Viennale 2016: Poison

  • She combs her hair, this jealous actress, and when she combs her hair she spreads the grease. She spreads the grease just like she spreads the poison when she exhales cigarette smoke. And she is almost always exhaling cigarette smoke. I choke on it and feel that Ozu’s Ukigusa monogatari is breathtaking. In the cruelest of ways, in the most beautiful of ways. Hopes and goals hang by a thread as thin and fragile as those holding the lamp Ozu draws attention to. Even if the thread doesn’t break, the light is so dim it might run out at any moment. It seems that Ukigusa monogatari explores failure in all of its aspects. Even the possible gravity of great dramatic moments is bound to fail because one’s ass can itch and need scratching. In the end, there is no ending, just an attempt to reprise relationships which have already failed. Ozu’s later variation on this film, Ukigusa, with its static shots, deceiving colors and uncomfortable daylight brings cruelty to even a higher level.
  • In my mind, this edition of the festivals starts with nearly a hundred people running down the stairs of the Albertina in order to get to the Film Museum and watch Ozu. It all looks like the Odessa steps sequence. In fact, they were senior tourists hurrying to get on their bus.
  • The Viennale bribes me with fantastic jewelry in the hope that I will get over the fact that the festival bag is so ugly this year.viennale

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