Once a year in autumn we leave our cosy couches for the cushioned seats of several cinemas around town. The Viennale is the time when you’ll find the city’s film fans running between cinemas from one screening to the other, feeding only on popcorn and culture alone.
With so much good stuff showing, it was hard to narrow it down, but here are 9 films we recommend you definitely try to see at this year’s Viennale (no spoilers, we promise!)
Film described in a few words: A priest (played by Ethan Hawk) goes on an intense introspective journey questioning his beliefs and faith in the world after a discussion with a suicidal church member who brings doubt to his mind regarding the future of our planet and whether humans can still be saved. Auteur Paul Schrader, who is known for other works, including Taxi Driver and American Gigolo, is the brain behind this deep, character-based drama.
Film described in a few words: Too Late to Die Young shines a spotlight on the life of a Chilean group of people in the 90s that chose to live in a hippy commune away from the rules of society. The story evolves around a 16-year-old-girl within this community, showing the effects that an alternative lifestyle has on who you become as a person.
Film described in a few words: picture this – the Parisian publishing world of the 21st century, the romantic concept of French novelists being realistically challenged by the digital age we live in, long discussions about how the industry is changing and the effect online media is having on the lives of writers. An author and an editor are shown in the midst of a mid-life crisis that mirrors their changing relationship to writing, and to their wives.
Film described in a few words: this black & white, highly-acclaimed Netflix production shows a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City, living in the neighbourhood called Roma, in the 1970s. This is a story full of contrasts, of destinies coming together, scenarios that remind the viewer of the differences between social classes and the human factor that unites them.
Film described in a few words: “I don’t care if we go down in history as barbarians” – these words were apparently spoken in the the summer of 1941, and marked the start of the ethnic cleansing and genocidal assault upon Jewish and Roma people on the Eastern Front of Europe. This is a historical event that is little spoken about or even censored in some Eastern European countries today. This film, signed by Radu Jude, one of the most acclaimed directors of the New Romanian cinema, tries to shine a light on these events.
Film described in a few words: the story of the first moon landing told from a different perspective: this one is not a celebration of this pioneering moment in history, but rather a detailed look into the character of Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) and the training he went through to become the first man on the moon.
Film described in a few words: a father and teenage daughter who have chosen to live away from society are forced to leave the woods they have called home for years and readapt to civilisation. This is a movie about the powerful bond between father and daughter, whose life journeys take unexpected turns.
Film described in a few words: Becky Something, performed by Elisabeth Moss, is the lead singer of the girl band, ‘Something She.’ Her character represents a self-destructive punk rocker struggling to quit drinking while trying hard to stay true to her music and creativity, which has brought her and her band success.
TUE, November 6, 6:30pm @ METRO Kinokulturhaus
Film described in a few words: part fact, part fiction, part movie, part documentary –Touch Me Not looks at intimacy from a whole new perspective, and uncovers multiple layers of the characters relationship to their own sexuality, way beyond the standard body norms of society. The movie won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale, and while many disagreed about the choice, this eccentric and surely uncomfortable-to-watch production won’t go unnoticed at any film festival.