13 July 2006 | fuetschi
remarkably well done movie coming from a country little known for producing sci-fi
I saw two sneak previews in Vienna at UCI Millennium City past may 2006. They screened both the original German version as well as the English dubbed one. Although one and the same film, the perception of the movie differs. Somehow and for a German native speaker the visuals and dialog seem to be more convincing in the dubbed version, yet the movie is entirely - and for native Austrians recognizably - shot in Austria. Truly interesting phenomenon that is and potentially headache causing in the commercial exploitation of the film. Apparently, AINOA is being released in Austria in fall this year by Buena Vista International, a highly reputable distributor world wide as we all know, primarily known for family entertainment. "Chapeau" in every sense if this is true, I think the movie deserves it though. Despite some crucial character flaws and weaknesses as far as the overall dramaturgy, pace and speed is concerned, the movie leaves you with a certain sense of satisfaction and urge for discussion after wards (which I personally like about movies). The images are epic and carefully composed, the score supports and elevates the futuristic sense and settings convincingly, sound design is precise, realistically supportive and embedded in the picture in a detailed and sophisticated manner. Direction is acceptable considering the director (and DP) seemingly coming from doing commercials (numerous internationally successful filmmakers went that path), still, for a "first-timer" in the world of epic scifi features even remarkable. I cannot think of a single movie done in Austria dealing that proper and professional with such a demanding genre, highly ambitious production value and courageous effort in the low budget field. It certainly will be interesting to see how the Austrian audience will cope with and accept AINOA once released. I think it depends on where you set your personal perceptive bench mark and what you are comparing an Austrian scifi flick with. Despite the rather obvious nodding towards existing scifi elements and ingredients (Star Wars springs to mind), the movie bears charm and sometimes puts a condoning smile on your face, but not in a denouncing way. All in all, given the limited financial means and long period of time it apparently took shooting the film, I see AINOA as a remarkable and equally ambitious effort in setting a new bench mark in Austria. I can imagine the movie entering unchartered territory in Austria amongst film enthusiasts and identity driven critics, but hey - no risk no fun as they say - thus "may the force be with you, young AINOA!"