Austria: State of the Nation
November 29 - December 7 2006
If there’s one national cinema to reflect the elusive entity known as the “New Europe,” it’s that of Austria. Since the mid-90s, Austrian filmmakers like Michael Haneke, Michael Glawogger, Barbara Albert, Ulrich Seidl, Nikolaus Geyrhalter and Ruth Beckermann have been taking a good hard look at the new world order and capturing its flow and feel in an extraordinary series of movies — fictional, non-fictional, and assorted hybrids. It’s tempting to call it a movement, but this is a collection of individuals, each pursuing his or her own idiosyncratic vision: one can see a through-line between Glawogger’s maximalist, graphically overwhelming cinema, Albert’s behavioral and narrative explorations, and Geyrhalter’s patient eye and penchant for the strangeness of everyday reality, yet what’s most intriguing and inviting about their respective bodies of work is the stubborn and single-minded pursuit of a solitary and idiosyncratic vision. This series represents a sampling of one of the liveliest cinemas in the world today.