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“Vogerl” Takes Flight

“Vogerl” Takes Flight

The first warm evening in June saw the première of the film “Das Glück is a Vogerl” (“Luck is a little bird”) at Vienna’s Breitenseer Lichtspiele, one of the oldest cinemas in continuous operation in the world. It’s a venerable old movie house: Lichtspiele first opened its doors in 1908 (although not in the current […]

The Fun of the Fair

The Fun of the Fair

People have been enjoying Vienna’s Prater for almost 250 years, and it’s easy to see why. The vast island of green has something for everyone, including a thrilling fairground with a past every bit as colourful as its present.   The early years The word Prater (from the Latin Pratum meaning “meadow”) was first coined […]

Fred Baker: Vantage Point Vienna

Fred Baker: Vantage Point Vienna

Filmmaker Fred Baker has a favourite table at Café Sperl. It’s in a bay window, towards the back by the billiard tables. It was here that he interviewed writer Robert Menasse for his acclaimed 2010 documentary on the new Austrian resistance, Widerstand in Haiderland, and here where he first met with Brigitte Timmermann to plan […]

Exploring Beethoven’s Bastion with Harry Lime

Exploring Beethoven’s Bastion with Harry Lime

It’s winter, and only the hardiest souls are out exploring Vienna’s back streets. With many content to stay indoors, perhaps now is the time for a little crowd-free urban exploration – and the place to go is Mölker Bastei. This unsung city corner near Schottentor offers five hundred years of history, all within a stone’s […]

Book Review: John Leake’s The Vienna Woods Killer

Capturing ‘The Vienna Woods Killer’ It is early 1991, and the Viennese press is abuzz with news of a killer operating in the red light district. At the center of the media frenzy, investigating the prostitute homicides, is Jack Unterweger, one time con, now successful man of letters, a ‘bad boy made good’. Such is […]

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: […]

The Third Man: Vienna in Black & White

It was the contradictions of post-war Vienna that fascinated novelist Graham Greene, a city where the gestures and ornaments of civilization had been stripped away to expose full range of human need and desire. So when producer Alexander Korda invited him to write a screenplay for a film set in the war-scarred Austrian capital, he […]

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 […]

Film Noir In Sound

On Nov. 23, musicians and film lovers joined to celebrate the anniversary of a remarkable event: Exactly 60 years ago,  The Third Man premiered. It has since become a cult movie about Vienna just after World War II. It starred Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard and Orson Welles, and it took an instrument and […]

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