OUT OF TIME (Aus der Zeit)

outoftimel_035472.jpgI am constantly stunned by the power of cinema, and the way it can — in two simple hours — trigger happiness, sadnesss, disbelief, horror (or pretty much any other human emotion you can imagine).

Over the past six weeks, I reviewed press screenings at the 33rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival — for webfives. I’d like to highlight one film that I thought was particularly remarkable: The Austrian documentary, OUT OF TIME. 

Apparently, OUT OF TIME is distributed in the US by Six Pack Film. Their website is (I believe) only available in German.

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OUT OF TIME.

Directed by Harald Friedl. North American Premiere at the 33rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival

Of the documentaries I’ve seen so far, Harald Friedl’s OUT OF TIME is — to me — the most compelling, moving, and visually-striking entry.

Gorgeously-shot and edited, Friedl’s film reminds me of Errol Morris at his best; it takes a small story and expands it outward to tell a broadly-humanistic narrative. By focusing on tiny, specific things, Friedl reveals the universality of even small objects, and points to some of the key things that make the experience of being human similar across cultural lines.  

OUT OF TIME follows four Viennese businesses, all of which have been around for over seventy years: A pharmacy, a butcher, a button shop, and a leather-goods vendor. Throughout the course of the film, three of the four businesses close. In interviewing the proprietors, Friedl gradually unfolds the stories of their lives. He also reveals a great deal about these specific trades — trades that are dissappearing as the Austrian economy changes and evolves.

Besides the incidental stories it tells — stories of love, marriage, loss, and hard work — OUT OF TIME also makes an interesting point about globalization. It shows the way that small businesses are disappearing, as larger concerns take over markets that were previously run by family-owned stores.

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My reviews are all posted here: www.webfives.com/SIFF.

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