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Schottentor

Caspar Pfaundler
Austria 2009 / 123’

In the very heart of Vienna, between the University, the characteristic neo-gothic Votivkirche, Sigmund Freud Park and the Ring which surrounds the city-centre, there is one of the most famous tram depots in Vienna - Schottentor. Every day, hundreds of people pass it by - students, tourists, clerks, homeless people. Caspar Pfaundler, an Austrian who lives in Taiwan, chooses six characters out of this crowd and he portrays them with astonishing subtlety. With long close-ups and details, adding some animation and internal monologues, the director gives his audience a feeling of overhearing the characters' thoughts, peeping into their imaginations, dreams, desires, fantasies. There is a good reason why Pfaundler repeats in interviews that he was inspired by the works of Arthur Schnitzler, an author and psychiatrist at the beginning of the 20th century, Freud's friend, whose famous Procession, a play which was a psychological vivisection of Vienna at the turn of the centuries, has influenced many filmmakers before. And there is a good reason why the characters include a director and his assistant and a homeless man who wants to die in a cinema... The subtle groundwork is enriched by the documentary layer, which can go unnoticed at the beginning: a portray of a place pulsating with life, but actually anonymous, where people pass each other indifferently.

Joanna Malicka

Caspar Pfaundler

Born in 1959 in Austria. He graduated the art history department and film science department at the university in Vienna. He has made several short films and entered the ranks of feature film directors in 2001 with Lost and Found. Pfaundler and his wife, Chinese music director Wu Su-jen, live and work in Vienna.

Filmography:

1984 Ciacona - Ein Frühstück (short)

1994 Das chinesische Wien (TV)

1995 Kino zum Überleben (TV)

2001 Lost and Found

2007 Das Leben will leben - Die Kunst der Weinberger

2009 Schottentor