Shirley VIS Plakat1
Visions of reality ("Western Motel")ShirleyShirley 2
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Shirley-Visions of Reality

a film by Gustav Deutsch

FEATURE FILM | 2013 | Austria | 92 min | English | DCP | 1,1:85

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The film uses 13 cinematically vivified paintings by Edward Hopper to tell the story of a woman who lives in a reality she doesn’t accept as given but rather as a made up and changeable construct and who sticks to her convictions in moments of truth.

***

The film tells the story of a woman. A woman in America in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and early 60s. A woman who attempts to influence the course of history with her professional and socio-political involvement. A woman who doesn’t accept the reality around her as given but rather a made up and changeable construct. A woman who works as an actress and is used to staging reality, portraying realness and is therefore able to question and shape it herself. A woman who doesn’t strive for solo success as an actress or stardom in the future but feels like part of a collective aspiring to give social potency to theater. A woman who can’t identify with the dominant role model of the concept of a wife yet longs to have a life partner. A woman who doesn’t compromise in moments of professional crisis and isn’t afraid to take on menial jobs to secure her livelihood. A woman who in a moment of private crisis decides to stick to her partner and puts her own professional interest on the back burner. A woman who is furious with political repression yet doesn’t resign in despair and who has nothing but disdain for betrayal. An attractive, charismatic, committed, emancipated woman. 
Cast: Stephanie Cumming, Christoph Bach, Florentin Groll, Elfriede Irral, Tom Hanslmaier, Yarina Gurtner Vargas, Jim Libby

Director: Gustav DeutschScreenplay: Gustav DeutschCamera: Jerzy PalaczEditing: Gustav DeutschMusic: Christian Fennesz, David SylvianSound: Christoph AmannArt Direction: Hanna Schimek, Gustav Deutsch, Veronika Merlin, Art for Art Theater Service, Rudi HopsigCostumes: Julia Cepp ; Maske: Michaela HaagProduction Management: Marie TapperoKey-Gaffer: Dominik Danner
Production: Gabriele Kranzelbinder
Funding: ÷sterreichisches Filminstitut, ORF Film-Fernseh/Abkommen, FISA, Filmfonds Wien, Innovative Film Austria - BMUKK, European Community

Worldsales: East-West Filmdistribution

Distribution: KGP (÷), Rendez-Vous Filmverleih (Germany), KMBO (France), Karma, Obala Art Center, Art Fest, Pregnant Pictures, Anjou-Lafayette,
Director’s statement

As the starting point for this film, which is about the staging of reality and the dialogue of painting and film, I selected Edward Hopper’s picturesque oeuvre, which was not only influenced by film noir – in his choice of lighting, subject and framing as seen in paintings such as Night Windows (1938), Office at Night (1940), Room in New York (1932) and his direct references to cinema such as in New York Movie (1939) and Intermission (1963) – but which also in turn influenced filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Jim Jarmusch, Martin Scorsese and Wim Wenders.

Based on my conviction that history is made up of personal stories and my reading of John Dos Pasos’ USA novel trilogy which portrays the life stories and destinies of a few as representative of the wider social, cultural and life histories of the US, I have chosen an actress as the film’s protagonist – Shirley – through whose reflective and contemplative inner monologues we experience the US from the beginning of the 1930’s through to the mid-1960’s.

Here we have three decades, which have seen great upheavals at all levels – political, social and cultural – that have changed the country and its people forever: Pearl Harbour and WWII, the atomic bomb and the “conquest of space”, McCarthy and the Cold War, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the start of the Vietnam War, Duke Ellington and the big band swing, Billie Holiday and the Southern blues, Elvis Presley and the rock n’ roll, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and the protest song, The Group Theatre, The Living Theatre, Method Acting, The Actor’s Studio and its affiliated movie stars such as Anne Bancroft, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, the Stock Market Crash, the Depression, Fordism and Interstate Highways, race riots and the Ku-Klux-Klan, the March on Washington and Martin Luther King. These events, names and legends, which are inscribed into our collective memory, evoke images and moods. Shirley experiences and reflects all this as a committed and emancipated actress with left-leaning politics. She enjoys jazz, listening to the radio and going out and loves film. She is a woman with strong opinions and both feet on the ground, even during times of personal or professional crisis. She is attractive, charismatic and likes to play outsider roles such as that of the prostitute Francie in Sydney Kingsley’s play Dead End. Besides her art, she is also interested in socio-political issues. As an ensemble member of the Group Theatre and Living Theatre she combines art with her socio-political involvement.

