A dedicated voyeur at the human zoo, Dog Days auteur Ulrich Seidl was first a documentarian, and here's his 1995 keynote film, a disquieting semi-fictionhis array of Austrian pet-owning lowlifes, lonely rejects, and mutant bourgeois all perform, pose, fuck, and play for the camera. Of course, in Seidl's world, one's relationship to a domestic beast (mostly dogs and rabbits; the only cat we see is dead) is a desperate howl for companionship in a hollow modernity, and as much as the people needily infantilize their animals, the pets themselves seem lost in selfless tolerance. Something of a companion piece to Robin Lehman's notorious Manimals, Seidl's film holds to a strategy somewhere between Errol Morris and Gaspar Noé. Beautifully dusky and fastidiously composed, Seidl's movies reveal a Vienna the rest of the world never sees; released on DVD simultaneously is Models (1999), in which Seidl constructs the screaming emptiness of local fashion models, playing themselves and struggling with men, cigarettes, exploitation, and their own brainlessness.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Scott Adkins Plays a Badass Actually Named ‘Colt McReady’ In the Effective ‘Close Range’
- Meet the Pole Who Tried to Warn the World About the Holocaust in ‘Karski & the Lords...
- Jane Fonda Faced Down the Seventies and a Killer in Pakula’s Masterful ‘Klute’
- He’ll Get Your Head Shaking: Surveying the Start of Chung Mong-hong’s (Likely) Great...