Opening films’23: Das Tier im Dschungel by Patric Chiha and NYC RGB by Viktoria Schmid
The Diagonale is pleased to announce that the Festival of Austrian Film will open on Tuesday, March 21 with Patric Chiha’s feature film Das Tier im Dschungel (La bête dans la jungle, AT/BE/FR 2023, 103 min). This year, the feature film will be accompanied by Viktoria Schmid’s experimental miniature NYC RGB (US/AT 2023, 7 min), whose world premiere marks the start of the gala evening.
Following its world premiere at the Berlinale, Das Tier im Dschungel co-produced by Ebba Sinzinger and Vincent Lucassen (WILDart FILM) will have its Austrian premiere on the country’s largest temporary screen – in the Helmut List Halle – attended by Patric Chiha, Karina Ressler (editing), Dino Spiluttini (original music), Céline Bozon (cinematography), the producers, and part of the international acting ensemble around Anaïs Demoustier, Tom Mercier, Béatrice Dalle, and Martin Vischer. Patric Chiha’s Das Tier im Dschungel is a pulsating ode to big city club culture, a plea for the liberating power of losing oneself in the intoxication of dance, life, and love. With NYC RGB on the other hand, Viktoria Schmid shows a view of New York shifted through historical color film processes – proving cinema’s potential for bursting open reality.
„We are delighted to embark on the final Diagonale opening night for which we are responsible with a program that addresses the world: Patric Chiha’s cinema has always refused geographical and genre-specific ascriptions. Das Tier im Dschungel is a melancholic, beautiful film with the greatest elegance and fascinating grace. That is a true stroke of luck, not only in times like these. Rarely has Austrian film been so glamorous or cinema, pop, and club cultures so close to one another against the background of historical events of the twentieth century. Cinema in this country has rarely articulated itself more confidently as a machine of longing and desire. As a prelude and kindred spirit: NYC RGB, Viktoria Schmid’s ‘color-shifted’ ode to cinema, to film history, and the inextricably interwoven city New York. With Patric Chiha and Viktoria Schmid, all of the themes and motifs that have fascinated us over the years lead beyond the screen to the festival: music, pop – and last but not least, cinema itself. But most of all: longing and love. A double pack of sensuality! We are extremely pleased to dive into an exhilarating night together with the opening audience.“
——— Sebastian Höglinger and Peter Schernhuber, Festival directors
Das Tier im Dschungel
“We have to dance, nobody can take that away from us.” In a nightclub in the big city, a mysterious secret binds the two protagonists May and John for more than twenty years. While they wait for it to occur, music, fashion, and current affairs are in a constant state of flux. A pulsating ode to club culture and a plea for the liberating power of losing oneself in the intoxication of dance, life, and love.
With NYC RGB Viktoria Schmid shows us a view of New York that we’ve never seen before, made possible by historical color film processes. The material, triple exposed with different color filters, mixes colors, space, and time to a perception that is possible only in film. Evidence of cinema’s potential for bursting open reality.