While Shirley and her partner Stephen, a photojournalist for the New York Post, share an apartment on only two occasions during these three decades, their private and professional lives are deeply connected: unemployment as a result of the Depression, disappointment after the betrayal of Group Theatre members in front of the McCarthy committee, repressions as a result of the politically-minded theatre, career retirement as a result of ill partners, loss of partners, retirement to the countryside and questioning of the effectiveness of art, emigration to Europe – personal destinies that are pursued in front of and influenced by world-changing events, cultural revolutions and socio-political upheavals.

History is made up of personal stories.

 
Gustav Deutsch, January 2013


The film uses 13 cinematically vivified paintings by Edward Hopper to tell the story of a woman who lives in a reality she doesn’t accept as given but rather as a made up and changeable construct and who sticks to her convictions in moments of truth.

***

The film tells the story of a woman. A woman in America in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and early 60s. A woman who attempts to influence the course of history with her professional and socio-political involvement. A woman who doesn’t accept the reality around her as given but rather a made up and changeable construct. A woman who works as an actress and is used to staging reality, portraying realness and is therefore able to question and shape it herself. A woman who doesn’t strive for solo success as an actress or stardom in the future but feels like part of a collective aspiring to give social potency to theater. A woman who can’t identify with the dominant role model of the concept of a wife yet longs to have a life partner. A woman who doesn’t compromise in moments of professional crisis and isn’t afraid to take on menial jobs to secure her livelihood. A woman who in a moment of private crisis decides to stick to her partner and puts her own professional interest on the back burner. A woman who is furious with political repression yet doesn’t resign in despair and who has nothing but disdain for betrayal. An attractive, charismatic, committed, emancipated woman. 

Prizes:

MEHRWERT-FILMPREIS DER ERSTE BANK (Viennale 2013)

Österreichisches Filmpreis/Austrian Film Award 2014 für BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Österreichisches Filmpreis/Austrian Film Award 2014 für BEST SET DESIGN

Österreichisches Filmpreis für/Austrian Film Award 2014 BEST COSTUME DESIGN

AWARD for BEST MOVIE CAMERA WORK (Golden Eye Film festival 2014 - Tbilisi, Georgia)  



Festivals:

Berlinale 2013 - International Forum of New Cinema (Berlin, Gemrany)

Image Forum Festival 2013 (Japan)

DOK.fest München 2013 (Munich, Germany)

IndieLisboa 2013 (Lisbon, Portugal)

Bildrausch - Filmfest Basel 2013 (Switzerland) - Opening film

New Horizon Film Festival 2013 (Wroclaw, Poland)

Kalrovy Vary International Film festival 2013 (Czech Rep)

European Film Festival Palic 2013 (Serbia)

Melbourne International Film Festival 2013 (Australia)

Hong-Kong IFF 2013 (China)

Split Film Festival 2013 (Croatia)

Kaunas IFF 2013 (Lithuania)

Flanders International Film Festival Ghent 2013 (Belgium)

Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal 2013 (Canada)

Viennale 2013 (Austria)

Camerimage 2013 (Poland)

SEFF Sevilla Festival de Cine Europeo 2013 (Spain)

exground filmfest 2013 (Germany)

Trieste Film Festival 2014 (Italy)

Arte Fiere - Cineteca di Bologna 2014 (Italy)

Göteborg Film Festival 2014 (Sweden)

!f Istanbul Film Festival 2014 (Turkey)

Tampere Film Festival 2014 (Finland)

Hong Kong Int. FF 2014 (China)

Diagonale 2014 (Austria) 

Golden Eye Film festival 2014 (Tbilisi, Georgia) 





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Gustav Deutsch

 

