first things first – seidl

as part of the

    first things first

series, the festival is showing the first movies made by directors who have been good friends of the festival over the years. seidl is now making a name for himself with import/export and also made hundstage (dog days). he has this way of making films which for me is really nasty – he has insight into the human condition, but only to show the intrinsic shitness and ugliness of it all. which is ok, it just makes his movies hard for me to watch. i value them, but dont enjoy them, so i was interested to see where he was coming from…

there were two movies here, one short about a dwarf, the second a 50 minuter about a high skool ball in some crappy german town.

the dwarf movie was really funny, whether intentionally or not, i couldn’t say. it was in delicious black n white (super8 maybe?) and started with a long shot of the dude standing in a field of corn with industrial buildings in the background. he was standing there chuckling. if you can see the humour in that, you would probably like seidl. the film showed the dwarf with his mum, who was weird and interviews with friends and colleagues whilst he was standing in the background of the shot. they cracked me up but then i am being discriminatory? is seidl? the feeling is uncomfortable, but the film did make me laugh, more at the sheer ridiculousness of it all than anything else. the dwarf (which is maybe a discriminatory way to call him) had an awesome car. a sort of little bubble car with three wheels powerered by a lawn mower engine.
the end is cool. he drives off into the distance in his little roaring car and then a jet goes across the screen, drowning out the noise for a bit, then it passes and the tiny roar reappears.
what a lovely metaphor. maybe seidl isn’t always “just” dark after all.


the second film was funny also. seidl first interviewed various personages (mayor, doctor, lawyer etc) from this quiet town and made them all look pretty stupid. the mayor said that it was nice for people to be happy for two weeks about the ball. are thye not happy the rest of the year then?
then he interviewed the participants, these spotty adolescents who said dancing the polonaise would be the highlight of their year. one guy with glasses and an audacious nerdy haircut said he didnt like girls who wore a rag instead of getting dressed up and said after twelve he would be only dancing with girls who could match his abilities. basically everyone came across as very sad and lonely. good old seidl.
this was too long but it was enjoyable.

apparently this film got seidl thrown out of film school. maybe because he made the people look stupid especially be leaving the camera rolling after they thought it was off?


it was pretty cool to see these films, which probably otherwise would never get screened.


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