March 22, 2018No Comments

Whores’ Glory – Michael Glawogger – 2011

Unusual choice of Western music accompanies images of everyday life in brothels from the far east, Thailand, Bangladesh or Mexico. The effect probably feels close to what it feels being there. Setup situations abound in the brilliantly unapologetic way in which this filmmaker worked and charmed.

March 20, 2018No Comments

Megacities – Michael Glawogger – 1998

Glawogger, as hard as it is to remember this surname, as easily to recall his films. Megacities is a constructed documentary, focusing on poverty in some of the world’s largest cities (of the ‘90s): Mumbai, New York, Ciudad de Mexico, Moscow. Surreal images are intertwined with some of the most brilliant and hard worked editing seen in a documentary. The opening scene revolving around a packed train running through the Mumbai slums is masterful. Glawogger made no secret of the fact that he directed and even payed participants of his documentaries. I don’t think it chips from the deep truth of all these people and situations. I will remember the long shot of the barrel filled with dying chicken fighting for the last breaths, painting with bloodred the wall around it. I’ll try to learn something from the hillarious scene in Moscow, where drunks are picked by the police and confined for the night, while in paralel, a song sang by an old lady begins. It tells the story of a young girl, counting down all her pretenders and their faults. A fantastic sequence ensues, in the fashion of musical editing/Wes Anderson frontal framing, taking us inside numerous different aparments, where the song is picked by a new old lady each time. What a filmmaker!

March 11, 2017No Comments

Untitled – Michael Glawogger – 2017

Together with Peter MettlerMichael Glawogger’s work stands as the greatest personal discovery of 2018. I don’t know where should I begin in explaining the hypnotising effect this film - Untitled - has on me. Probably the man’s intention is a good starting point:

“I want to give a view of the world that can only emerge by not pursuing any particular theme, by refraining from passing judgment, proceeding without aim. Drifting with no direction except one’s own curiosity and intuition.” (Michael Glawogger)

So here it is, a collection of images shot by their maker on a journey from Hungary all the way to Liberia. It ended in Liberia with Glawogger’s death, killed by malaria. Two years later, a collaborator, Monika Willi (editor for The White Ribbon of all things), took the material and assembled it. Death certainly adds a veil of otherworldliness to the movement of Untitled, as a voice over narrator points from time to time to what Glawogger must have felt or searched for.

Anyway, besides all this, what we’re offered is never before seen images. Herzog begs for this and strives for it as well. Our world, he says, is oversaturated by the same images and this drastically narrows our capacity for imagining new ones. Never before seen images have the power to stop your body moving, like some aliens speaking to you in a language that only your body understands. Untitled is packed with this. It blew my mind.

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