Ulrich Seidl

Talking Heads

Wednesday 30 October 2013

in conversation with Jean Perret,
Head of the Cinema/Cinema du réel faculty
HEAD – Genève, Boulevard James-Fazy 15, auditorium

Ulrich Seidl, a sixty-one-year-old Austrian filmmaker who over the past thirty-three years has produced nearly twenty films that have helped to blur the academic boundaries of fiction and documentary. These include Good News: von Kolporteuren, toten Hunden und anderen Wienern (‘Good news: on hawkers, dead dogs and other Viennese’, 1990), which portrays a city and its ordinary people with an acuteness that challenges any attempt at consensual benevolence, and Paradise: Love / Faith / Hope (2012-2013), a trilogy that sheds a pitiless light on the desires that haunt characters in Austrian daily life.

Other films by Seidl are milestones in contemporary cinema output in their way of inventing a radical realism that contrasts starkly with the propriety of so much mainstream cinema. Amours animales (1995), Models (1999), Dog days (2001) and Import/Export (2006) display all the rigour of an aesthetic that underpins true stories and the power of productions that restore to reality its most stuffy features. This is spectacular cinema based on social anthropology, with obstinate descriptions of material life and collective consciousnesses, embodied by unusually believable characters.


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Portrait de Ulrich Seidl
© Sepp Dreissinger, 2013