Andreas Horvath: Looking at the shadows, listening to echoes
Whether for the first time or again and even deeper, sail into the visually attractive and seemingly calm film waters, with the extraordinary audiovisual works by Austrian filmmaker and photographer Andreas Horvath reflecting on the surface. Be sucked into the dramatic whirlpool of modern historical events and learn to breathlessly observe the subtle suspense built within timelessness. Be amused, surprised, angered and lyrically enchanted by the director’s colourful film retrospective available at DAFilms.com from July 4 to 17 for free!
Austrian audiovisual artist Andreas Horvath is one of the leading representatives of contemporary Central European cinema. Originally a photographer with a degree from Vienna, he was soon charmed by the film language, exploring not only a new theme but also a new way of cinematic expression with each new film. That is why the free retrospective includes mid-length as well as feature-length films, Super 8 films, both political and poetic ones. Be enthused by the tireless exploration of the film medium and become a member of an online documentary expedition led by the winner of film festivals in Karlovy Vary and Chicago and author of several photo books and photo series Andreas Horvath in the next two weeks.
The earliest film included in the retrospective is the documentary essay THE SILENCE OF GREEN (2002) which has earned several special mentions awarded by festival juries. Shot on Super 8, the feature-length film makes an uncompromising political commentary on the economic disaster experienced by British farmers whose herds were struck by the foot-and-mouth disease in 2001. The more captivating the scenes of the English countryside captured by the director, the more dramatic the narrative of the epidemic and its impact on the lives of common people. The politically critical line is continued by the director’s second film THIS AIN’T NO HEARTLAND (2004) in which Horvath sets out to the American Midwest to capture the commentaries and moods of the locals reacting to the American invasion of Iraq. Will the region wrapped in legends of its peculiar population live up to its reputation?
The winning short film of the 41st Karlovy Vary IFF VIEWS OF A RETIRED NIGHT PORTER (2006) straddles both the present and the past. Its protagonist is the anti-hero of the renowned Polish film by Krzysztof Kieślowski Night Porter’s Point of View, which has captured the power imbalance between the communist regime and the people who live in it with full poignancy. Horvath has sought out the film’s protagonist, using the distance of thirty years to look not only into his life but also into the democratic transformation Poland has gone through.
The surge of the filmmaker’s films from the past decade is represented by three films in which the director sets out to three continents. ARAB ATTRACTION (2010) brings the extraordinary life story of artist Barbara Wally, a feminist activist renowned in Austria, to the film screen; after spending a holiday in Yemen, she becomes a second wife to a local driver and converts to the Islamic faith. In EARTH‘S GOLDEN PLAYGROUND (2013) set in Alaska, Horvath follows the trail of old-time gold seekers whose numbers are rocketing again at the time of economic uncertainty. On his journey between the Arabic and the American world, the director makes an imaginary break, imbuing it with the silence of the Romanian landscape and sending his viewers a lyrical cinematic POSTCARD FROM SOMOVA, ROMANIA (2011).
Start your film summer in the company of the cinematic master of disguise and the seeker of silence and uncompromising social criticism Andreas Horvath at DAFilms.com!
Films for the event
Earth's Golden Playground (Orig.) / 2013 / Austria, Canada / 106 min
Since the first Gold Rush in the late 1890s the Yukon with its legendary Klondike gold fields has been a remote land shrouded in mystery. In times of economic instability the high price of gold makes the search for the precious metal all the more attractive. Individual miners compete in this modern day gold rush tale about the quest for the fabulous mother lode, the source, which, despite decades of exploitation, is still believed to lie hidden underground.
Postcard from Somova, Romania (Orig.) / 2011 / Austria, Romania / 20 min
An inconspicuous row of trees and some bushes, somewhere on a riverbank on the edge of the Danube Delta. Time seems to have stood still here. In the minor events that then emerge, we see an unexpected coherence. The animals that have found their homes here and seem condemned to each other, the tired fishermen who chug up in their boat and disrupt the peace and the crumbling material in general all acquire a glowing cinematographic meaning.
Arab Attraction (Orig.) / 2010 / Austria / 119 min
Barbara Wally, the former director of the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg has been known throughout Austria for her outspoken feminist views for decades. During a 10-day vacation to Yemen, she falls in love with a young chauffeur named Khadher and becomes his second wife...