Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director

ANIMAL LOVE

Austria, 1995 (MIFF 1996, Documenta)

Director: Ulrich Siedl

Lonely lives consumed by an almost unnatural passion for pets! Child substitute, surrogate lover, plaything, pawn in relationship power struggles, the whole notion of innocent puppy love gets left far behind in this truly disturbing look at the desperate human need for companionship.

From the two old bastards with their new purchase of an increasingly erratic and vicious mutt, to the well-heeled woman who wines and dines her pedigree doggy date, from young homeless men begging with a bunny (a sure-fire sympathy getter), to the ugly couple fighting over who fractured the ferret; from the decidedly odd rituals of a pet funeral, to the even stranger rigours of sexual congress; humour turns to horror as the lineaments of sublimated, twisted desire draw you into a bizarre world where all fellow-feeling becomes suspect and an almost bestial evil seems to lurk behind every motive. Animal Love is ambushed by a cruelty that reigns on both sides of the camera With lacerating faux detachment director Ulrich Seidl lets his human sublets perform—and they often do like sideshow grotesques—walking a dangerously fine line in victimisation that is as enthralling as it is appalling

In this tawdry tale of the emotionally undernourished 'talking to the animals' becomes a dialogue with the damned rather than a date with Dr. Doolittle. (AH)

See also...

THE FREETHINKER

Sweden, 1994
... ... After Crushing Edvard Munch, one ot the finest cinematic portraits of an artist ever made, Peter Watkins began work on another film about a tormented Scandinavian artist, the brilliant and tr… More »

AND MANY HAPPY RETURNS

USA, 1995
A summer camp for the Jewish elderly, a chance to make new friends, share one's past and tell a few jokes. With hilarious effect, classic one-liners from old movies are intercut with the actual dialo… More »

AT SUNDANCE

USA, 1995
... ... American New Wave originals, Robert Almereyda (Girl from Another Planet. Nadja] and Amy Hobby take their obsession with the toy. Fischer Price pixelvision camera to the Sundance Film Festival… More »

BONTOC EULOGY

USA, 1995
fascinating film about Marlon E Fuentes' Filipino grandfather, one of 1100 tribal relatives brought to the USA as anthropological specimens' for the 1904 St Louis World Fair. The memorable opening im… More »

BAKA

Belgium, France, 1995
This exceedingly beautiful anthropological film observes and exhalts the life of the Baka Pygmies who live in the forests of South-East Cameroon. The languid flow of the picture allows the viewer to … More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.