1952 born in Vienna
1958–62 Primary School in Vienna
1962–70 Gymnasium in Vienna
1970–79 studies of Architecture, TU Vienna, Dipl.Ing.
1980–83 member of Medienwerkstatt Wien – Videoworks
since 1983 member of the Artists group DER BLAUE KOMPRESSOR (DBK)
since 1985 works with Hanna Schimek (D&S)
since 1989 numerous filmworks
since 1996 member of SIXPACKFILM
since 2002 member of AFTER IMAGE PRODUCTIONS
since 2003 artistic director Aegina Academy (1)

Basic area of the artistic work:

Filmworkso­n the phenomenology of the media film: i.e. TASCHENKINO, 1995, FILMIST.1–6 / 1998, FILM IST.7–12 / 2002, WORLD MIRROR CINEMA Episode 1–3 /2005
Internationale Festival participations, rewards und prizes, i.e.:
Preis Neues Kino/Viennale 96, for TASCHENKINO and FILM IST MEHR ALS FILM, 1996
Main Prize, Filmfestival Ann Arbor, for FILM IST.1-6, 2000
Curators Award, Cinema Texas, for FILM IST.7-12, 2002
Best Film, EXiS Mediafestival, Seoul, für WORLD MIRROR CINEMA (1-3), 2005

Concept,organisation und realisation of interdisciplinary Artprojects as anattempt to regain social effectiveness of Art: i.e. JARDIN DE WILTZ,1983 –1987 (2), DIE KUNST DER REISE, Vienna 1985 / Frankfurt 1989 /London 1991 (1), ODYSSEY TODAY / THE ATHENS CONFERENCE, 1995 (1), LIGHTIMAGE – THE AEGINA ACADEMY (1), 2003 / 2005

Artistic research works: i.e. THE WATER-, THE PLANTS-, THE BORDERS OF THE DESERT, 1985–1994, Figuig / Marokko

Art& Environment Projects, BuildingArt: i.e. ALPENGLÜHEN/ 10000 Watt,1998, Bielerhöhe (1), SIGNAL, 1998–1999, Wien (1), FOOD DESIGN –artistic concept guess club 2, 1999, Wien (1), CAMERA OBSCURA BUILDING,2003, Aegina (3)

Exhibitions and participations in exhibitions,nationally and internationally: i.e. FILM IST. 1–12, 8 channel DVDInstallation in the frame of the International Filmfestival Rotterdam,and Wien Modern, Künstlerhaus Wien, 2002; FILM IST. 1–6, Single ChannelDVD Installation in the frame of Remembrance and the Moving Image,Australien Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, 2003; LICHT I BILD IREALITÄT – atlas, LENTOS Museum for contemporary Art, Linz, 2004 (1);FILM IST. VOICE AND SINGING, 4 channel DVD Installation, in the frameof Phonorama, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2004; LICHT I BILD I ILLUSION – atlas /26 PANORAMEN, Kunsthalle Wien / Projectspace, 2005 (1); TATORT –MIGRATION 1-10, 10 channel DVD Installation, Kölnischer Kunstverein,2005; FILM IST.1–6, Single Channel DVD Installation, in the frame ofPostmediale Kondition, Neue Galerie Graz and Arco 06, Madrid, 2006;REFLECTIONS, Solo-exhibition, Galeria de Arte Cinemática Solar, Vila doConde/Porto, 2006; FILM IST.1–12, DVD Installation in the frame ofThat's Not Entertainment : el cinema respon al cinema, Centre deCultura Contemporania de Barcelona, 2006

Lectures and workshops at international renowned universities und museums: i.e.
San Francisco Art Institute, Cinematheque, 1995
MIT Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Media Lab, Boston, 1996
University of Liege, Belgien, Liege, ARCHIMEDIA, 1999
Athens School of fine Arts, digital media department, 2000
Museo Reina Sophia, Madrid, 2002
Bard College, New York, film department, 2000
Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Wien, 2002
Nederlands Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, ARCHIMEDIA, 2003
Tampere Filmschool, Finnland, 2004
Österreichisches Filmmuseum, Wien, Ringvorlesung, 2004 / 2005
Kunstakademie Helsinki, Helsinki, 2006
University of Binghamton, Departement for Film, New York, 2006
Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Porto, 2006

Together with:
(1) Hanna Schimek (2) Der Blaue Kompressor (3) Franz Berzl






www.shirley-visions-of-reality.com


© KGP Kranzelbinder Gabriele Production