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A Cinephile Goes Walking Before Sunrise

A Cinephile Goes Walking Before Sunrise

I don’t know what originally compelled me to retrace the steps of Jesse and Celine in Richard Linklater’s engaging meander through Vienna, Before Sunrise. Maybe it was just that I was here and all those locations lay at my feet. Or because no one else had done it. Or maybe I was hoping for a […]

Franziskanerviertel – Little City Downtown

Franziskanerviertel – Little City Downtown

Few can imagine living in the Franziskanerviertel at the heart of the 1st District, one of the oldest Grätzln in Vienna. It’s flanked east-west by Kärntner Straße and the Parkring, and north-south by Singerstraße and Himmelpfortgasse – the streets have stayed essentially untouched since the Middle Ages. In most cities, no one lives in the […]

Vienna for Valentines

February 14th is St. Valentine’s Day, when lonely hearts woo would-be lovers with anonymous missives. All very odd given that the saint in question was an obscure third century Roman poet, with little proven interest in targetting Cupid’s bow. That said there is little doubt regarding Vienna’s part in the most romantic day of the year: […]

Wien: A Romantic Interlude

New Years’ Day, 1979. In the middle of a snowy walk through Vienna, my father leads my mother into the cozy lobby of the Hilton, warms her hands between his, and in a burst of emotion, proposes. Sixteen years later, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) step off a train in the opening sequence […]

Home of Hospitality and Viennese Charm

What first led me first to Franziskanerplatz was the Kleines Café, unofficially Vienna’s smallest coffee house. I met some friends there on a rainy night in 1997 and somehow, probably out of necessity to stay dry, we all fit inside the very cozy art deco, retro interior, known to many for a ‘starring’ role in […]

The 10 Best Vienna Moments on Film

Weibliche Assentierung (1908, Austria, director unknown) Early Austrian naughtiness. Thomas Ballhausen (TB), Austrian Film Archive (AFA): “There was a tendency to make local eroticism, especially in the mute film era. The first-ever film production company in Vienna, Saturn, only made erotic short films. They mostly did adult remakes of French originals (made for a general […]

Cemetery of the Nameless

Cemetery of the Nameless

Sitting in the back of the car, I realised I was nervous.  We were on our way to the Cemetery of the Nameless where I was to interview the curator, and well, I’m not very comfortable in graveyards. Perhaps it’s the presence of death, perhaps the loneliness. Maybe I’ve just watched too many horror movies. […]

Making Movies In Real-time

Making Movies In Real-time

It was a sticky-hot summer evening when film director Richard Linklater strolled into the auditorium of the Austrian Film Museum. Dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and sandals, with bronzed skin and floppy hair that seemed to suggest he spent more time at the beach than anything else, he looked at first like just another film […]

Richard Linklater After Sunrise

Before Richard Linklater, Vienna was the city of The Third Man to the film lovers of the English-speaking world. It was the romantic world of dark dealings in the glistening black and white of the Four-Power Occupation in the first years after World War II. Then in 1995 came Before Sunrise. In this deceptively simple […]

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