Saturday, 8 May 2010

revanche (w&d götz spielmann)

Revanche would appear to be the latest in the Austrian wave to break over the shores of Britain. In many ways this seems like the most conventional of the four different director's films I've seen over the course of the last year or so. It tells the story of a man whose girlfriend is shot by a policeman, and how he obtains a kind of revenge. The film moves from the milieu of a Viennese brothel to the rural backwaters, as Alex, the anti-hero, holes up on his grandfather's farm. There are sufficient holes and co-incidences in the plot to empty several buckets, but the film's effectiveness has more to do with the sense of mood or tone it creates than its narrative. It's here that the influence of his peers seems to touch Spielmann. The tendency to let the camera linger on a scene longer than might seem strictly necessary; the violence of the sex scenes; the sometimes abrupt edits. All of these things contribute to give the piece a slightly brooding weight which the narrative alone perhaps doesn't warrant. In contrast to the film's slightly regulation premise and storylines, the things that stand out are moments like an old man playing his accordion or another younger man mowing his lawn.

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