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  Cycle index  
Schottentor
dir. Caspar Pfaundler / Austria 2009 / 123’
subtitles: Polish and English
Panorama

Cast

Gerti Drassl, Claudia Kottal, Michael Masula, David Oberkogler, Hannes Thanheiser, Markus Westphal

Film description

In the very heart of Vienna, between the University, the characteristic neo-gothic Votivkirche, Sigmund Freud Park and the Ring which surrounds the city-centre, there is one of the most famous tram depots in Vienna - Schottentor. Every day, hundreds of people pass it by - students, tourists, clerks, homeless people. Caspar Pfaundler, an Austrian who lives in Taiwan, chooses six characters out of this crowd and he portrays them with astonishing subtlety. With long close-ups and details, adding some animation and internal monologues, the director gives his audience a feeling of overhearing the characters' thoughts, peeping into their imaginations, dreams, desires, fantasies. There is a good reason why Pfaundler repeats in interviews that he was inspired by the works of Arthur Schnitzler, an author and psychiatrist at the beginning of the 20th century, Freud's friend, whose famous Procession, a play which was a psychological vivisection of Vienna at the turn of the centuries, has influenced many filmmakers before. And there is a good reason why the characters include a director and his assistant and a homeless man who wants to die in a cinema... The subtle groundwork is enriched by the documentary layer, which can go unnoticed at the beginning: a portray of a place pulsating with life, but actually anonymous, where people pass each other indifferently.

Joanna Malicka

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