ABOUT THE FILM
A very literal dive beneath the surface of Austrian society, IN THE BASEMENT is a no-holds-barred depiction of seemingly ordinary men and women’s secrets and fetishes – the cast of real-life characters includes an opera-singing gunslinger, a Hitler-loving brass band, a hunter of exotic species, and numerous passionate devotees of S&M. But Seidl’s sensibility and approach are nothing if not paradoxical. His work almost always displays an arguably problematic enthusiasm for burrowing into people’s most private and unsavory dimensions, and for photographing his subjects with the compositional perfection of a control freak. But in Seidl’s best work, with which IN THE BASEMENT should be grouped, his entomologist-like qualities are balanced by a genuine compassion, a non-judgmental embrace of the human condition that’s all the more powerful for not being couched in sentimentalism or middlebrow pieties.
In the Basement by Ulrich Seidl (2014)
in German with English subtitles
Duration: 85 min
with Fritz Lang, Alfreda Klebinger, Manfred Ellinger
Fri, Nov 6 through Thurs, Nov 12 at 7:15 & 9:00 nightly.
Additional screenings on Sat & Sun at 5:30.
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue New York