Irish Film Institute -BREATHING (Atmen)



94 minutes, Austria, 2011, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema


In a world where loss is all around us, a young man has everything to gain – that’s the dramatic crux of this restrained but resonant directorial debut for esteemed Austrian actor Karl Markovics. He starred in the Oscar-winning The Counterfeiters, but stays behind the camera here, delivering a remarkably controlled and mature film which patiently follows the fortunes of Roman (Thomas Schubert, another first-timer), who’s seeking parole from a youth detention centre but needs to hold down a job to win over the judge. Having spent much of his formative years inside, he has trouble fitting in anywhere, unused to friendship and uncomfortable with authority, so when he starts a trial month with the Vienna city mortuary service, his prospects look distinctly unfavourable. What follows is a film of small but significant moments, as Roman’s halting progress is compellingly registered by a director with a great eye for the widescreen frame and a profound awareness that little things mean a lot.  (Notes by Trevor Johnston.) 

This screening will include the IFB-funded short film Downpour directed by Claire Dix. A celebration of Irish rain. 4 minutes, 2011, Colour.

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