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Dog Days(Hundstage)

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Austria · 2001
Rated R · 2h 1m
Director Ulrich Seidl
Starring Maria Hofstätter, Alfred Mrva, Franziska Weisz, Christine Jirku
Genre Comedy, Drama

A series of vignette storylines woven into a tapestry of loneliness and quiet desperation: A teacher in bondage to a sleazy pimp, a very importunate hitchhiker, a private detective involved with some car vandals, a couple with a serious marriage problem, and an old man whose wife died long ago.

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What are critics saying?


Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

Some scenes of Ulrich Seidl's first fiction feature (he's already a respected documentary maker) are so brutal and degrading that they're hard to watch. Others are highly atmospheric and sometimes quite funny.


Variety by Deborah Young

An acid portrait of contemporary Austria (and by extension, the whole middle class) as unspeakably dull, violent and stupid. The film itself, miraculously, is just the opposite: vibrantly inventive, aesthetically rigorous, sardonic and occasionally quite brilliant.


Village Voice by Dennis Lim

Dog Days adheres dogmatically to the school of sado-miserablism that Seidl's compatriots Michael Haneke and Jessica Hausner have turned into something of a national industry (non-Austrian adherents abound too, from Gaspar Noé to Harmony Korine).


TV Guide Magazine by Ken Fox

Looks very much like a documentary: It's grainy and raw, and Seidl's actors -- a mix of actors and non-professionals -- are often unglamorously posed under what appears to be natural light.


Chicago Tribune by Michael Wilmington

Be forewarned: Dog Days, like many of Seidel's films, will drive some moviegoers to rage and walkouts with its unrelentingly depressing tone. But it also a remarkable, deeply disturbing work by a brilliant filmmaker.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

Working with non-professional actors, Seidl emphasizes their ordinariness to the point of cartoonish ridicule, putting them in scenarios either banal, perverse, or both at the same time.

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