Ulrich Seidls follow wealthy tourists going on safari to kill often endangered species. Some determinedly searching for trophies, others to enjoy. Even if every prey comes at a price., they... See full summary »
The final installment in Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy, 'Paradise: Hope' tells the story of overweight thirteen-year-old Melanie and her first love. While her mother travels to Kenya ('... See full summary »
In the tomb-like quiet of their ranch-style purgatory, a divorced husband and wife fight a wordless war while mourning an unspeakable mutual loss. A sadistic lover's ritual humiliation spawns both tenderness and revenge.
Teresa, a fifty-year-old Austrian mother, travels to the paradise of the beaches of Kenya, seeking out love from African boys. But she must confront the hard truth that on the beaches of Kenya, love is a business.
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 »
This is a film about the 'students ball' in Horn, the little Austrian town Seidl grew up. The movie portraits the young débutantes as well as the local notables, all of them eagerly involved in maintaining the stiff and stifling ritual.
Main character of this movie is Rene Rupnik, a former math teacher. He is forty years old and lives together with his mother in a desolate block of flats. Ever since his early youth women ... See full summary »
Four film-makers embark on a cinematic survey of Austria, documenting the political and social state of the nation and its people. An eye-opening experience. In the wake of the 1999 ... See full summary »
If you aren't familiar with Ulrich Seidl's work than this may not be the film you should start with. I am a big fan of course, so I may be biased.
What I love about his work is probably what many people don't like. You're never too sure if what he is showing is reality or something he created. Some of his films are real documentary and some of them are fiction. But which is which? They all feel similar and all have a similar tone. They are psychological and deep, they leave you wondering about different life situations (Bukowski fans take note).
"Wonder", this was the original intent of cinema, to leave an audience wondering. But a simple Buster Keaton film won't do the trick anymore and if CGI and explosions are your thing, Seidl won't be your thing either.
This brings us to the "actors" and this is where Seidl is making art. No big name actors, not even expensive actors, but the reality is there, it sucks you in piece by piece. Where does he find these people? That alone is an incredible talent, if they aren't actors in the traditional sense of the word. Each one is a deep character unto themselves. Are they actors or are they real people? You'll get dizzy thinking about it.
I recommend starting with "Import / Export" or "Models", then you'll know if Seidl is your thing. If you have a hard time with some of the off-beat realities of real life, or a hard life, you should look elsewhere. It's not horror, but is a bit of shock.
I'm grateful for Seidl because very little cinema moves me anymore in the way that he does. I hope he never stops.
This is art house cinema for the modern age folks.
8 out of 10 stars plus another because it's Seidl.
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