Whatever people no longer need, they dump in the basement. But they also store down there everything that they don't want others to see. In the Basement tells stories about people who pursue their obsessions in hiding. It's about sexuality and being ready to shoot, huge snakes in terrariums, fitness rooms and laundry rooms, and opera arias that fade out in vaulted underground rooms. Naked flesh is thrashed, people scream with pleasure and jokes are exchanged beneath a portrait of the Führer. After his PARADISE Trilogy, Ulrich Seidl returned to the documentary form with this film. This night-time sea journey through the underground of the soul led in 2014 to a political scandal that raged for weeks and the resignation of several Austrian politicians.
Austria 2014 | 85 min | German | digital | 35mm
Director: Ulrich Seidl | Idea and Concept: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz | Camera: Martin Gschlacht | Additional camera: Hans Selikovsky | Second additional camera: Wolfgang Thaler | Sound: Ekkehart Baumung | Editor: Christoph Brunner |
Production managers: Louis Oellerer, Max Linder | Unit manager: Konstantin Seitz | Producer: Ulrich Seidl |
Cast: Fritz Lang, Alfreda Klebinger, Inge and Manfred Ellinger, Josef Ochs, Alessa and Gerald Duchek, Cora Kitty, Peter Vokurek, Walter Holzer a. m. o.
With support from: Austrian Film Institute, Vienna Film Fund, Land Niederösterreich | Co-produced by: ORF (Film/Fernseh-Abkommen), coop99 filmproduktion, WDR | In collaboration with: Arte
Austrian distributor: Stadtkino Filmverleih und Kinobetriebsgesellschaft m.b.H. | Spittelberggasse 3
1070 Vienna, Austria | T +43 1 5224814 | F +43 1 5224815 | E email@example.com | www.stadtkinowien.at
- Director's statement
"In Austria the basement is a locus of free time and the private sphere. Many Austrians spend more time in the basement of their single-family homes than in their living room, which often serves only for show. In the basement they can satisfy their real needs and pursue hobbies, passions and obsessions. In our unconscious the basement is also a place of darkness, a place of fear, a place of human abysses." – Ulrich Seidl
"A sublime film. An empathic observation of human nature."
Katja Nicodemus, Die Zeit
"Seidl's cinema upsets people because he looks for humanity and finds it there, where others presume are to be found only monsters."
Markus Keuschnigg, Die Presse
"In the Basement is Seidl's best film in a long time. With Seidl, what happens in front of the camera is actually still relevant. It is an event, it is a spectacle. You believe it, even though you almost always wonder and doubt. Seidl creates his very own cinematic magic. A festival of abysses."
Patrick Holzapfel, KINO-ZEIT.DE
- Awards | Festivals
Vienna Film Prize 2015
OÖ-Nachrichten Documentary Film of the Year Audience Award 2015
World premiere: 71st Venice International Film Festival, 2014
Festival de Cine de San Sebastián | Message to Man IFF | Zürich FF | London Film Fest | Nouveau Cinéma Montréal | Jihlava International Documentary Film Fest | Molodist IFF | 57th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film | Copenhagen Documentary IFF | Sevilla FF | IFF Amsterdam IDFA | Filmmaker Festival | La Habana International Festival of New Latin American Cinema | Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF | 14th DocPoint - Helsinki Documentary Film Festival | Stockfish European Film Festival | Sofia International Film Fest | Thessaloniki Documentary Festival | Eurodok | FICBAQ | Diagonale Graz | Hong Kong International Film Fest | IFF Uruguay | Istanbul Film Fest | BAFICI | Riviera Maya FF | Ankara IFF | Jeonju IFF | Transilvania IFF | Sydney FF | Moskow IFF | Jerusalem FF | Melbourne FF | Espoo Ciné IFF | Bergen IFF | Bogota IFF | Taipei Golden Horse FF
© Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion
A film essay by Ulrich Seidl