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The B-Film Retrospective at the Viennale

The Devil BatOver the past few years the Vienna International Film Festival's retrospective, organized in close partnership with the venerable Austrian Filmmuseum, has shifted its focus from the standard—though no less rewarding—practice of showcasing the work of Great Directors to carving out new lateral paths through cinema history, opening oblique thematic and geographical doorways that fruitfully undermine the notion of cinema as the product of a single monolithic creator. From tracing the circuitous second life of certain stories and their variations as they crop up, like musical refrains, in the form of remakes, sequels or re-imaginings across time to exploring the idea of utopia and its ideological correction in Soviet cinema, the Viennale's retrospective has become a dynamic platform through which to re-think cinema in all of its wonderful and varied complexity. This year was no different with the retrospective detouring from the sanitized, big budget, star-driven

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