The Viennale! The biggest event in Vienna’s film-going calendar. At this time of year, you’ll see the city’s film fans running between cinemas, from one screening to another, feeding only on popcorn alone.
With so much good stuff going up on the big screen throughout the festival, it was hard to narrow it down, but here are 11 films we recommend you definitely try to see at this year’s Viennale (no spoilers, we promise!):
When & where:
FRI, October 25, 4pm @ URANIA (OV with English subtitles)
Film described in a few words: at the heart of the documentary lies the everyday life of the family of a historian and dowser who live close to an eerie and historical area of the region Karelia. This is a border region between Russia and Finland, that has seen many different regimes, governments and moncharies having held sway over it and being the site to many massacres.
When & where:
FRI, October 25, 6pm @ Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus (OV with English subtitles)
Film described in a few words: a middle-class elderly lady builds a molotov cocktail and throws it on the truck of her ex-lover. She then moves to a town on the coast to live alone in a self-imposed exile. Then, there’s even more fires happening around her and many questions being asked. It’s a film that mixes documentary with fiction.
When & where:
SAT, October 26, 1:30pm @ URANIA (OV with English subtitles)
Film described in a few words: an elderly woman is running a rest-stop café on the side of Algeria’s main highway in the Sahara Desert, selling eggs, coffee and tea to whoever stops by. The eccentric lady shares many a story, but retains a sense of privacy and mystery throughout the film.
Film described in a few words: the Austrian farmer and conscientious objector, Franz Jägerstätter, is robbed of his freedom and his life. The rural idyll in Upper Austria mixes with the the ugliness of the Nazi period. The film is based on a true story that is widely known in Austria.
Film described in a few words: this is a rather intimate documentary (using many fictional devices). ‘Space Dogs’ looks at the ‘space race,’ and the dogs, chimpanzees and turtles that were the first true space explorers BUT (and here’s the twist) it portrays them as if the’ve been reincarnated and are now wandering the streets of Moscow. Most of the film is seen from the animal’s perspective.
Film described in a few words: A photographer, commissioned to photograph a pre-teen bride-to-be on an estate in the South of Argentina, is forced to take part in a gruesome project. Set on the cusp of the 19th and 20th century, the film shows a mix of landscape study with a touch of historical horror story.
Film described in a few words: This comedy tells the story of the special connection between the aggressive and reckless Mike and his passive and submissive buddy, Kyle. Mix in a bit of love, death, divorce, family relations and betrayals and you’ve got yourself this film.
Film described in a few words: A woman loses her husband and two kids lose their dad. Only gradually will they be able to go back to their everday life. But they’ll also be asking themselves what their mission in life is. For this drama, the director of the film, Angela Schanelec, won the Silver Beat for Best Director at the Berlinale in 2019.
Unfortunately, there’s no trailer available for this one. Check out the film’s website.
Film described in a few words: Men and women are developing humanoid, android robots. Utopian visions collide with technology and social responsibilities. At some point during this documentary, you’ll ask yourself – ‘Aren’t we all just gonna’ be replaced by robots soon?’
Film described in a few words: Another Woody Allen flick, another flick with a beautifully dry and neurotic tempo and sense of humour. Expect brilliant dialogue, as always from Woody, in this film which closes in on a young couple who arrive for a weekend in New York and are faced by bad weather and a series of adventures.
Film described in a few words: Wouldn’t it be perfect to grow happiness in one’s home? Alice Woodard promises exactly that. She works at a corporation breeding genetically enhanced plants. Her newly-developed “Little Joe” model is promoted as a “mood-lifting happy plant”, although the effect doesn’t come for free. “What this plant really needs is love.” Watering will not do with Little Joe. So outlandish and into the future, you’ll come out full of thoughts.