Cinemania in Vienna
By Tania Berman, translation by Audrey Plaza
Living between Vienna and Bratislava at the beginning of November is a cinema fanatic’s dream. The international film festival of Bratislava takes place right after the Viennale, the Vienna International Film Festival. Some of the most anticipated films this past autumn were presented at both events: Somewhere, Des dieux et des hommes, Copie Cachée, Machete, and Another year.
However, the two festivals seem to have their preferences. The Bratislava festival promotes many Slovak artists and other regional filmmakers; Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary and Italy are all well represented. This year’s Viennale highlights the work of two great movie directors: Eric Rohmer, who died at the beginning of this year, and Denis Côté from Canada.
What is fascinating about both festivals is the incredible diversity of films presented, coming from all over the world and most often coproduced by two or three different countries’ film companies. This makes the festival a true artistic folklore! It combines at the same time all musical genres and imaginable destinations such as Colombia, Russia, Serbia, Italia, USA, Israel, Denmark, and Canada…A real feast for the eyes! Also taking place at the same time are the Kurdish and Romanian film festivals: see http://sercavan.at/?p=de-homepage http://www.icr.ro/wien/
In other words, there is no time to get bored or to watch TV!
The final note
The end of a film is always difficult and is often painful. It is this brilliant moment when the conductor of the orchestra is holding his baton, while the audience waits for the last note. The hoped-for accurate sound resonates in the silence before the final applause.
The coming out of the last note in the film “Silent souls” by Fedorchenko, presented at the international festival of Bratislava, is preceded by a moment of anxiety for the spectator: how to end such a movie, and on which note? Will it sound good?
The audience feels this turning point, this crucial moment that determines the end of the film, and as a result its merit.
The better a film is, the more the audience fears its ending; will it measure up?
“Silent souls” belongs to this category of film, where the last five minutes confirm the success of the film. The ending of “Silent souls” is a moment of a rare perfection, matching up to the whole movie in perfect adequacy.
Two men in Russia go on a journey to bury the dead body of one’s beloved wife, according to Merjan ritual where the body is cremated and the ashes thrown out into the sea: a simple story straight like the thread of life.