Teachers and Employees

Dusl, Andrea Maria Univ.-Lekt. Mag.art. Dr.phil.

Blue Moon (Spielfilm)
artistic sound/image/data medium
Computer Music, Film and Television, Language Art
Blue Moon, review: in: Variety, Derek Elley, Aug 5, 2002. _______________ Two smalltime crooks and an enigmatic Ukrainian looker bounce around in the uncertain world of post-communist Central Europe in "Blue Moon," a highly engaging character-comedy which delivers emotionally in the final reels. Terrific casting of the three leads -- popular Austrian standup comic Josef Hader, outre German comedian-helmer Detlev W. Buck, plus Ukrainian knockout Viktoria Malektorovych -- raise this road movie-cum-offbeat love story several notches above the norm, coaxed along by sympathetic direction from first-timer Andrea Maria Dusl. Festival berths look assured, with some niche theatrical action in some Euro territories also possible on the back of good reviews. _______________ Pic opens with an unexplained shot showing a woman walking down the famed Odessa Steps (from Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin") that only becomes clear at the end of the movie. Subsequently, the main story quickly moves into high gear as seedy Austrian bag man Johnny Pichler (Hader) is thrown together with blonde stunner, Shirley (Malektorovych), when a handover goes sour. _______________ Fleeing in a car with $20,000, the pair head from Austria to Slovakia, temporarily bound by circumstances beyond their control. Shirley seems preoccupied, Johnny goes along for the ride; and when he buys the car from her with his half of the loot, they part, though with a trace of reluctance on Shirley's side. _______________ Enter Ignaz Springer (Buck), a freewheeling drifter from former East Germany, who claims to have a business in Ukraine. He latches himself on to the morose Johnny, intro-ing him to the good life with a couple of Slovak whores. After selling the car behind Johnny's back, Ignaz temporarily disappears as mysteriously as he came. _______________ Moving ever eastward, Johnny ends up in Lviv, Ukraine, trying to track down Shirley, who works as an escort. By chance, he bumps into her twin sister, Jana (also Malektorovych), who drives a cab, and in short order he's invited first to stay at her small farm and then into her bed. A crop-haired, very practical brunette, Jana tells Johnny that her sister, whose real name is Dana, disappeared three months ago after never really recovering from a spell of craziness during perestroika a decade or so ago. _______________ However, Johnny soon discovers Jana is not all she seems and, when she disappears for a couple of days to Odessa, he follows in pursuit. The sudden reappearance of the unpredictable Ignaz throws another wrench in the works, as Johnny tries to make something of a life with Jana. _______________ Inspired by a trip East in the late '80s, Dusl's script obliquely picks over the bones of societies left with no clear future or structure after the fall of communism and the certainties it embodied. Her characters -- from both sides of the old Iron Curtain -- are still groping with their freedom, unsure whether to jump the fences installed deep in their minds. A rather obvious metaphor involving some sheep is the only time Dusl explicitly signposts the viewer. _______________ There have been many films during the past decade about the new Central Europe, generally focusing on criminal or other antisocial behavior. In "Blue Moon," Dusl instead goes for character play and a laconic sense of humor. _______________ Shaped to a pretty tight 97 minutes, the pic -- despite its road-movie feel -- has a classic three-act structure, capped by a neat, will-they/won't-they finale. Much of the film's emotional clout is due to the actors themselves, who flesh out often sketchily drawn roles against believable backgrounds shot in actual locations. _______________ Though Jana is fully drawn, and given real screen presence by Malektorovych's magnetic playing, it's only halfway through the film that the lack of info on both of the men's backgrounds becomes evident. However, thanks to Hader's low-key, quizzical perf and Buck's full on, big-talking style, this isn't a problem. And Malektorovych, a popular actress/TV personality in her native Ukraine, more than holds her own against her two experienced co-stars. _______________ Blowup from 16mm is OK, though colors lacked fullness on print caught. Still, the resulting look isn't alien to the tone of the movie, conveying a wasteland feel to the Slovakian and (especially) Ukrainian locations. Other tech credits are pro. (Copyright © 2002 Reed Business Information: http://print.google.com/print/doc?articleid=kFMgKomHJ76) _______________ World Premiere: Locarno, Switzerland, Competition 2002 (Nominated for Golden Leopard) _______________ Festivals: Haifa, Israel 2002, Murat Expo Switzerland 2002, Rome, Italy - Nuovo Cinema Austria 2002, Hof, Germany 2002, Viennale, IFF - Austrian Premiere 2002, Pusan, Corea 2002, Valencia, Spain 2002, Saarbrücken, Germany 2002, Bratislava, Slovakia 2002, San Francisco, USA - Berlin and Beyond 2003, Palo Alto, Stanford University 2003, Saarbrücken, Germany 2003, Rotterdam, Netherlands 2003, Berlin, Germany - Market 2003, Porto, Portugal 2003, St. Petersburg, Russia - Europe Now 2003, Diagonale Graz, Austria 2003 (Diagonale Grand Prize for Best Austrian Film), Dortmund, Germany 2003, Mamers en Mars, France 2003, Las Palmas, Spain 2003, Minneapolis / St. Paul, USA 2003, Zlin, Chech Republic 2003, Cluj Transilvania, Romania 2003, Seattle, USA 2003, Lagów, Poland 2003 (Special Jury Prize), Moscow, Russia 2003, Karlovy Vary, Chech Republic 2003 (Variety Critic's Choice of Europe's 10 Best Films of 202003), Basel, Switzerland 2003, Espoo, Finland 2003, Washington, Kulturforum 2003, Leeds, UK 2003, Mexico City, Mexico - European Filmfestival 2003, Hong Kong, China - Max 2003, Den Haag, Austrian Film Week 2003, New York, USA - "The Screening Room" 2003, Talinn, Estland - Black Nights 2003, Istanbul, Turkey - Austrian Film Week 2003, Prague / Bratislava, Chech Republic/Slovakia - Febio Fest 2004, Diagonale Graz, Austria 2004 (Best Script), Chicago, USA, Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago - 7th European Union Film Festival 2004, Paris, France - Semaine du Cinéma Autrichien 2004, Warszawa, Poland - Filmfestival Poland 2004, Cracow, Poland - Filmfestival Poland 2004, Wroclaw, Poland - Filmfestival Poland 2004, Lodz, Poland - Filmfestival Poland 2004, London, UK - British Film Institute - Now, About These (Austrian) Women 2004, Sofia, Bulgaria - EU-Filmfestival 2004, Vancouver, Canada - EU-Filmfestival 2004, Ottawa, Canada - EU-Filmfestival 2004, Beijing, China - Beijing Normal University (Beijing Shifan Daxue), Beijing, China - Beijing Film Academy (Haidian Xi Tucheng Lu) - Tage des deutschsprachigen Films November 2004.
Andrea Maria Dusl, Andrea Maria Dusl (Regie), Andrea Maria Dusl (Drehbuch)
Wien (Österreich)