PANAJI: The picture of men assuming to hold the upper hand over women, is still disturbing and becoming one of the main reasons for discord even today, feels director of IFFI 53 opening film ‘Alma and Oskar’, Dieter Berner.
The Austrian film from the genre of drama/historical, staged it’s ‘World Premiere’ here at IFFI 53 Goa; also setting a new precedent where the Opening Film was shown before the Festival Opening Ceremony.
‘Alma and Oskar’ biopic explores the passionate and tumultuous three-year relationship between the Grand Dame of Viennese society Alma Mahler (1879-1964) and the Austrian artist and enfant terrible Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980). The film is a testament to the power and perils of their passion.
Former actor turned director Dieter Berner was pleased with the IFFI53 experience, saying: “Ever since my younger days, I dreamed of India and now my dream has come true and I am here. I thank the IFFI for invitation. I am proud and happy that the film could celebrate world premiere here in Goa.”
Emphasising the reason for doing this film, Dieter said: “The most interesting thing for me, are human beings and characters. I had read about this relationship of Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980). I always wanted to make films about interesting characters.
“The most fascinating aspect around the story, concerns the tumultuous love as the essence of dramatisation of role model of man and woman. This problem has not been resolved till date, but has only intensified.
“I see around my friends, many relationships have great problem…Every second marriage, ends in divorce. What’s the reason, I think we must find a new culture of love. Most characters try to find an answer, I have empathy for the characters (in the film).”
Valentin Postlmayr has essayed the lead role for the first time. “I consider it as a great gift to have that role at the beginning of my movie career. Oskar is very emotional, thinks a lot about energies that connect the people, hence his portrayals with strong expressionist pictures. He wants to possess Alma fully and that dehumanised her in the end! He was not seeing her as the great musician she was, but he saw her as a lover.”
Producer, Johanna Scherz highlighted the challenge, saying: ” The film is based on historic characters and we didn’t want it to be like a documentary. The film had to be made with modernity in story-telling so that the audience can identify their passion and obsession via the characters. We also had a great team and ideal setting. I am proud of the team drawn from lot of countries in Europe, that helped us to make the film. “
ALMA AND OSKAR explores the passionate and tumultuous three-year relationship between the Grand Dame of Viennese society Alma Mahler (1879-1964) and the Austrian artist and enfant terrible Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980). In the early 1900s, Kokoschka was an up-and-coming painter, influenced by the work of Gustav Klimt yet with his own distinctive expressionist style. Considered one of the greatest expressionist artists of the 20th century, Kokoschka created his most famous work using Alma as a model, and the years of their relationship marked the most prodigious period in his life. A composer in her own right, Alma Mahler was a vibrant figure on Vienna’s art and music scene, and by the time she started her fiery affair with Kokoschka, she had already buried her first husband, composer Gustav Mahler, and begun an on-again-off-again relationship with architect Walter Gropius. ALMA AND OSKAR is a testament to the power and perils of their passion.
Cast And Credits
Director : Dieter Berner
Producer : Alexander Glehr Johanna Scherz
Screenplay : Hilde Berger, Dieter Berner
DOP : Jakub Bejnarowicz
Editor : Britta Nahler
Cast : Emily Cox Valentin Postlmayr Anton von Lucke Brigitte Karner Tatiana Pauhofová Wilfried Hochholdinger Marcello De Nardo Mehmet Atesci Gerald Votava