Whether it is the circus we encounter in Mister Universo, the bygone Vienna of Notes from the Underworld, or the Roman trailer park of La Pivellina, the pitch and tenor of Covi-Frimmel's various universes are fundamentally the same, no matter the specific locale. A curiosity about the world and its inhabitants is precisely what unites all their quasi-documentary portraits, six of which you can discover thanks to our ongoing collaboration with the festival Diagonale in Graz. Shooting regularly in 16mm with non-professional actors, Covi and Frimmel's work is characterised by the sumptuous richness of the images and a lack of remove from their subjects, making these transmissions from a parallel cinematic world among those not easy to forget.
"Both Mister Universo and 2009’s La Pivellina serve depictions of the same itinerant performer community, into whose lives the filmmakers introduced fictive elements at the intersection of melodrama and sociology. Covi and Frimmel’s works are low-key and anti-miserablist affairs, defining their own dramatic stakes in the act of collaboration — which could explain the muted response that usually greets them." — Steve McFarlane, Filmmaker Magazine
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