Animal Love

  • Austria
Audio Tracks 

(Ordinary day is a strange tragedy, Seidl) A provoking perverse film about people who have various kinds of relationships with their pets. Their love of dogs, cats, hares and even rats is a fascinating analysis of human burnout.

Seidl's brutal staged document takes place in an empty landscape of the Viennese periphery where basements, small rent-controlled apartments and musty rooms are used by tired and bitter people: a homeless couple train a dog from an animal shelter, a beggar asks for money to feed his hare, batty wives take care of scores of dogs, an old woman arranges a luxurious funeral for her cat, and in an abandoned factory, a drunk man dreams of the most velvety fur. Dirty laundry, overflowing ashtrays, faded flowers on wallpapers, plates with unfinished meals are the still lifes of the film, the static sophisticated images of which tell tales of exhaustion and inevitable loneliness.

The perfect composition of the golden section is a merciless visual effect, which gives all scenes a nonchalant eerie touch: images of people French-kissing with dogs alternate with a sexual intercourse of a human couple in the doggy position that is an undeniable irony. Seidl's style is that of cinemavoyeur: an abstract motionless exposition and grotesque naturalism with a touch of black humor. Fragments of moods, stylized etudes and confessions are fractions of the kaleidoscope of the human abyss; the director-manipulator skillfully travels along the most intimate border; balancing on the verge of acceptability he allows the perfectly uncovered characters to portray themselves only to definitely transform them into the victims of their own lives. It is a cruel film, but there does not seem to be any other way of cutting into the grayness between loneliness and love. (I've not yet looked straight into hell in a movie theatre, Herzog)

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  • Original Title
    Tierische Liebe
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Ulrich Seidl
  • Cinematography
    Peter Zeitlinger, Michael Glawogger
  • Editing
    Christof Schertenleib, Michael Glawogger
  • Sound
    Ekkehart Baumung
  • Runtime
    114 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Austria
  • Production is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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