This documentary, Ulrich Seidl's full-length film debut, examines the lives of the street newspaper sellers in Vienna, a mixture of men from Turkey, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Eastern Europe, standing out in all weathers, peddling the trivial Viennese tabloids. We see their lives on the street, their cramped living quarters, their minders, the 'training' days, and the inhumane process which keeps them working endless hour for little reward.
Loss is to be Expected
A few kilometres between two villages. Czech and Austrian borderline separates two different worlds, it could seem that there is nothing as remote as the life on either side of the line, the well-being of the honourable capitalism and the poverty of the remains of the (sur)real socialism. It seems that nothing could be closer than two lonely people.
The Last Real Men
Disappointed by failed relationships and high demands of Austrian women more and more Austrians try their luck in marrying a Thai or Philippine woman. Asked for the advantages of asian women, their Austrian husbands often reply that they "don't talk back". The hero of this film is Karl S., a Viennese high-school teacher around forty. After a failed marriage he wishes for a more durable relationship and longs for a wife who doesn't question her traditional role. The solution for him is the marriage with an asian woman. Karl S. is looking for informations and visits different mixed marriages to get his ideas confirmed. The film accompanies Karl S. on his search for the "ideal wife" and offers views inside the world of these "last real men" who finally seem to be right.
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.
Pictures At An Exhibition
The premise: Contemporary Art intimidates its spectators. Using the interpretations of "normal" art viewers the film explores the place value and the meaning of works of art in everyday life: art as reflexion of social reality or as expression of egomanic showmanship, art as aesthetic pleasure, art as entertainment and fun or art as a refuge into a better and harmonic world.
The Bosom Friend
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 with big breasts have fascinated him, because they symbolise a kind of earth mother to him. He has never had an especially close relationship with his own mother; she was too 'bony' for him. Object of Rene's fantasy is the actress Senta Berger, to him everything a woman should be. Standing by the blackboard and explaining the mathematical laws of sine and cosine ('sinus' is bosom in Latin), Rene sings the praises of the female curves and those of Santa Berger in particular. Filmmaker Ulrich Seidl let the former teacher speak freely about his obsessions and desires, intercutting his monologues with scenes from the protagonist's day-to-day life.
Fun Without Limits
Whether in the countryside or on the edge of the city, amusement parks or fun fairs are hot across Europe. Their names, amusement parks and fun fairs, say it all: People want to be amused, they want to have fun. A film on the culture of amusement in today's “leisure” society.
Models (1997) examines the hopes, fantasies, and finally the realities of young models. Although supermodels often figure as the heroines or at least vaunted objects of desire in our society, Seidl fixes on the rather banal everyday tics and predicaments from which the women suffer: cellulite, breast problems, the inability to be alone and the catty competition among them. With his unique blend of documentation and stylisation, Models portrays the models' daily life and the monotonous application of make-up and hair gel that commodifies the body. It is a world of glamour whose shine and lustre Seidl rubs away. This un-masking function harks back to The Ball.
State of the Nation: Austria in Six Chapters
It wasn‘t the goal to make just a report on Austria but to contribute to a discussion. Turn the spectator into another debater. The moving picture of the group of four directors tries to render the social situation, economic factors and the ideology mixtures that naturally outline the present life without significant concessions. The document is not a critic analysis of Austrian political crises, which could be a symptom of western-european standards. It is rather its statement, which is more less a consequence of sociological reckoned on practical life of presentation of representative types. Barbara Albert portraitured working women, single mothers. A cashier in a supermarket, a worker at an endless band in a factory, a convinced elector for the Freedom a woman of Turkish nationality and an unemployed artist of action. The director catches them in brief moments of everyday life however even from there we can read what the political conviction grows from. Michael Glawogger set off by himself. During three weeks he crossed Austria hitchhiking. With a small camera he was getting in to random drivers. The journey mainly followed the state border. The most often picture there is a driver with the countryside running away behind the window. The sentence fragments are glued together as a mosaic of views and opinions on the government, opposition, the monarch and the European Union, on immigrants. Ulrich Seidl. The most ordinary Austrians as well, fascinate the director of controversial movie Psí dny (Dog days) presented in Czech cinemas, the intimacy of their stereotype lives. He chose one of the monotonous motives for his part of the collective document. - A notorious complainer, who spends his life writing letters to authorities and an elderly couple, who view themselves surrounded with a bunch of foreigners, as the country and tradition savers. Michael Strumminger followed a prominent telecast and peaked into two different living rooms. He found there children and their grandparents - two groups not interested in politics. Not yet and not any more. However, there is a shadow on them as well. The bipolarity tension between politics and non-politics follows the whole film, which only summaries, points and in places condensed way popularize the endless discussion about the state of public affairs. The bearers of different ideas are the heroes of the dialogue and they make it human. They live their lives, there are parts of history and beyond them, they are indifferent although they feel how much politics affects them. They take part there meanwhile it‘s as if they wanted stay out of time. The Austrians.
Jesus, You Know
A theological investigation by the Austrian director Ulrich Seidl is a series of confessions of six Catholics openly describing in front of the camera their very personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The film background is the church interior, a building where Christians gather to praise God.
Brothers, Let Us Be Merry
“Brothers, let us be merry, bravely defy your troubles” is from the slave’s song in Mozart’s Zaide. It accompanies two dimly lit men indulging in a purposeless pleasure: They masturbate as if someone had ordered them to get in the mood and enjoy themselves. In the consummation of lust the film anticipates the hangover which turns Nietzsche’s claim that “all joy wants eternity” into an eternally unfulfilled utopia. Not even Mozart can do anything about that. Part of "The Mozart Minute", a project by the Wiener Mozartjahr 2006, who commissioned 28 Austrian filmmakers to create associative one-minute artistic miniatures on Mozart
The protagonist of this short film, Karl Wallner is a 50 year old man. At age 14, he reached 1,40 meters tall and then stopped growing. Scenes from the life of a midget at home, at work and in his leisure time.
This film takes us to Horn, a small city in Lower Austria where Ulrich Seidl grew up. There has been a local tradition for years where the high school students organize a dance at the end of theirstudies. Not only is this dance one of the most important social events of the city, it is also the culminating moment of Shrovetide.
Deals with the relationship between householders and their cellars.