|“I consciously imagined various combinations
of people from quite different worlds who appear to share
the same traits: dependence on one hand, and an utter loneliness
on the other. All of them fight for something or someone,
while none of them seem to understand exactly what it is they
really need.”—Barbara Albert. Albert tackles an
ambitious subject—chaos theory—and applies it
to the daily lives of the inter-dependent inhabitants of a
small Austrian town with a dry wit and flair for the supernatural.
Very much influenced by Rainer Fassbinder, the story begins
with the now-infamous example of the butterfly flapping its
wings, which causes a tornado over the Gulf of Mexico and
a subsequent plane crash. One of the survivors is Manu, who,
six years later, is married, with a child, and soon to become
a victim of fate once again. Her destiny is complexly intertwined
with her relatives and friends; one seemingly independent
choice leads some to happiness and others to misfortune. In
assembling a gripping film about life, death, and the meaning
of it all, Albert chooses to let viewers decipher the electrical
reactions and connections between her characters. (120 mins.)
Print courtesy of Kino International. This year’s Austrian
submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.
Filmography: Somewhere Else (97), Northern Skirts (98).
SHOWTIMES: 2/23, 6pm and
2/25, 8:45pm B2.