidl yet again. But the whole thing could have been executed, well, snappier. There are some very tedious long scenes that are begging for the editor's scissors.

The one thing keeping us watching is probably our own morbid fascination with bestiality. Some of these characters come so close - particularly the sexpot - that we are sure that at one moment or another we will be grossed out by some in-your-face bit of footage that we really didn't want to see. But thankfully this never actually happens (well, not on-camera in any case, although we know for sure that it is going to happen in at least two of the segments). In fact, the only sex we see is human, a tasteful shag between the two swingers who, as I said, are probably the most "normal" and likable characters in the film. And they do not appear to be as over-the-top about their pets as the other characters are: preferring instead to devote time to one another, and to their extramarital but consensual affairs.

Could Seidl in fact be making a point here? That if you love your pets too much, you are clearly unhinged? Or is he saying that by failing to have fulfilling relationships (with humans) we are in fact caging ourselves, turning ourselves into pets, making the real pets to only ones we can relate to (and the swingers in this case being the ones who are doing something more fulfilling with their lives, by experimenting sexually with other humans and with themselves rather than on their animals)? Or is just a documentary about Austrian losers and their pets? Who knows. It's not a great film, and it gets a little tedious in the middle, but it's not the worst I've seen either.


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