Austria

IFC Midnight

It’s 2014, and global warming is true. (Suck it climate deniers!) Scientists were wrong about one thing though in that it’s happening a lot faster than they predicted. A small research team in the Austrian Alps discovers something alarming when they come across a a blood-red glacier high up in the mountains that seems to be affecting the local wildlife. Animals are blending together into hybrids, but even worse than the presence of creatures that could possibly explain the likes and legends of werewolves is the unfortunate realization that these new lifeforms are thirsty for blood. You know, like werewolves. A title like Blood Glacier comes with certain expectations. Blood and glaciers, obviously, but also horror, death and a self-awareness that chooses silliness over smarts. To that end this new Austrian film is a minor success, but while it manages to deliver on the above it suffers due to what it lacks — namely scares, engaging characters and monsters that are worth a damn.

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trailer the wall

A woman awakens one day to discover her mountain cabin has been separated from the rest of the world by an invisible wall. She can see through it, but she’s unable to pass. As the days turn to weeks and the seasons begin to change her solitude becomes more and more of a threat to her survival. What caused it? Why is it happening? When will it end? Damned if I know, but my ignorance doesn’t stop me from loving the first trailer for Julian Pölsler‘s new film, The Wall. It’s wonderfully atmospheric and creates a real sense of isolation, and if nothing else it makes for an interesting companion piece to the upcoming limited TV series of Stephen King’s Under the Dome. Check out the trailer for The Wall below.

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The personalities of runners always seem to run the gamut. On the one hand, regular exercise and fitness is a sign of stability, a display of having chosen the “right” priorities to care for one’s own body. On the other hand, running can become an obsession and a compulsion for a variety of reasons, and can become the vice of somebody with the personality of an addict. The strange relationship between compulsive personalities and physical fitness is at the heart of Benjamin Heisenberg’s Austrian thriller The Robber, an engrossing and complex yet economically straightforward character-driven thriller about a marathon runner who has an addiction to robbing banks. We first meet Johann Rettenberger (Andreus Lust) jogging in a tight square around a small yard, and quickly realize that he’s in prison. As soon as he’s called back inside and is directed to his cell, he continues running on the small treadmill right next to his bed. It’s one of those simple openings that says so much through doing so little, and this characterizes much of The Robber, a film with a deceiving simplicity that makes it all the more compelling.

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revanche1

Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week to look for films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent, this week we’re heading to… Austria!

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