The Multiple Facets of Austrian Cinema
"The Multiple Facets of Austrian Cinema" Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 Nanjing University Xianlin Campus Building 1, Room 101 18:30-20:30
Dr. Isabel Wolte
Lecture accompanied by PPT and film clips
This lecture gives an overview of Austrian cinema past and present, with an emphasis on current developments. The manifold facets of Austrian cinema and how these are closely linked to the geo-political situation and history of the country are discussed. Focus will be given to the international influence of Austrian film professionals, connections to China and, in particular, the latest trends and achievements.
From its onset until today, Austrian cinema has always proven to be diversified, innovative and highly professional. In the early stages, despite the decline and eventual dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, film production drew its strength from the high level of education and cultural diversity in the region. Following the voluntary as well as forced exodus of many exceptional talents in all film-related fields, the emerging Hollywood film industry of the 1920ies and 1930ies was enriched with immigrants from Austria like Fred Zinnemann and Billy Wilder. Arguably the most famous Austrian ever to succeed in Hollywood is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Austrian-born musicians like Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Max Steiner shaped and developed film music in a decisive way.
As a special focus, film clips from the two Sino-Austrian co-productions, Children of the World (1941, Directors: Luise and Jakob Fleck, Fei Mu) and On the Other Side of the Bridge (2003, Director: Hu Mei) will be shown.
Currently, Austrian film production is known as much for its documentaries as for its often disturbing feature films. The industry is small (45 films in 2011), socially, politically and environmentally aware, with a remarkable tendency to deal with international or global topics. In recent years quite a few Austrian films have been awarded recognized prizes, e.g. The Counterfeiters (Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film 2008), The White Ribbon (Palme D’Or Cannes 2009), Breathing (Best European Film, Quinzaine Cannes 2011), Whore’s Glory (Special Prize of the Jury, Orrizonti Venice 2011).