The Graz film festival DIAGONALE in online quarantine.
„The unfinished”, that’s how Sebastian Höglinger and Peter Schernhuber call this year’s edition of DIAGONALE film festival. The two directors of the Austrian Film Festival in Graz had already finished preparing the pro- gram beforer the corona crisis forced them to move the festival to the online quarantine.
Parts of the festival program originally planned for Graz will be shown on the ORF stream- ing platform flimmit.at and on the streaming platform of the Austrian arthouse cinemas vodclub.online.
One of the DIAGONALE competition films that can be seen on flimmit.com is Jessica Haus- ner’s sci-fi film “Little Joe”, which premiered at the International Film Festival in Cannes. At the center of the film is the biologist Alice (Emily Beecham), who has developed a genetically modified plant – Little Joe – whose fragrance is ment to make people happy. But the happiness project slips and tips into a horror story. The plant is nowhere near as harmless as thought and causes uncanny changes in the behaviour of the people.
The special program section “Zur Person” of this year ́s DIAGONALE is also dedicated to Jessica Hausner. The DIAGONALE flimmit subscription includes Hausner films such as Amour Fou, Hotel, Lovely Rita or Lourdes, which are always worth for beeing rediscovered. Hausner is a master of mischievous ambiguity. The focus of her films is in many cases on women, who
often deal with the uncontrollability of life in a wayward way. The DIAGONALE short film program on flimmit is focussed on the topic of youth and identity. Under the program title “Me and you and everyone we know”, the two DIAGONALE directors Sebastian Höglinger and Peter Schernhuber have put together a cinematic kaleidoscope of 6 coming-of-age films.
The experimental film portrait of “Ralfs Farben” by Lukas Marxt about the artist Michael Petri, who lives in Lanzarote for years, appears like an anticipation of our corona quarantine, which has made us fall out of space and time. Landscape and film, inner and outer world and the thinking of a man who turns in circles and spirals merge into an experimental film amalgam. A “semi-fantasy” fitting to the reality depriva- tion of this strange time.
The black comedy “Glück gehabt”, a triangular relationship story by Peter Payer is a humorous contrast. The teacher and private tutor Artur leads a comfortable, happy marriage with Rita, who is just about to become a school director when young Alice bursts into Artur’s life. The story turns into a black-humorous thriller, in which the Biedermeier everyday Bobo life gets out of balance.
In a time of prescribed social distancing, the films of the “unfinished” DIAGONALE 2020 appear in a very special light. They raise desire for more movies of quality. And also on going back to the Annenhof, the Schubert or Rechbauer cinemas in Graz at the 2021 Festival, strolling through the alleys of the old town of Graz and meeting real people. And not just leading a life like in a movie.
Sebastian Höglinger and Peter Schernhubers recommendations from former DIAGONALE festivals on VOD-Club www.vodclub.online