The weekend, the dog days.
It is oppressively hot, south of Vienna, in the no-man's land of freeway feeder roads, shopping centers and single-family houses. The temperature rises, aggression rises. The asphalt blisters. In this sweltering atmosphere six stories set in the same place and time tell of daily life and aggression, nights full of songs and games, sex and violence. Of days filled with solitude, the loss of love, the longing for love. A film about life in all its vulnerability and intimacy.
Dog days, term widely used for the frequently hot and sultry period between July 24th and August 23rd. The name derives from the constellation Canicola (Orion's dog), seen during this time.
Dog Days was Ulrich Seidl's first /openly acknowledged, certified, officially - ie other doc features had fiction elements/ fiction feature film. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and had the highest box office of any Austrian film in 2002.
Austria 2001 | 121 min | German | Super 16mm | 35mm blow up | 1:1,66
Director: Ulrich Seidl | Sceenplay: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz | Camera: Wolfgang Thaler | Sound: Ekkehart Baumung | Editors: Andrea Wagner, Christof Schertenleib | Art directors: Andreas Donhauser, Renate Martin | Costumes: Sabine Volz | Casting: Markus Schleinzer, Eva Roth | Assistant director: Veronika Franz, Klaus Pridnig | Production manager: Max Linder | Producers: Helmut Grasser, Philippe Bober | Cast: Maria Hofstätter, Alfred Mrva, Erich Finsches, Gerti Lehner, Franziska Weiß, René Wanko, Claudia Martini, Victor Rathbone, Christian Bakonyi, Christine Jirku, Victor Hennemann, Georg Friedrich
Production company: Allegro Film Produktions Ges.m.b.H. | A-1030 Vienna, Krummgasse 1a
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World sales: Coproduction Office | 24, rue Lamartine | 75009 Paris, France
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With support from: Austrian Film Institute, ORF (Film/Fernseh-Abkommen), Vienna Film Fund, Land Niederösterreich | In collaboration with ZDF and Arte
- Director's statement
"Dog Days marks a beginning and an end in my film work. Dog Days is a real so-called fiction movie with a real screenplay, real stories and real actors. But nonetheless many things are different. There was a screenplay, but no written dialogue, there were actors, but more non-actors, and there was a documentary way of working." – Ulrich Seidl
"But Mr. Seidl has done something that sits in your head; his movie feels both flamboyant and deadpan. With Dog Days, which achieves a verisimilitude that most directors would envy, he has made an engrossing and disturbing film that feels like a Dogma 95 film made by Todd Haynes."
Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
"The film is vibrantly inventive, aesthetically rigorous, sardonic and occasionally quite brilliant."
Deborah Young, Variety
"Whoever sees this film will never forget it, regardless of whether they loved or hated it. Dog Days has style, bite, insistency. It is paradoxical but therapeutic to be able to say, 'Come see, here's a film that hurts. '"
Urs Jenn, Der Spiegel
- Awards | Festivals
"Grand Jury Prize", Venice, 2001
"Best Film and Best Director", Bratislava
"Prize for Best Film", Gijon
"Special Prize" for Maria Hofstätter, Gijon
"Discovery of the Year", Fipresci
With 102,000 viewers, the most successful Austrian movie of the year 2001/2002
World premiere: 58th Venice International Film Festival, 2001
Kulturforum/Bucharest, Cineteca Nacional/Mexico, Motovun FF, Thessaloniki IFF, New Horizons IFF, Film Sokolov, European Cinema Cinergia/Łódź, 31st Jerusalem IFF, Cinémathèque Leipzig, Palić European Film Festival
© Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion