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Michael Glawogger's Films

APOCALYPSE RISING

Olaf Möller (FILM COMMENT, VOL. 47, nº 5, september/ octuber, 2011)

One thing’s for sure: few entries in this year’s Venice Film Festival will be as hotly debated as Michael Glawogger’s latest.

Whores’ Glory
is a movie meditation on the rites of love-a baroque documentary about hookers and their dreams, daily grinds and anxieties, shot as events unfold in Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico. Why the controversy? Because Whores’ Glory doesn’t confirm what the audience already thinks it knows. Glawogger doesn’t condemn prostitution, and he doesn’t present the hookers in his film only as victims and the johns and pimps as criminals. And he doesn’t investigate the underworld estructures that underpin the trade. All of that information is there, out in the open, visible and audible, as part of these women’s lives: human tafficking, substance abuse, violence, etc., are etched on their bodies, present in their conversations and anecdotes. But there’s so much more to their lives that simply doesn’t fit with the views that wellmeaning people hold about prostitution, ignoring the very real needs and desires in play and the inconvenient facts that women also exploit one another, that there are dead ends in life, and that miracles actually can happen. For Glawogger, prostitution is just another line of work in which value is traded, i.e., the illusion of love plus some kind of physical release in exchange for hard cash or soft favors. Human folly as usual.

Whores’ Glory is a companion piece to Workingman’s Death (05), Glawogger’s epic song about labor that, in five chapters and an epilogue, demonstrates taht work is the essence of the human condition. Ideologies come and go but people will always need to buy or sell goods, slaughter animals for food., etc. The subkect’s timelessness is given shape by the film’s final chapter devoted to smelting steel: first we see Shenyang workers in a still mill, talking about their bright future the way their colleagues in West Germany probably did a half-century before; then we see Duisburg teenagers making out in an abandoned steel mill that has been transformed into a theme park, oblivious to the history under their feet. This is the reality tahta awaits shenyang. Ever so tacitly, Workingman’s Death describes a circle: the first and last chapter are devoted to heavy industry (coal mining in chapter one, steel in chapter five), while the centerpiece, in an open-air slaughterhouse in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, is constructed as a cycle of life and death. Whatever the future brings, someone somewhere will labor away at something or other, in the same way that there’s always someone looking for love.

(Complete text at the Festival's catalogue)
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    Contact High

    Austria
    Running time: 95 min
    Cast: Raimund Wallisch (Johann), Michael Ostrowski (Max), Detlev Buck (Harry), Georg Friedrich (Schorsch), Pia Hierzegger (Mao)
    49 edición - Michael Glawogger
    Michael Glawogger
  • das vaterspiel

    Das Vaterspiel

    Kill Daddy Good Night
    Alemania, Francia, Austria
    Running time: 117 min
    Cast: Helmut Köpping (Ratz), Sabine Timoteo (Mimi), Ulrich Tukur (Jonas Shtrom(, Christian Tramitz (Kramer), Itzhak Finzi (Lucas), Samuel Finzi (Lucas, 40), Michou Friesz (madre), Franziska Weisz (hermana), Otto Tausig (abuelo)
    49 edición - Michael Glawogger
    Michael Glawogger
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    Haiku

    Austria, Serbia
    Running time: 3 min.
    Cast:
    49 edición - Michael Glawogger
    Michael Glawogger
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    Megacities. 12 Geschichten vom Überleben

    Megacities
    Austria
    Running time: 90 min.
    Cast: Shankar Loutakke, Babu Khan, Uttam Siram, Bhalera, Modesto Francisco Rodriguez, Dolores „Lola“ López Castro, Augustin Garcia, Alba, Ernesto „El Cuquín“ Martínez Rivera, Herminio „El Gato“ del Barro Velázquez, Ivan „Chango“ Silva Osorio, Superbarrio Gómez
    49 edición - Michael Glawogger
    Michael Glawogger
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    Slumming

    Austria
    Running time: 100 min.
    Cast: Paulus Manker (Kallmann), August Diehl (Sebastian), Michael Ostrowski (Alex), Pia Hierzegger (Pia), Maria Bill (Herta)
    49 edición - Michael Glawogger
    Michael Glawogger
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    Whores' Glory

    Austria, Alemania
    Running time: 119 min
    Cast:
    49 edición - Sección Oficial Largometrajes Fuera de Competición; Michael Glawogger
    Michael Glawogger
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    Workingman’s Death

    Austria, Alemania
    Running time: 122 min
    Cast:
    49 edición - Michael Glawogger
    Michael Glawogger
Displaying all 7 elements