Tuesday, January 24, 1995

Austria 3

Culture and its Discontents

Pacific Film Archive

Five films that tear at the placid fabric of Viennese domestic life. The beautifully photographed Sonne halt! (1959-62) by Ferry Radax is a fractured poetic narrative following late beat-era teenagers; Ernst Schmidt Jr.’s P.R.A.T.E.R. (1966), a caustic portrait of Vienna’s historic amusement park; Subcutan (1988), Johannes Rosenberger’s subversive dissection of Viennese culture; 5/62: Fenstergucker, Abfall, etc. (1962), Kurt Kren’s rigorously understated peephole of squalid street life; and Angela Hans Scheirl & Dietmar Schipeck’s The Abbotess and the Flying Bone (1989), an outrageous fantasy set in an imaginary psycho-sexual landscape.