1991. Germany/Austria. Werner Schroeter. 121 min.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2
1991. Germany/Austria. Directed by Werner Schroeter. Screenplay by Elfriede Jelinek, based on the novel by Ingeborg Bachmann. With Isabelle Huppert, Mathieu Carrière. Bachmann holds a mythic place in postwar Austrian letters, particularly among feminist critics. Her novel Malina, published two years before her death, was intended as an overture to her unfinished Ways of Dying cycle. An obsessive love story set in a Vienna that Bachman described as a “theater of murder,” Malina explores sex, guilt, death, and fascism in the “eternal battle” between men and women. Schroeter looked to another influential Austrian writer, Elfriede Jelinek—the Nobel Prize–winning author of the novel on which Michael Haneke’s film The Piano Teacher was based—to evoke Malina’s musical structure and poetic language. The poetic liberties he took in his film caused scandal and outrage, in spite or perhaps because of Huppert’s unforgettably volatile, self-immolating performance. 35mm print from La Cinémathèque Québécoise; courtesy Kuchenreuther Filmproduktion. In German; English subtitles. 121 min.