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Perfect Garden

Chris Haring, Mara Mattuschka
Austria 2013 / 80’

In this garden, there is harmony between matter and spirit, mind and body. Every utopian group, in creating the foundation of a new world, has before its eyes an image of the Garden of Eden. Here, this is made real in the form of a dark bar called Eden, where it is always 4 a.m., and the bar’s scantily clad patrons communicate with one another through dance. Their bodies move in harmony with one another and with their surroundings up until the moment when the Russian mafia enters this hedonistic world. Perfect Garden is a synthesis of narrative cinema, psychoanalysis, and dance. "I used the body both as an instrument and as a means of expression," says Mara Mattuschka. "There is an idea of the body and the reality of the body, there is a sense of the body. The more we are aware of these things, the more the body becomes an instrument. For me, the body is a brush, a pencil, and an idea." Full of narrow corridors and dimly lit corners, Eden is a figure of our unconsciousness, a space in which messages that are difficult to express with words are played out.

Ewa Szabłowska

Chris Haring, Mara Mattuschka

Born in Bulgaria, Mara Mattuschka has been living in Vienna since 1976, where she is an artist, performer, and one of the most interesting figures in the Austrian experimental-film scene. Since the mid-1980s, Mattuschka has been creating extremely sensual, tangible short (16 mm) films that take place in eccentric worlds that are reminiscent of those found in the works of Guy Madin, David Lynch, or Jan Svankmajer.  Since 2003, Mattuschka has been working with Chris Haring, a choreographer and dancer who has worked with international companies, including DV8 Physical Theatre (London), Nikolais/Luis Dance Cie. (United States), man act (United Kingdom), Nigel Charnock (United Kingdom) and Pilottanz, Willi Dorner, and Tanz*Hotel (Vienna). She founded liquid loft in 2005 along with Andreas Berger, Thomas Jelink, and Stephanie Cumming. She has choreographed numerous performances that have enjoyed international success. For example, Posing Project B (The Art of Seduction) won a Golden Lion at the Biennale in Venice in 2007.


1985 Upadek Tytanii / Der Untergang der Titania (short)

1987 Dziękuję, było miło / Danke, es hat mich sehr gefreut (short)

2008 Uciekające sushi / Running Sushi (short)

2009 Płonący pałac / Burning Palace (short)

2013 Ogród idealny / Perfect Garden (short)

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Cast & Crew

director Chris Haring, Mara Mattuschka
screenplay Mara Mattuschka, Chris Haring
cinematography Josef Nermuth
editing Mara Mattuschka
music Andreas Berger
cast Luke Baio, Thales Weilinger, Ian Garside, Simone Truong, Alexander E. Fennon, Rachel Odena, Anna Maria Nowak, Stephanie Cumming
producer Mara Mattuschka, Chris Haring
sales Sixpack Films
language English
colouration colour